Blackjack Betting Strategy: A Guide to Maximum Profit

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in the world. And while there are many ways to play the game, one blackjack betting strategy reigns supreme: The Martingale System.

The Martingale System is a simple yet effective way of increasing your chances of winning at blackjack by doubling your bet after every loss.

We discuss blackjack betting strategy and the basics you need to know at the blackjack table.

Basic blackjack strategies

blackjack betting strategy

Blackjack is a favorite casino game. It is a favorite pastime at both online and land-based casinos all over the world.  Although blackjack is difficult to beat over the long term, you can still make the most out of any session by using a solid blackjack betting strategy.

A sound blackjack strategy requires proper bankroll management, a solid betting system, and an understanding of basic strategy.

Blackjack players sometimes push their betting systems to breaking point, using techniques such as card counting or team betting to overcome the house advantage.

How to play blackjack

blackjack betting strategy

Blackjack rules can vary depending on which blackjack variant you play.

Many online blackjack games in Las Vegas casinos follow American Blackjack rules.

All players are dealt two cards, both face up. The dealer also receives two cards, one face down and one face up.

Blackjack players are required to put together at least two cards that add up to 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over.

After the first two cards have been dealt, each player has the option to hit (take another card), stand (keep their cards), or in certain situations, double down, split pairs, or surrender.

Double down can only be applied if you have a total number of nine, ten, or eleven. Splitting pairs allows you to take a paired hand and divide it into two hands. This doubles your wager but allows only one more card per hand.

The player loses all their wager if they go over 21 — or a bust.

After each player has completed their desired betting action, the dealer turns their facedown card up for everyone to see.

If the total is less than 16, the dealer must hit. If the total is 17 or greater, the dealer must stand.

All players who beat the dealer with a higher total will win. If the dealer busts, all live players win.

When the dealer is dealt a blackjack (21) with their first two cards, the down card is turned face-up and all other players who don’t have a blackjack automatically lose – unless they also have a blackjack, in which case it’s a push.

Natural blackjack pays 1.5 to 1, while beating a dealer pays the same.

Blackjack betting strategy

There are many free resources online and in print on blackjack strategy.

Strategy charts are the most popular resources for blackjack players. They show when to hit, hold, or double down for every combination of the hand and the dealer’s up cards.

Many casinos in Las Vegas allow players to view such charts at the blackjack table. Understanding how your cards and the dealer affect how you play blackjack is important.

When you have a well-developed strategy, you can add specific betting techniques to increase your chances of winning.

Blackjack betting systems

Blackjack players have been trying to reduce the house edge ever since the game was created. You can double the amount of your bet until you win.

Some methods use progressive betting strategies that allow you to increase your wager only after a win and then return to the original size if you lose.

Some players stick to a basic flat betting strategy.

Let’s look at some of the most popular blackjack betting strategies:

The Martingale System

Losing streaks can be made up using the Martingale system. It increases the amount of your bet after each loss. You can always win a hand with the Martingale system no matter how many hands you have lost.

It can be considered a negative progression betting strategy. To avoid ruin in real-money blackjack games, even at the lowest stakes, you will need a large bankroll.

Let’s say that you start with a $10 wager using the Martingale System. If you lose your first hand you must bet $20 on the second hand. You lose that hand and your next bet must be $40

This negative progression system will keep you doubling your bet until you have a winning hand. Blackjack is not known for losing streaks of ten or more consecutively. The Martingale System is not the best blackjack strategy if you don’t have a large bankroll.

If you lose ten hands straight using the Martingale System, with a $10 starting bet, you’d be down $10,230 for that session. If you aren’t ready to chase down your losses with large recoup bets, negative progression blackjack betting systems are not for you.

Winning-Streak Strategies

Positive progression strategies, also known as winning streak strategies, are a different approach to the Martingale System. Positive progression strategies aim to maximize the value and enjoyment of a hot streak by increasing bets after a winning hand.

Positive progression is a winning strategy. You must stop at any point during a winning streak. If you win a $10 bet, your next bet could be $20.

You’ll be up to $30 after just two hands if you win the $20 hand. After three hands, you can make $70 if you raise your next bet to $40 again and win.

You might consider calling it quits after three consecutive wins to make the positive progression strategy work.

Oscar’s Grind

You can apply Oscar’s Grind strategy to any game that offers even money payouts. Blackjack is not a good fit in this category. Some events, such as natural blackjack, have different odds of paying at 1-to-1.

The Oscar betting system uses the following: After a loss, the bet size is kept the same and the wager is increased by one after each win. This process is repeated until you have one unit. Then, you return to the original size of your bet.

This system is designed to win one unit of betting per series and then start another series with the same bet size.

Let’s say, for example, you start with a $10 wager using Oscar’s Grind. If you lose this hand, your next wager is $10.

You will continue to bet $10 per hand until you win. Then, you can increase your bet to $20. Then, you can keep betting $20 until your win again.

After that, you can increase the bet up to $30.

You can continue each series with Oscar’s Grind until you are ahead. Once you have made a profit, the series is over. You can start another series by placing a $10 wager.

The Martingale system is similar to Oscar’s grind. If your bankroll can endure long losing streaks, you should use it.

Counting Cards

The most famous blackjack movies and books about card counters have made them immortal. You’re probably familiar with the stories of blackjack card counters who won millions if you’ve seen the movie 21 or read Ben Mezrich’s books about the MIT card counting team.

The goal of counting cards is to make larger bets when the shoe favors high cards and aces, and smaller bets when the rest of the shoe favors lower cards.

The effectiveness of a card-counting system is determined by the number of decks in a particular shoe. Card counting is best done with a six-deck blackjack game. Single deck games are less effective.

Card counting is the art of keeping track of how many cards have been drawn from a particular shoe during a blackjack game. The most basic card-counting system assigns points to each card that is drawn from the deck.

Mezrich’s books outlined a system that assigned a “-1” to every card ten or higher that is dealt on the table. Cards 7 through 9 are assigned a “0” while cards 6 and lower are designated “+1 “.

Card counters increase their bet size when the cumulative “+” count reaches certain numbers. A large “+” count means that there are a lot of high cards in the remaining shoe, which mathematically favors the player.

In contrast, a shoe with low cards favors a dealer. Card counters will adjust to “-” counts by placing only the minimum bets.

Although the MIT Blackjack Team can execute this strategy with incredible precision, card counting can have serious consequences for casino security.

Although card counting isn’t technically cheating, it will make you stand out to casino security for all the wrong reasons.

Card counting can also be mentally demanding. Click To Tweet

It involves keeping a running tally and sometimes reverting to a basic blackjack strategy depending on what the situation is.


If you’re looking to up your blackjack game and start winning big with a sure-fire blackjack betting strategy, be sure to give these four blackjack betting strategies a try!