When it comes to playing blackjack, there are a large number of different systems in use. No system is 100% successful all of the time, but this does not mean that systems are ineffective either. It is important to make sure that you know how each system works, the benefits and drawbacks, and the bankroll management involved.
That being said, there are some simple systems out there that offer a relatively easy way to increase your winnings. The 1-3-2-6 system is one of those.
Before you take on any system, it is important to make sure that you know how to play the game properly. If you do not know how to play blackjack and at least have a working knowledge of basic blackjack strategy, then undertaking a wagering system is not going to help you win. A wagering system is a way of effectively using your bankroll to help increase your overall winnings – it is not going to magically make you good at blackjack.
If you do not know how to play, then it is a good idea to learn first.
Once you have become familiar with how to play blackjack, it is time to start looking at one of the best-known, easiest to carry out, and most successful bankroll management strategies out there – the 1-3-2-6 system. It is a very simple system, partly because the name of the system explains how to carry it out, and also because it sticks to a set routine. This means that as long as you remember where you are in the system, it is difficult to get wrong.
Before getting into the finer details though, it is important to understand what exactly the 1-3-2-6 system actually does. It basically manages your bankroll by making sure that you capitalise on your hot streaks but do not bet beyond your means during a cold streak. It does not guarantee a win, but it does mean that when you are on a winning streak, you will maximise your earnings, which should negate any losses you make on a losing streak. This is why it is important to know how to play first – if you do not know how to play, then there will not be a winning streak to capitalise on.
The 1-3-2-6 system generally uses units to denote how much you are placing on each wager. In this instance, we will class each unit as $10, just to make it easy to understand. The way that the system works is that every time you win a bet, you move forward one step. If you lose, then you go right back to the start. You also go back to the start if you make it all the way to the end of the sequence. If you manage to win four bets in a row, then that would be a full sequence and you would have wagered $10, $30, $20 and $60. If you lose on your first bet, then your next bet would still be at the $10 level. If you lose on your second bet, then you would go back to the $10 level.
It makes it very easy to keep track of where you are and where you should be. If you lose, then go back to the start – otherwise, wager the number of units from the name of the system in order. It is that simple. Of course, your blackjack skills will dictate how often you win, but this system will make it much easier for you to maximise your winnings. How does it do that though?
To go through how the system works, we will assume that when you win, you do not manage it with a natural blackjack. This is not to hide the system’s failings – in fact, if you win with a natural blackjack, then you actually make more of a profit than by winning with other hands. It is purely to simplify the explanation behind the system. This is because a natural blackjack pays out at 3/2 instead of the usual evens, so it will pay out slightly more than usual. Therefore, the predicted profits from the 1-3-2-6 system do not include any natural blackjacks, which would make the profits even higher.
Starting with the first wager, if you place a $10 wager and win, then that will give you a return of $10 plus your $10 stake back. This makes $20 in total. Your second wager will now be $30, as this will be three units, just like the system dictates. Despite putting $30 down, only $20 of it will actually be your own money. If you win on this wager, then you will now have a total of $60 – your $30 stake returned plus the $30 winnings. Your next wager will be for two units.
This wager is actually the only wager where losing is not something to be worried about. You place $20 at this stage, which leaves you with $40. $10 of that is your original wager, so even if you lose this wager, you will still have a profit of $30. If you win this wager, then you will get $40 back. This is added to the $40 that you had kept back to give you a total of $80 – your original $10 stake and $70 that you have won.
Your final wager in the system will be for six units, which is $60. If this wager loses, then you will still have made a profit of $10 – but obviously, this is not as positive as if you had lost at the last stage. If you win at this stage, then you will have made a large profit from your original $10. A win at this stage gives you $120 back, and this is added to the $20 that you had kept back to make $140. That is $130 profit from your $10 stake. Here is a stage-by-stage breakdown of where you will and will not make profits with the 1-3-2-6 system:
· Lose at the first stage – gives a $10 loss
· Win at the first stage, lose at the second stage – gives a $10 loss
· Win at the first stage and second stage, lose at the third stage – gives a $30 profit
· Win at the first stage, second stage and third stage, lose at the fourth stage – gives a $10 profit
· Win at all four stages – gives a $130 profit
This means that from the five different outcomes from running this system, three of them return a profit. These calculations obviously do not cover the times when you may go through a stage of losing a few games in a row. This is offset slightly by the times when you will win with a natural blackjack though.
For example, if you won on your final wager with a natural blackjack, then it would return an additional $30 to give you an overall profit of $160. This cannot be counted on as a guarantee, just like going on a losing streak cannot be counted on as a guarantee. How successful the 1-3-2-6 system is all depends on your skills as a blackjack player.
The thing with blackjack is that the game is not always as simple as making a straight wager. If you are dealt two aces, then it would be insane to continue playing in a regular fashion. You will need to split these cards. This is why you should split your bankroll 70/30 at the start. This way, you have your 30% section available to use when you want to split or double down.
It allows you to take advantage of the cards that you have been dealt without impeding on your bankroll management, which you have been carrying out by using the 1-3-2-6 system. Depending on the size of your bankroll, you may even want to use an 80/20 split. It also gives you the added bonus of keeping a section of your bankroll as back-up if you hit on a particularly cold streak.
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Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock and Bitcasino