As committed casino gamers, we should be looking for our own advantage with which to take on the dealer.
We know that we cannot ever completely remove the house’s edge, but if we bet smart, we can actually keep it to a minimum.
This is why many bettors utilise staking systems to help add discipline and objectivity to their wagering.
We have written at length about various staking plans in the past, including Fibonacci and the Martingale system, and today we are going to introduce you to another tactic: the 1-3-2-4 staking plan.
Used primarily in baccarat, the 1-3-2-4 system can both yield positive results for bettors while keeping losses to a minimum.
That’s the theory anyway, but does the 1-3-2-4 system work in reality?
Like many staking plans, the emphasis here is as much on defence as it is on attack.
Systems such as the Martingale and Labouchere are focused on recouping losses in periods of downswing, while giving players the chance to accumulate some winnings in a well-organised manner.
This is not a progressive staking system, as such, because there are only four numbers in the sequence, and in all cases, the stake amount will eventually revert back to that one unit that starts the chain – whether you successfully make it through the sequence or have to go back to the start.
The object of 1-3-2-4 is to actually allow you to bet for longer periods of time by managing your outlay effectively, while maximising winning streaks with its gently increasing pattern of wagers.
As we know, the two main bets in baccarat – ignoring the tie – have a tiny house edge. They are, very nearly, 50/50 wagers.
Of course, the Banker bet has the highest success rate but also sees the house retain 5% of your winnings as commission, which is why some opt for a religious backing of the Player option instead.
The bottom line is that low-paying casino games, where your win probabilities are as close to 50% as you will get, can be difficult to turn a long-term profit on unless you are committed to a staking plan.
The 1-3-2-4 system allows you to maximise your profit if you go on a nice win streak while protecting your bankroll should you experience a sequence of losses.
For games played on a knife edge, such as baccarat, where the margins are so small, disciplined staking plans such as 1-3-2-4 are the way to go.
There are numerous baccarat strategies out there, and the 1-3-2-4 is a great way to manage your bankroll while you try each of them.
When you’re playing baccarat, you only really have one thing to think about: whether to bet the Banker or Player wager.
Adding a staking plan on top isn’t a problem, as it can be when playing other casino games such as blackjack – especially when you are trying to count cards as well!
Even when playing casino games with a low house edge, you still need to have a staking plan in hand to make the most of your money.
So, how does 1-3-2-4 work?
It’s very simple, really: that sequence of numbers dictates how much you wager with each turn.
In the first instance, you bet one unit.
If that bet wins, then you go along to the next number in the line: three units. If your first wager loses, then you remain at one unit.
The object is to enjoy four wins in a row at 1, 3, 2, 4 units. That way, you will have made a nice little profit of ten units in total. If you reach the end of the chain, then you revert back to one unit and start again
Remember, if you lose anywhere along the sequence, then you go back to one unit. So, if you get to step three and lose, don’t go back to step two! Proceed straight back to the beginning.
When we talk about units, it really is up to you to decide how much that means to you based on your bankroll. It could be any fraction of BTC as you see fit, but make sure that you are consistent with it: three units should equal exactly one unit multiplied by three – otherwise the system falls down.
It is very similar to the 1-3-2-6 system deployed in blackjack, which you may have used before. The benefit here is that you don’t have a big six-unit stake to fork out at the end.
Here’s a quick recap of how the 1-3-2-4 system works:
· Bet 1 (one unit)
· Bet 1 wins -> Bet 2 (three units)
· Bet 1 loses -> stay at one unit
· Bet 2 (three units)
· Bet 2 wins -> Bet 3 (two units)
· Bet 2 loses -> go back to Bet 1
· And so on
If you are a baccarat player looking for some discipline in your staking, the 1-3-2-4 system can be considered one of the best plans around.
It’s ideal for conservative gamers on low and medium budgets who want to keep losses to a minimum while profiting accordingly from winning runs.
Let’s think about the mechanics of the system, which tells us that even if you lose the fourth bet in the chain, you are still able to lock in a profit:
1 + 3 + 2 units = 6 units - 4 units = 2 units
You only need three consecutive wins to ensure a positive return.
It’s a staking plan that is largely foolproof. If you embark on a losing streak, then you will be betting one unit per turn, which you would be anyway!
The only downside is the house edge, which, of course, we can’t do anything about. This, coupled with the 5% commission paid on winning banker bets, means that the maths behind the 1-3-2-4 system isn’t quite as perfect as it may appear.
The true odds are around 19/20, which means that we have to factor in a tiny margin when calculating our unit profits.
Here at Bitcasino, we have a wide variety of baccarat games for you to try.
Many of these can be enjoyed in free play mode too, so if you want to give the 1-3-2-4 system a spin, then you can do so without risking your bankroll.
Who knows, this staking plan might be the difference between success and failure on the baccarat tables. Why not give it a try today?
Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock & Bitcasino