About Betting Progressions,Well I Gotta Tell Ya
  • I've read the books by Donald Dahl,Walter Thomason,and Fred Renzey.Enjoyed them all alot,all great books! People say betting progressions don't work-say there's no basis for them,etc,etc.
    O.K., all I can say is this,I use Freds' Kiss III count and it's great.At times I've gone to the casino WAY UNDERFINANCED and played a positive progression and walked out a BIG WINNER in a short amount of time and my head wasn't hurting!
    I guess I understand why people say positive progression betting systems don't work,but the reality at the table is that I walk away with $$$ and no headache,no hiding my playing ability,no concern about pit critters,etc.
    What do you all think? I'd like to hear a fair reasoned unemotional response.
    Thanks,and good luck to all!
    Prog
  • I created a bot that played a betting progression online vs. what I know to be a legit site. It won and kept on winning for quite a while. Once I figured out the math behind it though (I had never looked into progressive betting because I felt/knew without knowing that it was an overall loser) I quit. So I'm up tx. to it but I wouldn't use it. I haven't read up as extensively on it as you have so I can't put in but my one cent worth.

    Stick
  • I also know and understand progressions don't give me a statistical edge. However, I too, have pocketed some cash using them. I happened to get on a streak and quit while ahead, 4 or 5 sessions in a days time. For a non-AP red chipper, why not give it a try?
  • If you come out ahead in a session due to a progression, it is not an unusual result. Essentially, some progressions will give you a higher chance of coming out ahead than behind in a session. Consider the following distribution of scores using the negative martingale (double the bet after loss, return to 1 unit after a win) in four hands of blackjack:

    WWWW +4
    WWWL +3
    WWLL -1
    WLLL -6
    LLLL -15
    LWWW +3
    LLWW +2
    LLLW +1
    WLWL +1
    LWLW +2
    WWLW +3
    LLWL +0
    WLLW +2
    LWWL +1
    LWLL -2
    WLWW +3

    The Mode of this distribution is a positive outcome. Interpreting this data, a winning session is a more likely, however, the losing sessions are big enough to eliminate the gains accumulated from them. If placed in a sim, though you will have more winning sessions than losing sessions, your Average session (μ = ΣX/N) is a losing one. In fact, you may stand to lose more than a flat bettor employing a progression like the one above assuming a large sample size.

    In summary, you will tend to win in the short run using these progressions, but be cautioned.
  • I use tge 1-2-3-5 positive progresion,Tribute says he's come out ahead on 5 sessions on one day,I have too. How can any reasonable person argue with something that works?
    Prog
  • Your personal outcome has a sample size that is too small to have any statistical validity.

    Allow me to demonstrate why low sample sizes are unreliable. The following are four sessional results obtained from four people using an unknown system in blackjack:

    +2 units
    +4 units
    -8 units
    +1 unit

    How much will this system win on average per hour? Is it a winner or loser?

    It is impossible to answer the question with any certainty given the data. Because it worked for three out of the four players in the preceding example, it cannot be stated convincingly that the system is a winner.
  • Deviance said:
    If you come out ahead in a session due to a progression, it is not an unusual result. Essentially, some progressions will give you a higher chance of coming out ahead than behind in a session. Consider the following distribution of scores using the negative martingale (double the bet after loss, return to 1 unit after a win) in four hands of blackjack:

    WWWW +4
    WWWL +3
    WWLL -1
    WLLL -6
    LLLL -15
    LWWW +3
    LLWW +2
    LLLW +1
    WLWL +1
    LWLW +2
    WWLW +3
    LLWL +0
    WLLW +2
    LWWL +1
    LWLL -2
    WLWW +3

    The Mode of this distribution is a positive outcome. Interpreting this data, a winning session is a more likely, however, the losing sessions are big enough to eliminate the gains accumulated from them. Though you will have more winning sessions than losing sessions, your Average session (μ = ΣX/N) is a losing one. In fact, you stand to lose more than a flat bettor employing a progression like the one above assuming a large sample size.

    In summary, you will tend to win in the short run using these progressions, but be cautioned.



    And if you lost 10 hands in a row? It is statistically normal for any blackjack player to have 10 losses in a row in every 24 hour group of play.

    And if you lost 22 hands in a row which happened to me once and yet I was in the black for the day about an hour later because I count and do not use a progression.

    ihate17
  • Prog- In Renzey's book he told you about empirical evidence/experience vs proven math and theory. I know you understand that so I'll just give you some of my thoughts:

    The thing that has always got my attention is the lack of a rating methodology for the various progressions. Which one is better and by how much? What is the player expectations/return?

    There are other problems with progressions and the above sequence by Deviance is a good example: A $10 dollar player needs to bet $880 at one point in the string( if you don't reset after 4). Also, in the martingale and variations of the D'Alembert, you need to have a choppy game with close to 47-50% win rate to avoid a run away bet size. The win rate in Deviance's example is 50% which would be an exceptional outing.

    Positive progressions have been proven to be the same as flat betting at some average bet( a Qfit sim). And the argument that streaks occur more often in a hand shuffle game has been proven wrong, both by sim (with hand shuffle duplication) and hand dealt/shuffle trials.

    When you play a progression, regardless of type, you are at the mercy of luck and I don't think you can schedule luck, short or long term. Walter will tell you that his method will not give you an advantage. So what does that leave?

    With KISS, you've got the math and theory that describe advantage and expectations.

    Some play a progression at a social outing and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • Deviance is right. I do not deny that. I am not making a case for or against progressions. Most of my attempts work like this:

    Assuming a 10-15-20-25

    Win the 10.
    Lose the 15. Go back to 10.
    Win the 10. Lose the 15.

    Very seldom do I reach the 25!
  • Tribute said:
    Deviance is right. I do not deny that. I am not making a case for or against progressions. Most of my attempts work like this:

    Assuming a 10-15-20-25

    Win the 10.
    Lose the 15. Go back to 10.
    Win the 10. Lose the 15.

    Very seldom do I reach the 25!


    Aren't you losing money this way? You win 10, which will give you 20. Then you bet 15 and lose, which gives you 5. To make it worth it, you would need to get to at least 20 consistently.
  • Yes. That's what I mean. I lose most of the time. I will have to graduate to the AP world to really expect to play with an advantage.
  • PROGRESSIONIST said:
    I've read the books by Donald Dahl,Walter Thomason,and Fred Renzey.Enjoyed them all alot,all great books! People say betting progressions don't work-say there's no basis for them,etc,etc.
    O.K., all I can say is this,I use Freds' Kiss III count and it's great.At times I've gone to the casino WAY UNDERFINANCED and played a positive progression and walked out a BIG WINNER in a short amount of time and my head wasn't hurting!
    I guess I understand why people say positive progression betting systems don't work,but the reality at the table is that I walk away with $$$ and no headache,no hiding my playing ability,no concern about pit critters,etc.
    What do you all think? I'd like to hear a fair reasoned unemotional response.
    Thanks,and good luck to all!
    Prog



    You have gotten lucky so far. If you really believe this is the way to go then continue using it. If it really does work why did you quit when you did? Keep playing. Play as much as possible,play everyday... Now you are thinking... well if i did that i would lose money. There you go there is your answer. Progressions might work on the short run but not in the loooong run! All progression systems do is seem to delay the inevitable house edge catching up with you. Let me know after 100 hours of play how you are doing.
  • ihate17 said:
    And if you lost 10 hands in a row? It is statistically normal for any blackjack player to have 10 losses in a row in every 24 hour group of play.

    And if you lost 22 hands in a row which happened to me once and yet I was in the black for the day about an hour later because I count and do not use a progression.

    ihate17

    When casinos use bet averaging in the surveillance room to identify card counters, then is impossible to camouflage effective card counting. You cannot bet 5:1 ratio by the count in today's games. Considering that all knowledgeable players already know that it is impossible to camouflage or "cover" card counting today, then once again, we are confronted with some more con man bullshit card counting way of playing.

    Card counting was designed for Single Deck S17 DAS with 99% pen using the "end play". Use it today and you will be in big error most of the time due to 50% pen or premature shuffling or other measures used by casino. If a card counter wins he will win less then a positive progresionist over the same hands. If you play Hi-Lo, you will be in BIG error about Insurance that is the MOST important deviation from Basic Strategy. That is because the Hi-Lo assumes the Ace to be a big card and ignores the 7,8,9. So the ration of non-tens/tens is a monster when we talking about Insurance. Especially when we have 50% pen. If you want to make the game a even proposition then use the Ten-Count and you will be 100% accurate every time the RC is above +4 regardless of penetration. With a RC=5 you have 2.12% edge on the Insurance alone and 1.25% edge on the original bet. This alone will make any single deck game a better then even deal. If you can do that and incorporate 16 vs. T and 12 vs. 2,3 then you will beat any game. If you want to make BIG $$ then you bet in progression all the way to the table limit.
  • Hi Alex-
    Man,you're tripping me out!
  • Just a note on progression betting....

    1. you have a 50/50 chance to win one hand....

    2. It is very hard to win the next hand.....

    3 It's almost impossible to win three hands in a row.....

    4. By some miracle you might win four hands in a row..

    5. Winning five hands in a row should make you go home and count all of your money you have just won.....

    Now you know how to do progressive betting.....I do it and win 80% of the times I play. Even with that I still can not get by the $25.00 starting bet.
  • PROGRESSIONIST said:
    I use tge 1-2-3-5 positive progresion,Tribute says he's come out ahead on 5 sessions on one day,I have too. How can any reasonable person argue with something that works?
    Prog


    This isn't an argument, only a cautionary tale.
    Before my partner and I developed our counting skills, we tried many different betting progressions. Wether by chance or design, our largest losing session was in LV using the 1-2-3-5 progression. At the level where we wagered 5 units, we lost six double down or split opportunities. These put us so far in the hole we couldn’t recover. Actually it worked out well because that’s when we decided to learn to count.
  • thank you all for your input. Dol Bil-i too have lost my shirt on occasion with the 1-2-3-5 progression,and just to be fair i've also lost my shirt using kiss III a count which i really like and enjoy using. like you,i don't want to argue at all but just want to share information with other players with like interests and know-how.
    best of luck to all-
    Prog
    i must admit it gives me a kick to count down a shoe and KNOW when the big cards are on the way!
  • AlexD30

    One thing we can agree upon. Where you are playing no card counter could win. I play nothing but shoes with 75% penetration and a few better and double deck where penetration gets close to 75%.
    If a casino is cutting 50% they might as well save themselves the expense of having evaluation equipment because the only people who will try and count cards there are losing counters. Rule #1 is only play good games and you are stuck with horrid games.

    The thing is, no decently skilled counter would place a bet in your casino without another edge. But bad counters will try because most people who attempt to count take short cuts in learning and do not have discipline.

    Getting a 10 to 1 spread is not that hard in a shoe and at times have gotten over 20-1. 8-1 is easy in Double deck but in both if you camp out you can be gone. Evaluation equipment takes about 45 minutes on average to give the pit the info, so play short sessions and move on to another good game when in a location like Vegas.

    ihate17
  • unclenorm said:
    Just a note on progression betting....

    1. you have a 50/50 chance to win one hand....

    Actually, you have about a 43% chance to win a hand.

    2. It is very hard to win the next hand.....

    No, you still have a 43% chance.

    3 It's almost impossible to win three hands in a row.....

    That's just ridiculous. 3 straight wins happens a lot, as do 3 straight losses.

    4. By some miracle you might win four hands in a row..

    I guess I've seen quite a few miracles in my time.

    5. Winning five hands in a row should make you go home and count all of your money you have just won.....

    Why? You still have the same chance of winning the next hand.

    Now you know how to do progressive betting.....I do it and win 80% of the times I play. Even with that I still can not get by the $25.00 starting bet.

    If you win 80% of your sessions, why are you knocking it? Progressions are absurd. Anyone who thinks about it in depth for just 5 minutes will see why. It's funny how some people swear by positive progressions and some, by negative ones. They're the exact opposite of eachother so how can they both work?
  • you're tripping me out man!
  • First of all I thought you had a 47% chance to win any single hand of bj? As always, off the top of my head, but I thought it was 47/53 and then the HA rings in around .5 w/bjs, double downs, etc...

    And winning the second hand you do have a 43%(47) chance to win it given you didn't bet that you'd win two hands in a row at the beginning of the progression. In other words, you just won a hand, now the chances of you winning the next are 43(47) percent. But, if before you're dealt a hand you bet you'll win two in a row...well, it's obvious your % has shrunk like a dried prune. This argument continues w/the stuff you said... and I'd also like to hear you define "a lot" as in "3 straight wins happens a lot".

    Progressions aren't absurd, you can't make a blanket statement like that. Well, obviously you can, but it makes you sound like a * deleted by Midnite * Depending on the bet spread the casino lays you you can go on winning for a very long time. I used a simple progression w/the bot I created, betting from .14 to $300 and won for over a month. That gives me a positive kickback until I lose 12 hands in a row. There are some details I won't go into that factor in to the equation but overall I know it would have been a losing 'system' so I quit once I figured out the exact math, but if you played this simple progression at those stakes it wouldn't be the worst loss anyone has ever suffered at a blackjack table and you'd walk away a winner frequently.

    Stick
  • Your chance to win any number of hands in a row: 47.5 ^ n
    Example: any hand is 47.5....Two in a row is 22.5, etc

    Your change to lose any number of hands in a row: 52.5 ^ n
    Example: any hand is 52.5.....Two in a row is 27.5, etc

    Note the difference in win/lose % for those magical streaks. It means the dealer streaks will come a little more often than yours and will be a tiny bit longer on average. What does that tell you about progressions and any other non-intelligent betting method?

    Edit note: changed "first hand" to "any hand" for clarity
  • Ray said:
    Your chance to win any number of hands in a row: 47.5 ^ n
    Example: First hand is 47.5....Two in a row is 22.5, etc

    Your change to lose any number of hands in a row: 52.5 ^ n
    Example: First hand is 52.5.....Two in a row is 27.5, etc


    Shouldn't your odds of winning any hand be 47.5% regardless of the last hand outcome and the way you bet the next hand? Its a random event, where the outcome of a previous event has no factor in future events, right?
  • joeb6363 said:
    Shouldn't your odds of winning any hand be 47.5% regardless of the last hand outcome and the way you bet the next hand? Its a random event, where the outcome of a previous event has no factor in future events, right?


    That's true, however, the chance of you winning x times in a row is .475 to the x power. Just like flipping a coin. If you say it will land on heads on one throw, you have a 50% chance of being correct. If you say it will land on heads twice in a row you have a .50 to the 2nd power chance of being correct (or .50 X .50 which is .25 or 25%)
  • jasonphd said:
    That's true, however, the chance of you winning x times in a row is .475 to the x power. Just like flipping a coin. If you say it will land on heads on one throw, you have a 50% chance of being correct. If you say it will land on heads twice in a row you have a .50 to the 2nd power chance of being correct (or .50 X .50 which is .25 or 25%)


    So it's a 25% probability of guessing two consequtive outcomes correct, 12.5% for 3, etc., but only if you guess before the first throw. If you guess before every throw you still have a 50% of guessing right. So by playing progressive, you are stating that you will win x amount of hands in a row before the cards are dealt. Ahh..I see.
  • I can't locate the exact numbers but the percentages are roughly: Win 43%, Lose 49%, Push 8%.

    I've been playing semi-professionally for a long time and I've met my share of full-time players. I've never met anyone who wins with progressions in the long run. I know there are people who are just getting started and reading this site and they shouldn't get the impression that progressions are a winning method.

    Stick - I can't define "a lot". I don't understand how someone can say that "it's almost impossible to win 3 hands in a row". I can only assume that unclenorm was exaggerating. When I first started playing on-line (which is how I make most of my money now) I would keep track of wins and losses. Looking back at it, I could see where there were certain times when I would have done quite well using a positive progression. Other times I would have done poorly using a positive one but well with a negative one (and vice-versa). The fact is that you never know what would work until after it's done.

    And please watch the name-calling. It's uncalled for.
  • Hi:

    To make clear....

    "it's almost impossible to win 3 hands in a row".

    When I posted this I did not do the exact math as some on this post have been kind enough to do. I don't know if they are absolutely correct but at least they have the right idea. My son is a math teacher at a midwest college so maybe I'll ask him to further define it for me.

    Common sense is going to tell you that a winning streak or a losing streak is only going to last for a certain percentage of time.

    I agree about the name calling..... "mostly people of low esteem find that a method to bring others down to their level".

    "UncleNorm"
  • At the start of June I'll be playing for a few on-line monthly bonuses. I'll record all my wins and losses at one of them (most likely Littlewoods where I'll be playing 1,000 hands at 1 pound each) and post them here.
  • To clarify, your chances to win, lose or tie a hand are 43.5%, 48% and 8.5% respectively. If you take out the pushes, it becomes 47.5% and 52.5% of all win/lose decisions.

    I'm reading these posts about how hard some say it is to win or lose "x" hands in a row and wondering what world I've been playing blackjack in for the past 30 years. Today I went to two casinos and played 1.5 hours at each. At the first casino I lost 7 hands in a row and at the second, I lost 8 in a row. Just the other day, I lost 9 in a row. It's true, losing 9 straight hands (no pushes) is right around a 700-to-1 shot. But so is being dealt a full house on five cards -- or snapping the Ace of spades with any black Jack Anybody out there ever get either of those? You get dealt a lot of hands, and everything happens.
  • FWIW :
    The most common WIN/LOSS "Pattern"(i.e., Trend) I see over and over again,
    is 1 or 2 consecutive WINS in a Row,
    followed by 3 consecutive LOSSES in a Row...

    When playing head to head at the 4 Deck CSM's at the $5.00 to $500.00 tables,
    I use 2 Distinct Delayed & Limited Up AFTER You LOSE "Hybrid" Progression/Regressions...

    GOAL : To WIN $10.00...
    I Flat-Bet the $5.00 table minimum until I LOSE 3 HANDS (= $15.00),
    then I Bet $25.00 on the 4th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN),
    but if I LOSE,
    I Bet $50.00 on the 5th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN),
    but if I LOSE again,
    I Bet $100.00 on the 6th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN),
    but if I LOSE again,
    I Bet $200.00 on the 7th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN),
    but if I LOSE again,
    I Bet $400.00 on the 8th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN)...

    GOAL : To WIN $25.00...
    I Flat-Bet the $5.00 table minimum until I LOSE 5 HANDS (= $25.00),
    then I Bet $50.00 on the 6th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN),
    but if I LOSE,
    I Bet $100.00 on the 7th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN),
    but if I LOSE again,
    I Bet $200.00 on the 8th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN),
    but if I LOSE again,
    I Bet $400.00 on the 9th HAND (and Regress back to $5.00 if I WIN).

    The most consecutive HANDS in a Row that I've LOST is 7 so far.
  • Another wonderful multi-faceted thread about progressions.

    My take for the noobs among us:

    1.) Its 43 win 49 lose and 8 tie per 100
    a.) 0.43^3 is 0.0795
    b.) 0.49^3 is 0.1175
    c.) 0.08^3 is 0.0005

    2.) Betting 1-2-3-5 has a rather nasty consequence: you MUST risk all on the 2nd bet. That is, the first win is parlayed, and nothing goes into the bank. Lose the 2nd bet and your STILL -1.

    Therefore Bet something like 1-1.5-2-3-4. Win the first one, then lose the 2nd one cost only 1/2 a unit, instead of a full bet.

    Good Cards
  • tripping me out!
  • Nickels -- The six step progression you're describing can be broken down and analyzed completely by looking at all possible W/L combinations for six consecutive bets. There are 64 of them in all; such as WWWWWL, WLLLLL, WLWLWL, etc. I won't go thru the work here, but have done so with many other progressions.

    Anyway, if you do take the trouble to list all 64 possible W/L sequences and write the result for each sequence next to it, then subtract the total losses from the total wins -- they will add up to Zero (break even)! And remember, this is in a game where you win exactly as many bets as you lose (you'll find that you have 192 W's and 192 L's in all). But breaking even is how you would do in this game if you bet the same amount on every bet.

    Now apply that to blackjack where you lose more bets than you win, which puts more "L's" into the sequences than "W's", and you have to come out behind in the big picture. This is true even counting your B/J's and doubles since that still leaves you playing less than an even game.

    All the above is true with any progression, even though you would be "banking" a net profit on certain sequences where "this" or "that" happens. You need to view the whole picture to realize that they all contain equal and opposite counterbalances which cancel each other out. Going 50-50 on your bets and yielding a net win by merely sizing your next bet according to the last result would be bending the mathematical laws of Mother Nature, and you can't do that. That is -- unless streaks in blackjack somehow occur more often than by random probability
  • Renzey said:
    Nickels -- The six step progression you're describing can be broken down and analyzed completely by looking at all possible W/L combinations for six consecutive bets. There are 64 of them in all; such as WWWWWL, WLLLLL, WLWLWL, etc. I won't go thru the work here, but have done so with many other progressions.

    Anyway, if you do take the trouble to list all 64 possible W/L sequences and write the result for each sequence next to it, then subtract the total losses from the total wins -- they will add up to Zero (break even)! And remember, this is in a game where you win exactly as many bets as you lose (you'll find that you have 192 W's and 192 L's in all). But breaking even is how you would do in this game if you bet the same amount on every bet.

    Now apply that to blackjack where you lose more bets than you win, which puts more "L's" into the sequences than "W's", and you have to come out behind in the big picture. This is true even counting your B/J's and doubles since that still leaves you playing less than an even game.

    All the above is true with any progression, even though you would be "banking" a net profit on certain sequences where "this" or "that" happens. You need to view the whole picture to realize that they all contain equal and opposite counterbalances which cancel each other out. Going 50-50 on your bets and yielding a net win by merely sizing your next bet according to the last result would be bending the mathematical laws of Mother Nature, and you can't do that. That is -- unless streaks in blackjack somehow occur more often than by random probability


    Well, just play perfect Insurance and 16 vs. T. That alone will make the game an EVEN proposition. The dealer will not win your chips when he’s got BJ and that is a BIG edge for the player.

    One of the best counting system to tilt the balance on your side in a single deck game H17, DOA is the Ten Count System. One of the great advantages of the 10-count is that it indicates automatically whether the Insurance is a favorable bet. Whenever the NT/T is less than 2.0:1 you should take insurance, since more than one-third of the remaining cards are 10-value cards. When the ratio of NT/T drops bellow 2.0:1 than you have a minimum of 2% advantage at the insurance bet alone. This combined with standing on 16 vs. T when NT/T drops bellow 2.2:1 it will swing the balance of power on your side.

    However, betting is pure hustling. Figure it out and take the money.

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