The Joy of Flat Betting

From time to time I like to go to the tables for what I’ll kindly refer to as a “dead head” session. One where I don’t have to think excessively about betting strategies. Something simple, like flat betting the Don’t Pass. There are many different betting progressions out there – but there are few I like better than the Fibonacci when it comes to flat betting. You can use this progression for craps, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, or any other “even money” game.

Believe it or not, the Fibonacci Progression is based on a naturally occurring “growth” cycle that can be found over and over in the world we live in. Consider the nautilus shell. As the nautilus outgrows one chamber of its shell it builds another – larger chamber. Each successive chamber is progressively larger than the last. In fact – its size is the sum of the sizes of the last two chambers. Let’s look at some numbers and you’ll see how it applies at the tables.

The standard Fibonacci progression is as follows: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55, 89, etc. Each number in the series is the sum of the previous two numbers. The basic idea behind the progression is to get two wins in a row. For each loss, step up one in the progression. For each win, make the same bet again. If you win again (the second win) you start progression over. If lose, advance one step.

By the way, You don’t HAVE to have two wins in a row to begin the series again. Like all progression betting strategies, there is the chance of losing a substantial amount of money if you catch a losing streak. Some players put a “reset” step in at about the 13 unit level to prevent excessive chasing. Nevertheless, it is generally a well- respected strategy that also has applications in blackjack and craps.

Another popular betting progression is the Paroli. The Paroli System is really sort of an anti-Martingale strategy. You begin with a one unit bet and you increase your bet by one unit whenever you win rather than when you lose. On any loss you regress back to a one unit bet.

This is not a bad way to play. In fact, it’s how I typically play when sitting at the blackjack table. However, I do have a couple of personal twists on the play. Since I count cards I have a “get back bet” ploy I use when the count gets right, for example. And you should have some firm rules as to how large you will let your bets build up on a winning streak before regressing them back down to one unit. For example, my personal play when betting the Paroli system is to begin with one $10 unit and increase on each win until I reach a $50 level. I take one hit at $50 then regress back town to a $10 unit bet and then repeat the process – this time taking it up to $50 before incorporating a second regression.

The advantage of this system is that it can be played with a relatively small bankroll. When you incorporate some self-imposed rules such as I outlined above the strategy forces you to manage your money. You only need to maintain discipline and catch the right streak.

Of course, you can play the same exact bet on every hand. Say $25 on the Don’t Pass on every shooter. No progressions. No regressions. Just the eternal search for the streak. And when you find it – that’s not bad either.