Parlay Betting System
The history of the Parlay Betting System can be traced back to Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries. In those days, a favorite pastime of aristocrats was “Basset,” a card game played against a banker that allowed winnings to remain on the table and multiply with each subsequent win, rather like compounding interest. Such wagering was called paroli or “parlay.”
Today, the Parlay Betting System is also known as “pyramiding” or the “Let It Ride” system. It is the most basic form of “positive progression,” designed to handle the problems encountered in Martingale and other systems that are based upon increasing wagers after losses. In order to “parlay,” the player simply wagers all of his/her winnings plus the original bet following a win.
Parlay Betting System Basic Play
To begin using the Parlay Betting System for Blackjack, the player puts up one unit, say $10. If the hand loses, one more unit ($10) is wagered. The player continues betting in this fashion until a win occurs.
Following a win, the player will leave the original bet and the winnings on the table as the next wager. For example, if the bet was $10 and the player got a blackjack paying 3-to-2 ($15), the next wager would be $10+$15=$25. If this bet loses, the player will go back to wagering one unit ($10).
However, if the Parlay bet wins, then the bet plus the winnings should be allowed to ride once again—in this case, $50. If this new wager loses, the player will go back to betting one unit ($10). However, if it wins (now there is $100 on the table), the player may choose either to take the profits or else to continue to parlay on.
The Parlay Betting System is specifically designed to take advantage of Blackjack winning streaks. After three consecutive wins, $10 yields a profit of at least $70 and even more if successful double downs, splits, or natural blackjacks are included. As long as the player catches a series of three wins in a row before losing seven hands, the system will consistently yield a profit.
Applying the System
Apart from its simplicity, what makes the Parlay Betting System attractive is that wagers are small when the player is losing and they get progressively larger when winning. This seems to fit most players’ concept of “gambling,” as opposed to “chasing” losses in a never-ending attempt to get back to even.
A question comes up, of course, regarding how to deal with the special circumstances of splitting, doubling down, and pushes. Again, the Parlay Betting System makes the decision easy—as long as there is money on the table, “let it ride” until whatever ending criteria for the progression is met. That means the only real decision a player needs to make regarding wagers is when to stop and rake in the profits.
The great majority of players tend to limit their series of Parlays to three wins in a row. They then return to wagering one unit. Others prefer to stop the progression after four wins. The odds of winning on the next hand are just about the same at any time during play, but the rewards for winning that one extra hand in the series are huge. There is no mathematical reason to discontinue parlaying after three wins rather than four, and if a player has reason to believe the deck is favorable, the choice is easy—“Let It Ride.”