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Paroli betting system for roulette and blackjack: A complete guide

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Simon Young

September 29th, 2020

The Paroli betting system is one of the better-known player strategies in casinos. Like many other strategies of its kind, it’s designed for use on 50/50 bets like you will make on roulette, where red or black or odd or even is your choice. You might also use it on blackjack, so long as you don’t apply side bets, split or double down.

What is the Paroli betting system?

It is sometimes called the reverse Martingale. But whereas in Martingale your bet size increases when you lose, with the Paroli, it goes up when you win.

You start with your base unit. We’ll make it $1 for simplicity. You keep betting this $1 until you win a bet. When you do, you double it, betting $2 this time. If you lose, you go back to $1. But win again, and you double once more. If this is also successful, you pocket your good fortune and return to $1 to start again. Some people prefer to wait for four wins on the bounce, but many reset after three successive wins because four is rare.

And then you start all over again.

Is the Paroli system in roulette profitable?

We’d love to say yes because then we would all be swimming in cash. But unfortunately, no betting system is failsafe. If it were, casinos would soon be out of business.

However, the Paroli betting system does give you the potential to make a profit in the short term. The trick is whether you can drag yourself away from the roulette wheel when you are in profit. Staying for "just one more progressive round" might be the play that sends you into negative territory.

While you may well end up losing, you will very possibly lose slower than you might otherwise have done. Considering playing in the casino, either live or online, is meant to be a form of entertainment, this is a good thing. We get to spend more time playing the games we enjoy.

Here is an example of the Paroli system, assuming we want to see two winning hands in a row before reset.

  • Bet $1, lose (-$1)
  • Bet $1, win (-)
  • Bet $2, lose (-$2)
  • Bet $1, lose (-$3)
  • Bet $1, win (-$2)
  • Bet $2, win (-)
  • Bet $4, win (+$4)

In this sequence, over seven spins of the roulette wheel, we end up winning $4. Hoorah! However, imagine we didn’t win that last round, we’d end up with a net loss of $1 and have to start over.

Does the Paroli system in blackjack work?

You can technically employ the Paroli betting system for blackjack because you have two possible outcomes in each hand: win or lose. The system relies on nothing else interfering with your bet sizing, so you must play blackjack without splitting pairs or doubling down, both of which require more money. Also, side bets, if allowed at the blackjack table, are out of the question.

If you’re happy to play blackjack in this way, then you can employ the Paroli system. However, you shouldn’t because not doubling down or splitting if the circumstances are right is a fundamental error in blackjack strategy.

Why is the Paroli betting system popular?

Many casino players like to think results come in streaks. The "you win some, you lose some" mentality is extended to believing that you have winning and losing streaks. You must lose a round or two, and the winning streak (in our example, only a three-win streak is required) is just around the corner.

Unfortunately, however, this logic is flawed. Given that each wager is a 50/50 (or close to it, because the ball landing on zero in roulette is a loss), each spin of the wheel returns a random result.

Try the Paroli betting system today

You can give the Paroli betting system a go today, for free if you wish, at BetAmerica Casino. Table games can be played for free, and you can practice the strategy. However, the real entertainment starts when your money is on the line, so create your account and make your deposit.

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