1-3-2-6 Betting System Explained

Blackjack players with dealer Leah Prerost. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The 1-3-2-6 Betting System is a positive progression strategy that helps you capitalize upon winning streaks. It can be used on bets with a roughly 50/50 chance of success, such as blackjack hands and side bets like red/black on a roulette wheel.

What is the 1-3-2-6 Betting System?

This system follows a simple 1-3-2-6 numerical sequence. It tells you how much to wager on each hand, spin of the wheel, or throw of the dice.

First, you need to decide upon your base unit amount. This is usually a portion of your bankroll such as 2% or 3%.

You start by wagering one unit. If you win, your next bet will be for three units. If you win again, your third bet will be for two units. If you earn a third consecutive win, your fourth bet will be for 6 units. At that point, you go back to the beginning and start the sequence again.

If at any time you lose, you go back to the beginning and start again. It’s as simple as that.

1-3-2-6 Betting System Example

Let’s say your base unit is $10 and you are betting black on a roulette game. If your first bet loses, you are down $10.

You then bet $10 again. If that bet wins, you have broken even. Your next bet will be for $30. If it is successful, you are up $30. Your next bet will be for $20. If that loses, you are just $10 up. You then go back to the start of the sequence.

If you win, you bet $30 the next time. You would then bet $20, followed by $60, if your next two bets win.

1-3-2-6 Betting System Pros and Cons

The aim of the 1-3-2-6 strategy is to string together a run of four consecutive wins. That makes it less aggressive than the Reverse Martingale, which requires you to double your stake after each win, ad infinitum, but it is still a reasonably aggressive strategy.

Many bettors like capitalizing upon winning streaks, so the 1-3-2-6 strategy is very appealing, but you go back to the start after four wins, so you do not risk blowing everything on one bet.

Losing streaks are never particularly painful when following the 1-3-2-6 betting system, as you only bet one unit after a loss. It is a simple system to follow, and it encourages sensible bankroll management.

However, there are some downsides. You do not chase losses, so you could earn a few consecutive wins and still be down overall. It only profits when you win two or four in a row, which is dispiriting for some players, and no system can wipe out the inherent house edge on games like roulette, blackjack, craps and baccarat.

A croupier spins the ball of a roulette table. Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP

1-3-2-6 Betting System Alternatives

If you want a more aggressive positive progression strategy, you can check out the Reverse Martingale, which sees you double your bet after every win. An alternative positive progression strategy is the Paroli System, which is focused on securing streaks of three wins as opposed to four. Oscar’s Grind is another option, which is not particularly aggressive.

Many players prefer to follow a negative progression strategy, whereby you increase your bet amount after losing as opposed to winning. The most powerful option is the Martingale System, where you double your stake after each loss, but it requires a large bankroll and broad table limits.

Alternatives include the Fibonacci System, the D’Alembert System, and the Labouchere System.