Paroli Betting System Explained

Slot machines at the El Cortez Hotel & Casino. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The Paroli System is a positive progression strategy that helps you capitalize upon winning streaks when playing casino games. It can be applied to 50/50 bets, such as red/black or odd/even on a roulette wheel, or games with a high RTP, such as blackjack or baccarat. 

What is the Paroli System? 

The Paroli System requires you to double your stake (bet amount) each time you win a hand. The aim is to capitalize on a run of three straight wins. 

Like all betting systems, you must start with a base unit amount. This is a proportion of your bankroll. For example, if you have $1,000 to play with and you decide to make your base unit 3% of your bankroll, your base unit will be $30. 

You start off by betting one unit. If your bet loses, you bet one unit again, and you keep going until you win. After a winning bet, you double the size of your bet. If you win again, you can double the size of your bet once more. If you secure a third consecutive win, you go back to the start and bet one unit on your next hand. 

Players bump elbows as they celebrate while playing blackjack. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Paroli System Example 

Let’s say your base unit is $10 and you are betting on “black” when playing roulette. You start off by wagering $10. If it wins, you bet $20 on the next spin. If that loses, you go back to the start and bet $10 again. 

If your $10 bet wins, you then bet $20. If that wins, you bet $40 on the next spin. Regardless of the outcome of that bet, you go back to the beginning and wager $10 on the next spin. 

Paroli System Pros and Cons 

The key benefit of the Paroli System is that it takes advantage of hot streaks. If you are following a negative progression like the Martingale or the Fibonacci System, you do not increase your stake after a successful bet, so you do not benefit from winning streaks. 

Yet the Paroli System is also a lot less aggressive than other positive progression systems, like the Reverse Martingale, because you always return to betting one unit after landing three straight wins. You will not see your profit wiped out by doubling your money again and losing the fourth bet, making it safer than some alternative strategies. 

Chips are pictured at a card game table. Lionel Bonaventure / AFP

It is a very simple system to understand, and it helps you control your bankroll. It does not require a large bankroll, because you do not chase losses, and table limits are never a problem when following the Paroli System. It ensures that losing streaks are small and unspectacular, which is not the case with negative progression strategies. 

Yet there are a few downsides. It does not capitalize on winning streaks of more than three bets, which may disappoint some players. It also requires runs of three straight wins to be successful, but it cannot overcome the inherent house edge on table games. 

The chances of losing three in a row are slightly higher than the chances of winning three in a row, because of the house edge – such as the zero on a roulette wheel.  

A team member prepares a roulette table for play, Oli Scarff / AFP

Paroli System Alternatives 

If you want a more aggressive positive progression strategy, you can go for the Reverse Martingale, which requires you to double your bet after each win, ad infinitum. The only problem is that you will eventually lose all of your profits with just one loss, so you need to walk away from the table at some point. 

If you would rather chase losses than winning streaks, you can go for a negative progression system like the Martingale, the Fibonacci System, the D’Alembert System, and the Labouchere System. They do not capitalize upon winning streaks, but they do help you wipe out losses in one fell swoop.