Blackjack strategy 101: Understanding the 31 System
Is the 31 System a recommended blackjack staking plan that can help casual players? Let's explore the basics of this simple progression plan system.
Staking plans like the 31 System can help players to keep an eye on their bankroll management.
The 31 System works a little like the Fibonacci System in that bets are increased after each game. But does the staking plan work in when playing blackjack online? Let's take a seat and find out.
How the 31 System works in practice
With a gambling plan like the Fibonacci, the stakes follow a mathematical sequence after a losing hand or spin of the roulette wheel.
The 31 System works in a similar way. The gambler follows a sequence of stakes that, handily, add up to 31:
Starting at a unit stake of £1, the blackjack player plays a hand. If they lose, they move along to the next set stake of £1. Lose again and they remain at £1. Lose a third hand and their next stake jumps to £4.
Winning works in a slightly different way. After a winning hand, the next bet is worth DOUBLE the last bet. Win another hand and the stake reverts back to one unit. The sequence now begins again.
If you end up losing all six bets, your session is at an end. Call it a day or start the sequence again.
Using the 31 System at the casino tables
We'll assume we are at a standard European Blackjack table online. Unit stakes are set at £1.
After three losing hands, we are already down £3. Our bet has reached £4 and we win, bagging a £4 profit. We double our bet, which also wins. We now reduce our bet to £1 and start the sequence again.
After seven hands we are £9 in profit having won three hands of the seven.
Advantages and disadvantages of the 31 System
The 31 System, also known as the 31-Parlay, is unusual in that the bets can increase on both losing and winning hands. But the stakes only really get out of control if you keep hitting losing spins.
Let's say you hit four losing hands of blackjack. Suddenly, your stake is £16 a hand. If you win, you would bet £16 again (double the last bet of £8). You are still required to bet large in order to move back down your base unit stake.
You can also adjust the stake line slightly (but keep the total of the line at 31). One version of the 31-Parlay has the stakes moving up in a 1-1-1-2-2-4-4-8-8 formation. This still adds up to 31, or £31 at £1 unit stakes.
The advantage of the 31 System is that wins are rewarded just as much as losing ones.
Of course, you will need to remember to play optimal strategy at the blackjack table and avoid side bets and insurance. These can drastically increase the house edge of the game for the player.
Testing out the 31 betting system
The 31 System is good for players as there is always a limit to what can be bet. This puts it at an advantage over systems like the Martingale, where the potential losses can keep on climbing and climbing.