Blackjack strategy: Understanding the 2-1-2 betting system
Looking for a simple and safe staking plan for online blackjack? The 2-1-2 rewards hot streaks and may just protect your bankroll in the long run.
But why toss your chips blindly onto the virtual felt when you can try a system?
The 2-1-2 betting system is easy to use and rewards players who go on hot streaks. Let's take a closer look to see how it works.
How the 2-1-2 blackjack system works
All casino players can go on streaks. Knowing when to stop while on a hot streak is essential to your bankroll. Knowing when to stop when things don't go so well is also important.
The 2-1-2, or Manhattan strategy rewards blackjack players who hit a good run of hands.
The 2-1-2 works a little like the d'Alembert system but instead of increasing your bet after a win, you first reduce your bet. Win again and the bet then increases.
The clue is in the name of the system: players start with two units - £2, for example. If they hit a winning hand, they reduce their bet to £1. Win again, and the bet jumps to £3. Win again, and the bet jumps to £4.
However, if the dealer wins, you revert back to your original £2 stake. The player starts again. If you lose or win, you drop down a unit until you win.
Watching the 2-1-2 blackjack staking plan in action
We have picked a standard European blackjack game and our player doesn't take the insurance bet. Payouts in blackjack are 1/1 for beating the dealer. A natural blackjack pays 3/2.
After winning our first £2 hand, we drop down to £1. We lose again and stick to the £1 stake. We win, and then go on a run of four winning hands before losing. We then drop back down to our original stake and win again. Our stake drops again before we turn things around.
As you can see, despite hitting three losing hands, we still ended up in profit (including our stake). We were rewarded with a hot streak that came right in the middle of the session.
Advantages and disadvantages of the 2-1-2 staking plan
There's no doubt that the 2-1-2 system is all about safety. Profits are safeguarded by first dropping down, then increasing. If the dealer wins, the stakes revert to their original amount.
The system also rewards players who hit a hot streak. But hot streaks don't happen all the time in blackjack. Players need to adopt optimal strategy to beat the dealer, and even then there is a small house edge to contend with.
Depending on the variant of blackjack, the house edge can be around one per cent. That means that over the long term, the casino is winning £1 in every £100 from the player.
Of course, during our hot streak we may hit a blackjack, paying 3/2. That isn't factored in in our example above.
Over a typical blackjack session, we will probably lose around the same number of hands as we win. The benefit of the 2-1-2, then, is that our stakes never really get too high. After a loss they always revert back to 2 units. And following another win, they will even reduce for one hand.
Try the 2-1-2 system for free at Betway Casino
There are benefits and drawbacks to any blackjack system. You can try systems like the 2-1-2/Manhattan totally at Betway Casino. Pick from our range of Microgaming-powered blackjack tables.