How Bet Spread Works In Blackjack | LeoVegas

What is the Bet Spread in Blackjack?

The bet spread in blackjack is the spread of bet sizes that you plan to wager during a game. The optimal value of the bet spread varies from player to player. Some prefer a more aggressive approach, while others use a more under-the-radar smaller spread.

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Generally, a fair value for a blackjack bet spread sits at around 1-8 units, or maybe 1-7 units. This helps to scale significantly enough to make the most of an advantage, while also not pumping out such a huge raise as to be at a total loss if it doesn’t work out.

A common addition to blackjack strategy, here’s what you need to know about the bet spread.


What is Bet Spread in Blackjack?

Many seasoned blackjack players talk about their bet spread and usually offer up a number range, such as a 1-6 bet spread, but how does this play into blackjack?

Definition of the Bet Spread

A bet spread in blackjack is a range of betting units that you use to scale your bets. This is so that you have a weighted and predetermined betting strategy that stops emotional or reactionary bets from being placed. Card counters often combine their counting strategy with a blackjack bet spread to maximize times when they think the deck has swung in their favour.

Importance of the Bet Spread to Blackjack Strategy

Having a bet spread is an important part of any blackjack strategy. Blackjack strategy, by its very nature, is a way to standardize play by minimizing the house edge and maximizing on advantages in key moments. Bet spread enhances this for all blackjack strategies as it standardizes how much you bet, weighing your chances of winning to potential returns.

How Bet Spread Works in Blackjack

Bet spread in blackjack is all about sizing and timing when playing the famed table game. Not only do you need to size to your presumed advantage, but you also need to know when you’re at a greater advantage worthy of moving higher up your bet spread.

What to Know About the Bet Spread Mechanics

The basic bet spread mechanics are that you start off with a single unit bet and set yourself a spread or scale to move along as your advantage increases. A blackjack bet spread will usually take the form of one to another number, such as 1-7.

This means that if your starting unit is $5, your bet spread starts at $5. Move up to two units on your bet spread, and you’re betting $10. At the top end, your bet spread has you putting down $35 on one hand. Of course, for much of the shoe, you’ll be at a disadvantage, so you would always bet one unit or in this case $5.

The Role of the Bet Spread in Card Counting

The bet spread in card counting for blackjack is how card counters maximize their advantages. Say a card counter sets a bet spread of 1-8 with a unit value of $10 while using the high-low counting strategy. When the running count is at or less than +1, the counter would place $10 for each hand.

As their advantage increases with the running count coming to higher values, the bet size increases accordingly. So, a +2 on the running count would call for a $20 bet, while a +5 on the running count would say to bet $50, and so on. It’s a way to standardize how aggressive a card counter should be as they see their advantage increase or remain low.

Bet Spread Variations

The most basic form of bet spread used in this card game is to slide along the scale according to your perceived advantage, but there are ways to tweak the method to your liking.

Flat Betting vs. Variable Betting

One way to mix up your bet spread is to deploy either a flat betting system or a variable betting system. Flat betting involves staking the same amount of money on every bet. So, as a general betting approach, flat betting would have you wager $10 on every blackjack hand - regardless of your perceived advantage. For a bet spread, it would be more in line to scale up by the exact same unit each time, such as having $10 for one unit and increasing to a $30 bet when you reach three units on the bet spread.

Variable betting can be a better way to manage your bankroll. Rather than having a set bet every time, you can adjust it to your remaining bankroll. So, instead of the $10 single-unit bet, you bet 5% of your bankroll as one unit. At the start, a $200 bankroll would give you a $10 bet. However, three losses on the bounce would cut the bankroll to $170 and a 5% single-unit bet of $8.50. On the flip side, three wins would change that single unit to $11.50.

Adjusting the Bet Spread Based on Game Conditions

Analyzing game conditions is the main way to deploy bet spread strategies, allowing you to gain an advantage and bet strategically. When counting cards, when the high-low count becomes advantageous, each positive increase slides the player’s bet along the spread. It’s difficult to apply a bet spread to the use of basic strategy, however, as basic strategy is about reacting in the optimum way after a bet is placed.

Bet Spread In Blackjack FAQs

What should my bet spread be in blackjack?

There are three generally accepted brackets for an ideal bet spread in blackjack. In a real casino, it’s recommended that you restrain your bet spread to 1-5 units as a five-times bump on your standard bet wouldn’t necessarily raise alarm bells. Some however, say that an aggressive 1-12 units blackjack bet spread is needed to capitalize on any advantages spotted. A 1-8 bet spread is seen as a fairly moderate and middle-lane way to play.

Can I use the best spread technique in online blackjack?

You can use bet spread techniques in online blackjack. On any given hand when playing live casino games, if you think the high-low count is in your favour, you could size up through your predetermined bet spread. However, due to the way the shoe is cut and the format of the games, it’s impossible to perfectly card count when playing online blackjack.

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