The first trip to the casino is always an exciting and confusing one at the same time. For many beginners, it's about having fun and exploring the different varieties. But although entertainment should be the primary objective, winning some money should also be a priority. After all, live casino games only use real money.
But forget about winning anything in games like poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps without a strategy. Players need a well-thought-out plan to guide their decision-making and prolong their bankrolls. One excellent example of ensuring this is using the flat betting system. So, what exactly is flat betting, and where can casino players apply it?
Flat betting is a straightforward and disciplined betting strategy often used in live casinos and various gambling games. The core concept of flat betting is simplicity: you consistently wager the same amount of money on each bet, regardless of your previous wins or losses. This approach contrasts with other betting strategies that involve varying bet sizes, like the Martingale or the Fibonacci systems, which adjust the bet size based on the outcomes of previous bets.
Here are some key characteristics of flat betting in live casino contexts:
Consistent Bet Size: Regardless of whether you're playing live roulette, blackjack, baccarat, or any other casino game, your bet remains the same with every round. For example, if you decide to bet $10, you continue to bet $10 on every game or hand.
Risk Management: Flat betting is considered a safer betting strategy because it helps prevent large losses. By not increasing your bet size after a loss, you avoid the potentially rapid depletion of your bankroll that can occur with progressive betting systems.
Simplicity and Ease of Use: This strategy is straightforward and easy for any player to implement, regardless of their experience level. It doesn’t require keeping track of previous bets or doing complex calculations.
Limited Potential for Large Wins: While flat betting is safer, it also means that you won’t win large amounts quickly, as the bet size does not increase even when you're on a winning streak.
Suitable for Long-Term Play: Flat betting is often seen as a sustainable way to enjoy gambling over longer sessions. It allows players to manage their bankrolls effectively and enjoy the game without the stress of significant financial fluctuations.
In summary, flat betting in live casinos is a strategy that emphasizes steady, controlled play, making it a popular choice for players who prioritize risk management and longer gameplay sessions over the pursuit of rapid, high gains.
A Practical Example of Flat Betting
A practical example might help you understand how this betting system works. Assuming you want to play live casino games with a $2,000 bankroll. But instead of bringing the whole budget to the live casino to use randomly, you decide to use only 1% of the budget on any casino bet for a specific period. This can be a day, month, or week.
Now, 1% of the $2,000 budget means betting $2 per stake. Then, when the gambling period ends, an audit shows a $200 profit. Of course, this means your betting sessions are showing promise. So, you decide to increase the flat betting stake to $22 per stake, 1% of the $2,200 total budget.
But it will not always be a smooth ride at the live casino. Because losses are inevitable, the initial budget can shrink to $1,500 or even $1,000. Players can even lose their entire bank if they play without an optimal strategy. If the worst happens, the flat betting strategy calls on you to use 1% of the remaining budget during the next phase.
Flat betting generally ensures you don't lose the entire gambling bankroll in one session. If the budget is $200, this strategy provides you with at least 100 rounds if the idea is to wager 1% of the bankroll unit. And even if you play luck-based games like slots and bingo, the chances are that you won't lose all the 100 betting rounds.
Flat Betting in Live Casino Blackjack
First and foremost, decide the betting unit to use. Such a betting unit won’t bring down your bankroll if a cold losing streak sets in. Next, decide the exact number of hands to play using this strategy. While the recommended number is 100, let your budget do the deciding. So, if you have a $100 budget, divide it by the number of hands to know the amount you’ll need per round.
But before you get excited about flat betting in live dealer blackjack, remember that this is one of the most flexible games in the casino. That’s because some scenarios can compel you to increase your stakes, while others may call on you to lower them.
For instance, players raise and lower stakes in card counting. Players can increase the stakes with strong shoes and vice-versa with weak ones. In that case, flat betting won’t count for anything. But overall, it’s arguably the best blackjack betting strategy for beginners.
Flat Betting in Live Casino Baccarat
Flat betting is more of a baccarat strategy than blackjack. Baccarat is a simple live casino game where players receive two cards on the Banker or Player positions. The idea is to predict a hand total of 9 or 8, also called a natural. If you choose to use flat betting in this game, you’ll most likely end up with a profit. That’s because the Banker and Player bets give you almost a 46% chance of winning a wager. But be wary of the Banker Bet’s 5% commission.
But because flat betting is more about betting to win than caring about the margin, choose the banker bet, which has a lower house edge. Remember, the objective is to bet consistently without losing your bankroll at once.
The flat betting system has four main divisions. Players can use any of these strategies, depending on the size of their bankroll and experience. Below are the most common flat betting divisions:
Static Flat Betting
This is the safest flat betting strategy. It maintains the core principles of flat betting: to set a 1% stake and use it for extended durations. It's theoretically impossible to lose the entire bankroll or large amounts with static flat betting.
Academic Flat Betting
Many players consider this the most popular flat betting strategy. That's because it leaves some wiggle room to adjust the stake from 1% to 3%. Punters can change the stake amount depending on their confidence, recent results, and knowledge of the game.
For example, you can adjust the stake to 3% during a winning streak to recover more losses. Then, reduce the amount to 1% or 2% during a cold run. You can also increase the stake to 2% or 3% when playing multiplayer video poker with many 'fish' on the table.
Aggressive Flat Betting
An aggressive flat betting strategy is not for the faint-hearted. This strategy calls on players to wager 2% or 3% of their bankrolls for an extended period. That's not all. Players can't change the stake amount even when a cold losing run comes knocking. The idea is that the losing streak will end, and the player will recover the lost amounts during the winning streak. But although this can sound risky, it's not riskier than Martingale or D'Alembert, for example.
Chaotic Flat Betting
Do you think aggressive flat betting is risky? Wait until you try chaotic flat betting. In this strategy, the bet stake should be 3% to 5% of the size of the original bankroll. Some confident players can even increase the size to 10%. If you bet 10%, you'll have only 20 betting rounds with a $200 bet. So, you must be exceptionally good at the game to eke anything out of this strategy.
The internet is awash with "snake oil salesmen" claiming that a betting strategy can beat the house edge. Here's the truth: no strategy, including the flat betting system, guarantees a win. That's because luck plays a significant role in the outcome of all live casino games. Even strategy games like poker and blackjack still give a substantial advantage to the house. And if you don't have an optimal strategy, you'll likely face a house edge of between 4% and 6% in these games.
But intelligent bettors don't make conclusions without trying. Betting strategies wouldn't be popular if they didn't improve the winning odds. If you're planning to use flat betting or any other system, use it strictly for bankroll management. Managing your budget properly at the casino will ensure you never run out of money to place a wager. And yes, a winning streak will come by where a betting system will help you recover some, if not all, of the lost amount.
Flat Betting Wagers to Place
Don't use flat betting on any bet you encounter at the casino. Only use it on even-money bets. In live roulette, for example, avoid the tempting straight-up bets and go for even money wagers like red/black, high/low, and odd/even. These bets give players almost a 50:50 chance of winning. In European Roulette, gamers have a 48.6% chance of hitting an even-money wager. As expected, the American version's rate is slightly lower at 47.4%. In live craps, flat betting will come in handy on bets like pass line, don't pass line, come, and don't come.
The battle of betting systems will never end as long as gambling is alive. So, how does flat betting stack up against the legendary Martingale? In the Martingale system, players double their wager after a loss, hoping to hit a win and recover everything. Yes, that means doubling the initial bet size regardless of the number of losses.
Below is an example of a player with a $1,600 budget:
- The first bet is $50, which loses.
- The second bet is $100, which is losses.
- The third bet is $200, which loses. The player is now down $350.
- The fourth bet is $400, which loses again. The losses slipped further, down to $750.
- The fifth bet is $800, and he wins. The player is up to $50.
From this example, it's evident that Martingale guarantees a win at some stage. But if the player had lost the fifth consecutive bet, they would have busted their bankroll. In other words, they wouldn't have enough money to continue playing with the Martingale system.
But now, assume the same player is using the $1,600 budget on the flat betting system. They'll place a $16 bet per round for an extended period. If the player is playing even-money bets, they may add a small percentage to their bankroll. So, it's clear that flat betting allows more room to implement a betting strategy than Martingale.
You'll encounter diverse opinions about flat betting. While Martingale and Paroli fans might be quick to dismiss it, budget players know the shining points of flat betting. So, to clear any confusion, below are the pros and cons of flat betting:
|Advantages of Flat Betting ✅
|Disadvantages of Flat Betting ❌
|Simple and Straightforward: Ideal for both novice and pro bettors. Just set a bankroll, bet limit, and duration, and you're ready to go.
|High Win Rate Required: To be effective, flat betting needs a winning rate of over 50%, especially in bets with 1:1 payouts.
|Flexible: Allows for stake adjustments between 1% and 10% based on budget, skill, and current performance.
|Large Budget Needed: While theoretically suitable for any budget, a significant amount is needed to make a substantial number of bets (e.g., 100 spins with a 1% stake from a $1,000 budget).
|Compatible with All Bet Types: Works well across various casino games like slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, and is also suitable for sports betting. Particularly effective on even money bets.
|Slow Bankroll Growth: Unlike systems like Martingale, where a single win can quickly recoup losses, flat betting requires patience for gradual bankroll growth.
|Bankroll-Friendly: Extends the life of your bankroll in the casino, offering more time to recover losses compared to strategies like Martingale, which can rapidly deplete a budget during a losing streak.