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A Guide to the 1-3-2-6 Betting System

Have you heard of the 1-3-2-6 betting system?

It’s a positive progression betting system that’s experts say is influenced by the Paroli technique.

It’s a simple system to learn, as you’ll soon find out in the next section.

You can use this betting system for just about any game, so long as you can make even-money bets.

That means you can use this system on:

  • Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Roulette
  • Craps

And so on.

There are a few exceptions or caveats, of course – there always are – but we’ve outlined those and more in our guide below.

How to Use the 1-3-2-6 Betting System

The 1-3-2-6 system is relatively straight-forward – especially if you have any experience using other betting or card-counting systems.

Here’s how this works:

  • Place an even-money bet. For example, place a bet on black/red or even/odd in roulette. For the following steps, we’re going to say we made a $5 bet.
  • If your first bet wins, you’ll now have $10. The next step is to make another unit-sized bet – in this example, $5 – to the money that’s already on the table. So, we’ll have $15 total on the table.
  • This is where the “3” comes from in the system – it’s 3x whatever your bet is.

  • Say this bet wins, too – you’ll now have $30. The next step is a 2, which means we want to leave 2 units on the table, or in this case $10. So, remove $20 from your bet (leaving $10).
  • We’re going to say this bet also wins. You’ll now have $20 on the table. But for the last step we want 6 units on the table. So, we need to add another $10 to make our total $30 ($5 x 6 units).

If you win this bet, you’ll have $60 on the table. You’ll want to remove this amount, and then on your next round you’ll start the cycle all over with the first step.

That’s all there is to it.

If you make $5 bets, follow this system, and are lucky enough to win 4 times in a row, you’ll have made $70. $60 of that will be profit, as you only made two $5 bets out of pocket (steps #1 and #2).

This is important to remember because whatever you decide your unit (bet sizing) will be, you’ll need to make sure you have the money to make it twice.

In other words, you don’t want your unit to be $100 if you only have a $150 bankroll. Because you’ll need $200 to get through steps #1 and #2.

Everything else will come out of your profits.

There are exceptions to this. At a bare minimum you’ll need 2 units to use this system.

However, if you play a game like blackjack, you also need to keep in mind you’ll want money for situations where you’ll need to split or double down on your hand.

Our recommendation is to have enough money on hand to make these bets (if you want to), and to treat any winnings from these plays as a bonus – pull that extra money off the table and continue the system like normal.

What Outcomes to Expect from the 1-3-2-6 System

This might seem obvious, but let’s point out the different outcomes so you know what to expect from each level of the 1-3-2-6 system.

  • Step 1 – You lose your 1-unit bet. The next move is to start over.
  • Step 2 – You lose and start over. If you lose at step 2 you lose 2 units ($10 of your own money), as the remaining unit was profit from the last step.
  • Step 3 – You lose and start over. If you lose here, you’ll have walked away with a 2-unit profit ($20 total — $10 in your bets + $10 in profit).
  • Step 4 - You lose and start over. If you lose at this stage, you’ll breakeven.

The minimum goal is to get to step 3, as you’ll walk away with *some* profit. Going to step four is essentially a double or nothing move.

The one exception (so far) to this system is that not every game will breakeven if you lose on step 4. According to, you may lose money on the 4th bet if you choose to play baccarat due to the vig/fees for the banker bet. Losing on the 4th round will cost you .3 units – or, using our example above, about $1.66.

Does This System Work?

The short answer – no.

You can read a much longer and detailed answer about why betting systems don’t work on the

But the bottom line is that betting systems don’t work because they do nothing to change how the game is played. You’re not altering the rules or payouts, so you’re not changing the house edge.

For that reason, you’re still playing at a disadvantage.

People do win money with betting systems …in the short run. The problem with this is they let their short-term wins cloud their judgement. We recommend you read our page about mathematics in gambling to learn more about variance and how it impacts results.

We also recommend you read about the Daniel Rainsong Challenge on the Rainsong thought he had a winning betting system, too, until the Wizard ran it through his simulator. Read the post-challenge write-up to see what happened.

Is There Any Reason to Use the 1-3-2-6 System?

Maybe, though, that more or less depends on you. Here are a few reasons why you might consider using this system:

  • It’s easy to learn. There are only 4 steps to memorize.
  • You can apply it to most games.
  • Casino don’t care if you use it (because they’re still beating you in the long run).
  • If you’re lucky enough to win 2 hands in a row, your worst-case scenario is that you’ll breakeven.
  • There’s very little risk on your part. You only need to risk 2 units to use this system. In a brick and mortar casino, that means you’ll risk around $6-$10 depending on the table limits you can find. You can risk as little as $2 (and sometimes less) online, as table limits tend to be as low as $1.

Ultimately, if you have fun using betting systems, then there’s no reason not to at least try the 1-3-2-6 system.


That’s the 1-3-2-6 betting system. It’s easy to use, and it can make you a tidy profit if you’re lucky enough to run good for 4 hands in a row.

But we want to make something very clear:

Betting systems DO NOT work.

If you want to use this system, it’s important you keep that in mind and use this system for entertainment purposes only.

That’s also why you shouldn’t fall for shady marketers trying to sell systems like this as a way to beat the house. Such systems don’t exist.

If you can keep this in mind you’ll have a much better time gambling, no matter the game you play or the system you decide to use.

And if you want to ignore our advice?

You do so at your own risk.