What is the Paroli betting system and how do you use it? A guide to this simple casino strategy

One of the most commonly used strategies used in casino games is the paroli betting system. It’s been in use for over 100 years and has long been popular because it’s really easy to use.

Here’s some more information about it and a summary of whether it’s really beneficial for you to use or not.

Gambling chips stacked around roulette wheel on gaming table
Paroli – better for traditional casino games

About the paroli betting system

Betting systems are either positive or negative.

Positive ones have you increase your bets after a win, whereas negative ones have you increase your bets after a loss.

The paroli betting system is a positive betting system. The two key aims of the strategy are to generate small but regular wins and to reduce your chances of suffering substantial losses. It’s ideal for those on a budget since it doesn’t require you to bet substantial amounts of money.

It can be used in games such as roulette, baccarat, craps and Pai Gow poker, though it’s only designed to be used in conjunction with even money bets – many of which are found in these games.

For these bets, you have an equal chance of winning or losing; most of the time, if you win, you get double your bet back; if you lose, you get nothing back. While you don’t often get ‘true’ even money chances, i.e 50/50, they are as close as a casino will allow you to get.

Rules

Casinopedia's top tips for success at the Blackjack table
You could try Paroli betting in blackjack

First of all, decide how much you’re going to bet with. If you win, you double it; if you lose or you have three consecutive wins, the bet reverts back to its base value and you start again.

Your base bet, whatever its value, is 1 unit. After a few rounds of betting with this amount, you win and double your bet to 2 units; then you win again and double it to 4 units.

You’ve therefore ended up winning a total of 7 units, or seven times your original bet.

With three consecutive wins, you reset the value of your bet and the next one you place will be 1 unit. The reason why you reset your bet value after three consecutive wins is because the chances of scoring four wins in a row are significantly smaller.

The system has shades of the Martingale, but in reverse.

Advantages and disadvantages

This betting system is one of the easier ones to get to grips with.

It should provide you with a relatively steady stream of wins and should significantly reduce your chances of suffering a large loss. Also, it should prevent you from getting carried away on a winning streak since you reset your bet value after your third consecutive win.

However, just as with any other betting system, there are no guarantees. While you have the potential to do well from it, there’s always the chance that you could walk away with a loss.

If you’re feeling lucky and are hoping for huge wins, this strategy isn’t the best for you, since it regularly limits your betting values.

The flaw of the paroli betting system

It’s important to mention a key flaw of the paroli betting system. And let’s remember, no (legal) system has yet been invented which beats the casino’s natural house edge.

Here’s a table that shows the possible outcomes:

First Bet Second Bet Third Bet Outcome (gain/loss)
1 Unit (win) -2 Units (loss) -1 Unit (loss) -2 Units (loss)
1 Unit (win) -2 Units (loss) +1 Unit (win) No Gain or Loss
1 Unit (win) + 2 Units (win) -4 Units (loss) -1 Units (loss)
1 Unit (win) +2 Units (win) +4 Units (win) + 7 Units (win)
-1 Unit (loss) -1 Unit (loss) -1 Unit (loss) -3 Units (loss)
-1 Unit (loss) -1 Unit (loss) +1 Unit (win) -1 Unit (loss)
-1 Unit (loss) +1 Unit (win) -2 Units (loss) -2 Units (loss)
-1 Unit (loss) +1 Unit (win) +2 Units (win) + 2 Units (win)

Going by the table, five of the outcomes result in a loss, one in neither a gain nor a loss and two in a gain.

The maximum possible gain of seven units is statistically only possible in one in every eight three-bet runs. So while the paroli betting system might seem good on paper, the reality of it is that the chances of getting gains are against you.

Not only that, but you have to factor in the house edge. If it was a true 50/50 ‘coin toss’ set of odds on even money bets, then casinos wouldn’t make any money. So in roulette, your even money bet in roulette is slightly tipped in the house’s favor by the Zero, or Double Zero tiles on the wheel.

For the strategy to work in your favor, you really need a winning streak – but then that is true of all betting systems.

Summary

All casino games are designed to favor the casino, not the player. No matter what strategy you employ, ultimately you’ll never beat the casino. Strategies like the paroli betting system can work in your favor, but for them to do so, you need to have a bit of luck.

The advantage is that it is a nice defined way of managing your gameplay. You can stick to a budget, you know which bet size is coming next, so you can sit back and enjoy the experience.

If you want to try the paroli system, then classic casino games are your first stop because they offer even money bets. Casinos including bgo, partycasino, ComeOn! Casino and Betsafe casinos also offer live dealer action, giving you the full Vegas experience in your Paroli betting.

Approved Casinos

Want to try an online casino? Approved Casinos

Choose an approved casino from our carefully selected list. VIEW CASINOS