Something that often puzzles beginning blackjack players is the table limits that are present at many tables. For example, if you're playing blackjack on a $5 minimum bet table, a typical max bet is $2,000. But wouldn't you think that casinos would let players bet as much as they possibly could on any hand? After all, they have a small house edge over non-card counters, which means the bigger the bet, the more profit they stand to gain.
However, the truth is that there's actually a very good reason behind why casinos impose a table maximum. And it all centers on the Martingale betting system.
Basics of the Martingale System
What's nice about using the Martingale is that it's so easy, even a total beginner could use it. The only thing players have to do is double their previous wager following each loss. So if you started out making $5 bets, you would double this to $10 after a loss; if this bet also lost, you'd double up to a $20 wager. The idea here is to ensure that you always win back losses during a losing streak.
Why Table Limits are Important
The knock against the Martingale system is that players could potentially lose an insane amount of money. But what if somebody were to bring $30,000 to a $5 minimum bet table? Their risk of ruin chances while using the Martingale system would be much smaller because they'd have to lose 13 times in a row before finally reaching a wager size that would eclipse their $30k bankroll's ability to win losses back.
But by imposing a maximum betting limit of $2,000 at these tables, players would be unable to win losses back under the Martingale after losing just nine bets in a row. Now the chances of this happening are also small; however, this betting limit still makes it difficult for players to win their losses back during a really bad losing streak.