Betting systems like the D’Alembert, Labouchere, and Martingale draw most of the attention in the gaming world. These staking strategies have been around for centuries and can produce plenty of profitable sessions.
Of course, there are also some useful betting systems that don’t get much attention. The 2-1-2 (a.k.a. “Manhattan”) is one of these unheralded staking strategies.
Despite its lack of fame, the 2-1-2 betting system could be just as good as those mentioned before. Below, you can read about how this system works, its pros and cons, and its profit potential when gambling for real money.
How Does the 2-1-2 System Work?
This gambling strategy falls under the positive progression category, meaning it involves raising bets when you win. As you’ll see later, it works in an extremely weird manner compared to other positive progression betting systems.
You begin using this system by setting a unit size. If the table’s minimum wager is $5, then you should use this as the unit amount.
Next, you place a bet worth two units. Assuming this wager wins—and here’s the weird part—you drop down to a one-unit bet. If you were to win a $10 wager, for instance, then you’d bet $5 on the next wager.
Win again and you’ll move back up to a two-unit bet. You’ll increase your wager by one unit following every win thereafter. If you lose at any time, then you’ll revert back to the original two-unit stake.
Here’s an example of the 2-1-2 system in action:
- Your unit size is $1.
- Bet 2 units and win; winnings at $2.
- Bet 1 unit and win; winnings at $3.
- Bet 2 units and win; winnings at $5.
- Bet 3 units and win; winnings at $8.
- Bet 4 units and win; winnings at $12.
- Bet 5 units and lose; winnings at $7.
- Return to the original 2-unit stake.
Here’s a second example that involves more losses:
- Bet 2 units and lose; losses at $2.
- Bet 2 units and win; even.
- Bet 1 unit and lose; losses at $1.
- Bet 2 units and win; winnings at $1.
- Bet 1 unit and win; winnings at $2.
- Bet 2 units and win; winnings at $4.
- Bet 3 units and lose; winnings at $1.
- Return to the original 2-unit stake and start over.
One final point to the Manhattan is that you always use it with even-money bets. Even-money wagers have high odds of winning and, thus, feature less volatility. These bets are available in casino games like baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette.
Pros of the 2-1-2 Betting System
You’ll find that the 2-1-2 offers some notable advantages over the average staking system. Here’s a look at how you can potentially benefit from this strategy.
Good Way to Capitalize on Winning Streaks
Have you ever experienced a hot streak in the casino and wished that you had bet more? This is exactly the problem that the 2-1-2 betting system seeks to solve.
You won’t make as much money during good runs with this system as with the Paroli, which revolves around doubling bets following wins. But you’ll still earn larger profits when winning several consecutive bets.
Staking systems can lead to huge winnings because they require more risk. This aspect is great when things are going well, but it doesn’t play out favorably when you’re having a rough session.
Most betting systems cause you to lose money more rapidly. If you’d like to keep your bankroll, then you should appreciate the 2-1-2.
It’s a low volatility system that doesn’t involve as much risk during downswings. You don’t need to risk much of your winnings when increasing bets during win streaks. This aspect allows you to bank more wins and better sustain your bankroll.
No Risking Losses
In contrast to a positive progression system like the 2-1-2, negative progression systems require you to increase bets amidst losing streaks. The Martingale, for example, even calls on you to double wagers following each loss.
Negative progression strategies are designed to win your losses back. Therefore, you stand a better chance of exiting the casino a winner. But these systems are also riskier because they can accelerate losses and possibly take your bankroll.
The 2-1-2 system doesn’t have the same problem. It involves increasing wagers in a measured manner during winning streaks. If you push your luck too far and lose, then you’re normally only losing profits.
Cons of the 2-1-2 Betting Strategy
This staking system definitely has some positive points. However, you should also consider the potential downsides before putting it to use.
Starts at Two Units
Most gambling systems start you off at a one-unit wager. This low beginning point ensures that you don’t lose too much money in the early portion of sequences.
The Manhattan, however, differs from almost every other betting strategy in this regard. It requires you to begin sequences with two units.
The bright side is that the rest of the system is less volatile. If you experience frequent losses at the beginning of sequences, though, then you’ll be losing two units each time.
The 2-1-2 isn’t the most complicated betting system in existence. However, you may do a double take after seeing how it works.
You drop from two to one units after the initial win. Then, you go back up to two units following another successful round. You add an extra unit for each subsequent win after this.
The most likely logic behind the Manhattan is that it (hopefully) begins with a two-unit win, then drops down to one unit to reduce volatility.
If you can win both of these wagers, then you’re guaranteed a profit for the sequence. Anything that you win afterward is a bonus.
The 2-1-2 is like a convoluted version of the Contra D’Alembert, where are you add a unit to bets following wins.
Not Guaranteed to Deliver Profits
The Manhattan suffers the same fate as all betting systems. While it can help you book more profits in a quirky way, it doesn’t promise guaranteed success.
The mere use of a staking system, though, isn’t going to ensure profits. You’re simply manipulating short-term results with these strategies.
Should You Use the Manhattan Betting System?
I don’t recommend going crazy with betting strategies for the reason covered above. You’re still gambling against a casino house edge with a system.
Then again, though, staking systems are a great way to add more entertainment to the equation. These strategies can enhance your hot streaks and lead to big profits.
If you’re not totally sure about using a system, then the 2-1-2 is a great starting point. As covered before, it’s not as volatile as most betting systems.
The two-unit starting wager does create minor volatility. However, the fact that you drop down to one unit after the first win and steadily increase bets from then on lowers the risk.
You shouldn’t struggle too much with the mechanics of the strategy either. While the 2-1-2 progression is strange, it only takes a minute or so to grasp. After the first three wins, you simply increase your bets by one unit for all subsequent wins.
See if the 2-1-2 Betting System Is Right for You
The Manhattan betting system hasn’t gone down in lore like the Martingale or Paroli. It still deserves a spot amongst the top staking systems, though, despite its limited fame.
The 2-1-2 provides a low-risk way to cash in on good runs. It starts off somewhat risky with a two-unit wager. However, the Manhattan becomes significantly less volatile after this point.
Assuming you’re interested in betting systems, yet hesitant about them, then you’ll find that the 2-1-2 offers a friendly introduction. Even if you’re experienced with staking strategies, you might still want to try this one. It can really build your winning streaks to a significant level.