Martingale Betting System – Can This Strategy Help You Win?
Last Updated: February 23, 2022
The Martingale betting system is one of the most popular betting strategies in the live and online casino world.
While many casino enthusiasts swear on its efficiency, the Martingale betting system undoubtedly comes with some noticeable downsides and risks.
This is why it’s crucial to know all of the pros and cons of this system, as well as the best tips on how to employ it successfully before you risk any money using it.
This guide will help you understand every detail about the Martingale system. Moreover, it will also answer the key question – can this strategy help you win? Read on to learn more.
What is the Martingale Betting System?
The Martingale system is a betting strategy with a pretty simple and straightforward concept. The basic premise is to increase the size of your bet every time you lose.
The reason for this is to get your money back as soon as you win, no matter how many losses you have in a row.
With just one win, you can get back up to your initial bankroll and start with the initial bet size as you did before.
At face value, this seems perfectly logical, as it’s easy to understand and doesn’t take much concentration to follow.
Plus, you don’t need to be a math prodigy to calculate and know exactly how much you should bet in each round.
Of course, for the Martingale system to work effectively, every bet you place needs to have a 50-50 outcome. This is the only way to ensure you can recoup your losses after a win.
That said, this is where the first issue with the Martingale betting system pops up. As the casino has a house edge in every game you play, no bet, even those advertised as even money, is actually 50-50.
There’s always a small chance that you can lose it all.
For example, if you play roulette and only place even money bets like odds/evens, red/black, or high/low, there’s always a chance that the ball will land on the zero.
As zero is not a part of any of these even money bets, there’s no way to win unless you bet directly on it.
This is one of the biggest reasons why the Martingale strategy is a great system for short-term wins and a poor choice for the long run.
As you’re betting big to win small, you could easily make an argument that this is not a very smart way to bet long term, as you can potentially lose huge amounts of money.
Among other reasons, this is why the Martingale method is one of the riskiest betting systems you can use. It’s also the reason why many experienced gamblers avoid using it altogether.
How the Martingale Betting System Works
Ok, so now we know how the Martingale betting system works in theory, but let’s move on to practical examples.
As we’ve mentioned above, the best way to utilize the Martingale betting system is to only place even money bets.
In the context of casino games, the best example is roulette, as it offers you a handful of even money bets. The progression is fairly simple and always goes the same.
More precisely, you’re sizing your bets through units in the form of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1028, 2056, 4096, and so on.
This sequence can go as high as the betting limits or your bankroll allow you to scale them. Focusing on the thirteen numbers we’ve mentioned above, you can see how the bets can quickly progress.
This is why we always recommend you start betting with a very small amount. Preferably, this should be the minimum bet amount of the casino game you’re playing.
So, if you start with a $1 bet, you should bet this amount for as long as you’re winning. When you lose, you double the size of your bet to $2.
If you keep losing, you keep following the sequence from above and doubling your bets until you win.
As soon as you win, revert to your initial bet size and start again. This way, you’ll be able to always recover the money you lose and win something extra along the way.
What is the Anti-Martingale?
As soon as a betting system gains traction in the gambling world, some players try to go against the grain and develop a system that is the complete opposite.
In this context, this is the anti-Martingale betting system, also known as the Reverse Martingale.
This strategy is as simple as this, as it basically advocates pushing hot streaks and having a stop-loss mechanism to prevent heavy losses during long losing streaks.
In this sense, it’s a lot less risky than the traditional Martingale betting system.
As the name implies, the anti-Martingale system includes halving your bet every time you lose a bet and doubling it every time you win one.
So, for example, if you place a $10 on an even money roulette bet and win, you would place $20 for the next spin. If you win again, you would bet $40.
If you lose the following spin, you would then revert one step and bet $20 again.
Besides the anti-Martingale betting system, there are a few more notable variations of this method. The two most famous ones are the Mini Martingale and the Grand Martingale.
The Mini Martingale limits the number of times you double your bets, effectively limiting your profits but also helping you protect against huge losses.
On the other hand, the Grand Martingale betting system is almost identical to the regular Martingale method. The only difference is that you’re adding an additional bet unit every time you lose.
This means that this variation is even riskier than the original but also that you take less time to recoup your losses.
Downsides of Using the Martingale Betting System
We’ve previously mentioned how the Martingale betting system is very risky. To better understand just how hazardous this betting method can be for your bankroll, we should discuss its downsides in more detail.
Needless to say, the most significant issue with the Martingale system is that it can eat away at your bankroll very quickly.
If you fall into a slump, you can lose your entire bankroll before you realize what’s happening.
This especially goes if you don’t have a large bankroll and need to be careful about how you bet. In this case, it’s best to avoid taking your chances with the Martingale betting system.
To bring this a bit closer, let’s say that you have a casino bankroll of $1000 and want to bet using the Martingale system while playing roulette or blackjack.
In this scenario, you fall into a slightly longer losing streak, losing ten spins in a row. Starting with a $1 bet, let’s see how much you would spend in total after ten losses:
As you can see from the table above, the losses can pile up astonishingly fast when using the Martingale strategy.
Even though you started with a substantial $1000 bankroll, betting just $1 on your first spin, you would end up spending more than you can afford if you wind up on a prolonged losing streak.
Many casino players take these numbers lightly, thinking that a losing streak this long can’t happen to them.
However, the nature of every casino game, not just roulette, is that every player, no matter how experienced they are, can end up on a losing streak.
Much like winning streaks, losing streaks are a common part of the experience.
Additionally, if you primarily play online casino games, you should also know that many of these often have betting limits. Moreover, these limits are lower than those you come across in land-based casinos.
In other words, if you’re in a long losing streak and keep doubling up your bets, you can easily hit the ceiling, meaning you won’t be able to double your bets anymore.
This means you can’t recover all of the money you’ve previously lost, so the system fails you.
The Martingale System in Different Casino Games
Understanding how the Martingale system works and all of its pros and cons, let’s go more into how you can apply it through different casino games. Here’s how to use the Martingale betting system in the most popular casino games:
The Martingale System and Roulette
Roulette and the Martingale system go perfectly together. There’s a reason that we’ve repeatedly used roulette through our above examples, and that is that this game offers you the perfect conditions for applying this betting method.
Since roulette provides you with several bets with a 50% winning chance (minus the house edge marked by the zero on the wheel), you can efficiently keep betting on the same choice until you win a bet.
Plus, roulette tables often offer reasonably high maximum limits, allowing you to push the Martingale betting system for as much as your bankroll allows it.
Keep in mind that, while effective, the Martingale system isn’t a way to beat the roulette wheel. It only serves to help you distribute your bets more rationally.
The Martingale System and Blackjack
Besides using the Martingale system in roulette, the second most popular game in which this system works well is blackjack.
While blackjack requires more attention and concentration than roulette, the Martingale system can help you keep track of how you’re sizing your bets.
Of course, we should highlight that this strategy isn’t as effective in blackjack as it is in roulette, as the odds in blackjack keep changing.
Moreover, your success can heavily depend on whether or not you’re playing according to the optimal blackjack strategy.
The Martingale System and Slots
As with the previous two games, the main principles of the Martingale System apply to all slot games.
You can start with the minimum bet amount allowed in the slot game and then double your bets if necessary and revert to your initial bet whenever you win.
That said, using the Martingale system to try and win at slots is a bit more challenging than using it on other casino games. This is because slots don’t pay even money and come with a huge variety of bets.
Moreover, each slot has a different RTP, so the Martingale system isn’t as equally effective across all slot games.
Summing Up the Martingale Strategy – Is this System Worth It?
Ultimately, after considering all of the pros and cons of the Martingale betting system, you should remember that this is one of the riskier strategies to employ if you’re in it for the long term.
A prolonged losing streak with a Martingale system can bankrupt even those with a bigger casino bankroll.
Knowing all of this, is the Martingale system worth it? The answer is yes, if you use it very carefully. For most players, the amount of money they lose with this system heavily outweighs the amount they win.
So, if you do decide to try out the Martingale method with real money, be careful and only bet the amount of money you can afford to lose.