The Martingale system is a popular betting strategy that informs you of how much to wager on casino games like roulette and blackjack, as well as sports. The idea behind it is to increase your bet whenever you experience a loss, as a way of recovering those funds. It can be highly effective, especially for those with a higher bankroll, but you need to ensure you’re using it correctly, and on the right games, to benefit from it.
Through the course of this guide, we’ll highlight how this system works. We’ll look at what it is, how to use it, and how to use the reverse Martingale betting strategy.
Pros and Cons
- Chance of winning back the amount lost
- Ideal for short-term wagering
- Great when testing out a new table game or online slot
- Good for seasoned bettors with potential for recouping of losses
- Just a few losses in a row can result in vast wagers being placed and your bankroll suffering.
- Some casinos set caps on the maximum bets allowed, so the Martingale system could become useless if you suffer a few subsequent losses
How the Martingale System Works
The basic idea behind using the Martingale strategy for betting is to double your wager after every loss.
Let’s say that you start a bet on roulette with a $1 wager and this loses. With the Martingale system, the next round would require a wager of £2. Should you lose that one, you proceed with the next round placing a wager of $4. This continues until you reach a winning round. By that point, you should have recouped any losses, and you start from the beginning. So, in our example, you would return to the initial wager of $1 after a win.
Below, we’re going to use the example of betting on Premier League soccer. Let’s say that the standard bet per game is $100. To apply this betting pattern, here’s how it would proceed (using that initial bet size of $100 and even money odds):
Now, let’s say that all of those are even money wagers with no vig included. The Martingale strategy was fairly useful in this situation, as there was a profit of £100. But the player had to risk $3,200 in game six, which is a monumental amount to win the initial £100 back. Multiple games need to be wagered on for the Martingale system option to come into effect properly.
We’re going to expand the Martingale system example now to show you how it could go in a game of roulette, with a low wager of $1. Here’s what this looks like:
In this Martingale strategy example, you lose nine of your 15 wagers, but you still end up $7 in profit from it.
It does have the potential to wipe out losses in a single swoop, with a series of small wins being a part of the generalized Martingale strategy.
The point to remember about Martingale betting online is that you should always return to the initial bet when you experience a win. If you suffer a series of losses one after another, then you could see your bankroll dip swiftly. As a result, you may not have enough funds left to complete the doubling up that this strategy requires, either.
The best course of action to take when you see the wagers increasing beyond what you’re comfortable with/able to afford, is to walk away and come back another day to try the Martingale strategy.
On Which Games Can You Use the Martingale Strategy?
Besides the Martingale betting system for sports and roulette wagering, you can use this system in several instances, as we’ve highlighted below.
According to research conducted by Nigel Turner, the Martingale system can be beneficial for a few wins, but the longer you play, the more you’re likely to lose.
Of all betting opportunities to use the Martingale system with, though, online roulette is perhaps the most popular. The Martingale roulette strategy will only work on even chance bets, so there are three key options when engaging in the game – red/black, odd/even, high/low.
So, your chips are wagered on one of those options – red, black, odd, even, 1-18 or 19-36. Of course, the hope is that your bet will win, regardless of what you’re playing. If you do win, then you bet a single unit once again for the next round. If you lose, then with the Martingale betting system, you double that bet for the next round instead.
Continue doubling up (and betting on the same option) until you achieve a win. Then, reduce your wager back down to one. The strategy is then repeated throughout your gaming session.
With blackjack, you need to ensure that you place a rigid wager amount as your starting unit for the first hand. Then, depending upon whether this wins or loses, you stick with that unit or double it up.
Of course, other factors can come into play when using a progressive betting strategy.
Let’s say, that you start with a $1 wager. Using the Martingale betting system, you win the round and proceed on with another $21 wager. That round becomes a loss, so you wager $22. Then you lose again, and this pushes your bet up to $24. A third loss means you must wager $8 on the next blackjack round. Yet when you are dealt out your first two cards on this round, they equate to 11. Normally, this would be an ideal time to double down when playing blackjack.
Choosing to double down at this point is a good idea. Yet it also throws off your Martingale betting system. To ensure you adhere to the strategy, you have to forgo the opportunity to engage in double down or to split hands as well.
Double your wager whenever you suffer a losing round and keep doing this until you achieve a win in baccarat with the Martingale betting system. You then return to the original stake. Baccarat games are almost 50/50 propositions, because most often, either the banker or the player hand will win. The system, though, won’t lower the house edge on baccarat games, table limits will likely be in place on all versions of baccarat, and you also need to have a decent bankroll, just in case a losing streak is experienced.
Success in using the Martingale system in baccarat depends on three main factors. It’s not like you can proceed with counting cards, like you sometimes can in physical casinos or live dealer baccarat games. Instead, you need to factor in:
- minimum bet
- table betting limit
- how long you participate in baccarat
High RTP Slots
Slot games are a different entity when it comes to Martingale betting. This is because rounds play out at a faster speed, there are no cards involved, and you can often reach high betting levels very quickly. That’s why it is ideal to choose a slot game with a high return to player (RTP) rate, as you can expect to get more out of them over time. There is still a risk even with these games, though.
Let’s say that you choose to play a slot game with a 99% RTP rate – we’ll use Relax Gaming’s Book of 99 as an example. This promises the opportunity to receive $99 back for every $200 wagered. That figure is worked out over thousands of slot spins, so there’s nothing saying that you will always get this from the slot, because it also depends on how long you play for (and how far your bankroll stretches). You start with the lowest bet amount of $0.10. The spin is over in a couple of seconds, and it’s a losing one. This means you up the bet to $0.20. Another loss occurs. You suffer several losses in a row because this game is also a high variance release.
You’ll need to consider certain variables before deciding to use the strategy when playing an online slot, including:
- RTP rate
- Payouts of different symbols
- Special feature rounds
Martingale System for Sports Betting
The process remains the same for sports when you use Martingale betting – whenever you lose a bet, you increase the amount you’re betting on the next one.
You’ll need to know how to calculate the odds of sports properly so that you can apply the Martingale system to your betting. Alternatively, you can place wagers on sports markets with even odds, so the only calculation you need to make is to double the stake if you lose a bet.
If your idea is to recoup losses, you need to calculate the stake of the next wager accordingly. Thus, you need to work out the odds of the previous losing bet and compare them with the odds of the current bet, then adjust your stake for it.
The higher the odds, the less you need to bet to break even. The lower the odds are, the opposite is true.
So, you can use the formula of total loss ÷ decimal odds = your stake. So, let’s say you bet $10 on an even sports event, and you lose it. The odds on the next match stand at 1.25. So, to work out your wager for it, you calculate $10 ÷ 1.25 – 1, which equates to $7. That’s the minimum wager to try and break even. If you want to gain profit on top as well, you’ll need to bet a bit more.
The Analysis of Conventional Betting Strategies in Sports Betting offers up handy diagrams demonstrating the success of this betting system on sports.
Popular Betting System Alternatives
The Martingale system and its reverse version aren’t the only betting systems in use today by online gamblers. There are several other alternatives to the Martingale betting system.
- Card Counting – Ideal for games like blackjack and baccarat, the basics of counting cards assigns a positive, negative or zero value to each card. When a card is dealt, the count adjusts by that card’s counting value. This way, you always know what has been dealt, and this determines the value of the cards left in the deck.
- Oscar’s Grind – This sees the outcome of wagers evenly distributed between two results of equal value. Users need to calculate the size of bets so that in the event of a losing streak, if and when a same-length winning streak hits, a profit is obtained.
- d’Alembert System – Using this strategy, you increase your bet amount by a single unit after a loss and decrease it by a single unit after a win.
- 1-3-2-6 System – This can be ideal for sports bettors. All you do is repeatedly stake on units 1, 3, 2, and 6 on every round if you win.
- Kelly Betting – This system is more for experienced gamblers. If a gamble has a 60% chance of winning, for example, and the gambler gets a 1:1 odds on winning a bet, then the maximise the long-run growth rate of the bankroll, you need to wager 20% of the bankroll at every opportunity.
- Labouchère System – Also known as the ‘Split Martingale’, this system is best used in roulette games.
The Call of the Martingale Is Ringing in Your Ears
Do you think this betting strategy is the right one for you? Well, you could put it to use in some demo rounds of online roulette or baccarat, perhaps. Maybe you can try it out for real money on live dealer games, where you can see the cards being dealt out. Whatever the case, we wish you success. Just remember our advice, the hints and tips, and also, don’t forget that you can always walk away and come back another day.
Is the Martingale system permitted in online casinos?
What are the odds of losing with a Martingale strategy bet?
Which games can I use the Martingale strategy on?
Is the Martingale system a good betting strategy for online games?