The Martingale Betting System – Does it Work?
The gambling world is full of promises of easy and fast earnings. As a result, there’s always a revolutionary approach to well-known strategies present.
One of these strategies is the Martingale system – also known as the “double-up” system. The premise behind it? With the Martingale system, you can easily beat the house and walk away with a fortune in your pocket.
But is this the reality?
Let’s set the record straight: no strategy or statistical approach can guarantee wins. What it can do is help improve your chances.
That’s why it’s essential to learn a little more about the Martingale strategy and what it can really do for you.
We’ll walk through its pros and cons and leave you to decide whether it’s the right fit to help you for future betting sessions.
What is the Martingale Strategy?
In a nutshell, the Martingale strategy instructs you to double your bet every time you lose. The theory is that will help you regain your losses in subsequent rounds.
This method dates back to the 18th century. Even though it wasn’t originally designed to improve gambling money management, it quickly earned a reputation in that field.
The Martingale betting system provides a mathematical approach to what are known as independent events.
Since you won’t have to crack any complex codes or know rocket-science maths, there are only a few basics to absorb before you apply it on the next round of bets.
This strategy is most effective in games with even chances. That means any game where you can either win or lose by the same margin: 50%.
The strategy is based on a series of statistically independent events. That means any current gambling session is not influenced by the previous one(s).
This is why this strategy is particularly popular when playing a roulette game.
Each round is completely independent, and the result you got in the previous round has no impact on the current one.
This might be a difficult concept to wrap your head around because we’re hardwired to think that events are related to each other.
The following example might make it clearer:
Whenever you toss a coin in the air, it always faces a 50-50 chance. Even if you land heads 99 times in a row, the next toss still faces the same odds. As a result, landing heads or tails on the 100th toss has no relation with the previous 99 tosses.
Where Can I Apply the Martingale Strategy?
How Does the Martingale Betting System Work?
We’ve stipulated there’s no point in trying to guess the outcome of a round based on the previous ones. Anyone that follows that line of reasoning is exercising what is known as the gambler’s fallacy.
Therefore, what strategy can you trust when facing the odds?
Probability – basic maths!
If you constantly face 50-50 odds, you can’t always win, nor can you always lose. This is the main principle behind the Martingale method.
All you have to do is double the value of your initial bet. If you bet $10 and lose, bet $20 on the next round. Keep following this approach until you recover the money lost, along with a bit of profit.
Once you get to that point, you should return to your initial bet value and repeat. However, we should stress to always keep an eye on your budget and, most importantly, know when to stop.
There are three variations of the Martingale strategy at your disposal, which we’ll run through very quickly in the following sections.
The classic approach applies the principles we’ve discussed previously: double the bet when losing and return to the initial one once you win a round.
Have a look at the following table for a scenario where you have a 50% chance of winning:
Looking at the above table, you can walk away with a profit although you’ve won only 3 out of 7 rounds.
On a more extreme example, you can still turn a profit even if you lose all of the first six rounds and win only the 7th one – as long as you stick to the Martingale system.
In fact, the chances of losing 6 50/50 games in a row are only 1.56%!
There is no guarantee that the strategy work, mainly because of the independence of each event. After all, every approach has its flaws, and we haven’t seen any casinos going bankrupt lately.
The reason is that the vast majority of casino games, such as the roulette game, apply betting limits on each round.
Since you can’t go over those amounts, the ideal is to start with the smallest possible bets and manage your money well.
With the Grand Martingale betting system, you’ll still place a larger bet for each lost round. However, the value is slightly different: double the lost bet and add $1.
Here’s what it can look like in a real scenario:
We’ll admit it’s a rollercoaster when applying this approach, but you can walk away with a slightly better profit than the Classic Martingale strategy, should the lady Luck look kindly upon you.
However, you risk reaching the table limits faster, which can drain your budget and leave you without any chance to win it back.
Again, some precaution and a conservative approach can keep you on the winning side for a little longer.
Inverted Martingale – The Paroli System
This elegant approach to the Classic Martingale is as simple and effective as the previous options – with a twist!
The principle behind this system is that both losses and wins tend to occur in streaks, so you try to maximize your winnings by raising your stakes while you’re at it.
The twist lies in a statistical “trick.”
When you’re winning, double your bet, but remember to stop doubling it once you land the 3rd win in a row. Once you lose, go back to the initial bet.
Sounds tricky? The following table shows you how it works:
You sat through quite a few rounds, but walking away with a $75 profit after losing half of the matches is still excellent by anyone’s standards. No wonder most gamblers consider this method more effective than the classic system.
The main reason is that the bet amount only rises once you’re on a winning streak. Theoretically, it means you’re playing with the house money and not your own. That’s an exciting scenario if you plan to risk a more significant amount. After all, it’s always easier to play with someone else’s money!
Once here, the question poses itself: Why shouldn’t I carry on doubling my bets?
Let’s see what happens in a real scenario:
It seems that getting a grip on your emotions after the third consecutive win is a great way to limit losses.
In the real world, it won’t always turn out this way, and you’ll probably need to play for an extended period to be able to profit from this approach.
Then again, if you do carry on and win a huge some of money, it’s good to know whether you need to be paying taxes.
Martingale for Roulette
The queen of any casino room, the roulette game is also a popular option amongst Canadian online casino players.
As we mentioned earlier in this guide, the Martingale system is considered to be most effective with this game.
This strategy is still commonly used today, regardless of how experienced players are, due to its straightforward way to manage your bankroll.
Since the roulette game offers several betting options that have a 50/50 chance, you can apply the Martingale betting system with the following:
- Red or black
- Even or odd
- High or low
Let’s consider a bet in red or black. Whichever you choose, you should keep betting on the same colour until the end of the game.
It’s particularly effective if you apply the Inverted Martingale betting system since, at some point, you should land the same colour for a few rounds in a row.
The ideal scenario to apply the Inverted Martingale system presents itself once you find yourself losing a few rounds in a row.
Let’s say you’re already three down, so your instinct tells you to change strategies – don’t!
We’ve mentioned the Martingale betting system isn’t foolproof, but most importantly, it requires patience and resilience to work.
Keep focus, double your bets whenever required until you land a win.
That being said, decide on a limit prior to placing a bet and know when it’s time to call it quits.
Once that happens, it’s up to you to return to the initial bet or walk away with the profit.
The most crucial factor is to keep an eye on the total amount of your bets and rationally use that money.
No strategy, no method will keep you winning all the time, and at some point, you’ll have to accept a loss.
Martingale for Blackjack Games
We’ve mentioned that the Martingale strategy isn’t as effective in games such as Blackjack.
Since its odds keep changing, applying the method isn’t as straightforward as in the roulette game or some slots.
The basic principle to keep in mind is that each player faces a different win rate in this table game regardless of skill.
For the Martingale system to work, the closer that rate is to 50%, the better.
Martingale for Slot Games
This is where it gets tricky. Because there are so many online slots out there with different RTPs and a wide range of bets, we can’t advise you to use the Martingale system to improve your odds.
Any games where high volatility is present tend to leave you entirely in the hands of chance. For many players, that’s where the excitement lies, but for a rational and statistical approach, it may just be a step too far.
Martingale and Sports Betting
Sports fans may have a ball – pun intended – applying the Martingale strategy. You can use it with any sport, as long as the odds for the favourite and the underdog are very close to each other. These represent roughly 50% in your favour.
Keep in mind that a 50/50 chance is only possible with a two-way moneyline bet, where the draw option has been removed.
Any legal sportsbook you find recommended on our page allows you to apply this strategy. Just keep an eye out for value bets and ensure the odds for the favourite and underdog are as similar as possible.
Should you lose, search for the next bet with similar odds and place a new one while doubling the initial bet amount.
Let’s consider the following scenario. The Toronto Maple Leafs face the Calgary Flames on the NHL, and you find the following (fictitious) odds:
- Toronto Maple Leafs Wins: 1.70
- Calgary Flames Wins: 1.31
Let’s place a $20 bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs. No need to judge us, as we’re not taking any sides – or hinting anything.
On any given day, it could turn out as follows:
- Toronto Maple Leafs Wins: you make $34 resulting in a profit of $14
- Calgary Flames Wins: you lose $20
Let’s assume you’re now down $20. Pick up the Martingale system for the next game and double the lost bet up to $40.
You’re casually browsing some of the coolest sportsbooks we recommend – why shouldn’t you? – and you come across the following odds:
- Montreal Canadiens wins: 1.82
- Edmonton Oilers wins: 1.46
Your gut tells you the Montreal Canadiens will slide away with a win, so you place those $40 on that hunch, sit back and enjoy the show. After a tough match, the Canadiens vs Oilers break a streak of defeats and snatch a 4-3 win.
It’s a happy day for you, as the following table shows.
|Toronto M L vs Calgary F||$20||1.70 (Maple Leafs)||Oilers||-$20|
|Montreal C vs Edmonton O||$40||1.82 (Montreal Canadiens)||Canadiens||$32.8|
Overall, you make $32.8 from the Canadiens efforts in the ring and land a profit of $12.8. Not bad for what was only the second time around trying the Martingale betting system.
Our Tips on How to Find Great Odds
- Look for smaller leagues and matches, as they may be hiding more value bets
- Find sportsbooks which have great statistics pages, such as Betway.
When you find several great odds in a single place, you can perform better by using the Martingale system in sports betting.
You may as well take your strategical approach for a run and see where it takes you.
Can You Win With Martingale?
Should you decide to give Martingale a chance, it’s essential to know it won’t please superstitious players. That means you’ll have to stick to its method until you win your money back – or reach your limit.
The issue that affects most players is largely emotional since they firmly believe that when facing a series of losses, they will keep heading down that road.
But while Martingale’s principles and the maths that support it state that the player must win at some point, that point may be farther in the future than you and your budget are comfortable with.
The result may come with patience and resilience, but only if you make sure you’re staying responsible and having fun.
That’s not to say there aren’t a few warning signs down the road. One of the biggest cons is the need for a decent budget to face any continued losses. A total budget of $50 can only stretch so far if your initial bet is $5.
Casinos and sportsbooks aren’t in the business of handing out money, so there are table limits – whether to how many times you can play in a game round or a specific amount of money.
All of these will cap your strategy. Our advice is to keep bets low and steer away from those limits. Only then can you improve the chances of turning a profit.
Naturally, casinos know these methods better than anyone, and they’re equally aware most players use them. It’s no wonder that the house always wins – or almost!
Sportsbooks aren’t any different, and there’s always a maximum amount you can place in a single bet.
The Martingale strategy can help you win a few rounds straight away, but it’s not a realistic scenario for the long term.
Since the house always has an edge, no method is foolproof.
Our most precious advice if you plan to make use of the Martingale betting system?
Be patient and keep your bets small. Above all, keep playing while it’s still fun and keep a close eye on your bankroll.
Does the Martingale method work?
To some extent. It’s no way a guarantee that you’ll win against the house. However, it can improve your odds considerably and consistently. Having said that, make sure you set a bankroll limit and stick to it as this strategy can easily burn through your budget.
Is the Martingale system profitable?
It can be in the short term. It provides a structured, rational approach to gambling and sports betting. Ideally, it should be used with small bets and always considering table or game limits.
Does Martingale work for Blackjack?
The Martingale strategy returns better results in the roulette game or sports bets with odds closer to 200. Ideally, with games with a closer margin to 50% when it comes to winning or losing. Since this is not the case with Blackjack and there is a heavy emotional component to this game, we would stay away from using it.