Martingale Betting System


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Besides flat betting, where you make the same bet over and over again, the Martingale is the most commonly used betting system in both land-based and online casinos. People have used this betting strategy since the 18th century because they think it can overcome the long-term house edge. Based on this belief, the Martingale is definitely worth examining closer.

How the Martingale works

Not only is the Martingale betting system wildly popular, but it is also really easy to use. Whenever a player loses a bet, they are supposed to double their next wager. For example, if you wagered $5 in a blackjack hand and lost, you would bet $10 the next time; lose this time and you'd be betting $20.

On the other hand, if you bet $5 and won the hand, you would keep betting $5 until you lost. The whole idea behind the Martingale is that you can get back to even any time you suffer a losing streak. For example, if you lose five bets in a row, but win the sixth one, you're back to even as long as you've been doubling wagers.

Problems with the Martingale

In theory, gamblers would never lose money with the Martingale system if they had an infinite bankroll. However, nobody has an infinite bankroll, and suffering a terrible losing streak while using the Martingale could destroy your roll.

Even assuming you did have loads of money and could withstand heavy losses with the Martingale, you still have to worry about casino betting limits. For example, casinos impose $2,000 max bets at certain tables, which severely limit your ability to use the Martingale. For instance, if you lost nine $10 bets in a row, your next wager would be $2,560. Unfortunately, this isn't possible on a $2,000 max bet table.

Most experienced casino players will strongly advise against using the Martingale because it's so risky. In fact, any system that calls on you to make larger bets when you're losing (negative progression) is very risky.