Martingale Strategy – Learn How This Betting System Works In Casinos & Sportsbooks
Last Updated: October 13, 2023
The Martingale strategy is one of the oldest and best-known strategies in the gambling world. Those who use it claim that it’s one of the most effective ways to ensure profitability when gambling. Many gamblers and bettors use the Martingale strategy without even realizing it.
But, while its application is undeniable, the Martingale system also comes with some drawbacks you should be aware of before using it.
So, whether you want to bet on sports or use this system when playing your favorite online casino games, this detailed guide on the Martingale betting system will teach you everything you need to know.
What Is the Martingale Strategy?
The Martingale strategy is a very simple gambling/betting system. It has been around for over 200 years, having been invented in France in the 18th century.
The Martingale system aims for quick loss recovery, enabling bettors to instantly recover all of their losses with just one win.
How Does the Martingale Strategy Work?
The Martingale strategy works on pretty simple principles. It uses negative progression, meaning that it requires you to raise your bet size after every loss. The sizing rule is simple and easy to remember, as it only involves doubling your bets.
The first step is to set a base unit and wager it on your first bet. If you lose, you increase your bet to two base units. This sequence can progress to 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, and so on.
As long as you keep losing, you should double the number of units you previously wagered. With such a steep progression, the Martingale strategy can quickly lead you to make massive bets.
Because of this, your base unit should be as small as possible. Ideally, you should set it to match the minimum limit of the game you’re playing.
After every win, you should revert to your original bet. No matter how many times you’ve increased your betting units, always go back to the base unit after a win.
The Pros and Cons of the Martingale System
The Martingale betting system is deservedly one of the most popular systems among gamblers and sports bettors. That said, it’s not without its flaws.
With this in mind, it’s essential to look at both sides of the coin and understand both the benefits and the drawbacks of the Martingale strategy.
The biggest advantage of the Martingale system is that it works pretty well in consistently delivering short-term small wins. Plus, the way the bet sizes are structured, Martingale is great for quickly recovering losses with a single win.
One more perk of this system is that it’s very easy to learn and apply. You can use it for a variety of casino games and when betting on sports. It doesn’t get more complex the longer you play, as some other betting systems do.
The main disadvantage of the Martingale system is apparent. If you get on a string of bad losses, you could quickly lose your entire bankroll if it’s not sizable enough. The bets can increase rapidly, and you can lose all of your money before you know it.
For example, if you were to experience a really poor session and lose ten times in a row, you would lose over a thousand times your original bet. This is something even those with hefty bankrolls will struggle to endure.
And, since losing streaks will certainly come at one point, you need to make sure that your bankroll can withstand this. Otherwise, it’s best to avoid this strategy altogether and opt for a different strategy with a more conservative bet sizing system.
Another disadvantage of the Martingale system is that you’re potentially risking substantial parts of your bankroll for minimal returns. This high-risk system is certainly not for the faint of heart and those who want to keep it safe when gambling and betting.
You can use the Martingale betting system in any casino game that offers bets with even-money payouts. When placing such bets, you can keep your strategy simple and just bet on the same outcome until you win.
For example, roulette is the perfect game for the Martingale system. As you can place even-money bets like red/black, odd/even, and high/low, roulette makes it easy to size your bets and track your results using the Martingale system.
Of course, you can use this strategy for other casino games, such as blackjack and slots. But, using the Martingale system in these games is a bit more challenging than in roulette.
This is because these games don’t offer even-money bets, so it can be difficult to keep track of the correct bet sizes.
Keep in mind, even when placing even-money bets, you need to account for the house edge. For instance, the house edge in European roulette is 2.70%, and in blackjack, it’s between 0.5% and 2%.
These small percentages ensure the casino’s profitability long-term that you can’t negate, even if the Martingale system serves you well.
Can the Martingale System Beat the House Edge?
No, the Martingale strategy doesn’t help minimize the house edge or shift the odds in your favor. The house edge is a built-in feature that comes with all casino games. It ensures that the casino always wins long-term.
Considering this, you shouldn’t try to use the Martingale system to beat the house edge. Instead, it should only serve as a betting strategy that enables you to have a methodical approach to every bet you place.
How Does Martingale Sports Betting Work?
Keeping in mind the above, you can use the Martingale system in sports betting as well. However, it will only work for bets that double your initial wager. For example, when placing a $10 base unit bet on an outcome that will give you a $10 profit.
In these situations, using the Martingale strategy is pretty straightforward. After every loss, simply double the bet size. So, if your initial $10 bet loses, just bet $20 the next time, and so on, until you win. Then, return to your base unit of $10.
In essence, it works the same as in casino games, as long as you pick even-money bets. This makes the Martingale an excellent system for those who like to dabble in both gambling and sports betting.
The Anti-Martingale System – The Most Popular Martingale Variation
Due to its wide-reaching popularity, the Martingale system served as an inspiration for many different variations. Some of the most popular ones include the Grand Martingale, the Mini Martingale, and the Anti-Martingale system.
Out of these three, the latter is arguably the most popular one. The Anti-Martingale system, also known as the Reverse Martingale, follows a simple premise.
As the name implies, it uses the opposite system of the one in Martingale. Instead of doubling your bets after every loss, you do so after every win.
This also means it serves a different purpose than the Martingale system. While the Martingale aims to provide quick loss recovery, the Anti-Martingale’s goal is to capitalize on win streaks. It can provide bigger wins, but is also riskier than the Martingale, as your sessions can more easily result in a loss.
What Are The Best Martingale Alternatives?
The Martingale system is certainly one of the most popular betting systems for casinos and sportsbooks. That said, many bettors and gamblers still might find that its cons outweigh the pros.
For them, exploring some alternative betting systems can provide a better solution. With that in mind, here are some of the best alternative systems you can use instead of the Martingale strategy:
The D’Alembert System
After the Martingale Strategy, the D’Alembert system is perhaps the most popular betting system among bettors and gamblers. Like the Martingale strategy, it’s a negative progression betting system in which you increase your bets after a loss.
However, the D’Alembert system is a much safer betting strategy, as you don’t increase your bets so aggressively after losses. In other words, the chances of massive losses are minimized, but so are the opportunities for quickly recouping your previous losses.
Instead of simply doubling your bets like you would with the Martingale strategy, you will use a base unit, and increase your wagers by one unit after every loss.
For instance, if you set a base unit of $10 and lose your first bet, you will bet $20 on the next wager. If you lose again, you will bet $30, then $40, and so on. It involves slower progression and is more forgiving on your bankroll than the Martingale strategy.
The Fibonacci System
The Fibonacci sequence is a well-known sequence of numbers in mathematics. The Fibonacci betting system is based on this sequence, as you increase your bet sizes by the number of units represented in the sequence after every loss.
Each subsequent number in the sequence equals the sum of two previous numbers. When using the Fibonacci sequence to bet, you would always follow this pattern: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on.
At first glance, the sequence looks challenging to follow but isn’t overly complicated with a bit of practice.
That said, it’s closer to the Martingale strategy than to the D’Alembert system in terms of risk, as prolonged losses can mean further progression down the sequence and increasingly more sizable bets.
The Paroli System
Arguably the best-known positive progression betting system, the Paroli system takes an approach opposite to the other strategies we’ve discussed on this page.
After every win, you should increase your bet by adding one base stake value. In this sense, the Paroli system is most similar to the D’Alembert system, only you’re increasing bets after wins and not losses.
With that in mind, for this system to work, you need to set a base stake value. For instance, you can set it at $10. After every win, you add $10 to your overall bet size.
But, after every loss, no matter the size of your bet, you should revert to your original base bet value, in this case, $10.
The main appeal behind the Paroli system is that the chances of losing your entire bankroll are minimal. It’s a much better pick for risk-averse gamblers and bettors, and those with limited bankrolls.
Is the Martingale System Right For You?
Knowing how the Martingale system works and understanding its pros and cons, you can decide whether this strategy is the right pick for you. One thing is sure, it’s a risky betting system that can be very exciting and is great for quickly recouping losses.
But, it can easily bankrupt you if your bankroll isn’t up to the challenge. If you find this works for you, you can enjoy using the Martingale system in both casinos and sportsbooks.
If not, there are many other popular betting and gambling strategies worth exploring. The most common Martingale alternatives listed on this page can be great picks if you find this betting system too risky or not suited based on your preferences.
With so many options, it’s key to carefully pick a betting strategy that best fits your betting style and bankroll. This will ensure you have a fun time and maximize your long-term success chances.