The Martingale Betting System

Many novices rely predominantly on their intuition when they first join the roulette table. However, others consider that adopting a suitable betting system prior to committing to real-money wagers may greatly improve their chances of turning a profit. One of the most well-known betting systems that are employed by lovers of the table game is the Martingale. Devised over three hundred years ago, the Martingale is now one of the oldest and most commonly-used betting systems that are still in existence.

The system is predominantly used by inexperienced roulette players because it is quite easy to learn, but they often overlook the fact that it can be rather tricky. Being a negative progressive system, the Martingale requires players to increase their stake after each loss and decrease it after a win. The following article aims at introducing players to the Martingale system, its variations, advantages, and disadvantages.

How the Martingale Betting System Works

The system is considered most suitable for even-money wagers, such as the Red/Black, Odd/Even, and High/Low bets. In its most basic form, the Martingale system requires players to double their bets after each successive loss. Once a player wins, they are expected to reduce their bet amount to its initial value. Players need to keep on staking an amount that is equal to the base bet unit they have chosen until another loss occurs when the next bet is doubled again.

The idea behind the Martingale is that players will eventually break out of their losing streak and will be able to recover from the losses with their next winning bet. However, it is important to mention that their net profit will coincide with the amount of their initial wager. That is the reason why they should think carefully about the base bet unit they will make use of. Furthermore, while settling on the amount they will initially stake, players should take into consideration the size of their bankroll and make sure that it will endure when long losing streaks occur.

Let’s use the following example to demonstrate how the Martingale system works in roulette. Imagine you start with a basic betting unit of £5 and your first even-money bet on red loses. You need to double up your second bet to £10, and let’s assume that you lose again. Your third even-money bet should be £20. After another loss, your fourth bet would amount to £40. This time, luck is on your side and you win. It turns out you have lost £35 on your first three bets but have recovered from the loss by winning £40 with your fourth bet, with a net profit of £5. Now that you have won, you need to reduce your next stake to the original betting unit of £5. This is what the Martingale betting system is all about.

As you can see, the Martingale system enables players to win back the lost amount after a long losing streak, but their profit of one betting unit is far from impressive. You may think experiencing a bad streak of seven or eight losses in a row is not a likely scenario with even-money bets in roulette, but it is. In fact, such losing streaks take place with much greater frequency than players might imagine. This is a detail that should not be neglected because in such cases, the amount casino enthusiasts will be required to put on the line will expand significantly within a short period of time.

If this happens, there is a good chance of you reaching the table limit prior to recovering your losses with a single winning bet.

The Martingale system is effective in the short-term but is not regarded as a suitable option for players with smaller bankrolls as they risk running out of money to play with prior to recovering from their lengthy losing streak.

The Martingale System
Spin Bet (units) Outcome Total Profit
1 5 LOSS -5
2 10 LOSS -15
3 20 WIN 5
4 5 WIN 10
5 5 WIN 15
6 5 LOSS 10
7 10 LOSS 0
8 20 LOSS -20
9 40 WIN 20
10 5 LOSS 15
11 10 WIN 25
12 5 LOSS 20
13 10 WIN 30

Variations of the Martingale System

The wild popularity of the Martingale betting system among players has led to the emergence of different variations. The Reverse Martingale and the Grand Martingale are the two most popular variants. Mini Martingale is one more variant of the popular roulette betting system gambling enthusiasts might wish to read up on. Below, you will find more information on how these three systems work.

Mini Martingale Betting System

What makes this variant of the betting system stand out from the crowd is that while employing it, gambling enthusiasts will be prompted to decide on the number of times they will double the staked amount.

By imposing such a limit, roulette players will be prevented from risking such overwhelming amounts in an attempt to compensate for their losses from the previous rounds.

Yet, in spite of the fact that making use of this variant of the betting system might seem like a good idea to you, you should be mindful of the fact that it does have its limitations and weaknesses. Although players will be prevented from risking too much of their funds, they should keep in mind that sometimes, they might be required to put the breaks on the usage of the betting system without reaching the point when they have made up for their previous losses.

In other words, while utilising the Mini Martingale betting system, they might once again lose money, and the only difference here is that they will do so at a much slower pace in comparison with the situation when players will use the original version of the betting system.

Of course, there is always the chance that luck might be on your side that day, and you might walk away with hefty payouts, but it will be best if you do not pin your hopes on that betting system.

The Reverse Martingale System

The Reverse Martingale system, also known as the Anti-Martingale, turns the classic betting system around as it enables players to take advantage of their winning streaks instead of trying to chase down their losses. Those, who implement the Reverse Martingale are expected to double their bets each time they win and go back to their starting betting unit after each loss.

The player starts with the lowest stake that is allowed at the table and places flat, even-money bets until they succeed in winning. Once a win occurs, players will need to double the size of their bet for the next spin of the wheel. When a loss occurs, players need to go back to their initial betting amount.

The Reverse Martingale system relies on the idea that roulette players are always faced with winning and losing streaks. By doubling the bets when on a winning streak and decreasing the stakes while on a losing streak, the player is bound to turn a long-term profit.

One major disadvantage of the Reverse Martingale results from the fact that players may end up wiping out all their winnings with a single loss. That is why a good amount of discipline is required when you decide to implement this variation of the betting system. Good judgment is necessary for determining how far to carry one’s winning streak. After all, a streak of seven or eight consecutive wins occurs rarely, so players must revert to their starting betting units before they wipe out their profits with a single loss.

Although some gambling enthusiasts are keener on the idea to apply this variant of the betting system because it seems like a safer alternative, they should not forget that it is not a foolproof means of getting the massive wins they might be after.

The Reverse Martingale System
Spin Bet (units) Outcome Total Profit
1 5 LOSS -5
2 5 LOSS -10
3 5 WIN -5
4 10 WIN 5
5 20 WIN 25
6 40 LOSS -15
7 5 LOSS -20
8 5 LOSS -25
9 5 WIN -20
10 10 LOSS -30
11 5 WIN -25
12 10 WIN -15
13 20 WIN 5

The Grand Martingale System

The Grand Martingale, also known as the Great Martingale, ranks as one of the most popular variations of this negative progressive betting system. As was mentioned previously, players who resort to the Martingale system might get a profit that is equal to their initial betting unit. Therefore, the gains will be far from substantial. The Grand Martingale sets out to resolve this issue.

Rather than simply doubling their bets after each loss, players are expected to double their stake and add their initial betting unit. For instance, if you lose a bet of 2 betting units, your next stake will be 5 instead of 4 units. Thus, if you happen to lose three times in a row and win with your fourth bet, the betting sequence will be as follows – 2, 5, 11, 23. You would have won 46 units after betting a total of 41 units, which makes for a net profit of 5 units. As you can see, if you follow the Grand Martingale, your net profit will be greater than your initial betting unit, provided that you manage to break from the losing streak you have ended up in.

Some players opt for adding two units instead of one to their doubled stake as they have reached the conclusion that they can still sustain eight losses in a row prior to reaching the table limit. However, this course of action is only suitable for players with more substantial bankrolls.

No matter whether you will opt for adding just one or two bet units to the staked amount, this will be of little avail as players will still be unable to overcome the main stumbling block of the betting system. More specifically, they might not make it to the point when they will be on profit simply because the staked amount has hit the table limits or their funds do not suffice to cover their next stake.

You should be aware that adhering to this roulette betting system can turn out to be exceptionally detrimental to your bankroll due to the fact that this time, the amount you will be required to risk will escalate with greater speed in comparison with the occasions when players employ the Mini Martingale betting system.

The Grand Martingale System
Spin Bet (units) Outcome Total Profit
1 2 LOSS -2
2 5 LOSS -7
3 11 LOSS -18
4 23 WIN 5
5 2 WIN 7
6 2 LOSS 5
7 5 LOSS 0
8 11 LOSS -11
9 23 LOSS -34
10 47 WIN 13
11 2 LOSS 11
12 5 LOSS 6
13 11 WIN 17

Martingale Betting System Used on Dozen Bets

As you might already know, the bulk of the roulette betting systems are applied to outside wagers that pay even money, which is the case with bets laid on Even, Odd, High, Low, Red, and Black. As it seems, the Martingale betting system can be employed also when players opt for column or dozen bets.

What is worth noting about these bet types is that each of them covers a total of 12 numbers, and they do not reward even-money payoffs as instead pay at the rate of 2:1.

If we assume that the amount players have staked is £1, the profit they will get if their bet wins is £2, while the casino will collect £1 if their prediction is not accurate. If another loss incurs, the amount players will have lost will be £2. If they win on their second bet, the profit gambling enthusiasts will collect will be £1, and so on.

As players can see, the profit they will enjoy if they stick to this course of action will invariably range between £1 and £2. Yet, what is important to note is that this time, the numbers will not go up at such a fast pace, which comes about when roulette mavens apply the Martingale betting system to outside wagers that grant even money.

Just imagine that you have gone through 15 consecutive losses, this will mean that so far, you will have parted with £709, and the next wager you need to lay should be £355 so that you could compensate for your previous losses. On such occasions, your total outlay will be £1.064, which is a significant amount of money, especially when having in mind that the stake you lay compromises less than ⅓ of all numbers the roulette wheel features.

Some players who are rather risk-averse might be intrigued by the idea to opt for double dozen or column betting. In this way, they apply the Martingale betting system while making two dozen or two column bets at the same time.

As it seems, this approach appeals to some gambling aficionados due to the fact that the stakes they make will cover half of the numbers from the roulette wheel. It goes without saying that this translates into a greater chance of getting wins more frequently.

As you might expect, this approach also has its flaws due to the fact that the amount players need to stake needs to be tripled whenever a loss incurs. Just imagine that you have gone through six losses in a row. Your losses will mount at a fast pace and will stand at £728.

Roulette lovers should know that there is also a Straight-up Martingale variant. As can be expected from the name, making use of this version of the betting system will mean that you need to focus your attention on inside bets, and more specifically, on the Straight-up ones. Even if you decide to give this version of the betting system a chance, you should be prepared that the end result will invariably be the same as with the above-mentioned versions.

Once again, players should take into account the fact that the betting progression is likely to be rather steep because the probability of an individual number to become a winning one is 2.70% in single-zero roulette games and 2.60% with games where there is an additional zero field on the betting layout. Perhaps, casino aficionados are already aware that such stakes pay at the rate of 35:1 when they are winning ones.

While using the Straight-up Martingale, players will be required to put £10 on a stake. If the number loses, you will need to bet £10 again, but it is important to note that you should not necessarily settle on the same number again. If we presume that the chosen number does not hit again, you should once again lay a straight bet of the same amount, and you should keep on doing so until you manage to correctly predict the next winning number.

If the chosen number hits on your first stake, this will mean that you will collect 350 units. Yet, imagine that you place 35 bets, and none of them is a winning one. This will make for an outlay of 350 units.

Advantages of the Martingale Betting System

The biggest advantage the Martingale system has to offer is that players are guaranteed to turn a profit in the short term. If a player succeeds in winning after a longer losing streak, their profit will be enough to offset the previous losses.

As we mentioned above, the Martingale betting system revolves around outside wagers that pay even money. Unlike inside bets that are much riskier, but provide heftier payoffs, the risk inherent to outside roulette bets is not that grave. In spite of that, gambling enthusiasts should not forget that there is not a roulette betting system, the Martingale included, that never fails and delivers regular wins.

One of the biggest advantages of the Martingale system is that it is easy to understand and learn, which renders it suitable for both roulette novices and more experienced players. While using it, players will not need to face any complex equations, which is sometimes the case with betting systems of that breed, which certainly gives it some advantage over them.

The popularity of this roulette betting system can be ascribed also to the fact that it can be employed while placing your stakes over the Internet or while playing in a brick-and-mortar casino.

Disadvantages of the Martingale Betting System

One of the biggest disadvantages of the Martingale system is that a longer losing streak might result in players wiping out all their profits. From this, it follows that players are risking way too much money in an attempt to turn a small profit. As longer losing streaks are bound to occur sooner or later, the Martingale system is not suitable for players who have smaller bankrolls.

Then again, if you follow the system long enough, there will come a point when you either have no more money to bet with or you reach the maximum stake at the roulette table, in which case you will not be able to win back your previous losses. This comes to explain why knowledgeable roulette players are likely to warn you off that using the Martingale betting system is not such a good idea as it might seem at first.

Of course, there is always the option to cut your losses and start from scratch with your initial betting unit but it is almost certain you will have wiped out the profits you have previously accumulated. That is why many experienced roulette players believe that the Martingale works only in the short term and is unlikely to be workable when it comes to guaranteeing consistent wins.

It is essential to remember that the longer you employ the betting system, the more likely you will be to lose, and the losses you will experience will almost certainly increase alarmingly fast.

Can the Martingale Betting System Beat the Casino Advantage

In spite of the fact that the disadvantages of the Martingale betting system should not be overlooked, this does not mean that players should not use it if they want so. What they should be mindful of is that employing that betting system will not help them amass a fortune as some of them might expect because the profit they can potentially yield will always be equal to the base bet unit they have chosen.

In fact, the Martingale betting system can sometimes work well even when a larger time span is taken into account, but this is only possible if players steer clear of long losing streaks. As we mentioned above, such are bound to happen while betting on roulette, so players need to be prepared to deal with the losing rounds.

Perhaps, one of the most essential things players should keep in mind is that the house advantage cannot be overcome, no matter whether they are using the Martingale or any other roulette betting system. By employing a betting system, they will not improve their chances of winning either. As we mentioned above, players are more likely to win on outside bets as their probability of winning is invariably 48.65%, and this probability will remain unaffected, no matter if they decide to augment or decrease the value of their stakes.

The same applies to the built-in edge the casino enjoys over roulette mavens as it will remain 2.70% for European-style and 5.26% for American-style roulette variations. No matter if you decide to apply the Martingale or any other betting system, it is most likely that you will wind up in the same place, more specifically, you are likely to lose to the casino.

If we pay attention to the original Martingale betting system and we assume that your initial wager was £5, and you have experienced six successive losses, this will mean that your next wager should be worth £320, which is 64 times the bet unit you originally opted for. In this scenario, the losses you have experienced will be worth £315. Another losing wager will mean that you need to augment your next stake to £640.

As likely as not, at this point, players might have already run out of funds or hit the ceiling on the stakes, thus making it impossible to get a win that will outweigh the losses they have seen so far. This is exactly where the betting system comes to a cropper as it will be practicable if players’ bankroll is infinite or there is no ceiling on the wagers they can lay. This comes to explain why using the Martingale betting system is not recommended.