The Martingale Betting System - Does It Work?
One popular strategy that seems to have survived both the course of time and notably also the transition of land-based casino games to the online realm is the "Martingale" betting system. Fundamentally, its tremendous popularity probably boils down to its simplicity as well as its deceptive appearance of effectiveness. Interested in learning more about the Martingale system? If so, have a read through CasinoTop10’s full guide on the betting system.
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The Martingale system emerges as one of the oldest betting systems that can be found in the canon of books dedicated to casino games and seems to date back to a time when casinos first became popular in gambling meccas across Europe during the 18th century. As stated by many before us, this particular system of betting is one which is famous for its method of doubling up after each loss which makes it extremely easy to calculate progressions. Contrastingly, when a win is generated, a player must bet his/her base stake instead.
So, How did the Martingale System originate?
Perhaps the Martingale system owes much of its fame to the London-based casino owner, John Martindale, who was so convinced that the casino’s house edge managed to combat the majority of gamblers’s pursuits to win that he often encouraged players to use the double-up betting system in order to be able to prosper from their losses whilst they played at his casino. Moreover, it is widely accepted that this betting system inherited its appellation from the contortion of this British casino owner’s last name, despite the origins of its name being heavily clouded in mystery. In actual fact, the only letter that is different is the letter ‘d’ which was presumably substituted and replaced with the letter ‘g’ in John Henry Martindale ‘s last name to create a name for this famous system.
Despite Martindale’s thoughts on the betting strategy, over a hundred years after its creation, the Martingale betting system proved to be extremely successful for Mr.Charles Wells who managed to triumph over the casino when he applied the system to a game of Roulette. By using this method of wagering, the casino aficionado managed to beat the casino by breaking the bank 12 times within a mere 3 days in one of Europe’s most prestigious gambling meccas; Monte Carlo. His colossal win of 1,000,000 francs, that he surprisingly managed to generate from his initial investment of 4,000 francs, was so ground breaking in the casino realm that he served as inspiration for Charles Coborn’s song, ‘The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo’.
The Principal of the Martingale System
Similarly to all other progressive betting systems out there, the main idea behind the Martingale betting system draws on the Gambler’s Fallacy which is the assumption that an event will most likely occur because it has not occurred in a while. Hence, it is for this reason that the Martingale betting system requires you to double your stakes when experiencing a loss in an attempt to re-acquire what you’ve lost. Moreover, the fact that this system chases losses in such a manner is why it is considered to fall under the category of negative progressive betting systems rather than positive which contrast mainly based on this factor.
Which Casino Games can you use the Martingale System on?
On speaking to any seasoned gambler about the Martingale system, you’d discover that its one which is mostly implemented by avid gamblers who choose to play Roulette. However, one thing they’d also tell you is that it’s also applied to other casino games which offer bettors the opportunity of placing even money bets. Such table games include Blackjack, Baccarat and the dice game Craps.
If you’ve never used the Martingale betting system before, you’ll be glad to know that its rules are very simple and incredibly easy to follow whilst you’re placing your bets on any casino game of your choice. Typically, this negative progressive betting system is implemented when playing casino games which offer gamblers the possibility of placing even money bets. Like other progressive betting systems out there you’ll be required to decide on your base stake before you begin. Ultimately, this will be the most important decision you’ll make when you’re playing a casino game using the Martingale Betting System. Have a look at the 2 rules below to get started!
Rule 1) Double Up Every Time You Lose
The simple idea behind the Martingale system is to double up every time you lose. If you bet $5 and lose, you’ll need to bet $10 the next time. If you lose again, you’ll then be required to bet $20.
In a game in which a player can expect to lose, for example, three times out of four, he should come out ahead. (Player bets $5 and loses -$5, then bets $10 and loses, -$15, then bets $20 and loses -$35, then bets $40 and wins, +$5).
Rule 2) Stick to Your Base Stake When You Win
Since the Martingale is a negative progressive system in nature, you won’t have to double up after every win. Instead, each time you experience a win when using this system you will be required to bet your base stake. So, if you set your base stake at $5, you’ll be required to bet this amount during the next round in the manner that's shown above.
If you still feel uncertain about how to the betting system works, we recommend that you have a look at our example of the Martingale System when it is applied to the game of Roulette.
For the sake of this example, let’s say that you’ve chosen to play a game of Roulette with a minimum bet of $5 and due to the fact that you’ve got $1,000 at your disposal, you decide to stick to $5 as your base stake.
On commencing your game of Roulette, you’d be required to bet your base stake on an even money bet. So let’s say you decide to place your $5 chip on the ‘Red’ compartment of the table game’s outside betting area and when the black and red wheel is spun by the dealer the ball lands on black. Now since you’ve bet on red, this will result in a loss on your part and your net dollar income would stand at $ -5.
Since in this case you would have experienced a loss during the first round of the game, you’d be required to double up your initial bet. Hence, this time you’d have to bet a total of $10 instead. Let’s say for the sake of argument that you decide to place your casino chip on ‘Red’ again and the result is once again a loss, you’ll then be down by $15.
Now during your third round, your bet will have to increase again to double the amount you had bet previously. Ergo, you’ll need to bet $20 in order to keep following the system correctly. During this round you bet $20 on ‘Red’ and finally experience a win. Hence, now your net dollar income would stand at $40 minus the $15 that you had previously lost during the previous two rounds. Ergo, your total profit will be $25.
Gamblers from all across the globe are always trying to find out how to get an edge over the casino and a common misconception the world over is that using a betting system will better your odds of winning a massive sum of cash whilst playing your game of choice. Well, we hate to break it to you but using a betting system will not better you chances of winning. It will only provide a method to bet systematically.
The Martingale system is in fact no exception to the statement above and should never be used in an attempt to beat the house edge as it will definitely not work. The reason for this is that while prolonged winning streaks or losing streaks are statistically less likely than small alternating patterns of wins and losses, they do happen. When they do, the Martingale player will run up against the house limits or the limits of his own bankroll. Betting $10 to start, a ten round losing streak will wipe out a bankroll of $10,000.
Should You Ever Use the Martingale System?
The Martingale system should never be used as an attempt to win long-term profit. But can indeed help generate short-term profit, provided of course that lady luck has placed her hand on your shoulder.
Now if this is what you want from your casino experience, go ahead and try out the Martingale. Yet, in the end, using a negative progressive system will require you to risk most of your bankroll in order to leave you in the running of winning a small amount of cash. So, you decide if it’s really worth using or not.
Yet, if you’ve taken everything into consideration and still wish to use the Martingale system whilst playing casino games for real-money, we advise you to have a bankroll of at least $200 if you plan on placing setting your base stake at $1 or a $1,000 bankroll if you’re planning on setting your base stake at $5. In addition to this, you also have to be willing to play for a long time in order to reap in the rewards. Moreover, you must also be willing to place bets which are quite large in size and also be prepared to lose it as one of the great risks. Fact is you can actually lose a lot of money whilst using the Martingale system provided that you’re actually unlucky enough to have a terrible losing streak.
Bear in mind that you as a player will only be able to succeed and win a large amount of cash when using the Martingale betting system when its two main principles are upheld consistently. This means that you must only keep doubling your bet when you lose and you must bet your base stake when you manage to generate a win. You should note that if the pattern is interrupted at any point or if it’s limited by factors which are external to the betting system, the scope of using it will be nullified.
Now if you’ve concluded that this betting system is not one you’d like to use, we recommend trying a positive progressive betting system based on raising the bets when winning rather than when losing instead. These systems are based on making the most out of winning streaks rather than covering your losses. Such betting systems include: the Paroli system, the Reverse D’Alembert amongst many more. Ultimately, whether you win or lose whilst using this kind of progressive system is always healthier for your bankroll.
Easy to Use
The Martingale betting system certainly wins points for its simplicity in our books. Basically, this betting system only involves implementing two very clear cut rules:
1/ Double your bet when you experience a loss;
2/ Stick to your base stake when you win.
You can set your base stake as low or high as you desire.
Using this system allows you to choose your base stake based on the amount of money you’ve decided to dedicate to your bankroll.
Enables you to generate short term profit
Implementing the Martingale system can allow you to generate some short term profit when used correctly and when you continue to play for a long time. Yet, if your goal is to make a large sum in return for your investment, you should look for another betting system to use.
Applying the Martingale System makes the game more interesting
Although the application of the Martingale System to any casino game will not change affect the edge the casino has over its players, implementing this system will make the game you’re playing will certainly make the game a bit more interesting.
The Disadvantages of the Martingale System
Does not affect the house edge
Implementing the Martingale betting system will not ultimately affect the odds. In fact, contrary to the belief of many casino novices, no betting system has the capability of doing so.
Bet sizes increases exponentially
If you’re using the Martingale betting system, you’re probably well aware that implementing this system will require you to double your bets in response to experiencing a loss.
Requires an unlimited bankroll to gurantee success
Unless you experience a long lucky streak, you could possibly run out of money very easily. In advising players to double up on their losing bet, the Martingale system is attempting to chase losses. Now if you run into a few losses and you’ve been doubling up every time, you’ll find it hard or even impossible to retrieve the entire amount that you’ve lost.
Reaching the Table Limit is quite Possible
Since you’re doubling up after every single loss, the amount you’ll be required to bet increases rapidly. In effect, this might cause you to surpass the table limit of the particular game that you’ve chosen to play.
Small reward in return for a big risk
Despite the fact that there is some sort of merit to using this betting system in small doses, relying on it completely can turn out to be a costly mistake. Of course, this statement applies provided that you have a losing streak and keep doubling your bets every time you lose as the Martingale instructs players to do. Indeed, you might find yourself in a situation where the amount you’ve wager is extremely large in comparison to the reward. Hence, if you’re looking for far greater profits that can be achieved with this strategy, then you should perhaps look into using another betting system instead.
Difficult to recognize when you should get out of the game
If you’ve gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle by using the Martingale system, due to generating a lot of consecutive losses, you might find it difficult to recognize when you should just leave the table. Keep in mind that the Martingale system is one that chases losses by betting big after a loss has been made. But if you’ve lost, we don’t really recommend chasing your losses by wagering a colossal amount of money as you’ll possibly get really carried away in trying to get your money back and to top off your efforts you might actually end up losing more than you bargained for!
On the other hand, provided that lady luck is on your side and you do happen to win by implementing the Martingale system, you should leave the table after you’ve managed to win a few times as you might just end up losing it all!
The creation of the Maritngale betting system fueled the formulation of many other variations as a result which all attempted to fix the original’s flaws. These include the following systems below:
- The Mini Martingale System
- Great Martingale System
- Anti-Martingale System
- Cancellation System
The Mini Martingale System
This particular variation of the Martingale system is based on the same principles as the Martingale system; however, this variation tackles the problem of recognizing when one should stop betting that its predecessor had. The idea behind the mini Martingale system is that it prevents wagers from rocketing very quickly. Yet, while it does limit the amount of times you’re required to double up and you will in fact lose money slower, you are less likely manage to get a profitable win in the process.
The Great Martingale System /Grand Martingale System
The Great Martingale System, which is also popularly known as the Rothstein System or the Grand Martingale System, is an alternative to the betting systems classic form; the original Martingale System which attempts to tackle the initial problem that the system had in the first place.
Similarly to the classic Martingale system, bets are increased by double the amount of the previous round right after each loss; however, this betting system attempts to take things one step further by adding one more unit to the betting amount. After each win, the player is advised to regress and bet their base stake instead.
The Paroli System
The Paroli betting system, which is also widely known as the Reverse Martingale betting system, also takes its roots from its way older cousin the Martingale System. This particular betting system is the direct opposite of the Martingale betting system and falls under the positive progression category which is a safer option for gamblers to use in order to minimize the risk of depleting their bankroll completely without covering losses or winning any money. Basically, it operates under two principals. These are to double up after generating a win and to revert to your base stake when you’ve experienced a loss. If you’d like to learn more about the Paroli betting system and how to implement it, we urge you to read our article on the Paroli system.
The D’Alembert System
Another adaptation of the Martingale betting system is the D’Alembert betting system which was coined by Jean Le Rond. This particular method of betting is also negative in nature. However, the progressions are not as steep as those of the Martingale system and using this betting system will grant you a better chance to recoup any losses you’ve made. Fundamentally, using this betting system will entail increasing your bets by one unit each time you lose and decreasing it each time you manage to generate a win. If you’d like to learn more about the D’Alemebert System, we urge you to read our full guide on it.
The Labouchere System
If you’re a James Bond fan, you’ve probably most certainly heard about the Labouchere Betting System. This negative progressive betting system is one which is known by more than one name. These names include the Cancellation System, the Split Martingale and the American Progression. Although it fundamentally takes much of its roots from the classic Martingale system, it operates a bit differently. Sure, you’ll have to increase your bet when you lose and decrease them when you win. But this system is not based on doubling your bets. Instead, it works in precision with your own personal betting sequence. If you’d like to discover all about this betting strategy and how to use it, you should definitely take a look through our Labouchere article which delves into all the nitty gritty details.
Interesting in using the Martingale betting system at a real money casino? If so, you should definitely attempt to test the waters out for yourself first by playing one of CasinoTop10’s free HTML5 games using free play money first. Play our Free Roulette, Free Blackjack game, Free Baccarat or Free Craps games to decide whether or not this system is worth your time and money.
Use the Martingale Betting System to win with Real-Money today!
If you’d love to follow in the footsteps of Charles Wells and just happen to possess a mammoth amount of money that you’re lucky enough to be able to gamble with to your heart’s content, then the Martingale Betting System is an excellent strategic betting method to use. Yet, most of us gamblers, who don’t have an infinite bankroll at our disposal, will find it very hard to make up for the losses we’ve run into whilst playing our favorite casino game and will probably unfortunately end up with empty pockets by the end of our game’s cycle. Nevertheless, if you do decide to use this system, always consider two things; how much money you’re prepared to wager and if the result will prove to be profitable. If you’d like to use this betting system whilst playing for real-money, we recommend signing up to one of our casinos where you’ll be able to benefit from an increase in bankroll thanks to the casino’s bonuses! So what are you waiting for? Start gambling at a desktop or Mobile Casino today!