Plenty of famous betting systems exist throughout the gaming world. However, the Martingale is arguably the most famous of these betting systems. You’ve probably heard of it throughout your gambling journey, especially if you’ve been reading about tips and tricks online.
The system relies on a simple concept that sees you double bets after losses. This simplicity makes the Martingale very popular at both land-based and online casinos.
If you’re going to use this system, though, I highly recommend that you only do so at real money online casinos. I’ll explain the reason why after discussing the basics of the Martingale.
How Does the Martingale Gambling System Work?
Again, this betting system is simpler than most staking strategies. If you’re unfamiliar with it, though, then you can quickly read through the steps below.
Step 1: Bet the Table’s Minimum
You begin using the Martingale by placing the table’s minimum bet. If the minimum wager is $5, for example, then this is what you should be risking in the early going.
Now, you may be someone who likes wagering more than the minimum. But this system is so risky that you should bet as little as possible to start.
Step 2: Double Bets After Every Loss
You continue placing the minimum wager until suffering your first loss. At this point, you keep doubling your next bet.
Assuming this wager loses, then you’ll double the next bet as well. You continue in this fashion so long as you’re stuck in a losing streak.
Step 3: Return to the Original Stake After Wins
You don’t stop doubling bets until finally booking a win. At this point, you return to the original stake and start over.
The Martingale helps ensure that you always win back losses. It should also leave you with a small profit afterward.
Here’s an example on how this scenario plays out:
- You bet $1 and lose (losses at $1).
- You bet $2 and lose (losses at $3).
- You bet $4 and lose (losses at $7).
- You bet $8 and lose (losses at $15).
- You bet $16 and win (winnings at $1).
- Start over with a $1 wager.
What Games Should You Use the Martingale With?
The Martingale is one of the most volatile gambling systems. It requires you to make larger and larger bets as you lose more and more.
With that said, you definitely don’t want to employ this system on volatile games like slot machines. Otherwise, you’re just adding more volatility to the equation, and you could quickly lose your bankroll this way.
This betting strategy is only effective with even-money bets. Therefore, you want to focus on table games that feature even-money wagers.
These games include roulette, craps, blackjack, and baccarat. Roulette is definitely the most popular game when it comes to the Martingale system.
However, any of the other games will do because they all offer even-money payouts and deliver frequent wins. As a result, you can better sustain your bankroll and survive the Martingale system’s volatility.
This Gambling System Is Extremely Risky
I can’t stress how careful you should be with this staking strategy. Many gamblers have been ruined by taking the wrong approach with it.
However, this isn’t to say that the Martingale isn’t worth a shot. You just need to understand the downsides associated with it.
Here are the two big problems with the Martingale:
- Casinos have a maximum betting limit (e.g. $500), meaning you eventually won’t be able to double wagers after a certain bet size.
- Even if there were no max bet, you’d need infinite funds to ensure that you never lose your entire bankroll.
The Martingale is a negative progression system, meaning it involves raising bets when you’re losing. Again, the goal is to get out of the red and bring in the profit.
Unfortunately, you can never determine when a losing streak will end with 100% accuracy. This system will greatly accelerate your losses if a cold streak continues.
Of course, you’ll walk out of the casino a winner many times thanks to this betting strategy. But you should never risk more than you can afford with the Martingale either.
Why You Should Stick to Using the Martingale Online
You can greatly mitigate risk by only using this betting strategy at mobile casinos. After all, you’ll be able to make smaller minimum wagers.
Online games like baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette all feature $1 minimum bets. This smaller beginning stake reduces the risk involved with the Martingale.
Brick and mortar casinos, meanwhile, require you to wager at least $5 per round. While this is a cheap bet by land-based casino standards, it still adds extra risk.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison that shows how much faster you’ll hit the maximum bet in a land-based casino:
- The table’s betting limit is $500.
- You bet $1 and lose.
- You bet $2 and lose.
- You bet $4 and lose.
- You bet $8 and lose.
- You bet $16 and lose.
- You bet $32 and lose.
- You bet $64 and lose.
- You bet $128 and lose.
- You bet $256 and lose (ninth straight loss).
- You can no longer double wagers.
Brick and Mortar Casino
- The table’s betting limit is $500.
- You bet $5 and lose.
- You bet $10 and lose.
- You bet $20 and lose.
- You bet $40 and lose.
- You bet $80 and lose.
- You bet $160 and lose.
- You bet $320 and lose (seventh straight loss).
- You can no longer double wagers.
Provided you stick with the $1 online minimum, you’ll last for two more wagers before hitting in the max bet. Contrast this to land-based casinos where you’ll hit the limit following seven consecutive losses.
Of course, the chances of you losing seven straight times are low. But you still want to grab any advantage that’s available.
The downside to starting with $1 bets is that your profit potential is limited. You only stand to win a dollar after ending each losing streak.
$5 minimum wagers, on the other hand, allow you to book $5 profits. Of course, you may not see the risk being worth the reward in this case. Again, $5 minimum wagers don’t offer as much room to work with before reaching the betting limit.
Other Tips for Using the Martingale Betting System
Choosing mobile casinos or any reputable online casino apps is a great first step to fully utilizing the Martingale system. You can also use the following tips to further boost your chances of success.
Set Up a Bankroll Management Plan
Even when you do everything right, the Martingale can take your entire bankroll. You probably won’t suffer this fate anytime soon, but you should always be prepared for the possibility.
Bankroll management is a must before trying this system. It helps prevent you from risking money that you can’t afford to lose.
Speaking of which, you want to go through your bills and finances before setting up a bankroll. Afterward, you’ll have a better idea on what you’re comfortable risking.
Maybe you only have a spare $100 to burn. In this case, you should strictly keep to a $100 bankroll until being in a position to risk more.
Take Advantage Online Casino Bonuses
Mobile casinos provide an opportunity to earn bonuses. You should take advantage of these offers while using the Martingale. This way, you can make extra money on top of whatever you’re earning through the betting system.
However, not all casinos offer bonuses that cover table games like roulette and blackjack. Such gaming sites only feature slots deals.
That said, you should check out the terms and conditions and look for restricted games. You need to make sure that your favorite game(s) actually qualifies for bonuses.
The terms and conditions page also explains what requirements must be completed before cashing out. I thoroughly recommend looking over the terms before going after any mobile casino bonus.
Search for Low House Edges
The Martingale can only take you so far. It helps win back losses on most occasions, but it won’t overcome the long-term house edge.
Therefore, you want to seek out the best-available opportunities when using this system. This search should involve the highest-paying versions of your favorite table games.
Online blackjack, for example, can feature different rules based on the variation. Some games boast as much as 99.7% RTP, while others offer closer to 98.5% payback.
Another example involves French Roulette, which delivers 98.65% RTP. European Roulette offers 97.3% payback. American Roulette, meanwhile, is the worst of the bunch with just 94.74% RTP.
The Martingale is a favorite betting system because it usually leads to profitable sessions. But when it doesn’t work out, the losses can be big.
Luckily, you can mitigate this risk to a large extent by playing online. Mobile roulette features $1 minimum bets, which lower the chances that you’ll hit the table’s max wager.
Aside from simply playing online, you can further enhance the Martingale by playing French Roulette or European Roulette, setting up a bankroll plan, and chasing bonuses.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …