The Martingale is one of the most famous betting systems of all time. It has been used for hundreds of years in an attempt to beat casinos.
The great thing about the Martingale is that it works the majority of times. You’ll often leave the casino a winner when using this gambling system.
But what games are compatible with the Martingale? The following guide answers this question while providing extra tips on how to use the Martingale to the fullest.
Basics of the Martingale
This betting strategy is a negative progression system, which means it involves increasing wagers when you’re losing. In this case, you double bets following every loss and return to the original stake after winning.
You always start the Martingale by placing the table’s minimum bet. If the minimum wager is $5, for example, then you’ll keep betting $5 until the first loss happens.
Here’s an example of this system in action:
- You wager $5 and lose (-$5).
- You wager $10 and lose (-$15).
- You wager $20 and lose (-$35).
- You wager $40 and win (+$5).
- Return to the original $5 bet.
This staking strategy is really risky in comparison to other systems. After all, it requires doubling bets when you’re in a losing streak.
Therefore, you want to stick with bets that feature high odds of winning. This way, you stand less chance of suffering a lengthy losing streak that requires huge bets to reclaim losses.
Even money wagers (pay 1:1) are great for this purpose. Their probabilities of winning are typically at least 45% or higher.
The Martingale Is Really Popular With Roulette
The Martingale works with a variety of casino table games. However, it’s most commonly associated with roulette.
Legendary gamblers have used the Martingale on roulette. Charles Wells, for example, used this system to win millions of francs in Monte Carlo in the late 19th century.
This system works well with roulette for a couple of reasons:
- Roulette features three different even money bets.
- Betting systems spice up the otherwise bland roulette strategy.
As for the first point, roulettes offers 1-18/19-36, high/low, and red/black. It boasts a greater variety of even money wagers than other games. With that said, you can switch between bets more often when the mood strikes.
Regarding the second aspect, roulette strategy mainly boils down to picking a high-paying game. Either French or European Roulette will do. Meanwhile, you want to avoid the American wheel.
Once you’ve picked out a game, though, you can’t do anything else to improve the RTP. As a result, you may feel like using a betting strategy to get more involved.
Other Games That Work Well With This System
The Martingale meshes well with any casino game that offers even-money bets. However, you’ll notice some differences between games with this system. Here’s advice for using the Martingale with other games besides roulette.
Baccarat is a great game to use the Martingale on because it offers such a high win rate. If you wager on the banker hand winning, you’ll win 50.68% of the time.
Casinos take a 5% commission out of winning banker bets to retain their advantage. Therefore, they hold a 1.06% house edge (98.94% RTP) on the banker bet.
Of course, a 1.06% house advantage is barely anything in the gaming world. This, combined with the high win rates, makes baccarat a good game for any system.
Blackjack has the potential to offer higher RTP than any other game covered here. With the best rules, it can deliver up to 99.68% payback.
However, its win frequency isn’t quite as high as most other table games. You’ll win blackjack hands at a 42% clip.
Natural blackjack payouts and the ability to split and double down help make up for the lower win rate. However, you’ll experience more volatility when adding the Martingale to blackjack.
Pass line and don’t pass line are the two most popular craps bets. These wagers feature 98.59% and 98.64% RTP. Both bets are available on the come out roll, which is the first roll of a new round.
You can increase the RTP even further with odds. However, they force you to risk more than the minimum wager. With that said, you should probably forgo odds when using the Martingale.
Otherwise, you’ll be starting out with $15 bets or higher. Such wagers increase your chances of reaching the table’s maximum betting limits during a losing streak.
Martingale Betting System Tips
You can squeeze more money winning out of the Martingale by using a few tips. Here’s some advice on maximizing your success with this system.
Take Advantage of Cheap Online Bets
The two biggest dangers that the Martingale presents include:
- Hitting the table’s maximum wager
- Losing your entire bankroll while doubling bets
A higher starting bet increases the chances of running into either of these problems. If you’re worried about the risk factor, then you want the lowest possible minimum wager.
Online casinos allow you to bet just $1 per round. Compare this to land-based casinos, which require $5 minimum wagers.
Here’s a look at how many wagers you can make during online losing streaks versus in land-based casinos:
- You bet $1 and lose (1 loss).
- You bet $2 and lose (2 losses).
- You bet $4 and lose (3 losses).
- You bet $8 and lose (4 losses).
- You bet $16 and lose (5 losses).
- You bet $32 and lose (6 losses).
- You bet $64 and lose (7 losses).
- You bet $128 and lose (8 losses).
- You bet $256 and lose (9 losses).
- Doubling wagers no longer possible.
- You bet $5 and lose (1 loss).
- You bet $10 and lose (2 losses).
- You bet $20 and lose (3 losses).
- You bet $40 and lose (4 losses).
- You bet $80 and lose (5 losses).
- You bet $160 and lose (6 losses).
- You bet $320 and lose (7 losses).
- Doubling wagers no longer possible.
Have a Stop-Loss Limit
Regardless of if you’re using this system or another, you should never risk money that you can’t afford to lose. Stop-loss limit will help in this matter.
Stop-loss limits are predefined points where are you quit playing after losing a certain amount of money. If your stop-loss is $200, for example, then you’d stop immediately when reaching this point.
You might want to tailor these limits to the Martingale.
Here’s an example on doing so:
- You have a $200 bankroll and start with a $1 minimum bet.
- First loss ($1) = $1 in losses
- Second loss ($2) = $3 in losses
- Third loss ($4) = $7 in losses
- Fourth loss ($8) = $15 in losses
- Fifth loss ($16) = $31 in losses
- Sixth loss ($32) = $63 in losses
- Seventh loss ($64) = $127 in losses
- Your stop-loss limit will be $127.
Ideally, you’ll have enough money to chase losses until reaching the table limit. If you don’t, though, you can always use the Martingale with lower expectations.
Go for Bonuses and VIP Rewards
Regardless of whether you employ this system in a land-based or online casino, you should take advantage of loyalty rewards.
When playing real money roulette online, you’ll automatically be enrolled into a VIP program after registering and depositing. You will also be able to pick up bonuses at online casinos, too.
You just need to check the terms and conditions and make sure that whatever table games you’re playing qualify for bonuses and VIP rewards.
At land-based casinos, you need to sign up for the players club. After receiving a players club card, you hand it to the dealer. The dealer will give your card to the pit boss, who’ll then rate your play and give out comps accordingly.
Realize the Martingale’s Limitations
The Martingale works better than many other gambling systems. Even still, it doesn’t eliminate the house edge.
You’re still going to face a house edge no matter which game you play with the Martingale. With that said, you shouldn’t look at this system as a guaranteed profit generator.
Instead, you should view it as something that, with luck on your side, can provide winning sessions. But don’t put all of your hopes on winning with this staking strategy every time.
The Martingale betting system provides some flexibility regarding games. It can be effectively used on either baccarat, blackjack, craps, or roulette.
- Baccarat is arguably the best game for this system thanks to its high win rate (50.68%) and RTP (98.94%).
- Blackjack is no slouch due to its potential 99.7% RTP. However, its win frequency isn’t as impressive (42%) and will see you lose more often.
- Craps offers 99.58% RTP with the don’t pass line bet. You could improve the payback even more with odds, but they don’t work well with the Martingale.
- European roulette is a classic game that’s commonly used with this system. Its 97.30% RTP isn’t overly impressive, but it does feature a 48.65% win rate on even-money bets.
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. …