Martingale gambling system explained

Martingale system

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A particular favourite with Roulette players (see the bottom of this page), the Martingale is the simplest and most popular of all gambling systems - especially among beginners.

The Martingale (and its variations) is also the system featured on all those Youtube videos showing you how to make a million playing online Roulette.

The Martingale system works as follows: as long as you're winning, keep to a 1 unit stake.

Every time you lose, you double your stake to win back your losses and maintain the 1 unit profit.

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See the Martingale in action

If you want to see a step-by-step video tutorial on the Martingale system, check out our Youtube video below.


Sequence of bets

The sequence of wagers in a losing streak is therefore:

1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 etc


Why use the Martingale?

The attraction of the Martingale gambling system is that it seems you're guaranteed to make this 1 unit profit, so long as you can keep betting. This is true, unless you hit a long losing streak, or run out of funds.

The main problem with it is that you are often asked to risk a lot in order to win a little e.g. 6 consecutive losses results in a bet of 64 units for an overall 1 profit.


The Martingale - tested

The table below shows how the Martingale fared in our systems tests.

For a reminder of the tests we use, check out our systems summary page…

Test

1. Alternating win
2. Alternating loss
3. Consecutive win
4. Consecutive loss
5. Good win
6. Bad loss

Overall result for all 6 tests

Result

7 units profit
4 units profit
7 units profit
4 units profit
10 units profit
61 units loss

29 units loss

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Unbeatable - but only in theory

As any number of systems sellers and players' forum users will tell you, the Martingale can't fail. And our tests show that, as long as your sequence ends on a win, the Martingale gambling system will always return a profit.

But the casinos still allow you to use it at their tables. So what's going on?

In theory, the Martingale is unbeatable. In reality, two factors stand in your way:

Bankroll

As the last test shows, your losses mount very quickly on a losing streak of 5 or more. Lose 10 in a row and you've lost over 1000 betting units in search of 1. A problem for most gamblers, but not if you're a high-rolling millionaire. Which is where the second factor comes into play:

House Limits

Even if you were prepared to bet a million, in the hope of winning 1 unit, casinos have an upper betting limit (the House Limit) which means you can't continue gambling beyond that point.

And as you may have guessed, the House Limit for Roulette is set just at the statistical point where they can encourage players to use the Martingale, knowing that every so often they're going to catch a huge loser which more than makes up for those consistent 1 unit wins.


Martingale - a high-risk system

The Martingale system can give you small, high-risk wins in the medium term. If you're a high-risk gambler who enjoys the thrill of placing high wagers for small profits (or maybe a millionaire with cash to burn), this system will suit your style.

The key to the Martingale is in recognising when you're in an unbeatable losing streak. This is difficult because with this system you're always betting that the streak will end.

If you use the Martingale system, bear in mind our overall strategy and decide for yourself when to cut your losses instead of chasing that 1 unit profit.


Where to use the Martingale system

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