# Martingale Strategy Overview

Posted by Cliff Spiller . Last updated:

All gamblers want to make money playing their favorite games. As a result, many players choose to use recognized tactics while playing for a chance to win larger sums. One of these tactics is the Martingale strategy.

The Martingale is one of the oldest betting tactics around, and its goal is to beat the house edge and walk away with a fortune in your bankroll. The question is – How well does this strategy actually work?

To answer that question, we have prepared a comprehensive guide on the Martingale system. Read on to find out how to use it effectively, its pros and cons, some top tips, and more!

## What is the Martingale Strategy?

The Martingale system dates back to 18th century France. The basic idea is to double the amount of your wager when you lose because when you eventually, youâ€™ll earn back as much as youâ€™ve lost.

The Martingale is common because of how simple it is to use. It works (at least, in theory) for games with even chances, making it a common choice for roulette players.

Nevertheless, the Martingale Strategy has a few pitfalls. The first is that a particular round of any fair game is not affected by the previous roundâ€™s outcome. For example, it possible for you to flip a coin 49 times and get heads every single time. And even despite your previous results, the chances of getting tails on the 50th flip actually remain 50-50.

## How Does the Martingale Strategy Work?

The mathematical idea behind the Martingale strategy is based on probability. We have already established that this system is best for games with an equal chance of winning and losing. The basic principle is that you can’t always win, nor can you always lose.

With this strategy, you always start by betting your tableâ€™s minimum amount. For instance, if you bet \$5 and lose, you double the amount, wagering \$10 the next time. You continue that way until you win a bet, and then you return to your original bet amount.

However, you need to have a large bankroll to employ this strategy effectively. Most importantly, you need to know when to stop playing, as youâ€™ll have the same chances of losing as you do of winning on each and every round.

## Variations of the Martingale Strategy

The Martingale has three variations that follow the same basic rules of the strategy. We’ll explore these options and how to apply them here.

### The Classic Martingale System

This system follows the basic rules of the Martingale and is one of the simplest approaches you can learn. Here, you double your bet every time you lose. Win you eventually win, you go back to your initial bet amount.

Hereâ€™s an example:

 Betting Round Bet amount Result Profit First \$10 Loss -\$10 Second \$20 Loss -\$30 Third \$40 Loss -\$70 Fourth \$80 Win \$10 Fifth \$10 Loss \$0 Sixth \$20 Win \$20 Seventh \$10 Loss \$10 Eighth \$20 Loss -\$10 Ninth \$40 Win \$30

From this table, you can see that youâ€™ll (in theory) always walk away with a profit. In some cases, you might lose the first five rounds and still earn a profit by winning the sixth.

However, you can’t be sure that the technique will succeed with every bet because every approach has its weaknesses. Aside from the limit of your bankroll, online casinos impose betting limits on each game that stop you from betting more than a certain amount. If you hit the betting limit and cannot double your stake, youâ€™ll have likely already lost a great deal of money with no sure-fire way to get it back. Thatâ€™s why the Martingale is so risky!

### The Inverted Martingale System

Unlike the classic system, this follows a unique, reverse approach. You double your bet only when you start winning. If you hit three wins in a row, you stop doubling and stick to that bet amount. If you lose, you return to the original stake.

Check out the table to see how this works:

 Betting Round Bet amount Result Profit First \$10 Loss -\$10 Second \$10 Loss -\$20 Third \$10 Win -\$10 Fourth \$20 Win \$10 Fifth \$40 Win \$50 Sixth \$40 Win \$90 Seventh \$40 Loss \$50 Eighth \$10 Loss \$40

Many players consider this version the most effective of the three, but this is in fact a Martingale fallacy. You should note that the above system is actually only effective because you are on a winning streak. If you start off winning but fall into a losing streak, you can lose all your winnings plus your bankroll. Keep in mind that the constant limits of your bankroll and the casinoâ€™s betting limits are also major factors.

### The Grand Martingale System

With the Grand Martingale system, each time you lose you double your bet and add one unit on the next bet.

Hereâ€™s an example:

 Betting Round Bet amount Result Profit First Â \$10 Loss -\$10 Second \$30 Loss -\$40 Third \$50 Win \$10 Fourth \$10 Loss \$0 Fifth \$30 Win \$30 Sixth \$10 Win \$40 Seventh \$10 Loss \$30 Eighth \$30 Win \$60

You can walk away with higher profits using this approach thanks to the extra bet added. However, of all the Martingale strategies, this is the riskiest. This system eats into your bankroll quicker than the others, and youâ€™ll reach maximum betting limits faster.

## Tips for Using the Martingale System

While you can use this system however you want, here are some tips to help you make the most of it

### Play Cheaper Tables

One problem with this strategy is that you can reach the table limits quickly. Therefore, it is good to opt for tables with very low starting limits. Some casinos let you start betting with just 1â€‹â€‹Â¢.

### Set Betting Limits

With any betting strategy, you should never risk money you can’t afford to lose. Set a betting limit to let you know when to stop after losing a certain amount of money.

### Use Bonuses

Claiming casino bonuses increase your bankroll, giving you more money to use when playing with the system. Note that bonuses are often limited to certain games.

## The Martingale in Games

The Martingale might not be the best option for all types of betting, but it is somewhat effective (if risky) for certain kinds of games. Here we evaluate the Martingaleâ€™s use with:

• Outside Roulette Bets
• Slots
• Blackjack
• Sports Betting

### The Martingale Strategy and Roulette

The Martingale strategy is prevalent in online roulette because it works best when you can wager on 50/50 odds. Red or black, odd or even, or the 1-18 or 19-36 number groups offer close to 50/50 odds in roulette. Because of the green zero number, you do not technically have even chances of winning.

If youâ€™re serious about using the Martingale strategy for roulette, consider placing a wager on either red or black. You should stick to betting on the same color until youâ€™ve finished playing. If you’re using the Inverted Martingale betting strategy, you’ll likely be able to land the same color a few times in a row.

Even if your intuition tells you to adjust your strategy at some point (e.g. when youâ€™re down money), it’s best not to do so. The Martingale approach isn’t failsafe, but it does require patience to be effective.

In other words, stick to one strategy until you win or decide to stop playing. Whether you go back to your original bet or take your money after a win is up to you.

### The Martingale Strategy and Slots

Since online slots are not even money wagers, using the Martingale with them differs significantly from roulette. On slots, a winning spin can yield a prize equal to your bet, less than your bet, or worth some multiple of your bet.

There are, however, several ways players can use the Martingale method when playing slot games for real money. They could begin by playing low bet amount machines and continue playing until they win a certain amount or the game’s highest payout. Once that happens, the player could then switch to a higher bet amount slot with a bigger jackpot.

Nevertheless, we can’t recommend using the Martingale strategy when spinning the reels. There are so many online slots with variable RTPs and a wide variety of stakes that the system just isnâ€™t as reliable as a sensible bankroll management strategy.

Any game with a high level of volatility is simply a game of chance with no opening for using a strategy like this. That is where the thrill is for many players, but it may be a step too far for a statistical approach.

### The Martingale Strategy and Blackjack

You can also use the Martingale strategy in blackjack! Double your original stake amount every hand until you win, then start over if you lose. The issue with utilizing the Martingale strategy in online blackjack is that there are other variables at play.

Assume you’ve lost two hands and are now betting \$4. Your blackjack hand is 11 and you want to double down. Doubling down is a proper blackjack technique, but there is no precedent for it with the Martingale strategy. Since the game’s odds change as you play, it’s not as simple to use the Martingale here as it is with roulette.

### The Martingale Strategy and Sports Betting

If the sports betting odds are equal to or extremely close to 100, youâ€™ll be able to use the Martingale strategy. The system doesn’t change when using this approach when wagering on sports games. You will search for the sports you prefer and bet how you normally would.

If you lose, look for the next bet with comparable odds and double your first stake. The Martingale technique in sports betting is better when you play at sites that give you the best odds.

Players who are superstitious will get little satisfaction out of using the Martingale system. These players believe in the Martingale fallacy, meaning that the next round’s result will be influenced by the previous one. This is untrue, and the Martingale system operates on independent events and has a set strategy that you must follow.

Following the Martingale system’s guiding principles, the player will (in theory) win at some point. Though there is no guarantee of these wins, you have around a 50% chance of getting most of your money back. That is not to say that you shouldnâ€™t take caution using this system.

Just as the system has its pros, it also has its cons.

### Pros

• Easy to learn and understand.
• Even as the wager size increases with every loss, players still have a close to 50% chance of getting a win.
• Players using this strategy only need a single win to cover their losses and make some profit.
• Effective strategy, especially for some roulette and sports bets.

### Cons

• High risk - most effective when gambling on games with only two possible outcomes.
• Players with a small bankroll can easily lose all their money.
• The system does not always guarantee that you will win.
• Several casinos limit how much you can bet.

## Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience writing online casino reviews and game guides. His betting strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004.