The Martingale system is a betting system based on doubling your bets every time you lose. The system works best in games such as baccarat and blackjack, where you win an amount equal to your bet and the odds of winning are close to 50%. In these games, if you double your bet after every loss, you will, in fact, get back all of the money you lost and get a little bit extra when you eventually do win.
To illustrate, let’s imagine a game of blackjack with a $5 minimum bet, in which the player is not very lucky:
|Round||Bet||Win/Loss||Total Amount Won/Lost|
As can be seen, in this case, the Martingale system helped the player reach the break-even point and even make a small profit, despite a 4 round cold streak.
Does the Martingale System Work?
As can be seen from the above table, the system is mathematically and logically sound, producing small but reliable gains. The main issues faced by gamblers using the Martingale system are its fast bet scaling rate and the maximum bet limits imposed by casinos in order to fight the system.
Martingale Bet Scaling and How to Combat It
As bets have to double after each lost wager, they can quickly scale to very high amounts when you’re on a cold streak. As a result, you could play through your entire bankroll before you have a chance to win. In order to minimize the chances of this happening, you should start your session with the smallest possible bet. Naturally, doing so will minimize the amount of return you will get when you do win, but it is a price you have to pay for security. Your second option is to bring a larger bankroll than you usually do.
Players who are scared by the Martingale system’s scaling issues often choose to play using the much more conservative D’Alembert betting system.
How Do Casinos Try to Fight the Martingale System?
The only way gambling venues can combat the abuse of the Martingale betting system is by implementing bet floors (minimum bets) and bet ceilings (maximum bets). For example, a blackjack table can have its minimum set at $10 USD and its maximum at $1,000 USD. This means that a player using the Martingale system will eventually stop being able to double their bets (as they will hit the ceiling).
- A betting system based on doubling your bets every time you lose.