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Guide To The Martingale Betting System

Gambling has existed in our world since the Paleolithic period—before written history ever even existed. They found six-sided dice in Mesopotamia dated back to 3000 BC.

For as long as gambling has existed though, one thing has never changed—people are always trying to find innovative ways to beat the system and win big.

One strategy that seems to promise easy and fast earnings on the surface is the Martingale betting system. But can it really help you beat the house easily?

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Martingale system—and if it’s really a strategy you should add to your arsenal.

What Is the Martingale Betting System?

Martingale system betting is an approach that was created back in the 18th century. It actually wasn’t originally made to be a gambling strategy, but it quickly became a household name for gamblers.

One of the reasons this system has remained so popular is because of its simplicity. In fact, many people may have used the system without even realizing it. 

Martingale betting involves a very simple mathematical approach to betting. Simply put, the Martingale strategy says to double your bet every time you lose. The theory suggests that you will gain your losses back in later rounds.

This strategy is best used in games that have even chances. This means games where the outcome for wins and losses are both 50/50. These games’ odds equal 200, which means if you bet $1, you’ll receive $2.

Another important factor for the Martingale system is that the series needs to be statistically independent events. This means that no gambling session is influenced by another. 

A casino game that matches these factors is Roulette (which is a popular game for Martingale bettors). The probability of getting red or black is 50/50, and each round is not affected by previous or future rounds. Each round is completely independent.

Another example would be flipping a coin. It’s always a 50/50 chance to get either head or tails, and each coin flip doesn’t affect the next coin flip’s odds. 

How Does the Martingale Betting System Work?

For this system, there’s no reason to try to predict the outcome of a round based on previous rounds (this is what is known as the gambler’s fallacy). 

The Martingale system instead relies on probability through basic math. It is based on the following principle: if you’re always facing 50/50 odds, you can’t always win and you can’t always lose. 

So to “eventually” win, all you need to do is double the value of your last bet. If you bet $20 and lose, you bet $40 in the next round. Simply keep betting on this approach until you recover the money that you lost, plus some profit!

It’s advised that once you recover your money, you should return to your initial bet (in this case $20) and then repeat the system. Of course, you also need to factor in your personal budget and understand when you need to stop.

There are three different variations of the Martingale betting system that have slight changes to how it works. Let’s take a look at an example of each.

Classic Martingale

The Classic Martingale is the simple strategy we previously mentioned. Just double the bet when you lose, then return to your initial bet when you win a round. 

Here’s an example of a scenario when gambling on something you have a 50% chance of winning:

Round — Bet Amount — Result — Profit

  • Round 1 — $10 — Loss — -$10
  • Round 2 — $20 — Loss — -$30
  • Round 3 — $40 — Loss — -$70
  • Round 4 — $80 — Win — $10
  • Round 5 — $10 — Loss — $0
  • Round 6 — $20 — Win — $20
  • Round 7 — $10 — Win — $30

As you can see in this example, you still make a profit of $30 — even though you won less than half the rounds.

Even if you’re having a really unlucky day and win all of the first six rounds, but still win the 7th round, you’ll still make a profit as long as you continue to follow the Martingale system. 

It’s important to note this about any betting strategy: no strategy or approach can guarantee wins, but it might be able to improve your chances. If this system always works—why haven’t any casinos gone bankrupt? 

The reason is that most casino games will apply betting limits on each round, which means you can’t go over those amounts. A good way to use the Martingale system on games like this is to start with the smallest bet possible and be aware of the situation.

Grand Martingale

The Grand Martingale system is similar to the classic except for one difference: when you lose a bet, double it and add $1. Here’s an example:

Round — Bet Amount — Result — Profit

  • Round 1 — $10 — Loss — -$10
  • Round 2 — $21 — Loss — -$31
  • Round 3 — $43 — Win — $12
  • Round 4 — $10 — Win — $22
  • Round 5 — $10 — Loss — $12
  • Round 6 — $21 — Loss — -$9
  • Round 7 — $42 — Win — $33

Although it’s riskier, you can make a slightly higher profit than the Classic Martingale. However, this also means you’ll reach the table limits quicker, which means you can waste your budget without getting the chance to earn it back.

Inverted Martingale – The Paroli System

The Paroli System is just as simple and effective as the Martingale systems we mentioned but has a slight difference.

The idea behind this strategy is that wins and losses tend to happen in streaks, so it’s better to raise the stakes while you’re on one.

Here’s what to do: when you’re winning, double the bet. Stop doubling it once you land on the 3rd winning bet in a row. Once you lose, go back to your initial bet. Here’s an example:

Round — Bet Amount — Result — Profit

  • Round 1 — $10 — Loss — -$10
  • Round 2 — $10 — Loss — -$20
  • Round 3 — $10 — Loss — -$30
  • Round 4 — $10 — Win — -$20
  • Round 5 — $20 — Win — $0
  • Round 6 — $40 — Win — $40
  • Round 7 — $80 — Win — $120
  • Round 8 — $80 — Win — $200
  • Round 9 — $80 — Loss — $120
  • Round 10 — $10 — Loss — $110

As you can see in this example, you only won half the rounds, but still made a profit of $110.

Many gamblers prefer this streak-reliant Martingale over the other strategies for this reason. Why? Since you’re only raising the stakes when on a winning streak, you’re theoretically only betting with house money that you made. This can be much more appealing to gamblers!

You may be asking yourself: why not keep doubling the bets? The reality is that when you stop increasing your doubles after the third bet, you limit losses at the best times. 

Pros and Cons of the Martingale System

Just like any other system in gambling, there are pros and cons to the Martingale system. Let’s take a look at a few:

Pros: 

  • The Martingale system is incredibly simple and easy to keep track of
  • If you have a large bankroll, it works very well as it can be hard to lose because there is always a possibility of making your money back
  • Anyone can use the Martingale betting system regardless of their betting skills
  • According to mathematic probability, the system is reliable because the bettor will always eventually win
  • You only need a single win to regain your past losses

Cons:

  • This system only works if there are only two possible outcomes, limiting what you can use it on
  • It is not suitable for long-term bets as you can accumulate too many losses
  • You can go bankrupt if you have a smaller bankroll as it will be hard to regain losses
  • Most casino games have limits on the amount of money bettors can make, which means you can’t use this strategy “forever”

With these pros and cons in mind, it’s important to be wary about where you use the Martingale system.

Is the Martingale System Worth It?

In the end, this system does not guarantee wins for bettors. The idea behind the Martingale system is much more theoretical than practical. It is mainly based on the belief that a bettor can’t keep losing forever, but in reality, there are many variables that can hinder this train of thought.

You never know how long a losing streak will be. The reality is, there’s nothing stopping you from hitting ten to twenty losing spins in a roll, whipping you out quickly.

Also, most casinos set limits to block players from using this strategy forever, which means even if you have the bankroll, you won’t be able to make your money back through the Martingale system.

The bottom line is that the Martingale betting system is very risky. It can eat away at your bankroll very quickly, and if you fall into a slump, you could be done before you even realize it.

Can You Use the Martingale System For Sports? And Should You Use It?

Yes, you can use this system for sports. Although it was originally intended for casino games with a clear 50/50 chance, you can use it for any sport that has odds that are equal or very close to 200. 

It is legal to use this strategy in any sportsbook, but just make sure to keep your odds as close as possible to 200.

If you lose, just follow the same system: double the bet until you win and then return the initial amount.

However, the Martingale system, as mentioned previously, is still pretty risky and isn’t the best system available for sports betting.

You can gain a much better advantage by using a sports betting model. This is a system that can help you identify unbiased picks and determine the probability of outcomes for a specific sport or game.

If you’d like to read more about sports betting models and expected points, check out this article.

Should I Use the Martingale System?

The Martingale betting system isn’t the most reliable way to gamble. It might seem appealing to some because of its simplicity and sensible theory, but there are many other variables that can actually make you lose your money quickly.

If you want to learn how to make your own picks and strategies through legitimate sports betting models (rather than just luck), enroll in our free masterclass today!

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