You begin using this betting strategy by placing the table’s minimum wager. For reasons explained in a later step, you want the lowest minimum wager possible.
Online casino games are ideal for this purpose. They allow you to play table games for as little as $1 per round.
If you still decide to play at a brick-and-mortar casino, then you’ll want to look for tables that feature a $5 minimum wager.
2 – Place an Even Money Bet
The Martingale is one of the most-volatile betting systems. Therefore, it doesn’t mix well with volatile casino games like slot machines and keno.
For the sake of not blowing your bankroll, you should only use the Martingale on games with even-money bets.
Baccarat, blackjack, European roulette, and craps are all examples of games with even-money wagers and low volatility.
3 – Double Bets after Losses
You continue placing even-money bets so long as you’re winning. As soon as you lose, though, then you’ll double the next wager.
You keep doubling bets until winning. At this point, you’ll have recouped all losses and also earned a profit. Here’s an example on how this scenario plays out:
You bet $1 and lose; losses at $1.
You bet $2 and lose; losses at $3.
You bet $4 and lose; losses at $7.
You bet $8 and lose; winnings at $1.
4 – Return to the Minimum Bet After Winning
Once you win, you’ll go back to the minimum wager. The cycle starts over again at this point, with you continuing to place the minimum bet until the next loss.
The Martingale Can Theoretically Beat the House
As explained before, the problem with any betting system is that it doesn’t change the odds. The house will still hold an advantage no matter how you bet.
Here’s an example to illustrate this point:
You’re playing European roulette.
You bet on “even” (even/odd) winning.
This wager has a 48.65% chance of winning.
You’re using the Martingale system.
Even still has a 48.65% chance of winning even with the Martingale in play.
You can see the problem with this system or any other when it comes to winning long term. The Martingale system, however, works in a special way that could theoretically guarantee profits.
You would simply need infinite money to guarantee that the system worked every time. This way, you’d always have enough money to double wagers no matter how long the losing streak.
This System Faces Two Main Problems
If the Martingale worked as promised, then everybody would be using it in each session. Casinos wouldn’t even be able to stay open because they’d lose so much money.
Gambling establishments are still operating, though, which means that this system isn’t perfect. It runs into two big problems, which are covered below.
Tables Have Maximum Bets
The gaming industry has known about the Martingale for hundreds of years. Casinos fully realize just how effective this betting strategy can be.
That said, they use betting limits to reduce the Martingale’s effectiveness. Again, common limits are $500 per round.
Of course, you can survive some lengthy losing streaks without hitting this limit. Here’s a look at how long you’d survive in both land-based and online casinos with the Martingale:
$500 betting limit.
You wager $5 and lose; losses at $5.
You wager $10 and lose; losses at $15.
You wager $20 and lose; losses at $35.
You wager $40 and lose; losses at $75.
You wager $80 and lose; losses at $155.
You wager $160 and lose; losses at $315.
You wager $320 and lose; losses at $635.
7 total losses; you can no longer double wagers.
$500 betting limit.
You wager $1 and lose; losses at $1.
You wager $2 and lose; losses at $3.
You wager $4 and lose; losses at $7.
You wager $8 and lose; losses at $15.
You wager $16 and lose; losses at $31.
You wager $32 and lose; losses at $63.
You wager $64 and lose; losses at $127.
You wager $128 and lose; losses at $255.
You wager $256 and lose; losses at $511.
9 total losses; you can no longer double wagers.
Luckily, you won’t hit these betting limits very often. When you do, though, you can’t quite double wagers and will suffer losses as a result.
Nobody Has Infinite Money
The focus of this post isn’t on tables with maximum wagering limits. Instead, it’s to explore what would happen if you use the Martingale with no betting boundaries.
If you truly had an unlimited supply of money, you’d consistently make profits at tables with no maximum bets. You could suffer an extremely long losing streak and wager millions or billions of dollars to get your money back.
The reality, though, is that neither you nor anybody else has infinite funds. Even Jeff Bezos ($191 billion) and Elon Musk ($190b) are limited to 11 figures.
Of course, they’d never have to worry about running out of money at a $5 table. You do, though, which is why the Martingale can become a problem.
How Long Can You Lose Until Running Out of Money?
As mentioned before, this system can theoretically work every time under the perfect circumstances—even though such circumstances are unrealistic.
What would happen, though, if you could play under the ideal setting? How long would you last with a massive bankroll and no maximum bet?
Bet $160 and lose (-$315) – 1.83% chance of losing
Bet $320 and lose (-$635) – 0.941% chance of losing
Bet $640 and lose (-$1,275) – 0.483% chance of losing
Bet $1,280 and lose (-$2,555) – 0.248% chance of losing
Bet $2,560 and lose (-$5,115) – 0.127% chance of losing
Bet $5,120 and lose (-$10,235) – 0.0655% chance of losing
Bet $10,240 and lose (-$20,475) – 0.0336% chance of losing
Bet $20,480 and lose (-$40,955) – 0.0173% chance of losing
Bet $40,960 and lose (-$81,915) – 0.00886% chance of losing
Bet $81,920 and lose (-$163,835) – 0.00455% chance of losing
Bet $163,840 and lose (-$327,675) – 0.00234% chance of losing
Bet $327,680 and lose (-$655,355) – 0.0012% chance of losing
Bet $655,360 and lose (-$1,310,715) – 0.000616% chance of losing
Bet $1,310,720 and lose (-$2,621,435) – 0.000316% chance of losing
Bet $2,621,440 and lose (-$5,242,875) – 0.000162% chance of losing
You can see that the chances of losing 20 consecutive bets are very slim. That said, you could possibly win guaranteed profits in any session with a $100 million bankroll or more.
Again, though, the only way to guarantee Martingale success is with infinite funds. You always run a small risk of losing everything no matter how rich you are.
Even if you’re filthy rich, most tables do feature betting limits. This reduces your potential profits with this gambling system.
You don’t have to be a billionaire to experience success with the Martingale. You can book lots of winning sessions through this betting strategy.
Assuming you know the risk going in, then you might have fun using the Martingale. It works in a high percentage of sessions.
The main thing that you need to watch out for, though, is lengthy losing streaks. After losing seven or eight bets in a row, you must worry about hitting the maximum wager. Provided you’re okay with this risk, though, the Martingale is one of the most-profitable betting strategies.
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. ...
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