The Martingale betting strategy is probably the most well-known of all Roulette betting strategies and it just so happens to also be one of the most controversial of all known gambling systems. The Martingale betting strategy is very old and goes back to the casinos of Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and was favoured for its simplicity and ease of use. The Martingale betting system is especially popular with novice players as it is easy to understand and only takes a few minutes to implement. The system also only makes use of outside, even money bets, increasing its simplicity. In this article, we will dissect the Martingale betting strategy to find out what makes it so consistently attractive and also what makes it so controversial.
Most important Martingale betting strategy facts
- One of the oldest betting systems in the world
- Simple and easy to use
- Ideal Roulette betting system for novice players
- Does not require complex charts and formulas
- Used for low-risk even money/outside bets
- Martingale Strategy
- Fibonacci Strategy
- Setting Your Win Limits Strategy
- Bonus Hunting Strategy
- Dozen Grid Strategy
- Money Management Strategy
- Paroli Strategy
- Jackpot Hunting Strategy
- Vary Your Bets Strategy
- Bankroll Management Strategy
- Double down Strategy
- Play as Many Cards Strategy
- Trend Betting Strategy
- Fewer Players Strategy
The Martingale Betting System
Essentially the Martingale betting strategy is used as a progressive betting technique similar to some of the same basic progressive betting techniques used in Blackjack. The Martingale betting system is classified as a negative progression betting system because it requires players to double each successive losing bet until they hit a winning bet which will recover their losses plus add a profit for the win.
The Martingale betting strategy uses what is known in Roulette as the outside bets. These are the low-risk bets that are found on the edge of the Roulette table, outside the main number grid. Outside bets can include the following:
- 1 – 18
- 19 – 36
These outside bets are considered to be lower in risk since the odds of winning are higher, close to a 50% chance. This is also the reason why they also payout the lowest, a 1:1 or even money bet.
The Martingale betting strategy
Explained by example
As we have established, the Martingale betting strategy is classified as a negative progression betting system. This means that it uses losing bets by doubling each losing bet in a progression until such time as a winning bet emerges. The theory is that by the time a winning bet comes around the player would not only be able to recoup their losses but also make a tidy profit.
By way of example, if you placed a single chip bet on the colour red for example as your opening bet, the ball, however, lands on black and you lose your bet. Your next move is to double your bet (two chips) on red again. Let’s say for the sake of this example that you win this bet, you get your two chips plus another two for winning. This means that you essentially recover your previous loss of one chip plus win one chip. The problem in practice is that a losing streak could go on for a long time and you would need a substantial bankroll to sustain it.
We can see how the negative progression betting system works when we follow a few rounds of losing hands below:
As we can clearly see from the chart above, doubling on every losing bet can build up very quickly while waiting for a winning hand to emerge. This actually similar in some ways to the Trend betting system we looked at earlier.
This video explains the Martingale betting strategy in practice at an online casino Roulette game:
- The Martingale betting strategy is classified as a negative progression betting system
- The strategy is used on outside Roulette bets including red/back/odds/evens/dozens and columns
- The Martingale strategy can be used by novice Roulette players or players who prefer playing even money bets
- The Martingale strategy also requires players to keep doubling losing bets until a winning bet emerges
- Based on the chart this system can reach very high stakes over longer losing bet cycles
Other strategies you might want to check out:
- Trend Strategy
- Parlay Strategy
- Labouchere Strategy
- Follow the Leader Strategy
- Dozen Grid Strategy
- D’Alembert Strategy
Advantages and Disadvantages
Of the Martingale betting strategy
The Martingale betting strategy does offer a few advantages, particularly to new players to the game of Roulette. The system is very basic and easy to follow, making it ideal for beginners who may find more complex betting strategies a bit overwhelming. There are no charts or formulas to worry about, all you need to know is that you double your bet after each losing wager. The Martingale betting strategy also uses outside betting which has the highest odds of a win paying out an even money bet at 11. Betting is simple and is based on either picking a colour between red and black, odd or even numbers or dozen/column bets.
The Martingale betting strategy also carries a number of disadvantages that can be quite catastrophic, particularly to new players who do not have the bankroll to sustain a particularly long losing cycle. The Martingale betting strategy requires players to double up on every losing bet in the progression until a winning bet is achieved, but as you can see from the above chart, this can get very expensive indeed!
- Easy to learn and easy to implement
- Ideal for beginner Roulette players no charts or complicated formulas to remember
- Uses easier outside bets paying even money
- Negative progression betting system
- Requires players to double up on each losing bet which can grow rapidly over a long losing cycle
- Easy to lose entire bankroll, not good for beginners in this way
Chances and risks
Using the Martingale betting strategy
There are a number of chances and risks that are associated with the Martingale betting strategy and it actually becomes quite clear why it is considered to be one of the most controversial Roulette strategy betting systems. We can examine the chances and risks associated with the Martingale betting strategy by examining it in three questions:
Who is suitable for the strategy?
As we have seen the Martingale betting strategy is ideal for novice Roulette players or casual weekend Roulette players. The system can also be used by more experienced players who prefer playing on the outside of the online Roulette table. The problem comes in when doubling up on negative bets enters a long losing cycle, new players to the game may not have the bankroll yet to sustain a long cycle of doubled bets. From this point of view, the system may not be suitable for new players with small bankrolls. The strategy still remains one of the easiest systems to learn and adapt despite these issues.
- 89% Beginner
- 88% Advanced
- 85% Pro
How high is the risk?
If one looks at the Martingale betting strategy from the point of view that it uses the outside bets in Roulette, then the system is fairly low risk as the outside bets have the highest odds of winning. However, if one looks at the Martingale betting strategy from the perspective of a negative progression betting system things look quite different. The Martingale betting system can be extremely risky because when one has to keep doubling up on bets, over a long cycle this can become very expensive and you could simply run out of money to sustain the run. If you cannot make the next wager you lose everything that you have already wagered and this can be quite catastrophic in a very short space of time.
Are winnings guaranteed?
Winnings are certainly not guaranteed when using the Martingale betting strategy. As we have just seen in the previous scenario, if you are on a long losing cycle and you cannot continue to double your wager, you lose everything, all at once! Of course, you can’t be on a losing streak indefinitely but that is not the point if you do not have enough to sustain the wager you lose. When the colour or number of the winning does come in then you win, everything that has held up in the wagers plus the same again in winnings.
Is the Martingale betting strategy worth it?
As a basic introduction to betting systems and strategies is definitely worth a try. The system is very easy to learn, in fact there is nothing to the system at all, no charts or complicated formulas to remember. All that a player has to know is that you have to double up on every losing bet. That however is where it ends because to keep doubling up on losing bets can become very risky and there is no big payday because even if you do win it is an outside bet paying even money (1:1).
There are better progression betting systems that are worth trying like the Fibonacci betting system used in both Roulette and Blackjack. There are plenty of other betting systems and strategies that we review and you can read all about them while you also visit our online casino comparison pages or our in-depth casino bonus comparison pages. We offer tons of useful tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your casino gaming.
- The risk of loss is low due to the good chances
- You can win until the table limit
- The strategy is very easy to understand and implement
- You should check the limits before you use the strategy
- In the long run, there is no guaranteed win