What Is The Martingale System?

Since the dawn of casinos, players have been trying desperately to beat the house. A quick search on Google highlights just how many people are hoping to game the system. The problem is that online casino games are so heavily audited and regulated that it’s virtually impossible to beat them by cheating.

Games like roulette, blackjack, poker, and slots are created using state of the art technology. They use of immensely complicated algorithms and formulas make them cheat proof. But that doesn’t mean that there are no legitimate ways to improve your chances of a win.

Books, theories, and tutorials are all available to help you spot ways to improve your gameplay and roulette strategies. Whether they work for you or not is another matter entirely.

When it comes to playing roulette online, one of the most popular methods to use is The Martingale System.

The Martingale System

So contrary to what you may think, The Martingale System is not named after a person. Martingale refers to a class of betting strategies. They were invented in the 18th century in France and haven’t evolved very much since then as they are maths based – and basic maths hasn’t changed.

The system works best when you have a 50% chance of winning. In this case, when thinking about Roulette, it means you have a 50% chance of landing on red and a 50% chance of landing on black. I should point out that if you play American Roulette, there is a green 0 square the ball can land on so your chances are not 50/50.

The theory with The Martingale System is: if you win a bet, you bet the same stake again. But if you lose a bet, you double your stake on the next spin.

How The System Works

When you think about the process it doesn’t really make much sense. Why would chase your losses? It goes against all advice that you generally hear about gambling.

And that advice is correct. However, the maths work in your favour when you use The Martingale System.

Put simply, it works like this: First Spin – You bet £1 on red and you win. So you bet another £1 on your second spin.

If you bet £1 on red and you lose, you bet £2 on your second spin.

If you lose on your second spin, you should bet £4 on your third spin. Lose on this spin and you should bet £8 on your fourth spin and so on.

The theory is that you will eventually win as the ball cannot land on the same colour forever. If you have doubled up each time, once you do win, you will make up for all your previous losses.

Pros & Cons Of The Martingale System

So the maths make sense. This strategy is all about playing the probabilities and relies on the fact that eventually, the ball must land on the other colour. So in that regard, the system works.

However, there are drawbacks. Firstly, the method works best for those with deep pockets. Even if you start with a £1 bet, it will quickly rise if you lose quite a few in a row.

  • Spin 1 – £1 bet – lose
  • Spin 2 – £2 bet – lose
  • Spin 3 – £4 bet – lose
  • Spin 4 – £8 bet – lose
  • Spin 5 – £16 bet – lose
  • Spin 6 – £32 bet – lose
  • Spin 7 – £64 bet – lose

In just seven very short spins, if you lost them all you would have spent £127! And you still haven’t won. Your next bet would have to be £128 – on red or black. I don’t know about you but that’s just a little too rich for my blood.

That said, when you win betting on black or red, the odds are 1:1. That means you win what you bet plus you get your bet back. So you do end up back exactly where you started.

The other drawback is that roulette is not actually 50:50. With most tables now including the Green 0, the odds are reduced to just over 48.6% each.

Testing The Theory

As somebody who writes about gambling, and often about strategies and tips, I like to make sure what I write about is correct. So I hopped online to my favourite casino and opened a roulette game.

The minimum bet was £1 on red or black (or green) and I chose red. I place my bet and lost. I doubled the bet to £2 and lost. Undeterred, I upped it to £4 and lost when the ball landed on Green!

I was starting to panic. I do not have a bottomless pit of funds and my next bet of £8 meant I was potentially £15 down in just four spins.

Thankfully, spin 4 landed on red, I got my £8 bet back plus my winnings of £8. I was back to where I started. In fact, I was £1 richer as I had spent £15 but got £16 back.

So there you have it, a summary of The Martingale System and how it works in real life. It works but you need nerves of steel if you find yourself on a losing streak – nerves and plenty of cash!