Everyone is looking for the perfect system to beat the house. Unfortunately, gambling is never that simple. We like to protect you from making bad bets, so today, we’re looking at the Martingale system and why it doesn’t pay as well as you might think it does.
The Martingale system relies on the idea of doubling your bet every time you lose. The logic here is that whatever you lose, you eventually win back. For example, If you’re playing Roulette, then you may bet £1 on red. Red doesn’t come up, so the next time you bet, you bet £2 instead. If it doesn’t come up again then you bet £4 and so on and so on until you win. The idea is that when you eventually do win, you recoup your losses and make a profit.
But let’s take a look at that profit using an initial bet of £1 or £5s. 1 (1) (2) 2 (3) (4) 4 (7) (8) 8 (15) (16) 16 (31) (32) 32 (63) (64) 64 (127) (128) 5 (5) (10) 10 (15) (20) 20 (35) (40) 40 (75) (80) 80 (155) (160) 160 (315) (320) 320 (635) (640)
Here we go: so at an initial bet of £1; a win will put you one up but a loss will lose that stake of £1, of course. So if you lose you double that stake to £2. Now a win will get you 2 but that previous loss means you are only up by one. So you will see that every bet you make you will actually only be up by your initial bet when you win.
With a £1 start, even by the time you’ve doubled to betting £128! you’ve already bet and lost £127. And that’s only within 7 bets from starting at a measly £1. Even when you end up betting high, you are overall only looking to win your initial bet each round. To win £1, this doesn’t seem worth it. At larger initial bets Martingale becomes even more risky because of the bet limit.
Every casino game has one to help them avoid this technique. This version of Roulette has a £500 bet limit. Hit this when martingaling and you will have lost a lot of money. This means it’s never a good idea to start your martingale play with a higher bet as you will hit the limit very quickly. Even with starting bets as low as £5. Since the bet limit is £500. You only have to fail to win 7 times before you can’t double anymore.
The chances of getting 7 of the same colour in a row in roulette is 1 in 156.25. In order to even make up for the loss caused by a £500 bet limit, you would have to win £5 bets by successful martingaling 127 times in a row. Those are some very close parameters. It’s not certain failure, but there’s about a 20% chance of it all going horribly wrong. This risk is lessened the lower your initial bet, as you have more opportunities to double and make up losses.
But remember, you only have to fail once. Plus it’s entirely possible that you could lose at the bet limit several times in short succession. There’s nothing that actually stops that from happening. So, the martingale system. It does work, to an extent. But it’s not very certain due to bet and possible bankroll limits. It takes a long time to invest in and the wins are really low compared to the risk of losses. It’s not much more profitable than just standard play. And you have to ask yourself. Do you really want to bet £320 to try to win just 5? We certainly wouldn’t. Some would call it suspicious casinos have that double bet button. Strange they would invite martingaling if it’s such a sure way to win.
Of course, if you play lower bets and set a strict bankroll, you can certainly avoid the downsides of the system. It can work sometimes in theory, which is something Casinoslots researched, but you have to invest a lot of time and effort and be prepared to bail when it stops working for you. Martingale in no way means that you’ve beaten the game.