An Introduction to the Martingale System

by on April 23, 2012

This is probably the most famous roulette system in existence and with some justification.  The reason is that it’s so famous is that unlike most other roulette systems, the Martingale is actually on paper a very sound system.  Unfortunately there are a number of ‘real life’ flaws that stop it becoming the guaranteed road to riches that it appears.

A Brief Introduction to Martingale

It’s not really that complex to be honest. The Martingale stipulates that every time that you lose a bet, you double your next stake until you win. The idea is that if you keep doubling your stake on one of the even money bets – when you win you will cover your previous losses and make a small profit. As soon as you do win you revert back to your original stake and continue as normal. This of course sounds fine on paper but in the fickle world of reality where a casino wheel (in the short term) will spill out some crazy sounding sequences then it doesn’t quite work out.

Just take this as a short example –

  1. You Bet $10 on Red and Lose
  2. You Bet $20 on Red and Lose
  3. You Bet $40 on Red and Lose
  4. You Bet $80 on Red and Lose
  5. You Bet $160 on Red and Lose
  6. You Bet $320 on Red and Lose
  7. You Bet $640 on Red and Lose
  8.  Is ????

You might think this seems unlikely but if you go to any casino and study the numbers it’s surprising how often these streaks occur.  But of course if you keep doubling then you won’t have a problem as your first win will wipe out these losses and give you a small profit.  Step 8 needs to be that you bet $1280 on Red, however the problem in many casinos is that will exceed the maximum house limit.  Every casino both off and online has one – your stake on a single bet is limited.  If you don’t make that bet in Martingale you suffer a big loss.

And that’s mainly why it’s a flawed system – if you could keep doubling you would of course eventually win and make a profit.  But in the real world there are restrictions like house limits and the amount of cash that someone has available.   It’s important to remember that each spin on a roulette wheel is independent, it doesn’t matter what happened before – the odds are not affected by this.  A single flip of a coin or the spin of a roulette wheel is not affected by previous results.

The Martingale System Simulator



This simulator illustrates the problems in using the Martingale system, try it out and you’ll see.  You can enter several parameters to simulate a real session playing  the Martingale system.   Modify the stake, length of time, your available cash and the type of wheel you are playing on – then generate the results.    Try it with 25, 50 and 100 spins and look carefully at what happens.    Most Martingale players will generally have a series of small wins unfortunately very often this will be accompanied by a huge loss.  Remember anytime that the required bet passes either your available funds or is bigger than the table limit – you’ve lost.


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