Martingale strategy explained

Added: May 25, 2022

Last updated: April 23, 2023

Learn everything you should know about roulette’s most famous strategy – Martingale. See whether you can implement it in your gameplay and how to do that in a few simple steps.

The Martingale Strategy is, by far, the most famous Roulette betting strategy

Almost everybody has heard of this betting strategy, where you double your stake until you win. This way, you’ll always win at some stage.

When I was 11, my big 12-year-old cousin explained this principle. He knew what he was talking about.

I was furious that I wasn’t 18. My chance to make easy money in the casino was literally taken away from me!

Several players regard the Martingale Strategy as a strategy where you always win.

Well, if only life were that simple.

Where can you apply the Martingale Strategy (or Martingale System)?

The Martingale Strategy works well in table games like Roulette, Blackjack, Lightning Roulette, Baccarat or Craps. The bets must be even so that the chances of winning and losing are (roughly) the same.

If you’re playing Roulette, it’s best to use these strategies for the “even bet” bets:

  • “Red” or “Black”
  • “Even” or “Odd”
  • “1-18” or “19-36”

How does the Martingale Strategy work?

With the Martingale Strategy, you start, for example, staking $€1 on “Black.”

  • If you win, that’s great. You’ve earned $€1.
  • If you lose, you double your stake to $€2. If you win, you’ve made up for your previous losses. You have a total win of $€1.
  • If you lose again, you double your stake again to $€4. If you win, you’ve made up for your previous losses again. Your total win is $€1.
  • This goes on. You continue to double your stake after each loss until you finally win. In the end, you always win $€1.
  • After you win the $€1, you restart the series.

The table below summarizes how the Martingale Strategy works.

Martingale roulette strategy

The advantage of the Martingale Strategy is that you aim to “always” make a $€1 profit. But, yes, free money doesn’t exist. There is quite a catch.

The strategy fails when you lose 7 or 8 or more consecutive times your bet. The amount you stake (and can lose) increases to $€64, $€128, $€256, $€512 or even more than that. All the while, you are betting huge stakes to win a measly $€1. Do you get the issue?

At some stage, the stakes are so high that it is impossible to double your stake again. Simply because you do not have more cash left. Or because you’ve reached the maximum wager limit of the online casino, which leaves the Martingale strategy stranded.

Some examples.

Example of the Martingale Strategy, where you make a profit

You always bet on “Black.”

  • You start with a bet of $€1.
  • You win round 1 and round 2.
  • Round 3, you lose.
  • You double your stake for round 4 (now it is $€2). You lose again.
  • You double again in round 5 ($€4). Now you win, luckily.
  • You start round 6 with a bet of $€1 as you restart the Martingale sequence. You win.
  • Same for round 7. Now you lose round 7.
  • You double ($€2) in round 8, which you win.
  • You bet $€1 and play round 9, which you lose.
  • You double your bet in round 10 ($€2), which you lose. Now you stop.

Martingale roulette strategy explained

In this example, by applying the Martingale betting strategy, you have an accumulated profit of $€2 after 10 rounds. And that’s nice, especially when you see that you have lost 5 out of 10 rounds.

An example where the Martingale Strategy goes sour, fast

You always bet on “Black.”

  • You start round 1 with a bet of $€1
  • You win round 1 and also round 2.
  • In round 3 (where your bet was $€1), you lose.
  • You double your stake ($€2) for round 4, and you lose.
  • You double your stake ($€4) for round 5, and you lose.
  • You double your stake ($€8) for round 6, and you lose.
  • You double your stake ($€16) for round 7, and you lose.
  • You double your stake ($€32) for round 8, and you lose.
  • You double your stake ($€64) for round 9, and you lose.
  • You double your stake ($€128) for round 10, and you lose.

how does Martingale roulette strategy work

This example shows the risk of the Martingale Strategy. You end up with massive losses of $€253.

The chance that the Martingale Strategy fails is more significant than you may think

The example shows that it can happen to all of us.

The chance that you get the “wrong” colour eight consecutive times is 0.48%. Once, every 207 times (on average).

If you aim to make over $€1 in profits, you have to apply the Martingale System many times. It doesn’t stop after you have won once.

As long as you play the sequence more often, the chances of getting a losing streak of say 7, 8 or more losses increases,

Here is a table with the odds of consecutive losses, based on European Roulette.

Martingale roulette strategy

Conclusion: should you use the Martingale Strategy?

The examples show that this strategy is hazardous. You may end up losing a severe amount of money.

The Martingale system requires enormous amounts of money. That to realize the profit of $€1. tip: with the Martingale System, you can dodge a bullet for a long time, but it is a statistical fact that you will experience a rare series of losses one day.

It has now become clear that my 12-year-old nephew was bluffing!

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