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Online Casino Betting Using the Martingale System

Online Casino Betting Using the Martingale System


The Martingale system is one of the most famous strategies used by roulette, blackjack, baccarat and craps players at both land-based and top online casinos. It is a negative progression system, meaning you increase the size of your bet each time you suffer a loss. This Martingale strategy guide will explain how the system works, how it can be applied to the world's most popular casino games, and the advantages and disadvantages of using it. Read on for a full explanation of the Martingale betting system. 

How The Martingale System Works

The Martingale system takes its name from an 18th century London casino owner called John Martindale. It was initially named after him, but it became known as the Martingale system as it spread across the world. Legendary gambler Charles Wells was reportedly using the Martingale strategy when he broke the bank at Monte Carlo in 1891, and the system has remained popular ever since.

The concept is pretty simple. You can use the Martingale betting system on wagers where the odds are close to 1:1, such as red/black or odd/even on a roulette board. The idea is that you double the size of your stake after each loss you incur. Eventually you should recoup any losses, provided you have a large enough bankroll and that you do not fall foul of table limits.

First you must set a base unit amount. This is a percentage of your bankroll, and you should stick to it throughout your session. Let's say you have a bankroll of €500, and you decide to set your base unit as €10. Your first wager would be for €10. If it wins, you keep your stake the same and bet again. When you lose, double the size of your stake. Your next bet would be for €20. If it loses, double it again to €40. Keep going until you win. As soon as you win, you return to betting one unit again. 

This table provides an example of how the Martingale system can be used in practice:

WagerStakeResult of BetWin / Loss
First Bet€10Win€10
Second Bet€10Win€20
Third Bet€10Loss€10
Fourth Bet€20Loss-€10
Fifth Bet€40Loss-€50
Sixth Bet€80Win€30
Seventh Bet€10Loss€20
Eighth Bet€20Win€40
Ninth Bet€10Loss€30
Tenth Bet€20Loss€20
Eleventh Bet€40Loss-€20
Twelfth Bet€80Loss-€100
Thirteenth Bet€160Loss-€260
Fourteenth Bet€320Win€60
Fifteenth Bet€10Win€70

Although you have lost nine out of 15 hands in this Martingale betting system example, you are still €70 in profit. This shows how powerful an aggressive negative progression system like the Martingale can be. However, it is by no means foolproof, as we will explain in the next section of this Martingale system guide.

The Martingale system is popular among many players, because it is easy to follow and allows you to control your bankroll. This article explains Martingale system blackjack, Martingale system roulette, Martingale system baccarat and Martingale system craps. We will then explain the anti-Martingale system at the end of the guide, in case you would prefer to follow a positive progression system. 

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Martingale Betting System: Pros And Cons

There are several advantages to using the Martingale betting system when playing casino games. However, there are also some disadvantages to using this system instead of alternative betting strategies:

You will always recoup your losses by winning a single hand. The very nature of the Martingale strategy guarantees that you will eventually win back the amount you lose, because you double your stake after each loss. All you need to do is win one bet to wipe out a long series of losses.The Martingale system requires a large bankroll. You must double your stake after each loss, and the size of your wagers can therefore soar when you endure a losing streak. For instance, if your unit price is €20 and you lose seven bets in a row, you will have to stake €2,560 on your next bet. If you lose that, you need to bet €5,120. If you do not keep doubling your stake, the system stops working, so it is not worth using a Martingale system if you do not have a large bankroll.
The Martingale betting system helps you accumulate a series of small profits. This is because you simply continue betting one unit after each win. In contrast, the anti-Martingale strategy requires you to double your stake after each win. Eventually, you will suffer a loss that wipes out all of your winnings – unless you walk away while you're ahead.The concept of significantly ramping up your stake when losing can be psychologically difficult for some players. In the Martingale strategy example used above, you would already be down €5,100 after losing eight straight bets, and you would be facing a loss of €10,220 if you were to lose again. It requires fortitude to keep betting increasingly large amounts after incurring heavy losses, so it is not worth using the Martingale system if you fear that you would lose your nerve.
The Martingale system is a lot more aggressive than alternative negative progression systems. For example, the D’Alembert system only requires you to increase your stake by one unit with each loss, rather than double it. This means you can win a bet, but still be down overall, as you will not erase all of your previous losses in one fell swoop. The same is true of the Labouchere system. It can be disheartening to win and still be down overall when following a negative progression system, but that is not the case with the Martingale strategy.The Martingale system is guaranteed to work if you have an unlimited bankroll, but you can also run into the issue of table limits. Sticking with the example used above, if your first bet was for €20 and you lost nine bets in a row, you would need to place a bet of €10,240 for your next hand. That would push you over the limits of many online casino tables, so you need to find a casino with high table limits, and also consider keeping your initial base unit stake pretty low.
It is easy to follow the Martingale system. You only have to remember to double your stake after each loss, and revert to one unit with each win. There are far more complicated strategies, such as the Fibonacci betting system, which requires you to follow a long sequence, or the Labouchere system, which requires a pen and paper and lots of adjustments. Human error is unlikely to creep in when following the Martingale strategy, and you can spend less time making calculations and more time enjoying yourself at the casino table.The Martingale system does not capitalise on winning streaks. For example, if your base unit is €10 and you win six straight bets, you will earn a profit of €60. However, if you are following the anti-Martingale approach and you win six bets in a row, you would make a profit of €630.
The Martingale system gives you control over your bankroll. It is generally better to follow a system than to simply bet random sums of money throughout a session.Some people might find the Martingale system anticlimactic. For example, if you lost nine bets in a row and then won a bet of €10,240, you would walk away with a €20 profit. You may have recouped your losses, which is a great feeling, but €20 can seem pretty paltry after winning a bet of €10,240.
The Martingale strategy works well for reasonably short sessions. It is an exciting strategy, as it involves rapidly ramping up your stakes, and many players thrive on that sort of action.No betting system can cancel out the inherent house edge built into all casino games. If you play for a prolonged period of time, there is a danger of you embarking on a lengthy losing streak, which could push your bankroll to the limits. The Martingale system works best when you play for a reasonably short amount of time and use casino bonus offers to eat into the house edge.


Martingale Blackjack Betting System

Classic blackjack carries an RTP (return to player) ratio of 99.41%. Some variants offer an even lower house edge, and you can use bonuses to cut it further, so your chances of success on a bet are extremely close to 50/50. Blackjack is therefore the perfect game for a Martingale system. 

A Martingale blackjack strategy works best if you find a table with a relatively low minimum wager limit and a high maximum stake. You should set aside a bankroll and then choose a relatively small proportion of that bankroll as your base unit. If you opt for a €20 unit price, your first wager when playing Martingale system blackjack would be for €20. 

If your bet wins, keep the money and go again. The idea behind the Martingale system blackjack approach is to accumulate a large number of small, one unit wins, while aggressively chasing down losses and wiping them out with a single triumph.

If your €20 Martingale system blackjack bet loses, you are required to double your stake to €40 for your next bet. If you win, you will have erased your previous loss, and you can start again by betting €20. However, if you lose a second consecutive bet, you must increase the size of your stake to €80.

The Martingale blackjack strategy requires you to up the stake to €80 if you lose three in a row. By this point, you would be hoping to wipe out those three previous losses with a win, but if luck is not on your side, ramp it up to €160. When following the Martingale system blackjack strategy, you have to keep upping your stake, to €320, then €640, then €1,280 and so on, until you finally secure victory.

All it takes is one solitary win to wipe out all of your previous losses, but it can be a pretty nerve-racking ride. You need a large bankroll and a table with high limits in order to pursue the Martingale blackjack strategy. 

The high RTP on a blackjack table factors in extra winnings that players can earn by being dealt a blackjack, successfully doubling down or successfully splitting cards. This can be especially beneficial when following a negative progression system like the Martingale. For example, if you were to lose six bets in a row and then win a bet of €1,280, you would make a profit of €20. However, if you were dealt a blackjack on that seventh bet, you would make a profit of €640, as you get an extra 50% bonus for being dealt a blackjack.

It can get a little complicated when considering doubling down or splitting aces. However, if you successfully double down or split cards when playing Martingale system blackjack, you will make a healthy profit. If your double down bet fails, you could then simply double that doubled down stake (essentially quadrupling your stake) for your next bet in order to keep following the system. The same is true if both bets lose after splitting cards. If just one bet wins and the other loses, you are back to square one, and you can make the same bet again. 

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Martingale Roulette Betting System

You can apply a Martingale system roulette approach to all outside bets that have roughly 1:1 (even chance) odds. That includes red/black, odd/even and high/low (1-18/19-36). The green zero skews the odds in the house’s favour, but these bets are close to 50/50.

On that note, it is advisable to play European roulette when following a Martingale system. Roulette has different variants, and American roulette features a double zero pocket as well as the standard zero, which skews the odds further in the house’s favour. French roulette is even better than European roulette, as a rule called "la partage" cuts your losses in half if the ball lands on zero. 

You should find a roulette game with high limits and choose your stake. Most people stick to the same bet each time when playing Martingale system roulette – for instance, betting on red each spin – but you can mix it up if you prefer. As long as the bet has roughly 1:1 odds, you can switch it up. For example, you could bet red, black, red, odd, red, even, black, and so on. However, it is not advisable to play Martingale strategy roulette if you are betting on individual numbers, corners, dozens or columns, as they have higher odds and a far lower chance of success.

Start your Martingale strategy roulette session by betting one unit on your chosen even-money selection, such as black. If it wins, bet one unit again. If you lose, double your stake to two units. Keep going until you win a bet. This will wipe out your previous losses, and you can start again, hoping to rack up a series of small wins before the next losing streak begins, and then cancelling it out again.

Remember to stick to the same unit price throughout a sequence. If your unit is €10, stick to that amount. However, once a sequence is complete, you can change the unit price if you so desire, as that will not affect the concept of Martingale system roulette.

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Martingale Betting System For Baccarat

Baccarat is another casino game with a low house edge and thus a high RTP, so Martingale baccarat strategies are commonly used. The lowest house edge is found on the banker bet, which results in a 98.96% RTP, so this is a popular bet for anyone playing Martingale system baccarat. 

The RTP for a player bet should be 98.76%, so it can also be used for Martingale baccarat, but you would not apply Martingale system baccarat to a tie bet. The Martingale system is reserved for bets with a roughly 50/50 chance of success, as is the case with almost all betting systems. 

You can play Martingale system baccarat by betting one unit, which is preferably a relatively small portion of your bankroll. You double your stake after each loss with Martingale baccarat, and your wager sizes can skyrocket quickly, so starting with a small stake is generally advisable.

Bet one unit, and if it loses, double the size of your bet for your next hand. If you win that bet, you will have wiped out the previous loss, and you can start again. However, if you lose the second bet, you have to double your stake to four units for the next bet when following the Martingale system baccarat approach.

If you lose again, you have to bet eight units for your fourth bet, then 16 units for your fifth bet, and so on, until you finally win.

You will eventually recoup your losses by following this approach, but losing streaks can quickly wipe out your bankroll and push you to the edge of the table limits, so most players start pretty small. You then try to rack up plenty of small wins, chase down losses and walk away with a decent profit at the end of an exciting baccarat session.

It is not a slow and steady system. Martingale baccarat is very aggressive at chasing down losses, which suits some players. You can always try an anti-Martingale approach if you would prefer a positive progression system. It is explained at the end of this guide.

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Martingale Betting System For Craps

You can make a number of bets when playing craps, but only certain wagers are suitable for a craps Martingale system approach. The best options are pass, don’t pass, come and don’t come. The house edge on each of these bets is below 2%, so they are all suitable for a craps Martingale system method. 

However, you would not want to play craps Martingale on bets with a higher house edge, such as Any 7 or Hardways. Some players use it for Big 6 or 8, or field bets, but the house edge can be pretty high on those bets. Remember that taking casino bonuses can really help cut down the house edge, so it is always worth looking out for them.

Begin your craps Martingale session by betting a single unit on pass, don’t pass or another selection with a high RTP. If it wins, bet a single unit again, and keep going until you suffer your first loss.

When you lose a bet, craps Martingale dictates that you must double the size of your stake for the next throw of the dice. You keep doubling your stake with each loss, until that sweet win comes along and wipes out all of your previous losses.


Reverse Martingale Betting Strategy (Anti-Martingale)

If you do not like the idea of following a negative progressions strategy – which involves chasing losses – you can opt for an anti-Martingale strategy instead. The anti-Martingale is also known as the Reverse Martingale, and it simply involves doing the opposite of the Martingale system. 

Once again, you begin your anti-Martingale strategy approach by setting a base unit. You bet that amount on any casino game wager where the odds are roughly 1:1, and if it wins, you double your stake. Keep doubling your stake with each win, and halve your stake if you lose.

If you lose your first bet when using the anti-Martingale system, simply bet one unit again until you win. This is a positive progression strategy, which some casino players prefer.

There are other positive progression systems, such as the Paroli system and the 1-3-2-6 system, but the Reverse Martingale is a lot more aggressive. It can really help you capitalise on winning streaks, but then one loss will erase all your winnings, so it works best if you are prepared to walk away when ahead. 



❓ Where did the Martingale system originate?

The Martingale betting system originated in France in the 18th century, where gamblers used the system in coin-toss games. The Martingale is a negative progression strategy, where bets are doubled after each loss. The idea is to wipe out any losses and make a small profit when you have a win.

❓ How do you use Martingale strategy?

To use the Martingale strategy, you need to decide on a unit size, which will be your starting bet. If you win a round, bet one unit on the next round. If you lose, you double your stakes, and play 2 units on the next round. If you lose again, you keep doubling your bet until you win. After a win, start again at the beginning.

❓ How effective is the Martingale system?

Even though you should only use the strategy on games or bets with an outcome of close to 50:50, a combination of house edge and the fact that previous outcomes have no influence on future outcomes means that this is an extremely risky betting system. In theory, a win will replace the lost funds and add a small profit, but in practice there is no guarantee of a win. A series of losses could wipe out your bankroll.

❓ Why are table limits important when using the Martingale strategy?

Doubling your bet after each loss will increase the stakes dramatically if you are experiencing a losing streak. Let’s say you are playing at a table with a €500 bet limit. If your base unit is €10, and you lose 5 times, you will be €320 down and will not be able to place the €620 sixth bet that could potentially replace your losses.

❓ Is the Martingale strategy legal on betting sites?

It is not illegal to use the Martingale system on betting sites, but you should only choose games or bets with 1:1 odds. You can play red/black or odds/evens in European Roulette, for example, or pass/don’t-pass and come/don't-come bets if you play craps.

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Martin Green

Martin Green

Martin's Story

Martin Green spent five years working at William Hill before becoming a journalist in 2009. He has a degree in English Literature and he has edited a number of magazines, newspapers and websites during his career. He began working as a sports writer and professional tipster in 2014, and his work has featured in a large number of top publications across the web.

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