Martingale System

Martingale System: A Beginner’s Guide

page thumbnail
Updated on: 21 May 2024
Dean McHugh

A famous quote by Seneca, a stoic philosopher of Ancient Rome, states, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” This luck, especially in the gambling industry, can be powered by having a strategy. Over the years, bettors have invented smart systems, or strategies, to increase their chances of winning at the online casino.

In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Martingale System. The guide will cover the origin of the Martingale system, its applications, how it works, the mathematics behind it, its variations, step-by-step guidance on how to use it, its alternatives, as well as the pros and cons.

The Origin of the Martingale System

The Martingale system is a famous betting system that has been around since the 18th century. It is believed to have been named after a London-based casino owner by the name of John H. Martindale, who used it in the 1700s. The accurate spelling of the name Martindale was lost over the years with the name changing to Martingale.

The system has become famous over the years because it seems to be a foolproof system that guarantees bettors massive wins. The Martingale system utilises basic logic and its supporters swear it can indeed give a 100% win in a vacuum. However, casinos and betting sites do not operate in a vacuum, nor do the bank accounts of players. What this means is that several factors, such as casino regulations, gambler’s fallacy, limited bankrolls, and bet limits, can foil success while using the Martingale system.

Various Applications of the Martingale System

applications of martingale system

The Martingale betting system has several use cases and is applied in various industries, including:


Blackjack is a casino game where the Martingale has been highly adopted. The system offers bettors a 50% chance of winning every round. The classic blackjack game has 99.41% RTP, but some options have higher payouts.

The Martingale system works in blackjack in the following way: the player bets on one unit and only doubles it down after a loss. The strategy aims to recover money lost by increasing the betting amount progressively while targeting a win in the next round.

When it comes to splitting aces and doubling down, the Martingale system might be a bit complicated. However, some bettors choose to go back to unit one after every win to avoid the complication. If the player doubles down and loses, according to the Martingale system, they need to double the bet amount and continue betting.


Roulette is quite popular with most players who utilise the Martingale betting system. However, the system only works on even chance bets, which leaves the bettor with three main options as follows:

  • Odd/Even
  • High/Low
  • Red/Black

The bettor then needs to put the chips on red, black, odd, even 1-18 and 19-36. In case of a win, the player can then bet one unit again, but if they lose, they should double the bet amount to two units. The bettor then needs to continue doing this until they get a win.

For roulette players who wish to utilise the Martingale system, it’s advisable to try it out on French Roulette, which usually has a higher RTP than the American or European versions. French roulette only has a single zero and a rule by the name of ‘la partage’, which earns a 50% rebate when the ball lands on the zero pocket.

Sports Betting

The Martingale betting system can be used in sports betting, although investors need to stake bets that pay evenly, for example, €100. The most common betting scenarios are the point spread, which features standard odds of -110 and requires €11 to win €10.

For those who specialise in horse betting, it is very rare to find standard odds. Regardless, you can still apply the Martingale system in sports betting, even though the payouts won’t be as predictable as in other games like blackjack or roulette.

Forex Trading

The Martingale system is frequently applied in Forex trading. The system has several benefits when it comes to trading in the currency markets as compared to other gambling or asset investments.

Currencies, unlike stocks, do not fall below zero. However, a currency might fall and have a negative value after a prolonged decline. What this means for traders is that there is a limit to how much you can lose.

The other good thing about forex markets is that they allow investors to earn interest. This simply means that investors who utilise the Martingale system can easily offset their previous losses with the interests gained. For example, you can borrow using a low-interest-rate currency and buy one that has a high-interest rate.

How the Martingale System Works

how martingale strategy works

Nonetheless, the Martingale system is such a simple-to-use betting system that many players have envisioned using it or have already used it in betting. The system basically focuses on doubling the losing bets until you eventually win.

For instance, if you bet with €20 on your first bet and win, you put that €20 aside and bet with another €20. But if you lose the first bet, you’ll be required to stake €40 on the next bet, according to Martingale system. If you are unlucky on the second bet, then you would put €80 on the next bet, and so forth, until you theoretically recover all the losses while keeping the initial profit of €20.

You’re then required to start over with another €20 original bet and repeat the process while keeping all the €20 bets won and only doubling the staking amount after a loss.

The Martingale system works under the assumption that if you lose the first three consecutive bets, it is less likely that you will lose the fourth one. This is what is referred to as the “gambler’s fallacy”, and it makes the bettor fail to recognise that each bet is an individual event that does not correlate with the preceding one.

If you bet on heads on a coin flip, nothing changes if you bet on heads for a second, third or fourth time - the odds will always be the same. While the Martingale system is a winning strategy for those with an infinite bankroll, it is not really a good way to make consistent profits in the real world.

The Mathematics Behind the Martingale System

When it comes to gambling, nothing beats the power of numbers. So, let’s explore how the Martingale system works from a statistical point of view while utilising a use case of a Roulette betting scenario assuming you only want to bet on black and red, each with 50% probability of winning. In this example, we’ll assume that the initial stake amount is €200 and you bet on a constant outcome throughout the game.

Below is how the scenario would look like while applying the Martingale betting system:

Game No Bet Outcome Result
1 Bet €200 on Red Black Loss
2 Bet €400 on Red Black Loss
3 Bet €800 on Red Black Loss
4 Bet €1600 on Red Black Loss
5 Bet €3200 on Red Black Loss
6 Bet €6400 on Red Red Win

When you add the losses up, they total €6,200, while the win is €6,400. This simply means that you will have made €200 after putting the Martingale system into practice. However, you had to risk €6400 in game no. 6 for you to make the €200 profit.

The Variations of the Martingale System

Grand Martingale

The Grand Martingale, as the name suggests, takes a Martingale system to the extreme, and it is a system that can help you win larger amounts of money. It works by utilising the normal Martingale system principles but includes an additional bet unit after every loss.

The strategy ensures that if you lose four consecutive bets but win the fifth one, you will still make a profit and win more than someone using the original Martingale system. However, the grand Martingale has its drawbacks, whereby you’re required to risk big losses while staying below the wager limit and increasing bets at a faster rate than the normal Martingale system.

Reverse Martingale

The reverse Martingale works in this way: rather than doubling the bet amount after a loss, the system requires a double down after a win. This strategy prevents you from making losses and can be very successful in the case of several consecutive wins. However, the reverse Martingale can also be dangerous in the event of a loss because you lose all the money made after doubling down on wins.

The reverse Martingale system works best for players who have discipline and know when to quit. If you decide to apply this system in four or five games, it would be best to parlay the games and reduce the amount to lower the risk while increasing the reward. By doing so, you can then calculate the risk and reward by using a parlay calculator.

Mini Martingale

Mini Martingale is a variation of the Martingale system that makes it hard to lose all your bankroll by spreading it out into small portions. The system limits the amount of double bets that you can place in order to avoid making huge losses.

What this system does is allow you to recover losses gradually as compared to the original Martingale system. However, an extended losing streak can lead to the depletion of your bankroll without making any profits in all the bets.

Step-by-Step Guide on Implementing the Martingale System

Grasping the strategy in theory is one thing, but implementing it is something completely different. When it comes to the Martingale system, you can implement it effectively by taking the following steps:

  • Decide on your initial betting unit: Start by picking the amount you want to stake in your first bet.
  • Set a bankroll limit: Establish a limit on the total amount of money you are willing to use in your betting session.
  • Divide the bankroll into portions: Break the total bankroll into smaller portions to help manage your money effectively.
  • Place your first bet on the desired outcome: Pick an outcome and stick to it throughout the progression of the Martingale strategy.
  • Double your stake after each loss: When you lose, double the betting amount on the next bet. This will help you recover your previous losses and gain a profit when you eventually win.
  • Reset after every win: When you win, start over with the initial betting unit. This will allow you to secure your profits from previous bets.

But how do you mitigate risks while using the Martingale System?

  • Stay disciplined during the winning streaks: Do not be tempted to increase your stakes significantly during winning streaks.
  • Keep your cool during losing streaks: When going through a losing streak, do not panic but rather remain calm and avoid chasing losses by being impulsive.
  • Maintain your bankroll limit: Be mindful of your bankroll limit, and do not be tempted to exceed it.

Alternatives to the Martingale System

martingale alternatives

There are several gambling or betting systems that can be alternatives to the Martingale Betting System. These systems can be broken down into positive and negative progressive systems. Before exploring the alternatives to the Martingale system, let’s explore positive and negative progressive systems.

Positive vs Negative Progression Systems

A positive progression system necessitates decreasing your bet amount once you lose and increasing the bet amount once you win. For instance, if you place a €200 bet and win, you bet with €400 on the next bet. But if you lose, you bet €100 on the next.

On the other hand, a negative progression system necessitates increasing the bet amount when you lose and decreasing it when you win. Using the same initial bet amount as above (€200), you will place €100 if you win the initial bet and €400 if you lose the initial bet.

Now, let’s look into the alternatives to the Martingale system!

Which Martinale System Alternatives To Use?

The D’Alembert System

The D’Alembert system is a negative progression system that differs from the Martingale system in only one way. The D’Alembert , unlike the Martingale system, calls for increasing your wager by one unit when you lose rather than doubling it like the Martingale system.

The D’Alembert strategy also allows you to set your unit beforehand, thus giving you greater control over the game. We can use a roulette game to visualise a real scenario of how the D’Alembert system works.

Let’s say, for example, you wager €1 in the first round and lose; you will then wager €2 in round two. If you lose again, you will wager €3, and let’s assume that you win in this round. So you will reduce the bet to one unit, betting only €2. If you lose, you bet €3 again, and if you win, you will end up with €7 profit despite winning just twice in five rounds.

Fibonacci System

The Fibonacci system is a negative progression betting system and is usually used when placing even money bets in casinos. The system utilises the Fibonacci series, although it ignores the zero at the start. What this means is that for you to usethe Fibonacci system in gambling, you need to memorise the Fibonacci sequence or write it down.

Additionally, when using the Fibonacci system, you need to decide on the amount you want to stake per unit beforehand. The amount can vary, but it’s always advisable to keep it small and relative to the total amount you plan to gamble.

For better understanding, this is how the Fibonacci system works for casino games.

You first wager one unit - for example, if you decide that your amount per unit is €5, you will then bet €5 on your first round because 1 is the first letter on the Fibonacci sequence after ignoring the zero. Following a loss, you will move to the next number in the Fibonacci sequence in order to calculate the next stake. Since it will be a two, you will stake €10 (€5 x 2). This rule applies after every loss, so you will be increasing your stake after every losing wager.

The Paroli System

The Paroli system, unlike the Martingale system, is a positive progression betting system. When using this system, you’ll be required to double your wager when you win and go back to your initial bet amount when you lose.

Just like other positive progression betting systems, the Paroli system is effective because the amount of your bankroll that is at risk from your wagers is quite low. Thus, when the game is unfavourable, the probability of making a substantial loss will be low.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using the Martingale System

The Martingale betting system has both advantages and disadvantages, and they are as follows:


  • Simplicity of use: The Martingale system is simple to understand and use, thus making it suitable for beginners.
  • Potential quick recovery: Powered by the doubling down strategy after a loss, the system promises quick recovery by offsetting all the losses in just one win or a streak of wins.


  • Risk of huge losses: Despite being very promising in terms of big wins, the Martingale strategy can lead to huge losses in the event of a long losing streak.
  • Constraints on bankroll: In case of a long losing streak, you might not have enough bankroll to continue with the strategy further.

Final Thoughts

The Martingale system involves doubling up on lost bets and reducing winning bets by 50%. The system is based on the assumption that when going for a constant outcome, you cannot lose every time. Thus, you will recoup your money and make a profit by increasing the betting amount on the subsequent bet after a loss. Despite the strategy looking quite promising theoretically, it can lead to huge losses on a prevalent losing streak.

If you are a betting newbie, make sure to perform an in-depth analysis of the best betting strategy for gambling and have a bankroll limited to the money you can afford to lose in case your strategy fails.

More From CasinoGrounds