Martingale Betting System in Roulette

Posted By: Date: 04/05/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

In casino games where even-money bets are available, particularly roulette and baccarat, there are certain betting systems that can be of significant value when properly applied. There are a few common betting systems used by gambling enthusiasts when playing roulette. Some are easier to apply, and some more advantageous, than others.

In this article, we will be expounding the simplicity and effectiveness of the Martingale System. It has a rudimentary design, and is easy enough to implement, but as with all betting systems, there are pros and cons to its use.

Before we go any further, if you’ve ever been told that a roulette betting system is a guaranteed way to win, you were lied to. There is no guaranteed way to win any casino game. If that were true, casinos would have gone bankrupt years ago. A betting system can definitely increase your chances of winning, but the house edge cannot be reversed into the player’s favor.

All betting systems rely on variance. Variance is essentially luck, as opposed to skill, where the player is hoping to realize positive results before the actual expected value takes precedence. In short, the player is trusting that he/she will avoid a significant losing streak.

Martingale Betting System
This system is designed to grant the player a single unit profit over the course of however many bets it takes to win. A unit refers to the amount being wagered. The idea is to double your bet every time you lose, until you win. At this point, you begin again with the original unit bet.

Let’s say you have $100 and wager $1. The bet loses, so you have $99 left and bet $2. You lose again, leaving you $97, and double to a $4 bet. This time you win. Your bankroll is now $101, increased by the original bet size, or unit, of $1. Start again with a $1 bet, rinse and repeat.

The Problem
The problem with this system is how quickly your bets can increase to a much larger size. With a wager of $1, if a player loses 8 times in a row, the 9th bet becomes $256 (or 256 x unit). Most roulette tables have a minimum table limit of $5 or more. At $5, the 9th wager would be $1,280. However, if you’ve already lost the first 8 bets, the total loss, plus 9th bet, is $2,559. Even if your bankroll is large enough to cover that spread, the table limits in roulette will likely restrict such a sizeable wager. If the table limits are $1-$500, the 7th bet will be your last chance. Losing that bet results in an overall loss, even if you win the 8th bet. This is where variance plays an essential role in the effectiveness of the Martingale System.

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