The Martingale betting system

The Martingale betting system

The Martingale system originated from France in the 18th century and is one of the oldest and best-known betting systems. It was initially designed for casino games such as roulette but the strategy has since found its foothold within sports betting. The Martingale system is widely popular due to its simplicity. It is easy to learn and it doesn’t require any complicated math and you only have to follow a few simple steps.

The Martingale system is another negative progression system along with the Fibonacci, Labouchere and D’Alembert betting systems. As a negative progression system, it involves increasing your stake when you lose a bet.

System explained

Another name for the Martingale system is “double until you win”, which is exactly what you do in this system. The system therefore, is quite simple and based on the theory that the probability of losing a large number of bets in a row is low, and that you will always win a bet eventually.

Before starting the system, you have to set your stake per unit e.g. one unit can be €5. It is up to you how much you wish to stake but it is recommended to start with a smaller stake per unit to ensure you have enough money, if you are faced with a losing streak. Setting a stake per unit at 1-2% of you bankroll is recommended.

  1. Starting the sequence: Your first bet must be a single bet with your chosen stake per unit. If, you have declared to wager €5 per unit, your first bet should be equal to €5. Continue betting with your initial stake per unit until you lose a bet.
  2. Next step after a losing bet: If your bet loses you double your stake. You continue to double your stake until you win a bet and then bet with the initial stake per unit again.

Example with €5 stake per unit:

  1. Bet €5, lost. Total €-5
  2. Bet €10, lost. Total €-10
  3. Bet €20, lost. Total €-35
  4. Bet €40, won. Total €5

The system can work quite well for a period of time, if you can avoid long losing streaks. However, you will more than likely come across a row of losing bets at some point. The system is not risk free and there is a high chance that the stakes will get so high at some point that it gets too risky to continue. However, if you like using betting systems, and are prepared to accept the risks involved, then using the Martingale betting system can be fun.

Who should use this strategy

Use the betting system when you have a large bankroll or choose a very small stake per unit. Even though the system can be profitable, it is advised to set a max betting limit and start over from the beginning in case you reach that limit. The system is easy to follow and can be used if you are just starting out with online betting. However, when using any betting system, it is important to stay disciplined regardless of the outcome of your bet.

Pros and cons

Thumbs up for these Pros

  • The sequence is easy to follow and not complicated.
  • Frequent wins mean you can place many bets

Beware of these Cons

  • The Martingale betting system is for players with a large bankroll.
  • If you hit a losing streak, your stake will increase at a fast pace and you may have to quit the system or start over.

Variations to the system

The Mini Martingale

In this variation you choose a limit to how many time you want to double up. The idea is to limit your loses and not stake outside what you can afford to lose. The drawback is that are more likely to get on a losing streak and will have to start over.

The Anti-martingale

This variation is also known as the reverse Martingale as you increase your stake after a win and reduce them after a loss. So instead of doubling your stake after a loss, you double after a win. This can be quite profitable if you go on a winning streak. Just remember to take profit at some point as it will otherwise be gone after one loss. This option is safer than the normal Martingale system since you double up with profit.

The Grand Martingale

This is a riskier version of the system as you not only double your stake but also your stake unit after a losing bet. The idea is that increased risk should mean increased profit. In the normal Martingale system you will always win one unit e.g. €5. The problem with this variant is of course that you risk losing more during a losing streak.