The martingale wagering system is the most widely recognized of all betting systems. This is likely due to the simplicity of the martingale system’s fundamental premise: double your wager each time you lose until you win. The theory behind the martingale system is that you will return to marginally above even if you ultimately win a wager.
Most commonly, the martingale system is applied to even-money wagers, such as red/black in roulette and pass line bets in craps. If a participant loses an even-money wager, the Martingale system instructs him or her to double the next wager to compensate for the loss. If this second wager also loses, the participant is instructed to double again. It is anticipated that the participant will ultimately win a wager and regain a minor advantage.
This example illustrates the application of the Martingale wagering system. Let’s suppose you are starting out with a $1.00 wager at the roulette table of some random online casino.
You lose the $1.00 bet you placed.
Your subsequent wager is $2.00, and you lose.
Your subsequent wager is $4.00, and you lose.
Your next wager is $8.00, which you lose.
Your next wager of $16.00 is successful.
After using the martingale strategy for this progression of bets, you have accumulated a profit of $1. This appears to be a decent system at first inspection, but there are several issues.
Disproving the Martingale Betting System
The fundamental flaw of the martingale system is that it has no effect on the probabilities of any casino game. No matter how you wager, casino games have an inherent house advantage that you cannot overcome. The martingale system has been mathematically proven to produce the same house edge over the long term as casino games.
The second issue with the martingale system is that it implies you have a boundless bankroll so that you can continue multiplying your wagers indefinitely. Losing multiple wagers in a succession is more frequent than most people realize. Even with the largest bankrolls, the compounding effect rapidly catches up. And even if your bankroll is limitless, you will soon reach the table’s wagering limits.
The rule of common sense is another piece of evidence against the martingale wagering system. If the martingale wagering system actually worked, you would expect individuals to use it to win a great deal of money in casinos. Even though the majority of gamblers are familiar with the martingale system, casinos around the world continue to operate as usual. They make no attempt to prevent you from using the martingale system.
Is the Martingale System Effective?
In the long term, the tumbling system is ineffective. Countless models have mathematically demonstrated its ineffectiveness. However, there are instances when the martingale system may appear to be successful. In the short term, the martingale system typically produces a modest profit.
Let me be explicit, however: I am not suggesting that the martingale system is a decent or worthwhile wagering system. The frequent minor victories that the martingale system generates are overshadowed by the infrequent but much more catastrophic losses that can result from a prolonged losing streak.