Roulette’s Martingale Strategy

The Martingale Roulette system is the most well-known betting strategy when it comes to even odds bets. It is used in Craps as well as in Roulette. For the most part, it is better known for being used as a Roulette strategy.

We take an in-depth view at the parole system letting you know how:

1.     How does the Martingale system work?

2.     Does it really help you win?

3.     Is it a reliable system?

Why should you learn the Martingale Strategy?

Signing up for an online casino and playing just for fun is a great excuse for playing without worrying about a strategy. Maybe this works for people that do not gamble very often, maybe once or twice a year.

On the other hand, if you are someone that plays Roulette regularly, then you should be using a strategy.

With a strategy, you can:

1.     Make bets that will enhance your winnings

2.     Learn to play with discipline

3.     Increase your session times

4.     Have more fun

Unlike games such as blackjack where you have an optimal strategy which has only slight strategy adjustments amongst each variation of the game, Roulette comes with a myriad of systems you can follow; the Martingale being the most common.

What is the Martingale System?

This system is the close opposite to another strategy used in Roulette known as the Paroli system. Instead of doubling your bet each time you win as with the Paroli system, instead the Martingale system means doubling your bet each time you lose.

Advantages of the Martingale System:

  •  Very easy system to learn
  • You can recoup losses
  • Prolong your Roulette sessions
  • Can make Roulette more fun
  • Great to use as a side bet to inside bets

Features of the Martingale System

Before you begin to implement the Martingale strategy, you need to understand the bets that are used with this strategy. It only uses Even/Odd, Colour and High/Low bets – all these bets pay only pay even odds.

Admittedly, these are the lowest paying bets on the Roulette table, but they also come with the best odds of winning. The odds are almost 50%. However, because the ‘0’ and the ‘00’ are not tied to high/low, odd/even or colour bets, they reduce this percentage to just below 50%.

These are the 3 types of bets that the Martingale System uses:

Martingale System For Roulette The 3 Types of Bets

How do even odd bets pay?

Successful bets on an even odds wager will give players their original bet back plus an amount equal to their bet as winnings. Therefore, if you bet £10.00, then your £10.00 will be returned, plus you will get £10.00 on top. Your total win would be £20.00 with a profit of £10.00.

Now that you understand the basic of the Martingale system, let’s look at it compared to its opposite, the Paroli system:

Paroli System Features:

  • Bets are doubled subsequent to each win
  • Only uses the 3 even odd outside betting options
  • Downswings in luck result in small gradual losses only
  • More play time to win your losses back

Features of the Martingale System:

  • Bets are doubled subsequent to each loss
  • Only uses the 3 even odd outside betting options
  • Downswings can be expensive
  • Need a large bankroll to play

Is the Martingale System Recommended for Rookies?

As you can see after comparing the Martingale system with the Paroli system, the Martingale system is the riskier. That is not to say that it is not a good system for amateur players.

In fact, both these systems are perfect for beginner Roulette players. This is simply because they are basic system to learn. The Martingale system is most certainly the costlier of the 2 if you happen to hit a losing streak.

Doubling your bet each time you lose when it just isn’t your night at the Roulette table can become expensive. However, as long as you come to the table with a budget in mind, and you do not go over that budget, then there is very little danger in building up any substantial losses.

If you are worried about bad luck, which could also mean less time at the table, then the Paroli system is probably going to be more your cup of tea. Although, there are some convincing reasons the Martingale strategy is still the right choice to make.

The Rules Involved with the Martingale System

To keep things very simple, just always keep in mind that the Martingale system only makes use of 3 outside bets.

  • Even (Manque) and Odd Bets (Passe)
  • Black (Noir) or Red (Rouge)
  • High (Pair) or Low Bets (Impair)

There are just 2 steps to get started:

1.     Select one of the outside bets to begin your Roulette sessions

(If you are a beginner, then choose just 1 of the 3 even odds options)

2.     Set a limit on how much you plan to bet each coup (spin)

(For newbies, we suggest keeping each bet to the table minimum)

Now that you are ready, let the wheel spin. Once the result is shown, you will then know whether your bet was successful or a lost bet. Here are the next actions to take.

1.     If you win, just place exactly the same bet again

(Do not change the amount that you originally wagered)

2.     If you lost the best, then you double your original bet

(Make sure you double and not tempt yourself into placing the same bet again)

3.     If the next coup produces another loss, then double your previous bet again

(The third bet will be twice the amount of your second bet)

Each time you lose, you need to continue to double your bet. Already you have probably already been asking yourself; “What happens if I continue losing?”. And who can blame you for asking that question? This is the riskier side of the Martingale system.

Discipline is important

On occasion, the Martingale system will become very frustrating simply because you will end up with multiple losses. You can quickly burn through your planned budget for the session. Just make sure that you follow these 2 rules:

1.     Set yourself a limit for the session no matter how short it may turn out to be

2.     Walk away from the table once you have burnt through that amount

Unfortunately, there are just those days where lady luck will be nowhere in sight. These days are sent to test your discipline as a casino player. By leaving the table and beating the temptation of burning more cash means you are already learning how to beat the system.

How does the Martingale System Help Me?

Wins are gradual with Martingale system; i.e. you will only make a gradual profit. In fact, most of the time you will be playing at a loss using it; while, at best this system is encouraging you to chase your losses. Nonetheless, it does make a lot of sense when you break it down.

The double or nothing concept

Probability, as inconsistent as it can be, demands that eventually if you continue betting on the same 50/50 option, it will pay off. Just like flipping a coin – you may be in a bar and bet on tails versus the barman. Unbelievably, you lose 9 times.

However, you are smart! You know this is variation playing tricks on the laws of probability.

You continue saying double or nothing with the barman. The barman can’t believe his luck and keep shaking his head each time. You stick to your guns and eventually tails lands, the barman’s face drops, and to your delight, you slate is wiped clean.

This is what the Martingale strategy entails. Except the Martingale strategy has a little twist where you will end up in profit, which you will read about in the next section.

Before we go there, let’s continue and finish off the coin flip scenario:

Now the barman wants to continue realising his loss and the tails start rolling in. After 3 more flips, the barman gives up, and you earn 3 free drinks!

The morale of the story is that you need to stick to your bet and let the Roulette wheel and your chip stack do the work for you. Eventually, the law averages will pan out. In the next section, we will show you how you end up in profit rather than wiping the slate clean.

A Demonstration of the Martingale System

In this scenario, you have walked into a casino and changed your casino chips into Roulette chips. You decide to play at a table with £5.00 minimum on the outside bets. You have taken £200 to the table with you and decide to bet £10.00 each time on red.

  • Outside bets: £5.00 table minimum
  • Betting: £10.00 per bet
  • Outside bet: Red

Now we have the scenario set, let’s take you through a spin by spin example of how to implement the Martingale strategy.

·       Spin 1

You place your first £10.00 bet on red because you see on the history board that mainly black numbers are dominating. You also feel like there will be s change in variations with more reds bound to come in. You let the wheel spin and the bet comes up as a loss.

Chip count: £190 (after spin 1)

·       Spin 2

Due to the loss on “Spin 1” and according to the Martingale strategy, you need to double your previous bet remembering to keep that bet on red. As you bet £10.00 for your first bet, this time you need to bet £20.00. The wheel spins and black comes up again; another loss.

Chip count: £170 (after spin 2)

·       Spin 3

As there was yet another loss on “Spin 2”, you will need to double again. This time you will need bet double your previously wagered £20.00. Therefore, you place £40.00. The next coup ends, and once again variation toys with the laws of probability producing yet another black.

Chip count: £130.00 (after spin 3)

·       Spin 4

You have now lost £70.00 in 3 spins. Spin 1: £10.00 + Spin 2: £20.00 + Spin 3: £40.00 + Spin 4: £80.00 = £150.00. However, probability is edging closer on your side. “Spin 3’s” £40.00 loss will now need doubling again to £80.00. Thankfully, the next spin is a red paying £160.00.

Chip count: £210.00 (after spin 4)

·       Spin 5

As the last bet was a win, your next bet will be reset to your original stake that you designated at the begging of the session. You bet £10.00 on red again, and red flies in fast. Your return is £20.00 (your £10.00 bet + £10.00 winnings.

·       Recap

In the end, as with the barman’s example above using the coin flip, the Roulette session started bad. Nonetheless, Probability caught up with itself, and red came in on spins 4 and 5. The end result it that a bad start was turned into a profit after just 5 spins.

Furthermore, probability suggests that red will start landing more regularly now. This means now there is a good chance that the next few spins could be very lucrative. Also, there is one more point to take note of. The first 4 spins did more than just recuperate the losses.

Next up we will look into why the Martingale system is attractive and why it also comes with its label of being a risky Roulette system.

The Mathematics Behind the Martingale Strategy

When we start to dig into the mathematical side of the Martingale strategy, you will begin to see why it is labelled both a risky system as well as a lucrative one.

We will explain both the main pros and cons:

Pros:

–        Low odds of a continuous losing streak

–        A win after doubling always gives small profit in return

Cons:

–        You need a reasonably large bank roll

–        Table maximums can ruin the strategy

To begin with, the mathematical calculations used below is based on a European Roulette table with just 1 “0”. That means there are 37 numbers including the “0”. Only 36 of these numbers (1-36) are covered by Roulette’s even odds outside bets.

As the Martingale system is based on losing, we need to calculate the percentages using the casino’s edge instead of from the player’s perspective.

The chances of the casino winning are 19/37 on a European Roulette table. That is 36 numbers dived by making 18, and then we plus the ‘0’. The casino then has 19 numbers to win versus the player’s 18 numbers.

For 5 spins, the calculation is: (19/37 x 19/37 x 19/37 x 19/37)

§  TOTAL: 0.036

§  PERCENTAGE: 4.00%

Should you end up playing an American Roulette table, then the odds change out of your favour. This is because the US version of Roulette adds an additional number to the wheel, which is the “00”. To calculate the risk of a loss you would need to replace 19/37 with 19/38.

Demonstration of the Martingale System Table 1

SpinsBet £Banroll £200Loss Percentage Chance
1£10£19051.40%
2£20£17026.40%
3£40£13013.50%
4£80£507.00%
5£160-£1104.00%
6£320£101.80%

Note: This table is replica of the scenario we set in the section above “A Demonstration of the Martingale System”. The starting bet is £10.00 with a £200.00 bankroll.

How does the maths make the Martingale system both attractive and unattractive?

1.     The odds of a losing streak (The attractiveness of the strategy)

One of the reason mathematically the Martingale system is attractive is obvious just by looking at the table. you can see that the more spins you lose in succession, the lesser the odds of a losing spin are. This is what make the Martingale system attractive.

2.     Why you need a large bankroll (The less attractive side of the strategy)

On the other side to the positive outlook the percentages offer, variation can disrupt this law of percentages and averages. Although it is unlikely that you will lose 6 spins in a row, we all know it does and that it can happen. As you can see in the table above, if 6 spins result in a loss, our bankroll runs out.

Bankroll management is very important when you play any casino game. With the Martingale strategy, you can see how it can easily spiral out of control.

To avoid running through your bankroll, we recommend:

–        Making sure you choose the right minimum bet per spin

–        Compare this to your bankroll

–        Make sure your bankroll is enough to survive at least 10 – 15 spins

3.     One more reason the Martingale Strategy is attractive

Using the table below you can see that as soon as you turn your losing coups into a win, that you will make a small profit. No matter how many times you have doubled due to a loss, as soon as you hit a winning spin you will make a profit.

Martingale Strategy Table 2 Example

SpinsBet it if You Lose £Total Amount Bet So FarWin Pay Out if You WinProfit
1£10£10£20£10
2£20£30£40£10
3£40£70£80£10
4£80£150£160£10
5£160£310£320£10
6£320£630£640£10

In this data table, the starting bet is £10.00. You can see how much you need to bet from spins 1 – 6 if you continually lose. You can also see the pay-out outcome if you win on any 1 of those spins and the profit you will earn. It is always a positive number.

The profit you will make when eventually the Roulette ball does land on your bet will always be the amount that you first bet to begin your session.

For example, if you see the next data table below, you can see where the starting bet is £50.00. Eventually when you win, your profit will be £50.00. As a result, the Martingale system will eventually provide you with a profit as long as your bankroll can stand the test of time.

Martingale Strategy Table 3 Example

SpinsBet it if You Lose £Total Amount Bet So FarWin Pay Out if You WinProfit
1£50£50£20£50
2£100£150£40£50
3£200£350£80£50
4£400£750£160£50
5£800£1550£320£50
6£1600£3150£640£50

4.     Maximum bet caps are another negative to the Martingale system

One final negative point to this system is the rules some casinos put on their tables to cap maximum bets. These rules are not there to quash the Martingale system, but there to ensure the casino caps the risk of whales coming in and busting their casino tables.

Because of these rules, sometimes the Martingale strategy does not work. If you take the data table above as an example where the player’s minimum bet is £50.00. Now let’s imagine the maximum bet on this Roulette table is £1000. After 5 spins that all result in a loss, the player cannot double the £800 wager.

Mathematical Pros versus Cons

As you can see, the Martingale system can look scary when you see how a losing streak can easily rip through your bankroll. Table maximums can also negatively affect a player’s ability to continue doubling on losses if a player happens to hit a bad run of luck.

Conversely, the percentage chance of losing several times in a row is gradually reduced. With each spin, the odds swing into the player’s favour. Accordingly, losing 5 or 6 spins in a row on a regular basis should rarely happen, and when a player does win after doubling any number of times, he/she will be in profit.

To sum this up, when you look at the maths it works if you have the right conditions to play!

Online Casino Bonuses: The Best Way to Use the Martingale Strategy

For those worried about the bankroll required to play the Martingale system, online casino bonus codes are the best way to get around this. You can double your money or use regular casino bonus codes to top up your deposits.

There are so many advantages to playing Roulette online or at a live casino, and the main one is the endless lists of bonuses that online casinos are prepared to give away.

In addition to cash play, you can practice the Martingale system using free play Roulette tables, which are the same as the real money tables.

Here are some online casinos with great bonus codes and free play options:

Is the Martingale System Legal?

Absolutely 100% yes. You can even announce that you are using this strategy to the croupier if you want to. There is nothing that discourages players from using this system aside from the fact that the table maximum can be a pain if you happen to hit a downswing.

Our Verdict

The 3 main points are:

1.     The system means you are often chasing your losses

2.     It takes advantage of positive variation to make a profit

3.     Plan very carefully before using this strategy

The idea is to double up and eventually turn a losing streak into a profit. If you are betting on red and black comes up often, eventually red will land and a profit is made. This is the point at which you will be chasing your losses.

Soon enough variation and probability statistically will start to even out. This means red will start to appear more often and rather than having to lose and double your bet, you will be winning normal bets until variation switches back to black.

Another point worth noting is that this system certainly needs a degree of thought and planning put into it compared to the Paroli system. The biggest mistakes you can make are to fail to plan your bankroll or play on a table that has a low maximum bet limit.

As long as you have planned well for the strategy, then you should be able to implement it with extreme ease. There is the problem of going on a downswing and the temptation to swap your betting options; for instance, switching from red to black.

Just make sure that you have some degree of discipline and stick to your guns if you do decide to use this system and eventually probability and the law averages will swing in your favour.

All Roulette Systems:

Paroli Roulette System
Martingale System
Labouchère System
The D’Alembert System
The Fibonacci System
The Hollandish System

Other Resourses to the Martingale System:

The Mathematics of Games by David G. Taylor

Martingale betting system