The Martingale System

Alisa Barladyan
03 Apr 2022

If you are an avid sports bettor, you probably have a betting strategy that works well for you. If you open an account and deposit money without any betting strategy, you will likely fail. One of the most popular betting strategies used in sports betting is the Martingale system.

Some bettors use this strategy without knowing. The Martingale betting system was developed in France in the 18th century. It is best for games that involve head or tail formats. This strategy is also used in casino games like the Martingale roulette system and blackjack. If you want to learn more about this betting strategy, we will discuss the following in this guide.

  • Meaning of the Martingale system
  • How it works
  • Advantages and disadvantages
  • Whether the system is legal
  • Martingale variations
  • Can the system help you win?
Martingale System

What exactly is the Martingale System?

The Martingale system is a betting strategy that involves doubling your bet amounts for every loss. This betting strategy aims to get even odds that can help you win more money to cover the losses you had incurred before and have some profit equal to the initial bet.

John Henry Martindale, who owned a casino in London, used this betting strategy in the 1700s, and it is named after him. This betting strategy is commonly used among many bettors because it seems like a sure win. On the contrary, it never works in the long run.

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How does the Martingale Betting Strategy Work?

Using this betting strategy is straightforward. For instance, if you begin with an initial bet amount of $10 and win, you get $10. If your first bet is not successful, you make $20 on the second bet.

If you get correct scores on the second bet, you get the $20. The amount you win covers your $20, and the profit of $20 covers the initial $10. So, you are left with a $10 profit. If the first and the second bets are unsuccessful, your bet amount for the third bet is $40. If the third bet is successful, the profit of $40 covers the initial $10 bet, the $20 on the second bet, and you get a profit of $10.

Here is another example where the initial amount is $100. The bet grows up to the 7th round, where the win takes place. You carry the negative balance to the point where the total is 100 once you win back your losses.


If you want to follow this system, set a certain amount as the reference. Selecting a small wager of $10 -$20 is great to start with. This helps you to bet without breaking your bank. From the above table, you continue to increase the best amount until the point you win. Then you can begin the whole process again. Bettors believe that is one large bet is successful, and it will cover all the losses you made.

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Pros and Cons of the Martingale Betting Strategy

Like any betting strategy, the martingale betting strategy has its upsides and downsides. Before you start to use this system, understand the advantages and disadvantages you are likely to experience. Additionally, the besting system is not 100% effective and neither does it suit all people. Let’s head on to the pros and cons.

  • There is nothing complicated when it comes to implementing this betting strategy. It is quite easy to apply because your bet doubles after every loss. This makes the betting system easy to comprehend and keep track of.
  • Bettors with large bankrolls can take advantage of this betting system because it can be hard to lose. If your wager keeps increasing after every loss, eventually, there is a possibility of winning back your money.
  • Anyone can use the Martingale betting system regardless of their betting skills. Experienced and beginner bettors can regain their losses if you use the besting system progressively.
  • According to mathematics, the system is reliable because, at one point, the bettor will win. This applies to even bets where the player theoretically has 505 chances of winning.
  • You can use this betting strategy for short-term bets. This gives you consistent and small bets as compared to doubling your bet amount on consecutive big losses.
  • When using this strategy, you only need a single win to regain all the previous losses and profit. You can also win a larger amount if you keep winning in the other bets.
  • The system works best if you have two possible outcomes. It is commonly applied on even or odd, colors and high or low roulette numbers.
  • The strategy is not suited for long term bets because you will accumulate too many losses. Engaging in long term bets can lead to excessive wagering amounts.
  • A player can get bankrupt if they have a smaller bankroll because it can be hard to regain their losses. Not every bettor is capable of affording the bankroll strategy, especially when the losses are in thousands.
  • Some casinos have limits on the amount of money bettors can bet, which is a bad idea for casino bettors. This amount can be less than the one you have lost at that time.
  • This system doesn’t guarantee players a win. It is more theoretical than practical. It is mainly based on a belief that a player cannot lose forever. On the other hand, it is hard to tell the losing streak's period. A losing streak can also make you bankrupt. You can lose all the best for the rest of your life.

Is The Martingale System Allowed?

This betting system is completely legal, meaning you can use it to bet on sports. Unlike slot machines and counting cards, many sportsbooks and casinos don’t have problems with this strategy. The only thing that can make this strategy not work is the casino limits.

As you’ve seen above, the Martingale betting strategy works best consistently if there is a larger bankroll with no betting limits. Many big casinos and sportsbooks limit stakes because if you have lost more money to get to your wager limit, they take your money.

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Martingale System Variations

The martingale system has several variations you should know. We shall cover each of them in detail to give you a better understanding. The top three variations include the following:

  • Mini Martingale System
  • Reverse Martingale System
  • Grand Martingale

Mini Martingale System

This is a system that has limits on double-down bets to help you evade huge losses. When using the mini martingale strategy, it is hard to lose the whole bankroll. This is because it spreads out the process. You get smaller profits and long-term success. 

Reverse Martingale System

Instead of doubling after the loses, this system doubles down after you win. It also prevents you from huge losses. Using this system can be successful, but you should know when to stop. If there is a loss, you can lose all the profits accumulated via the doubling of wins.

The strategy is best applicable if you use it for about four games, one after the other. You can parlay these games and reduce your risk while boosting your reward.

Grand Martingale

The grand martingale system uses the Martingale strategy, and you have an extra bet unit for every loss. Therefore, if you lose four bets consecutively, the fifth win carries more profits than the initial Martingale betting strategy. You regain all the lost bets and get extra for the wager you win.

The main problem with this strategy is that you risk big losses and remain below the wager limit. You also need to increase your bets at a higher rate compared to the original system.

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Can I Win When Using the Martingale System?

Does the martingale system work? This system can help you win short term, especially if you use lower stakes. While using this system is not guaranteed, it can prove effective under some circumstances. This is an extremely risky strategy to use when betting in the long term. At the end of it, you will have lost more money than you can manage to win.

At first, this system can seem to work, but mathematically, it doesn’t. If you ask many players, they will tell you about their bad experiences when using this betting strategy. The payoff for this strategy is only a narrow basis.

All in all, it would be best if you try the strategy on your own at your preferred sportsbook or a casino. This will help you figure out if this betting strategy is right for you.

Martingale Summary

Every bettor wants to have the upper hand over sportsbooks. That is why you need to use a betting strategy that can help you win. The Martingale betting strategy is commonly used in sports betting. If you are familiar with the risks of using this strategy, you can use it for fun.

It is good to develop a strict bankroll limit to help you see if you can win before losing. In most cases, you are likely to use. If your primary goal is to gamble while taking advantage of the short-term wins, this system is good for you.

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