Roulette Strategy: The Martingale

The Martingale roulette system can be summed up in a single sentence: when you lose, double your previous bet.

This is probably the simplest roulette strategy you will ever encounter. The idea is that with a big enough bankroll and enough time, you will inevitably win back everything you have lost plus your original stake.

Like all real money roulette systems, there are pros and cons to this one. Before we explore those, let’s take a look at how the Martingale system for roulette works.

The Martingale – A Working Example

For the sake of simplicity, let’s make the simplest roulette bet we can make – red or black. We will pick red in this instance.

We load up our live dealer roulette game and place our stake of $/£/€ 10. The dealer spins the wheel and as it comes to a stop, our heart sinks as the ball settles on a black number.

Not to worry, we simply now need to double down and make the same bet again, only twice as big. It doesn’t matter if you bet red or black, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s stick with red. This time we bet $/£/€20.

Damnit! Again the ball lands on black. We double down again and bet $/£/€40. Unbelievable! Three blacks in a row. We are now down $/£/€ 70 after three spins.

The next spin, however, is where the magic happens. We bet $/£/€ 80 on red. The ball rattles around the wheel and settles nicely on a red number, and the words ‘You’ve won’ flash up on the screen. The lived dealer congratulates us, and we feel that inevitable rush of blood to the head that comes with a nice roulette win.

Now do the math:

  1. You bet $/£/€ 10 on the first losing spin.
  2. You bet $/£/€ 20 on the second losing spin.
  3. You bet $/£/€ 40 on the third losing spin.

This gives you a total loss of $/£/€70.

On the winning spin, however, you bet $/£/€80. Since a red or black bet pays back 1:1, you won $/£/€80 as well as getting your stake returned, leaving you up $/£/€10. You won back all your losses, plus the original stake on top.

So, does the Martingale system work? It does – but you need to be aware of a couple of things before jumping in.

The Martingale System Strengths and Weaknesses

There are two big plus sides to this system:

It’s so easy a five year old could learn it in minutes.

With a large enough bankroll and enough time, you theoretically can not lose.

Notice how we used the word theoretically? That’s because in reality there is one major potential problem with this system.

The main con with the Martingale system is:

Table limits, which are the maximum bet a casino will accept per spin.

If the casino has a maximum bet of $/£/€ 500 per spin, and we started with $/£/€ 10 we could run into trouble. Do the math of doubling your bet from a starting position of $/£/€ 10 and you will see that by the 7th spin, you need to bet $/£/€ 640 using the system. Thus, the system will fail in this case.

Luckily, we can mitigate this risk in two ways:

Find casinos which don’t have table limits (rare) or which have extremely high table limits.

Start with smaller bets like $/£/€ 0.20, giving you a few extra spins before you run into trouble.

While it is theoretically possible that a losing streak could last for 100 spins, any experienced roulette player will tell you it just doesn’t happen that way.

Eventually, your colour is going to come up, and provided you don’t either run out of cash or hit a table limit, you should win fairly often using the martingale system provided you can stomach the risk once a few losses have stacked up in a row.

So, Should I Use the Martingale Roulette System?

We leave that decision up to you. We have used it lots of times with some nice wins, but we have once or twice experienced a wipeout using this system. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

What we like best about this system is how fun it is. The rush is unreal when you are upping the ante after the third or fourth losing bet, and likewise the relief is ecstatic when the winner inevitably comes up. In fact, the wins are better after a losing streak.

Whether or not the Martingale system is right for you is something you will have to learn for yourself. Try it and see. You can play roulette at any of the casinos mentioned on this page.

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