Martingale System – Application with Example

The Martingale system is a betting system with negative progression with which losses can be quickly compensated. The big disadvantage: With longer bad luck strands it comes due to the Martingale system fast to enormous stakes and the reaching of the table limit.

The Martingale system explained simply

The Martingale system is probably the most well-known under the play systems in the Casino. Reason for it is that it is extremely simple on the one hand and in several plays applicable and on the other hand success guarantees on a long-term basis – theoretically. In practice, the Martingale system unfortunately cannot really keep what it promises. But that doesn’t mean that the system doesn’t work in principle.

The Martingale system is a negative progressive game system or in other words: a system with negative progression.

The system was used in the 18th century in the game “Pharo” and later mainly in roulette. The system takes its name from the French city “Martigues”, whose inhabitants used to be considered a bit naïve and so the name of the city became a synonym for a very daring game “jouga a la martegalo” and later “Martingale” stood for the said game system.

Crosswise, “Martingale” also describes a field of probability theory: The “Martingale” is a stochastic process introduced by the mathematician Paul Lévy.

Martingale – the principle of the game system

The Martingale system is a system with negative progression. You start the series with a piece, i.e. a chip or a basic value that you feel comfortable with as a player, and if you lose, the last bet is doubled until you win.

So it’s a loss progression. The Martingale system is most commonly used in Roulette, but it can also be used as a betting strategy in Blackjack, Bingo and slot games.

The idea behind it: After each loss the bet is doubled, after each win the bet is reduced to the original amount. Thus, in the long run, the winnings will offset all the net losses of the previous bets. The at least theoretically existing success warranty is based on the fact that one makes profit in any case with the first profit, independently of the fact, how many rounds one must play for it.

As a rule with the Martingale play on a simple chance one sets. In roulette, for example, this would be red/black, even/odd or 1-18 or 19-36 – but even this apparent 50:50 chance is deceptive, because there is still the green zero, which pulls the advantage on the side of the bank. This zero is it, which is responsible for the house advantage and for the fact ensures that the chances of winning are evenly not 50:50, but rather 48:52.

Although the Martingale system is one of the most popular and most well-known systems, it has its borders and is suitable only conditionally for the play in on-line Casino. So you don’t even have the opportunity to make up for your losses with this strategy.

Why the Martingale system is so popular anyway? Probably because – especially with roulette – we are always misled by the assumption that the ball will end up in the black field eleven times after ten reds. But this is a misbelief, the probability is the same with every roll, namely almost 50% (note the 0 or 00).

How is the Martingale System played?

Let’s take a look at the Martingale Strategy in an example. Let’s assume that a player wants to use the Martingale system in Roulette and chooses the simple chance “red” for his bet. The player is a beginner and is slowly groping his way to the table, with a small bet of 2 Euro.

In the first round it doesn’t work with the win, so he has to double his bet to four Euro. Also the next time it doesn’t work, he has to double his bet to eight Euro. Finally the player is lucky, the ball lands on “red” and he wins. The player is paid 16 Euros, but has bet 14 Euros (2 + 4 + 8) – his net win is only two Euros. After the win the player starts his progression now again with 2 Euro from the beginning – until the next win.

This system could be continued arbitrarily, if there were not the table limits or also the financial limits of the players themselves. Because who can already set arbitrarily high amounts, only to compensate his losses again? In addition one should set oneself always before the play its own limit and adhere to it – already alone for this reason the Martingale system fails in the long term.

Exactly the same behaves with the table limits in on-line Casinos, in addition, in the stationary Casinos. Even if you play at a table with a limit of 1,000 Euros, this limit is reached after ten loss-rounds with a starting bet of 10 Euros.

Last but not least, there is the probability that the Martingale system will put a stop to our calculations. Because the chances lie in a Casino always with the bank, all the same with which play. With the Roulette that is even completely obvious, because here there is still the 0 and sometimes even the 00, which make from a 50-50-Chance completely fast a 48.65%-ige chance.

The mathematics behind the Martingale system

Mathematically puts a loss progression behind the Martingale system. In the table one sees particularly well that it is not good idea even with a employment of only one euro to use this play system, because already with ten rounds, which are lost – and this happens more frequently than thought – the loss amounts to 511 euro and 512 euro would have to be used, in order to go at the end with only one euro profit home. No really desirable goal, or?

The Martingale System for Blackjack and Slots

The Martingale System is most often played in Roulette, but also in Blackjack and Slots you can take advantage of this strategy.

The Martingale System in Blackjack

If you want to use the Martingale System in Blackjack, it works just like Roulette: you double the bet after every winning hand you lose. After each win, you start again with the original bet. It’s that simple, and that dangerous.

Martingale System for Slots

And that simple and risky, the Martingale System can also be used for online slots: Make a bet, use the same bet after every win as at the beginning, double the bet after every loss.

The advantage of online games, especially slots, is that you can start with very small bets. But don’t forget the exponential growth of the stakes, so the advantage is limited. However, the speed of the games has a negative effect. While a round of roulette in a real casino can take several minutes, a round of blackjack usually ends after less than a minute. A round of slots only takes a few seconds. If you were to use the Martingale system here, you would have to change the bet manually after each round. This will spoil the fun for you very quickly.

Variant: Grand Martingale

The Grand Martingale is a variant of the classic Martingale system.

This variant doubles the bets even more in case of loss and adds another unit to this doubling.

At a stake of 5 Euro the whole thing looks like in this table:

In case of a win the Grand Martingale System also adds one unit to the original stake. With this system the stakes and thus the losses climb even faster to dizzying heights.


The Martingale System should be avoided by reasonable players. Yes, as a beginner you can orientate yourself quite well on it, but then you should only play for play money.

If you want to orient yourself for your game, you should rather stick to the Paroli System. Of course you can also win with the Martingale strategy, no question, but to achieve that you often need more money than you have available. The longer you play with the Martingale system, the higher the losses can be. If you still want to try out the Martingale strategy, you can find a Roulette Casino where you can try out Roulette online!