The Martingale betting system

The Martingale betting system is one of the easiest betting systems to learn. After each loss, you double the size of your bet. The idea is, that when you finally win, the win will be enough to cover your previous losses and also yield you a small profit.

When you have won, your next bet will be the same size as your original bet. You are starting a new betting cycle.

The Martingale betting system is used for bets that pay at least 1:1 when you win, such as blackjack.

Examplemartingale

  1. It is advisable to start with the smallest possible bet at the blackjack table, to avoid quickly reaching the table max. In our example, you are playing at a blackjack table where the minimum bet is $10 so your first bet is $10.
  2. You lose your first bet, so for the next round of blackjack, you bet $20 on your hand.
  3. You lose your $20, so for the next round of blackjack, you bet $40 on your hand.
  4. You lose your $40, so for the next round of blackjack, you bet $80 on your hand.
  5. You win this hand, and are paid $80. Since you have previously lost $10 + $20 + $40 = $70 your profit for this betting cycle is $10.
  6. You start over again with a $10 bet. A new betting cycle has begun.

Risks

Using the Martingale betting system at the blackjack table is definitely not free from risk. One of the inherent problems with this system is that you may reach the table max bet and be prevented from doubling your bet. Even a pretty short streak of losses can bring you up to the table max.

Example:

You are playing at a blackjack table where the minimum bet is $10 and the maximum bet is $200.

  1. You bet $10 and lose.
  2. You bet $20 and lose.
  3. You bet $40 and lose.
  4. You bet $80 and lose.
  5. You bet $160 and lose.
  6. You want to bet $320 but you are not allowed to, since the table max is $200.

Another risk is course that your bankroll is emptied before you manage to make any profit. In the example above, the player lost $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 + $160 before reaching the table max. That is $310 – a pretty big chunk of cash. Even if you win before you reach the table maximum, you have risked quite a lot of money for quite a small profit. If you would have won (non-blackjack win) at stage 5, you would have received $160. At stage 1-4, you lost $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 = $150. So, you only have a $10 profit.