icon imageMartingale Roulette Strategy

    The Martingale roulette strategy is the most popular by far. Does it actually work though? We'll walk you through how to use it and the risks/rewards involved.

    Martingale is a simple double up betting system that originated in France sometime in the 18th century. In this article we will show you how the Martingale roulette strategy works. We will also explore the pros and cons, so you can judge for yourself if it’s the best online roulette strategy for you.

    The Martingale roulette strategy is still very popular today with many new players using it without realising it. However, rarely will you find experienced roulette players employing the classic Martingale. That information alone should tell you something is fundamentally wrong with it.

    Martingale Roulette Odds


    Let’s start at the beginning and explain how the Martingale roulette strategy works, then we can assess its strengths and weaknesses. The classic system is a negative progression betting strategy, this means you increase the size of your stake each time you lose.

    In the case of the Martingale system, you must increase your stake by double the amount of the previous losing bet. Therefore, if you started with a £1 stake and have a string of losing bets, the size of your stake would increase like so:

    No. of spins
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    Stake Amount12481632641282565121024

    The theory behind the standard Martingale betting system is that eventually, you will win. By doubling up the bet each time, when you do finally land that win, you’ll be in profit to the value of 1x your initial skate. In our example, this would mean you win £1.

    No. of spins
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    Stake Amount1248163264128
    Win / LoseLLLLLLLW
    Profit / Loss-1-3-7-15-31-63-1271

    It’s important to note, that Martingale roulette odds do not affect the house edge in any way. All variants of roulette, whether it is French, European or American, favour the casino in the long term.

    Martingale Roulette System Review


    You should only use the classic Martingale on the outside bets that pay out at 1:1. These are: red/black, hi/lo numbers and odd/even. With these bets you have a close to 50% chance of winning, 48.65% to be exact on a single zero European wheel.

    With that in mind, the theoretical logic behind this roulette betting strategy is reasonably sound - based on you having an infinite amount of money and an infinite number of spins. However, no one has an infinitive pile of cash and even if you did, the casino is one step ahead because every roulette table has a maximum bet limit. So, in practice, you are most likely to either run out cash or hit the table limit, at which point when you win, you won’t return a profit.

    Our Martingale roulette system review discovered that supporters of this method state how unlikely it is to lose 5 times, or 10 times in a row. We decided to do the maths for you. According to the standard probabilities calculations, you stand a 3.57% chance of losing five games in a row. That number lowers to 0.13% for losing 10 games in a row. 

    No. of spins
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    Chances of losing (%)51.326.313.56.953.571.830.94.480.250.13

    A vital flaw in this thinking is that the previous spin has no bearing on the one to follow. It can be debated that because every spin is totally independent and the roulette wheel has no memory that each spin remains at the probability of 51.3% of losing. Certainly, when you apply the law of large numbers, it will balance out very close to that percentage, but for short sessions, this is not a safe yardstick to measure success or failure by.

    Martingale Roulette Success Stories


    We’ve established that Martingale is a high-risk betting strategy and with the stipulations that casinos enforce regarding table limits, it makes it even more difficult to implement successfully.

    Yet, there still have been many Martingale roulette success stories heard through the years. And let’s be honest, if it was a total dud, it wouldn’t be spoken about 200 years after it was first invented. So, how is it possible to make the classic Martingale work for you?

    First of all, play short sessions. The longer you stay at the roulette table, the greater the chances are of you hitting a dreaded losing streak that you cannot cover. If you’re betting £10 a game, set a win target of £50 or £100. When you hit that amount, log out from the casino. It’s easy to get sucked in thinking that today is your lucky day. We’ve all been there. The cold hard facts are, the maths don’t lie. There will come a time when the casino calls to collect. The feeling of losing £300 or £400 is actually far worse if you were previously up and didn’t stop when you should have.

    Other players have had success with Martingale by starting on low limit tables. For this to work you need a good online casino that offers a variety of roulette tables each with different bet limits. You also need to have the bankroll (which goes without saying) and lastly, you need patience. The strategy works by starting on £0.10 games, so that is all you are winning each cycle (hence needing patience). Because you are on a low limit table, if you go on a losing streak and approach the maximum bet limit, you simply swap over to a new table which offers higher limits. You need to have faith that eventually you will win, and it can be a hair-raising experience placing a large bet just to return a £0.10 profit. 

    There are also little tweaks players have thought up, such as the Double Martingale. We’ll discuss those in another post, however. Overall, you do need to be careful using this system, but it does have its moments and it can be good fun when the casino gods are on your side.