Martingale System: What It Is and How It Works in a Casino

Martingale System: What It Is and How It Works in a Casino

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“The winner takes it all, the loser’s standing small”! ABBA’s lyrics ring true in every aspect of life, even in gambling. Most players engage in it to make money and are always on the lookout for new strategies, methods, and systems that can increase their chances. One of the most popular strategies in the world of gambling is the Martingale system.

Players use it in brick-and-mortar establishments, as well as in online casinos (you should choose a list of reliable ones on the site ( They apply it to blackjack, poker, slots, and every game in the universe, hoping the goddess Fortune will smile at them and bless them with sensational payouts.

But does it work? And is it a legit way to increase your chances? It is time to find out!

What is the Martingale System?

The Martingale system is a betting strategy originating from France. It was introduced by the mathematician Paul Pierre Levy, back in 1934 and immediately gained momentum in the gambling community. What makes the entire system interesting, is that it was created to prove it is impossible to make money when gambling, but with time, it became one of the most interesting strategies.

Also known as the probability theory, it implies that at some point in time, the player must land a win. However, to remain profitable, they must double their stake with every hand they play. As the gambler’s wealth and available time jointly approach infinity, their probability of eventually landing a winning hand or combo reaches 1, meaning they will have to score. The main issue is, that the theory itself claims the investment is often so big, it leads to bankruptcy. Why? Because outcomes in games are random, it may take more time than the player has money to play.

Gamblers approached the system in a slightly different manner and saw it as a perfect strategy to cover losses, which was not the initial intention of Mr. Levy. So, how to use Martingale theory when playing casino games?

How to Use the Martingale System in Practice?

The main principle of the martingale theory is doubling up the stakes. To explain it as simply as possible, let’s imagine that we are playing a simple game of roulette, with an initial stake of $1. We are playing only colour bets, meaning the payout will be 1:1.

And this is how it works:

  • In the first round we play with a $1 stake;
  • The second game we play with a $2 stake (double the initial stake):
  • We play the third round with a $4 bet (double the prior bet);
  • The fourth round is wagered with an $8 bet (2x$4);
  • The gift round is played with a $16 bet, and so on and so on…

At some point in time, we should land a win, and the win amount should cover all the losses we made beforehand. In theory, you should play the game until you win, no matter how long it takes, and your wager should increase accordingly.

Who Should Use the Martingale System?

Obviously, the bet amount grows progressively with every hand you play. Considering the average online casino will ask for a $20 deposit, it is very likely you will run out of money after you play less than a dozen bets. Martingale is an expensive system to keep up with, especially for players on smaller budgets. Those with larger amounts on their balances can probably afford it, but should never forget the first rule of safe gambling: never to bet more than you can afford to lose.

The effectiveness of the Martingale theory will also depend on the game you play. On slot machines, it will be almost completely useless, as it is a pure game of chance, and the chances of winning are calculated based on high volumes. On the other hand, games like poker and blackjack, in which the gambler has a higher level of control, are a much better option. They combine skill, knowledge and chance, and therefore, outcomes are somewhat easier to predict, and applying Martingale in this case, makes much more sense. However, only if you can afford to play it!