A commonly used betting strategy, the martingale is easily applicable in almost all casino games, but still, it is mostly used in roulette.
Since roulette is a game of numbers, a good many betting strategies require mathematical understanding. But not everyone comprehends the logic of mathematics. The martingale is, on the other hand, a simple and straightforward strategy which makes it the perfect choice for many punters, and especially for beginners.
In the following article, we will focus on the martingale strategy and explain why, albeit its theoretical success, the strategy is unsuccessful in practice.
How to apply the martingale strategy
In essence, the martingale works thusly: a player makes a wager of given unit, placed on the outside bets – odd/even, red/black, etc., which yields a payout of 1:1. If they lose, the player continues by wagering the same amount again. If they lose, however, they continue by doubling the initial bet; this practice continues until the player wins again. When that happens, they return to the initial bet amount.
In theory, this is a great strategy, as the numbers will eventually come up. In practice, however, there are several things which make the martingale virtually impractical.
The perfect way to lose money
The martingale can be regarded as the ideal way for roulette players to lose all their money. To begin with, consider the following betting pattern: 1,2,3,8,16,32, etc. – this is what the betting pattern of a losing player using the martingale strategy looks like. To put it simply, in just a few losses, you will have to make huge wagers, thus quickly reaching the maximum bet size at the table.
As you know from this online roulette site, roulette tables feature a minimum bet size limit and a maximum size limit – these two comprise the table limit. The minimum bet size is used in order to create enough diversity within the establishment to appeal to players with different bankroll sizes. Maximum limits, on the other hand, are placed so that operators can protect themselves from wealthy and lucky players.
In conclusion, using the martingale, you will quickly reach the maximum bet size at a table. And that is the first and foremost reason why the strategy is virtually inefficient.
Would it work without the betting limits?
Let us suppose casinos did not use table limits. Even in this case, the Martingale strategy will be ineffective, for the table limits are far from the only problem with it – the size of the bankroll is just as important.
So, the martingale system will still fail players even if there were not bet limits. Because after just a few losses, players will have to place enormous bets to continue using the strategy, thus dramatically reducing the size of their bankroll.
But if we imagine that there are no bet limits and you are in possession of an unlimited bankroll, then the martingale strategy will be a profitable betting strategy.
Why does the martingale fail?
The problem with the martingale strategy is that one losing strike is enough to destroy your entire bankroll. Whereas the system works perfectly in theory, in practice its success is prevented by two vital elements – the table limits and the bankroll.
Finally, the martingale fails because it does not improve players’ odds. As you probably know, the winning odds in roulette are about 48.65%, but you payout is only 1:1. What is more, the odds do not change in accordance with the bet size. Thus, the payout is always smaller than the odds.
The illusion – Explained
It appears perfectly logical to place bigger bets in order to back your losses. As a matter of fact, if you are new to roulette, chances are chasing losses is exactly what you do in order to make a substantial profit. But you have to keep one thing in mind: believing that increasing the bet size will help you win is not advisable if you want to make a profit.
First of all, you need to remember that each spin in roulette is independent of the previous one, as well as the next one. This, coupled with the fact that the winning odds do not change according to the amount of money you wager, should be enough for you to understand why the Martingale ultimately fails.
Taking the aforementioned into account, we can deduce that it does not matter whether you make 10 or 1000 bets – your winning odds will remain the same. Essentially, using the Martingale strategy, you do nothing more than dramatically increasing the size of the bets you place.
All in all, the Martingale strategy is one of the most commonly used roulette betting strategies, and one of the most unsuccessful ones as well. To put it simply, whereas it works fine in theory, there are way too many faults in the martingale strategy to be successful in practice.