Knowing a bit about roulette betting systems can help you to make the most of your time and money in the casino. Here we discuss the most famous roulette betting strategy: the Martingale Betting System, as well as a few variations on this system.
What is the Martingale Betting System?
The Martingale Betting System or Martingale Strategy consists of two basic rules. It can be used for any game that has a roughly 50:50 chance of winning. In this case, we’ll be focusing on roulette.
The two rules of the Martingale system are:
- If you lose, double your bet
- If you win, bet the same amount
These rules supposedly guarantee an eventual win, and profit in a 50:50 game. (Bear in mind that roulette is not precisely a 50:50 game). For example, imagine you start a roulette game by betting £20 on red. Black comes up, and so you lose £20. Next time you bet £40 on red (double your bet). You lose again. The third time you put £80 on red, and finally you win.
In roulette, betting on a colour and winning rewards you with an amount equal to your bet. You end up with £80 winnings. You lost £60 (£20+£40). So your profit is £80-£60=£20. You made a decent profit—eventually.
The Martingale strategy is premised on the idea that if you keep playing, and doubling your bet every time you lose, eventually you will win and make a profit. One problem with this line of thinking is that it may require a very large amount of money to be betted before you win. You may run out of money before you profit.
Another issue with the strategy is that the casino may have limits on how many times you can play or how much money you are allowed to bet in one go.
The Reverse Martingale System
The Reverse Martingale or Anti-Martingale strategy is the exact inverse of the Martingale Strategy. The rules of the Reverse Martingale strategy are:
- If you lose, bet the same
- If you win, double your bet
Rather than taking a huge risk for a small reward, you take small risks for a potentially large reward. This system also involves limiting yourself by setting a fixed number of consecutive wins that you want to achieve; after achieving them, you’ll walk away from the table.
For example, imagine you aim for two consecutive wins and bet £10 on red. You lose. So you bet another £10 on red. You lose again. You bet another £10 on red. This time you win £10. So you bet £20 on red. You win again (this time £20) and walk away. You have won £30 and lost £20, giving you a profit of £10.
One issue with this system is that you may never meet the number of consecutive wins that you want to. Again, you may run out of money before you make any wins. Also, unlike with the Martingale system, an eventual profit is not mathematically guaranteed. You may never win back enough money to recoup your losses.
The Reverse Martingale system is still a useful system, and involves less risk in real life than the normal Martingale system.
Other Martingale System Variations
Besides the normal Martingale and Reverse Martingale, there are other variations on the same strategy.
The Grand Martingale or Great Martingale strategy involves adding on another unit in addition to doubling your bet after a loss. For example if you bet £20 and lose, next time you will bet £41. This system gives a greater profit after the eventual win, but requires greater risk and depletes your available funds more quickly.
The Mini Martingale is designed to limit potential losses given a finite pot of available funds (which is always the case in real life). This system works the same as the original Martingale, except you set a limit for the number of losses you are willing to take before walking away from the table. This strategy limits how much you can lose while also reducing your overall chances of winning.
Using the Martingale Strategy
No strategy is foolproof, but the variations on the Martingale strategy are a lot better than playing with no strategy at all. It is worth experimenting with the different kinds, and trying to be intelligent with how you approach roulette.