Martingale Betting System

If you have been gambling or betting for a while, I’m sure you’ve come across many betting systems which have their own mathematical approach on how to bet and/or gamble with the best results. While there are numerous betting systems out there, we will focus on the Martingale betting system.


Martingale betting system is commonly used in games which have 50/50 chances of winning, however, it can be used in numerous other games and/or betting. The rules of this system are simple:

– If you win, bet the same amount

– If you lose, double your bet


The rules are simple, but why is that system even popular and what is the point of it? We will also look at why this system is not optimal and what is its biggest flaw.

Let’s look at a simple example, in which we will be betting with $10 per bet. Let’s assume we win the first 3 bets, which means we are $30 in profit and have increased our bankroll to $40. But then we lose the 4th bet, which reduced our profits to $20. If we follow the Martingale betting system, we should double our next bet, which means our 5th bet will be $20.

If we then win it, we will be able to cover our previous loses and continue betting.

Bet Bet Size Return Total
1 $10  +$10 $20
2 $10 +$10 $30
3 $10 +$10 $40
4 $10 -$10 $30
5 $20 +$20 $50

It does look appealing, as we can cover our losses and continue betting with the same profit as if we would have hit all 5 bets. But there is something we did not take into an account here. What if we lost the 5th bet as well?

Let’s look at the same example, only this time we will lose 5th, 6th, and 7th bet.

Bet Bet Size Return Total
1 $10 +$10 $20
2 $10 +$10 $30
3 $10 +$10 $40
4 $10 -$10 $30
5 $20 -$20 $10
6 $40 -$40 -$30
7 $80 -$80 -$110

It does not look too good, does it? What started out as a $10 bet, has now resulted in a $160 bet for our 8th bet, just to cover our losses. And that is just after losing 3 bets, which is a common thing to happen.


How about if we go on a losing streak of 7 games/bets? You would need $1280 for the 8th bet, $2560 for 9th… As you can see the bet sizes grow to ridiculous numbers just after a few consecutive bets we have lost.

Not only will we need huge amounts of money to bet after a losing streak, but we must also take into the account all the money we have lost up to that point, which in our case is $1270 in lost money + $1280 needed for the 8th bet which can cover your losses.

It has escalated rather quickly from a $10 stake we started from.


There will, of course, be sceptics saying “what are the chances of me losing 7 bets in a row”. It’s a valid point, and to give you an answer; it’s still surprisingly high.

Here we must look at it mathematically.

Let’s assume you are an exceptionally good better or a very lucky gambler, who wins 70% of his/her bets. This on its own is really high, but for the sake of this example let’s assume you have got a 70% hit rate.

If you go and bet 100 times, the 70% success rate means you will win 70 bets, while 30 will miss. Out of those 30, there is a 1.4% chance you will miss 7 bets in a row.

Keep in mind, this was an example with a 70% win rate, which is just outrageously good. If your success rate is any lower than70%, the 1.4% chance of you losing 7 in a row will get much, much higher.


The Martingale betting system might look appealing at first, but once you look more into it, its flaws become clear. It was studied by many mathematicians and they all came to a conclusion.

Martingale system is great if you have infinite amounts of money“, which is like saying; the key to happiness is being happy. All jokes aside, their conclusion is correct. The Martingale system, as good as it looks punishes the one who uses it hard if he/she runs into a losing streak. As we have seen 7 lost bets in a row resulted in over $1000 needed to continue using the system and that was with only a $10 bet to start with.

Any money management strategy that suggests increasing your position while losing is doomed to fail. The general rule here is to never add to a losing position, which is the opposite of what the martingale betting system suggests. As you read it, it might sound like something you will most likely never come across, but then again, how many times when we were tempted to increase our bets when we lost 2,3 in a row, just to “cover the losses”. I know I have, but as we have proven today, this approach as much as it can “save you”, it can also dig a deeper hole for you to fall into.

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