The Martingale strategy for betting

The Martingale betting system is one of the most controversial staking plans a bettor can follow. Essentially, you have to double your bet after a loss to make a profit. It’s very popular and can be used from roulette to football betting. On the one hand, it’s entirely reasonable to hunt a recovery bet to keep your bankroll healthy. However, it’s also rejected by many players as a high-risk method, given that you can lose a vast amount of money fast. If you have the confidence to improve your returns in an eye blink, bouncing back from a lousy short-run, a Martingale strategy might be profitable.

That staking plan can help beginners with a limited bankroll quickly recover losses whilst learning betting secrets. On the other hand, you will undoubtedly evaluate the risk management revolving around it. Adopting that pattern, you should adjust specific factors before you move on. Even if you have a big starting investment, it’s challenging to handle a run of losing bets. So, it’s not tailor-made for long-term bettors. There’s always the danger of running out of money quickly or reaching your bookmaker’s betting limit. In that case, you will not be able to cover a possible bad row of losses.

How does the Martingale strategy work

Martingale strategyThe Martingale betting system is based on the common logic “let’s double my bet after a loss and receive some earnings back.” An established concept for that staking plan is the roulette Martingale strategy, among other betting systems, where most players think they have a 50:50 shot. Although, no one can play “red or black” and “odd or even” due to the green zero number on the wheel. So, there’s no genuine 50% chance of winning, but a 48,6% in the European roulette.

The main principle of increasing your chances is following the “spinning coin” rules. For example, you can bet on 2-way markets with only two possible outcomes like Οver / Under, on odds close to even. There are certain factors you should consider before building your doubling strategy. The most attractive parameter of the Martingale system is that it’s easily understandable. That’s why it’s a standard and popular staking plan. At first glance, it looks like a sure-fire win. The conclusion is based on the assumption that no one can permanently lose. In the same breath, the main idea is to double the stake on your losing bets until you win.

So, if you place a first €10 bet and win, you should set the initial stake aside and bet another €10 on the second wager. On the contrary, you should double the stake (i.e., €20) on the second one if you lose it. So, these are the two main principles when using the Martingale system. At first, double your stake after every loss until you recoup all your financial damage. Otherwise, keep the initial stake on your bets for as long as your winning streak lasts.

Martingale Progressive Stakes

How to use the Martingale strategy in football betting

Martingale variationsFollowing the main structure of the system, you should just double your next bet after a loss until a win is achieved and then restart. Let’s take an example, using a €10 initial stake for Over / Under football bets on 2.00 (1/1) odds and 50% implied probability.

First Bet Won: If you bet a €10 stake at 2.00 odds, the overall payout is €20. You keep the initial bet aside (i.e., €10), starting a new series with a starting bet equal to the clear profit (i.e., €10).

Second Bet Won: Losing the first bet, you are €10 down in the bankroll. Then, you should bet a double stake of €20. Winning that bet, you receive €40 as a return. That means you win the first and second bet back (€10 + €20), having a €10 net profit. Now, you can start a new series of bets again based on the Martingale system.

Third Bet Won: Losing the first (€10) and second (€20), you are €30 down in the bankroll. Doubling the stake for the third bet, you should set €40. Winning that wager, you receive €80 as earnings. That means you have won the first, second and third bet back (€10 + €20 + €40), receiving a €10 clear profit before you start a new bet series.

Fourth Bet Won: Losing the first (€10), second (€20), and third (€40) bet, you are minus €70 in the starting bankroll. Doubling the stake for the fourth bet, you should set €80. If you win, you will receive €160 (i.e., €80 x 2.00 odds). That means you have won the first four bets back (€10 + €20 + €40 + €80), earning a €10 net profit. Now, you can start betting on a new series.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Sports vs political bettingBuilding a staking plan is an essential part of sports betting. However, that plan should serve your needs. The method you will follow must help determine the amount of money you should risk and control your bankroll. Undoubtedly, it’s critical to define Martingale and all the specific details. So, here is a chance to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using it.

The pros of the strategy

✔️ Simplicity: Αnyone with the basic knowledge of maths and betting can build a Martingale strategy. Ιt’s a legal staking method, and the bookies aren’t opposed to the players who use it.

✔️ Short-term profit: Adopting that method, you can recover quickly from a small losing streak. Meanwhile, you can bolster your bankroll by starting with a winning run of three or four bets.

✔️ Winning probability: Even for the unlucky bettors, a mathematical theory of possibility exists. If you always double the stake after a loss, it’s a certainty to win one bet and secure your initial bankroll at least. For example, even after seven losers, the eight winner bet can improve your net earnings in normal conditions.

The cons of the strategy

High risk: The growth of bets increases after every loss and could be disastrous for a bettor who is unlucky enough to have a long losing streak.

Large bankroll: Martingale can quickly deplete your initial investment, compared with other staking plans like a more bankroll-friendly Fibonacci betting system. So, to bet under perfect conditions, you should have a large bankroll. In that case, you will be able to manage a lossy streak.

Long-term damage: A Martingale strategy isn’t what you need if you have the patience to seek profit from betting. The longer you play on that pattern, the VIG affects your bankroll (i.e., you double the stake, so you pay a double juice on each bet as well). Meanwhile, many betting sites have limits. If you chase big losses, you may reach a point where you won’t be able to place a large enough wager.

Where should I try the Martingale betting system?

In the underneath list, you can find the best online bookmakers that offer the highest close to even odds for 2-way markets in football, basketball, and American sports in order to apply the Martingale.

What are the Martingale system variations

For more experienced bettors, the Martingale betting system isn’t accepted as productive. Although, it remains popular among beginners and mid-level players. That’s the reason why additional alternatives have been developed. Here are the main three:

Mini Martingale

It’s a variation for bettors with a limited bankroll. The primary differentiation is the number of times you double up after each loss. Following a Mini Martingale strategy, you can set a limit of three doubling wagers, for example. You will prevent the stakes sequence from getting high, not facing a disastrous losing streak even if your bets become losers. Even if you are incredibly unlucky, you will not suffer bankroll damage with a small number of doubling times.

Reverse Martingale or Anti-Martingale

Contrary to the classic, where you increase stakes after each loss, you can follow precisely the opposite tactics. So, by boosting your stake after wins and reducing after a loss, you can make more money from a winning streak. Meanwhile, you can mitigate losses on a bad run using the specific alternative. In a nutshell, the Anti-Martingale can help you capitalise on wins, albeit only on 2-way markets.

Grand Martingale

The Grand Martingale variation tries to solve one of the most significant drawbacks of the classic Martingale. The rewards are low for the involved risk. You can double up after a loss, with an additional stake equal to the initial one using that alternative. For example, you bet €10 on Over 2,5 goals in football at 2.00 odds. The final result is Under 2,5, so the classic Martingale’s next step is a €20 bet. Although, the Grand Martingale requires €30 (€20 + €10). If you win the second wager at 2.00 odds, your returns will be €60, which means €20 net profit; a €10 more than the classic Martingale strategy. The progressive earnings are a benefit from that pattern. On the flip side, a losing run can cause bankroll damage faster.

Is it worth using Martingale?

Sticpay bookspyThe most crucial part of your Martingale strategy is understanding the main downsides you will face. Firstly, you should set a strict bankroll and follow the limits; great if you double your money. Otherwise, you have to stop chasing at some point. If you seek short-term profit, that staking plan might help you. Moreover, it’s essential to check the odds carefully and make sure you always place wagers on prices no less than 2.00 (1/1).

A winning streak grows your bankroll but is not exactly worth the stake you risk. Generally, the profit you can net from winning a bet after a sequence of consecutive losses is limited. In that case, you restore the amount of money you have spent in your losing streak plus your initial stake. So, you can use the Martingale system if you want to chase returns in a short period.

Finally, it would be best if you always thought that bookmakers have wagering limits; so, you can’t have limitless payouts. We recommend keeping the starting bets low and checking when you must stop. You can fall into losing runs; thus, choosing bookmakers with high bet ceilings is critical even with a small bankroll. That will give you the option to double your wager after a lousy streak without hitting the maximum bet limit.

Full List of Bookmakers with highest odds & limits

In the list below, you can explore all the online betting sites with the highest odds and the upper limits to use the Martingale system.

Q: Where did the Martingale system originate?

It’s widely accepted that the system is named after John Henry Martingale, an owner of a gambling house in Great Britain in the 18th century. According to other sources, he introduced the system to his customers, although he wasn’t the inventor of the strategy.

Q: What should you check before you build a doubling stake strategy?

The winning probabilities when using the Martingale depends on your bankroll. For sure, it’s crucial the stake you will initially choose to place on your first bet. Then, sporting events, the markets and the odds affect your chances to bolster the starting investment.

Q: Is the Martingale strategy legal?

You can use that strategy where betting is allowed. However, you should always check the stake limits in each bookmaker. A low betting and payout limit can make it worthless because it’s a pattern that works well with a high bankroll and no betting limits.

Q: Why is it popular among bettors?

The Martingale betting system is an “easy to use” staking plan, ideal for short betting sessions. If you know how much you have bet at any given time, you can increase the chances of winning, reducing the risk. Especially in betting, you should focus on 2-way markets on odds close to even.

Q: What is the Martingale roulette principle?

That is used when playing on outside bets; 1-18 or 19-36, red or black, even or odd. They have the highest odds of winning (the actual percentage is 48,6%, as in either option zero is excluded) and offer the smallest payout, just 1:1. In the case of winning, you get your bet back plus an equal amount.

Q: Does Martingale suit a limited bankroll?

A factor that decreases your chances of winning is a small bankroll. Undoubtedly, you must have enough money to double your bets when you hit an inevitable long losing streak. In any case, you can’t expect a profit if you set limits or have a limited bankroll.

Q: What is the difference between Martingale and Fibonacci betting systems?

The Martingale and Fibonacci systems have common parts (e.g., they don’t work in the long run). However, the Fibonacci allows bettors to play more with small bets. So, it seems safer for the bankroll. Meanwhile, the potential earnings are moderate; that means it’s not a perfect way to win in betting.

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