The Martingale betting system is perhaps the most famous strategy in the world of gambling. It is always first on the list of universal wagering systems. However, is it as good as it seems at first glance? In my review, I will look at this system in more detail to be able to answer this question.

What Is The Martingale System?

The Martingale betting system is a gambling strategy that involves increasing your chances of profit by doubling your wager after each loss. A double wager is placed on the same outcome as the original one (for example, a win for a certain team). Repeated doubling of stakes continues until the gambler wins. If your initial stake was $2 and it loses, you bet $4. If the second wager loses, you bet $8 and so on until you reach the desired result.

The Martingale betting technique is designed to help cover failures that occurred during the loss of the previous stake. Since the next wager is increased, if you win, it will bring an increased victory, the amount of which will cover the loss of the previous stake and bring profit from the initial wager.

The strategy has become very popular due to the fact that, in theory, it is almost ideal and guarantees 100% success. Unfortunately, this is only in theory. In reality, you need to be careful with this strategy. Its effectiveness is influenced by factors that are not taken into account by theorists, such as wagering limits, limited bankroll, bookmaker’s rules, and player’s passion. The main problem with the Martingale betting strategy is that it assumes a connection between wagers. However, in reality, each stake is a separate event independent of either the previous or subsequent bet.

History Of The Martingale Betting System

I personally believe that it is useful to familiarize yourself with the history of its origin to understand the essence of a particular strategy in gambling. As soon as you know the circumstances and reasons that preceded the formation of the strategy, you will understand what specific problems it is designed to solve.

The first mention of the Martingale betting strategy appeared in the 18th century after one owner of a London casino advised his clients in the hall to double their bets after each loss. The name of this man was John H. Martindale, which served as the name of the strategy with only a change in one letter. He learned about this system from French mathematicians who were trying to develop a simple formula for successful staking suitable for different types of games.

It should be mentioned that Martindale’s casino was closed shortly after he began sharing the secret of success with his clients. There is no exact confirmation that this was the reason for the closure of the business, but many argue that the house edge has decreased significantly precisely because of the increase in winnings of gamblers.

However, real recognition for this system came only at the end of the 19th century when in 1891, Charles De Ville Wells won more than 1 million francs in Monte Carlo playing roulette ($13 million in today’s money). The gambler had a suitable bankroll to use this particular system.

The Math Behind The Martingale System

Let’s look at the Martingale betting formula using an NFL spread wager as an example. Imagine starting with a bankroll of $11,000, which is then divided into 100 units of $110 each. Let’s take a spread bet with a starting stake of one unit ($110) on the Cleveland Browns. Based on the NFL spread wagering statistics, let’s assume that the Brown’s odds against the spread are -110.

In this situation, the potential winnings per your original first stake of $110 is $100. In case the first stake loses, you, following the Martingale formula, need to double up the stake on the Cleveland Browns in the next match. However, the amount that will be wagered this time must be increased in order to cover the loss of the amount you staked in the first match.

Plus, you will have to factor in the vig, which is $21 in this case. Therefore, your stake will be calculated by this formula: $110 + $100 + $21 = $231. According to the Martingale sports betting system, your third wager will be $474.10 ($231 + $210 + $43.10). You can make similar bets throughout the NFL season until the Super Bowl.

How It Works In Sport Betting

As you already understand, the principle of this formula is quite simple, so applying the Martingale strategy in crypto sports betting is no different from using it in roulette or blackjack. Although, if we talk about the effectiveness of this system, it still works much better in classic casino games than in sports gambling. Therefore, when using it for sports wagering, you need to know some features.

First of all, you should keep in mind that it is better to wager on sports results with even odds. This makes the process easier and allows you to concentrate on doubling. Though, it is also possible to apply the strategy to wagering on different odds. However, here you need to consider that the higher the chances, the less you should wager to provide zero losses.

Advantages And Disadvantages

There are a lot of different opinions about the betting strategy of Martingale. It is not as simple as it seems and therefore its effectiveness is often questioned. I think that this system is no different from all other strategies in terms of having both strengths and weaknesses. Knowing them you can decide whether this system is right for you.

Main pros

  • Simple operating principle. The Martingale sports betting system is understandable even to beginners since it does not require any special knowledge or abilities. The principle of doubling wagers seems very logical, so as soon as you start using this technique, you quickly bring it to automaticity.
  • Coverage of lost wagers. In theory, constantly doubling your wagers is a way to win back lost money by getting more winnings for a larger stake.
  • Versatility. The simplicity of the strategy allows gamblers to use Martingale in sports betting as well as various casino games.

Main cons

  • Chasing losses. The system focuses on losses, that is, it assumes the use of a negative progressive approach to wagering. Since you cannot know for sure when the series of losses will end, you risk spending a very large amount without a guarantee of its return (since your bankroll may end before your losing streak).
  • Influence of external factors. The effectiveness of the system is hampered by factors such as wagering limits set by the bookmaker, special sportsbook regulations, and your own bankroll limitation.

Variations Of Martingale Betting System

Since the Martingale betting system has been occupying the minds of bettors for many years, it has been subjected to various studies and experiments more than once. As a result, the strategy developed and was divided into different subsystems. Today, I will look at the two most popular varieties of this famous betting system: the classic system and the “shortened” option.

Classic Martingale System

The main principle of the classic version of the Martingale betting strategy is to double your wager until you win. Doubling applies when your previous stake loses. In case your first wager is successful, you are up +1 unit and can go to a “new series” (to start all over again, by wagering one unit). If your wager loses, you will lose -1 unit and then gamble 2 units. In case this second wager wins, you will get 2 units (the first wager + a total of +1 unit for the new series). If the stake loses, you will lose -3 units for this run and need to wager 4 units on your next stake. If the next wager of 4 units wins, you will get +1 unit for the current series.

This can continue almost indefinitely. However, it is very important to calculate your bankroll and be ready to leave the game in time if the losing streak does not end, as you may be in danger of losing your entire bankroll.

“Shortened” Martingale

It is believed that the “shortened” version of the Martingale betting system helps eliminate the risk of ruin associated with the classic strategy version. This version is also based on repeatedly doubling the stake after each loss, but its essence is that after several losses in a row (you can set the number of acceptable misses yourself) you stop and reset the wager size to one unit.

This strategy version eliminates the possibility of wagering a big sum for the series of stakes to become profitable. Though, of course this is a risky system as well, since if you have set yourself a limit of 5 double stakes and none of them bring a win, then you lose all the money you gamble on these 5 wagers.


The Martingale betting system is definitely interesting and worthy of attention. However, anyone who wants to test it needs to understand that there is a big difference between how it is described in theory and how it manifests itself in practice. This strategy is most suitable for those who have a large bankroll. If you are not one of these bettors, then it is better to try to use the “shortened” version to avoid the risk of ruin.