Last Updated on December 21, 2020
The martingale strategy is a popular one among roulette players. It’s also becoming a trend in sports betting and since i want you to make money instead of loosing it, i’m going to explain why it’s a terrible idea and you should NOT use it.
What is the martingale strategy?
The strategy involves choosing an outcome with 50% chances of winning and doubling your stake every time you loose.
This popular method has origins in the 18th century France. More speciffically in the work of a mathematician named Paul Lévy.
Mr Lévy explained that in a situation with two possible outcomes of 50% chances each (like flipping a coin), if you execute it enough times, the number of results for each outcome will move towards the same amount. The higher the number of iterations, the likely it is for this to become true.
For example, if you flip a coin 10 times you might see 3 heads and 7 tails. But if you flip it 1000 times you are a lot more likely to see something like 500/500.
Because of this assumption, gamblers started to assume that if you flip a sequence of tails for example, it becomes more likely that heads will be the next result.
This is called the gambler’s fallacy. And it is wrong!
This type of event is called an independent event. Which means that an outcome cannot be affected by previous events.
Some people think “it is overdue for a Tail”, but really truly the next toss of the coin is totally independent of any previous tosses.
You always have 50% chances of winning, no matter the previous results!
Example of the martingale strategy
If you are having trouble grasping this concept, here’s an example of the simplest version of the martingale strategy, also called classic martingale.
Say for example you start by betting €1 on red at some roulette.
If you lose, you double the stake. €2, then €4, etc. When you win, your overall profit is the size of the initial stake, in this case €1.
Is martingale a good strategy for betting?
I’ve heard people saying that with martingale you can’t lose. In theory that’s actually correct. In practice is a very bad idea. No one has infinite money to keep doubling stakes and the stake growth speed is tremendous. I’ve seen a roulette pop reds 13 times in a row at a casino in Portugal and believe me, lots of gamblers got completely wiped out.
The risk reward ratio for the martingale system is just bad. There’s no way i’m risking thousands to gain a few bucks. And neither should you!
In sports betting it’s even worse!
Let me put it this way. In a roulette you have almost 50% chances of winning on every iteration. In sports betting, getting an odd like 2.00 (1/1 fractional odds or +100 in the american odds format) probably means the outcome has about 45% implied probability because the bookmaker’s profit margin is larger.
And i’ve seen people applying the martingale system on these types of markets or to handicap betting. That’s just crazy!
Martingale strategy types
You’ve seen the classic martingale example but there are others. The most common ones are the Grand Martingale System and the reverse Martingale.
The Grand Martingale System
This is a tweak from the classic version. It consists of adding one unit to the double of the previous stake.
This Martingale version has a higher return but the growth speed of the stakes is even faster!
The reverse Martingale
This other version is the opposite of the classic one.
You simply double your stake every time you win and reset when you lose. Some people claim that when luck knocks on your door you have to grab it by the horns.
I say it’s just another idiot idea.
Best alternatives to the martingale system
And now the useful part. Sports betting doesn’t have to be a losers game.
I’ve been doing it successfully for 20 years!
There are a few betting strategies that can turn you into a winner. My favorites are:
Keep in mind that these are not the only strategies that can be profitable. These are just my favorite.
If i had to pick just one strategy i’d say arbitrage betting because it’s highly profitable and very easy for beginners.
I also find middling quite fun, exciting and profitable.
Value betting is also a powerful strategy but unlike arbitrages it takes a lot of effort to learn it.
Other people find profits in trading and scalping for example. I know they are profitable but i just don’t enjoy them because for me they are stressful.
You should try them all and find what works for you. I won’t go into details for every betting strategy because that’s a huge topic and i already have some guides for most of them.
Let me know if you need additional info on the martingale strategy or any other. I’m always happy to help!
Good luck and have fun!