The Martingale system of betting is most commonly used in games of chance such as blackjack and roulette, but you can also apply the Martingale as a sports betting system.
This system is very simple and the vast majority of gamblers have at one time or another given it a try. Under the Martingale betting system, every time you lose a bet, you double your next bet, and then if you lose that bet, you double your next bet, and so forth.
Eventually, the logic of the Martingale system goes, you will win a bet, which will bring you back to even, at which time you can start winning.
The Martingale betting system is drastically flawed, as many critics and mathematicians have pointed out. However, the flaws of this system do not necessarily mean that sports bettors who are looking for a good sports betting system can completely ignore Martingale.
On the contrary, judicious use of a Martingale strategy can be a viable short-term strategy in the right situation.
Problems with the Martingale Sports Betting System
When the Martingale betting system was first being used, in 18th Century France, it must have seemed like a no-brainer: if you lose, just keep doubling your bet until you win, and then you will never lose, because how can you lose when you just won all your money back?
Over the years, though, this theory has been proven incontrovertibly wrong and has had horrendously disastrous results for many gamblers who have ventured it.
The main problems with the Martingale system are:
Since the bet sizes increase exponentially, as a result of needing to double the bet after each loss, you can go broke incredibly fast, especially if you do not have sufficient bankroll to employ this hyper-aggressive strategy.
At a basic level, the logic of the Martingale system, which dictates that a prolonged losing streak is unlikely, is not valid. People lose 10 sports bets in a row all the time, it’s easy to do. When you are doubling your bet each time, the losses can become catastrophic in a hurry.
From a mathematical perspective, the odds for each individual bet are not affected at all by any of the preceding bets, so to count on past losses as an indication of future wins is incorrect. Each individual bet has its own odds attached to it—and these odds are always in the house’s favor.
For example, if you are betting sports with Martingale, you are betting $10 to win $9, so you have a “negative expectation” with every single bet you make. Meaning that the more bets you make, the more negative your expectation will be over time.
Martingale Sports Betting System Not All Bad
We hope that you realize that when you are gambling, you are gambling, i.e. you are taking chances, winning is never guaranteed and if you ever think it is, you’re sorely mistaken.
Once you know that for a fact, you can look at the Martingale sports betting system for what it is: a hyper-aggressive strategy that firmly believes in the old adage “fortune favors the bold.”
So long as you manage your bet sizes appropriately, and only use Martingale TEMPORARILY, you can have some decent success with this strategy.
Martingale may be your friend during multi-match sporting events such as the NCAA Tournament, the NFL playoffs, or the World Cup. If you know you are going to bet every game regardless, Martingale may make sense. You start your initial bet small enough to not scare you at all, and if you lose, you double it, and if you lose that, you double that.
Eventually you should win one of the bets, which will get you back to somewhere near even (remember that the house is taking juice off each bet, though, so you won’t be fully back to even with a win). And then once you’re back to (almost) even, it’s time to win, baby!
As long as you have enough money in your account to enjoy this brand of entertainment/punishment, hey, what the hell, right? You only live once.
That’s the attitude you’ll need to make Martingale work.