April 22, 2024 9 min read

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Martingale Roulette

Martingale is one of the most popular roulette strategies there is. Although the strategy can also be applied across a range of casino games, we will focus on Martingale roulette today specifically, to help you understand how this simple approach can prove to be a very efficient way to play the game.

Predicated on Even/money bets exclusively, Martingale roulette is designed to be efficient, approachable, and worthwhile. Yet, just like with any other roulette strategy, there are drawbacks to this strategy as well as advantages. Let’s get a good look at those.

What Is Martingale Roulette?

Martingale roulette is a strategy for online and live casino roulette that can be used by any player. The strategy essentially boils down to a core principle: you double down after every loss and return to a base unit after every win.

This is a simple enough explanation to follow. The strategy only works with Even/Money Bets, which means:

  • Red/Black
  • Odd/Even
  • High/Low

These bets have a nearly 50% to turning a success when you bet on either selection. The house edge will be determined by the version of the game you play as well. European Roulette, for example, has the lowest house edge, with 2.70%, which means that most Martingale roulette players tend to pick this game over others.

The system is easy enough to follow, and it is generally considered to be the first strategy that the majority of roulette players try, owing to its accessibility and simple rules.

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How Does Martingale Roulette Work in Practice?

Alright, since you know how this strategy works in theory, it’s now time to test it in practice. For our example, let’s say you are betting $1 per single bet. This means that you will use this as your base unit.

You place a bet on Red, and the bet turns out a success. You will once again bet $1. You place a bet on Red, and the wheel spins a Black number. Now, you need to double down. You bet $2. You lose again. The bet amount goes up to $4. You win this time around and go back to $1.

As you can see, the strategy relies on players reliably recouping any loss that they may incur while playing the game, and also winning a little something so that you can keep advancing your bankroll. Let’s see a practical example of Martingale roulette next.

Example of Martingale Roulette

Below, you will see a chart that simulates Martingale roulette in practice. We have played over 15 rounds to help you see how the strategy will evolve, and how it will impact your bankroll, which will also help you understand the benefits and risks associated with this strategy. We will use a $10 base unit for this example to help better illustrate the changes in the bankroll using this strategy in a real casino situation.

BetResultWin/Loss
$10Win$10
$10Win$20
$10Win$30
$10Win$40
$10Loss$30
$20Loss$10
$40Loss-$30
$80Win$50
$10Loss$40
$20Win$60
$10Win$70
$10Win$80
$10Win$90
$10Win$100

What Does the Test Tell Us?

As you can see, we were pretty lucky. In only 15 rounds, playing roulette, we won $100. We did not run into a single-loss streak beyond three consecutive losses. However, we did observe five consecutive wins.

Although the $100 profit is tidy, you should consider a possible scenario where these five wins were losses. Were that the case, we would be looking at a loss of $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 + $160, or $310.As you can see, Martingale can swing either way. Let’s now try and have a look at some of the exact pros and cons of this strategy.

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Martingale Roulette Pros and Cons

It is important to understand that every roulette strategy is going to have some ups and downs, some strengths, and weaknesses. The main advantage of Martingale roulette is that it allows you to both cancel some of your previous losses, as well as increase the size of your bankroll. Let’s take a more detailed look into the pros and cons of this particular stratagem.

Pros

  • A straightforward strategy that allows you to accumulate small profits, but expects you to be patient about the process
  • Can be played with small stakes, which will allow you to have more leeway when it comes to your max bet size and how many losses you can endure before flopping
  • This is a progressive betting system, which means that the more losses you incur, the larger your bet will need to be to recoup them
  • The system is great for players who do not want to busy themselves with min-maxing their roulette betting strategy and want to play it safe
  • The system is almost fool-proof and can lead to a “guaranteed” win over the very short-term

Cons

  • You will never “beat the house” using Martingale roulette as the longer you play, the more likely you are to break the bank as well
  • The form of progression can easily put you in serious debt, and this strategy may not be fit for players who can’t bring a considerable amount of money with them to the table, usually $500 – $1,000
  • You will only win very small amounts unless you are willing to put in a bigger base unit, which will in turn make it more likely to break the bank or reach the table limit
  • Martingale roulette could create a gambler’s fallacy that you are beating the house and are in control of what happens next
  • The strategy has a statistically high chance of failing the closer you get to 1,000 played rounds
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Variations of Martingale Roulette

A popular variation of Martingale roulette is Reverse Martingale roulette. This system takes the core premises and applies them backward. The “Anti-Martingale” system essentially tells you to double after every win and to return to a base unit after every loss. This variation is slightly more aggressive than the original iteration, but it yields more or less the same results.

The good thing about Reverse Martingale roulette is that it can easily amass some really good profits. For example, in our test of the traditional game, we got more winning streaks than losing streaks, which would have made it perfect for this particular stratagem. However, you can never know which way your luck will go, and you can easily wipe previous profits with Reverse Martingale.

Martingale for Other Casinos Games?

Martingale is not exclusively a roulette strategy. It may just as well be used with other popular casino games, specifically blackjack which has a very similar way of progressing when it comes to individual bets.

Blackjack is usually a favorite for Martingale players, and baccarat is another good option, as you will virtually pick between two options. In games like craps, you can try not to pass the line bet, but you might want to think twice about using Martingale on slots.

They are far more sporadic, although you may want to try low-volatility slots using this strategy. However, the results will be mixed, and less reliable overall.

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Martingale Roulette Alternatives

Players who have mastered and understand Martingale roulette strategy like the back of their hand, may actually be interested in looking into alternative betting strategies. We have put together a short list of some other stratagems that you may be willing to explore.

Our team has split these into groups, under positive progression and negative progression systems. We will start with the negative progression systems.

  • Fibonacci: Fibonacci is a roulette strategy where you will follow a specific sequence of numbers. You will move up the sequence after you lose and go back two numbers of the sequence after you win.
  • D’Alembert: D’Alembert is a very easy strategy where you increase your bet size by 1 every time you lose and decrease it by 1 every time you win.
  • Labouchere System: Labouchere is a system in roulette where you will write down the sum you want to win, for example, $50, and then split it into multiple bets, such as 5-5-10-10-5-5-10. You will place a bet based on the numbers available. If you win, you remove the number from the sequence. If you lose, you put the number on the right side.

Below, you have a list of positive progression systems that are also very popular and easy to follow through.  

  • Paroli System: You will increase your bet size with one unit after every win. Once you win three times in a row, you will go back to the base unit of one.
  • 1-2-3-6 System: The sequence tells you to bet and win with each of these numbers. If you bet on 1 unit and lose, you keep betting on one unit still. If you bet with 6 units and win, you go back to one unit again. You must close the full sequence every time you play.
  • Oscar’s Grind: You will increase your bet by one unit after every win. If you lose, you will not increase but keep the current bet level. Once you have at least one unit of profit after a loss, return back to the base unit you started with the first time.

Martingale Roulette FAQs

Is Martingale a legal strategy to use for roulette?

Yes, Martingale roulette is a perfectly legal strategy for roulette. Casinos will really have no issue with you coming in day after day and playing with roulette. They know that the odds are in their favor anyway.

What is Martingale roulette strategy?

Martingale roulette is a strategy developed to help you recover any potential losses incurred during a game of roulette, and also win something extra in the process. The strategy is used only on Even/Money bets and it is usually played with the minimum betting amount on the table to avoid breaking your budget or hitting the table limit.

Will I win against the house using Martingale roulette?

Yes and no. You can win in the short term, of course, but you should also keep in mind that the longer you play, the less likely you are to “beat the house.” You will have to learn when to quit, which is usually while you are ahead.

Is Martingale roulette a good strategy?

Yes, Martingale roulette is a good strategy. It’s simple, very easy to follow, and admittedly gives you a fairly good chance of making a profit in the short term.

What are the odds of winning with Martingale roulette?

Every time you place a bet on European roulette, you have a nearly 50% chance to win that bet using Martingale roulette.

Editor

Luke is a media graduate who is looking to build upon his experiences from his strong love of sports betting and casino games which started during his first year of college. His fresh mindset always brings new content ideas to the team and his editorial skills will continue to grow with the help of the upper management team at GamblingNews.com.

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