If you are an avid gambler or fan of gambling systems in general, you have probably heard of the Martingale betting system.  The Martingale system is popular not just for roulette, but also for many other forms of  gambling.  If you like making bets on anything form sports to roulette, the Martingale system is gambling 101 that will serve you well throughout your gambling career.

How The Martingale Roulette System Works

The beauty of the Martingale system lies in its pure simplicity.  The paradigm of the Martingale system is this: if you make a bet and win,  pocket your winnings and let your original bet ride; if you make a bet and lose, make a new bet that is double the original bet, and if you win, you recoup your original loss plus win some.

Keep in mind that when using the Martingale system in any betting situation, you want to wager on something that has about a 50/50 chance of winning.  In roulette, the wagers that have about a 50/50 chance of winning include betting on Red, Black, 1-18, 19-36, Even, or Odd.  So, when using this system, make sure you wager on one of those 6 bets.

Let’s look at an example to make it a bit more clear how the Martingale Roulette System works:

  • You make a bet of $5 on any of the 50/50 wagers above.
  • If you win, pocket your $5 in winnings, and keep your original $5 bet on the table.
  • If you lose, you are now down $5.  For your next wager, bet $10.  This way, if you win, you will recoup your original $5 bet that you lost, plus you will win $5 extra.  Also, if you win, start again with your original $5 bet.
  • Keep repeating the cycle above.



The Risks of the Martingale Roulette System

As you can see above, every time that you lose a bet, you have to double your wager on the next turn.  If you go one a long losing streak, you run a serious risk of going broke.  Also, if the roulette table you are playing on has a limit to how much you can bet at a time, once you hit the maximum, the jig is up and you have to cut your losses.

To give you an idea of how quickly the losses can mount when using the Martingale Roulette System, let’s look at an example.  Let’s say you start with the same $5 bet used in the example above.  If you go on a losing streak and lose 8 times in a row, your next bet will have to be $2,560.  While some people may be able to make one-time bets that large on roulette, the average gambler can’t swing that kind of cash.

Does the Martingale Roulette System Really Work?

Well, as we saw in the examples above, players can see nice gains over the short term.  However, players can quickly run into dangerous grounds if they go on a relatively short losing streak.  So the martingale roulette system can definitely work in the player’s favor until he hits that dreaded losing streak.

Final Thoughts

Have you used the Martingale Roulette System with any success?  Do you use another system that works better for you?  Let me know in the comment section below!

If you want to learn more about how to play and win at roulette, check out some of our other roulette articles: all about the roulette wheel layout, the Andrucci Roulette System, all about roulette odds, the D’Alembert Roulette System.

Jeff White

Jeff has been an active gambler from the age of 18 when he won a small local poker tournament in San Jose, CA. He moved on to playing other casino games shortly thereafter, with a great interest in the statistics and mathematics involved. He has studied the historical gambling systems of nearly every popular casino game played today, and has written strategy books for several of them including blackjack, slot machines, craps, and roulette. Jeff has been a daily contributor to the Silver Oak Casino blog since the beginning of 2009.