Martingale is definitely one of the most popular strategies used in gambling. But just how successful is Martingale? What are the risks? Let’s find out.

How the Martingale works

The concept is very simple and easy to understand. You place your first bet. If you lose, you double your bet, and you keep doing that until you win. The win will recover all your previous losses, plus give you a profit equal to your original bet(when the payout is 1:1). Then you start over again with your original bet, which you double again until your next win.

In a situation where there are no limits on bankroll and bet amount, this strategy becomes an ultimate winning strategy that ensures you will always win in the end. And because of this fact, Martingale is widely used in many different games. But no one has an infinite bankroll, and there is always a maximum limit on how much you can bet.

Dangers of Martingale

There are two ways for you to lose money while doing Martingale:

  1. You run out of money and cannot double your previous bet
  2. You reach the maximum limit on bet amount and cannot double your previous bet

These are the only two scenarios where Martingale strategy will fail to provide a win, which doesn’t seem that bad at first. But the true danger lies in the outcome of Martingale, which are frequent-but-small wins and not-so-often-but-huge loss.

Every time you win with Martingale, your profit is only equal to your original bet, which is usually a small amount. But, if you are unlucky and go on a long losing streak, your loss grows exponentially every time you make a bet, which could lead to bankruptcy.

We all think that we will not lose 10 times or 20 times in a row. The chance of that happening is mathematically really low. That is indeed true. However, we all have to be aware that consecutive losses actually happen more often than common intuition suggests. Which leads to our final question.