The Martingale System

The Martingale system is very easy to understand and follow.  This is why it has become one of the most popular strategies used by players all over the globe.  Watch out, it is a flawed system.  But, I believe that with a few alterations the system can still be used to make consistent profits at the roulette table.


  • Choose a colour (we’ll use red for the example) and place a $1 on it.  Spin the wheel.
  • If your bet loses then double your bet for the next spin (i.e. place $2 on red).
  • If your bet loses again, then double up to $4
  • If your bet loses, double up to $8

You probably understand by now.  Keep doubling your stake if your bet loses.  STOP as soon as you win. The amount won by doubling your stake completely offsets the loss of the previous bets.

Many of you will be thinking that this is great, and that you can’t lose!  Well, this is true if two conditions are met.  Firstly, you must have an unlimited bankroll.  In theory any number of blacks may come out in a row – by doubling your stake each time starting from just $1, 15 losing bets in a row would require you to place a $32,768 stake on the next bet.  Second, and related, the system requires the casino to not have a table limit on the size of the bet accepted.  All casinos have this limit – and it is considerably smaller than $32,768!

Is it still worth using?
In my eyes, the martingale system can be used effectively as a staking plan in the short run.  However, I use the following alterations as I find it more profitable.

  • Don’t stick to one colour.  If you are waiting for red and five blacks have come out in a row, then go for black!  It has the same chance at coming out as red.
  • Play European roulette, with a single 0, and not American roulette with the single zero and double zero spaces.  You should always play European roulette for any system as the house edge is much lower.
  • Play a short game.  If you lose 5 in a row then stop betting and start again.  It is not worth chasing with big stakes just to break even – if you hit the table limit then you are in trouble.

At present, if using this system, I recommend using Betfair, because of their zero-house edge casino!

Remember to visit the ‘what to play where’ page to get the best value!

Check out the video trials page to see the Martingale system in action!