Martingale is a progressive bank management strategy based on the fact that in case of a loss, the player increases the bet amount until he receives a win. This strategy is used not only in betting but on stock exchanges, casinos and binary options.
Concept of Martingale
Martingale has long been used in casinos when playing roulette, where the probability of red or black is 50/50. From there, it migrated to betting. In sports betting according to this strategy, 2 conditions must be met:
- After a losing bet, the amount of the next bet is multiplied by 2;
- Odds per event must be 2.0 or higher.
Let’s consider the essence of the Martingale strategy using a specific example. Our game bank is 15,000 USD, the amount of the first bet is 1,000 USD and the odds of each event are 2.0.
As a result, we see that after winning a bet, we not only return the lost money but also get a win. Profit after winning will be equal to the size of the first bet. In theory, this strategy seems win-win, but in practice, it has a large number of disadvantages. Even in this considered example, if the fourth bet was lost, the player would lose his entire game bank.
The percentage of correct predictions, in this case, can be almost any (even 20%). The main thing is that the player should be able to make the next bet after the lost bet.
Even one bet out of 10 can make a profit. However, this is only in theory, and in practice, Martingale has a number of shortcomings.
Pros and Cons of Martingale
The advantages of the strategy when using it in practice include only the possibility of using it in any kind of sports.
There are many more cons upon closer examination:
Risk of Losing Entire Bank
With each unsuccessful bet, we increase the next one by 2 times in relation to the previous one. With the first bet of 1%, already on the 7th bet, we must bet 64%. However, the player will not have such an opportunity, because, for the previous 6, he will spend 63% of the game bank;
For any event, the bookmaker limits the amount of the maximum bet. When using the Martingale, it may turn out that the required amount for a bet will be more than the possible maximum.
After each lost bet, you have to risk more and more amounts. This often starts to generate uncertainty and fear of losing the whole pot.
Definitely, this strategy is not suitable for playing in the long term. It is the distance that will consume all the possible profit. Immediately after the player hits a drawdown, the moment will come when he will have to risk the entire pot. We would not recommend this aggressive betting strategy, having considered more classic strategies.
Also, each coefficient includes the bookmaker’s margin. With a probability of 50/50, the bookmaker will at best offer an odd of 1.90 with a margin of 5%. The coefficient we need for this strategy will be estimated at 46% and below.