Introducing the Martingdale Betting Strategy: Where and How It Works Best
The martingdale is one of the most popular betting strategies, likely in part because:
- it is easy to understand and
- the theory is solid under certain conditions (see below).
Here’s how a basic version works:
- If you lose a bet for a certain amount, double the amount and make the same bet again.
- If you win a bet, halve the wager amount for your next bet.
The assumption here is that you will not lose every time. By doubling the amount you bet after a loss, when you do win you will make back the money you lost on earlier bets and then some.
Note that there are tons of variations on this strategy. You don’t always need 50–50 odds, but the key idea is to increase your bet amounts after losses and decrease them (or at least hold them steady) after wins.
Ready to try it out? Here’s what you need to know.
Typical casino odds and limits kill a martingdale every time.
If you are attempting to use the martingdale approach anywhere with less than fair odds of winning — that means in a typical gambling environment with a house edge — the strategy is doomed to fail over time.
Even if it is just a slight house edge, as you place bet after bet your total chances of success go down on average.
Additionally, many casinos place limits on the amount you can bet. After repeated losses, eventually you would hit a cap where you could not make back what you had lost earlier.
Fortunately, you don’t have to play traditional casino odds!
Under radically fair conditions, the theory holds up!
At BlockStamp Games, there is no house edge. For technical reasons there is a win limit of 1 million BST — but for all practical pursposes the platform will allow you to follow a Martingdale approach indefinitely if you have enough funds.
Therefore, with the theoretical assumption that you have infinite time and money, the martingdale approach is solid!
Even so, real-world limitations mean you need to think practically.
Unfortunately, on this planet you don’t have infinite time and money :)
That means there are a couple of practical considerations involved here:
- Losing streaks can be loooooonnnng. Longer than you might imagine. For example, it might seem unlikely that you will lose six times in a row. In fact, the odds of winning one bet has nothing to do with whether you won or lost the previous bet. It is entirely possible that you experience a long losing streak — and lose all your funds. That way you cannot continue holding out for a win, obviously.
- If you do win, it is tough to quit while you’re ahead. Do you like it with more, more, more? We all do — but you don’t have infinite time, remember? :)
Therefore, here’s our recommendation on how best to use the martingdale approach:
- Plan to boost your funds by a certain modest percentage,
- wager amounts that will keep you going long enough to achieve that percentage,
- and walk away when you do.
Note that there is an element of psychology here. It is just as important a part of gambling as the numbers!
Here’s a practical example using BlockStamp Games roulette:
Let’s say you are starting with 100 BST. That’s what you get when starting out in the demo version of BlockStamp Games.
Next, choose a bet — let’s say on the red color in roulette. That means you have 50–50 odds of winning every time.
Decide how long a losing streak you want to be able to survive, and choose a bet amount accordingly.
If your first bet is 1 BST, for example, a loss will mean you bet 2 BST next, then another loss means 4 BST on the next one, then 8, 16, and finally 32 — by which time you are down to 37 BST in funds. That means then you can survive a losing streak of 6 bets before you can’t continue with the strategy.
If you win on any of those first 6 bets, you’ll come out ahead. If you don’t — you are at a net loss and can’t continue.
Therefore you might want to make your first bet 0.25 BST. Then you can hang in there for 8 bets.
Is it unlikely that you will lose 8 times in a row? Remember — it might seem unlikely but these long losing streaks can and do happen. That’s the nature of chance.
If you do win, halving your next bet will help you “take some profits off the table,” i.e. help you save what you won and not risk losing it all as continue.
Have fun trying out the strategy. If you have any variations on the strategy, we want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments.