In this article, we will find out why it is not recommended to apply the Martingale strategy when betting on sports.
Martingale is a gambling strategy commonly used in casinos which consists in doubling your stake after every loss, so that the first win would recover all previous losses plus win a profit equal to the original stake. It is usually used to play on red-black on roulette game.
At first look, Martingale looks like a safe way to earn money. Because most bettors think it is unlikely to lose 8, 9 or 10 bets in a row. Now, if we imagine a bettor with a bank of $1,000, let’s see how a Martingale system applied to sports betting would look like.
Our bettor will choose to bet only on odds of 2.00.
He starts with a stake of $10 played on a football match at odds of 2.00. And it is a losing bet.
His second stake will be $20 played on a different match at odds of 2.00. Again, the bet is lost.
His third bet will be of $40 on odds 2.00 so he can potentially get a net gain of $40, minus $30 lost earlier, so a total benefit of $10.
Luckily, our bettor’s third bet is winning and he ends up cashing in a net benefit of $10 for a total stake of $70 (10 + 20 + 40).
Now if we imagine a consecutive loss of 6 bets, the total stake would be 10 + 20 + 40 + 80 + 160 + 320 = $630 for a potential $10 net profit.
Losing 6 bets in a row is not rare. Remember that, if we exclude value bets from our system, odds of 2.00 do not mean 50% of chance to win but more generally 45%, more or less depending of the margin left by your bookmaker. A value bet is a different thing (see our previous article) but let’s be honest, most bettors do not play value bets when applying the Martingale system, quite the opposite they usually rush their next bet when the last one was a loss.
Remember that while a losing streak might eventually end, you might not be able to continue using the Martingale system until it does. You do not have an infinite bankroll! Such strategies are usually praised by people who have simply enjoyed short-term success. This is a system to avoid if you are willing to become a long-term successful bettor.