Casino gambling games have always been inextricably linked to chance and probability, with any kind of success often being attributed to concepts such as fate. While the inner mechanics of games such as roulette or blackjack are dictated by chance, there are numerous tactics players use to swing the odds in their favor. It’s slightly easier to follow a regimented gambling strategy in a game like blackjack, but the spinning of the roulette wheel is much more chaotic.
Still, roulette gambling strategies are plentiful. One of the most historically popular is the Martingale system, a betting tactic that can be particularly successful if used sensibly.
Originating in the 18th century, it’s a strategy that has stood the test of time. Nevertheless, modern mathematical principles point toward several dangers associated with the Martingale system. Read on for a full exploration of the tactic and if you’re better off using another roulette strategy.
What is the Martingale betting system?
Unlike some more complex gambling strategies, the Martingale betting system is very straightforward. Essentially, players are instructed to double their bet after each loss. Consequently, when you break a losing streak of wagers, you’ll immediately win your money back. As you can probably tell, the system relies on a substantial bankroll, so players on a budget should stay away.
While you could theoretically use the Martingale strategy on any casino option, it was designed for use in games with close to 50/50 odds of winning. This makes it particularly well suited to roulette, where the odds of hitting red or black are close to 50/50. Unsurprisingly, the Martingale strategy was at its most popular during the height of roulette’s golden age in the 1800s.
Where did the Martingale strategy originate?
The Martingale strategy is widely acknowledged to have originated in 18th-century France, and is the product of mathematicians seeking ways to increase their chances of winning in the burgeoning casino scene. However, it got its name from John H. Martindale, a London casino owner who sneakily encouraged gamblers on the floor to double their bets after each loss. The name was evidently lost in translation over the years, ending up as Martingale instead.
In 1891, a famous gambler called Charles De Ville Wells won over one million francs at a Monte Carlo roulette wheel, using the Martingale strategy. This was a high-profile advertisement for the betting tactic, although many people at the time didn’t realize how much investors and patrons had boosted Wells’ bankroll. His success probably wouldn’t have been possible without this vital cash injection.
The best places to utilize the Martingale roulette system
There are several options available if you want to try the Martingale roulette system. The classic choice is to head to your nearest land-based casino and an open roulette wheel. Unfortunately, plenty of people live nowhere near a casino these days, so gamblers often look elsewhere. Additionally, using the Martingale strategy at a land-based casino is a bold move, as you’re more likely to get sucked in and potentially overspend.
Online video roulette lacks the same charm as the land-based version, but live roulette online is the perfect middle ground between the two. For example, sites such as Guts offer the best live roulette experience, with real-life roulette wheels and dealers live-streamed directly to your screen. This is a great way to try out the Martingale roulette system while enjoying a traditional casino atmosphere.
Does the Martingale strategy actually work?
On to the golden question: Does the Martingale roulette system actually work? Despite its initial popularity, the strategy is becoming increasingly disputed as time goes on. One of the main issues is that it relies on the so-called “gambler’s fallacy” for it to work. This is the mistaken idea that repeated previous events (that is, losing at roulette) means they are less likely to happen in the future. For example, a player on a losing streak can erroneously believe they are due a win just because they’ve lost their last several bets.
Additionally, players need an almost unlimited bankroll to use the Martingale roulette system to its fullest. Doubling your bet after each loss can get extremely expensive, and it may end in financial ruin.
Our advice: Check out some key tips for saving money before giving the Martingale roulette system a spin.
Other ways to enhance roulette success
We don’t recommend relying on the Martingale system for roulette success. However, these tips can certainly help: 1) always choose European roulette over the American version; 2) never lose control of your bankroll; and 3) mix up your outside and inside bets.
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