What Is the Martingale Betting System?

Article by Simon Young
Live Dealer Baccarat
Last Updated: Apr 2nd, 2024 Share On Your Network:

The martingale betting system has been around for a long time, having originated in France in the 18th century. Its original purpose was a game that involved the flip of a coin. 

Today, you can use it across various types of casino games, but in Australian casinos, it works better for table games like roulette. Many Aussie sports fans have also introduced it for sports betting purposes. 

Among the many variations of betting systems available, the martingale system is the one that most players are familiar with or have even used. There are some excellent reasons for this, namely its simplicity and potential effectiveness.

Our article explains how it works and how you can incorporate it into your gambling strategy. We’ll also look at a list of the benefits versus and negatives of using the martingale strategy to help you decide whether it’s for you.

We also have a few alternative systems and our top tips on how to get the most out of it when playing at one of our top real-money Australian online casinos

Roulette Table Layout - Martingale Betting Strategy

What Is the Martingale Strategy?

What is the martingale strategy? The martingale betting system is a popular betting strategy that can be employed when playing casino games like roulette. 

It works best for even money bets like red or black or odds or evens on a roulette wheel. Some people also deploy it while playing a hand of blackjack and even for some craps wagers. 

But how does the martingale strategy work when playing various casino games? It is one of the most straightforward concepts. 

You need to increase your wager’s size after every loss until you win. The idea is that you will clear any losses you have from your previous stakes when you finally land a payout. 

To roll with the martingale betting system, the first step is to decide on a budget for your session. Next, you will set the percentage of your bankroll you will use for the martingale system. For example, let’s say you have a budget of A$100. We recommend setting your percentage at 1%, so your first wager will be A$1. 

If you are on a winning streak, you can maintain your wager of A$1. But once you have a losing hand, it is time to implement the strategy that suits your budget. 

In this case, you will double your wager to A$2. If you hit another loss, it’s A$4, and so on. As you can see, it can add up quite quickly as you double, so you have to have a low percentage of your bankroll to use for it. 

As soon as you hit a win, your profits will compensate for your losses, and you will take your stake back to your original A$1 and start again. 

The theory is like the odds if looking at the toss of a coin. It can’t always land on heads or tails; therefore, even money betting with a significant enough budget should ultimately mean you profit using the martingale strategy. 

Martingale System Examples

We have included a martingale strategy example showing how it works in principle to clarify how the system works. Every player will have a different outcome, and we have used our budget of A$100 and 1% to show you the results of our testing: 


Bet Amount Result Profit / Loss
A$1 Win A$1
A$1 Win A$2
A$1 Loss A$1
A$2 Loss -A$1
A$4 Loss -A$5
A$8 Win A$3
A$1 Loss A$2
A$2 Win A$4
A$1 Loss A$3
A$2 Loss A$2
A$4 Loss -A$2
A$8 Loss -A$10
A$16 Loss -A$26
A$32 Win A$6
A$1 Win A$7


As you can see from the martingale betting system example above, we placed 15 wagers, and although we lost more than half, with nine losing bets, we still ended the session with a profit of A$7. 

Let us now look at another martingale strategy that uses higher stakes. We have based it on an A$1,000 starting bankroll, so our 1% is A$10: 


Bet Amount Result Profit / Loss
A$10 Loss -A$10
A$20 Win A$10
A$10 Loss A$0
A$20 Loss -A$20
A$40 Loss -A$60
A$80 Win A$20
A$10 Loss A$10
A$20 Win A$30
A$10 Loss A$20
A$20 Loss A$0
A$40 Win A$40
A$10 Loss A$30
A$20 Loss A$10
A$40 Loss -A$30
A$80 Loss -A$110
A$160 Win A$50


In the above example, we placed 16 bets, and although we were down A$110 at one point, a win left us with A$50 in profit at the end of our betting session.

Martingale Strategy – Pros and Cons 

So let us take a look at the Martingale strategy pros and cons. As with any betting system, it is not foolproof, and a bad run of losses can wipe out your entire budget:


  • You can recoup a run of previous losses on one winning bet.
  • It will not give you massive winnings; it aims to accumulate smaller profits to grow your bankroll. After any winning stake, you will continue with your original wager.
  • It is one of the most manageable betting systems to follow, where you only have to double on losing bets or return your stake on winning ones. No calculators are required. 
  • Many players prefer to use a betting system, and it is one of the top ones used in land-based and online casinos.
  • It gives you more significant bankroll management, as you start with a low percentage and gradually increase your bet on losing wagers. 


  • To take advantage of this betting system, you need a substantial bankroll. It won’t work on a smaller budget, as you must sustain losing runs to continue doubling your wager.
  • During a losing streak, doubling your wager can be psychologically challenging because you could quickly place massive wagers out of your comfort zone.
  • You must find a table that will suit your budget if you work off a cautious budget or one with high stakes for those placing significant bets. 
  • You can only use it on some game types. For example, it doesn’t work as well with pokies. 

Martingale Strategy for Different Casino Games

The martingale strategy works on the same principle with minor differences depending on what you have decided to play. Here, we run through how martingale works when betting on different games in Australia:

Martingale Strategy for Roulette

Live Roulette Table

Roulette is the ideal game to use the martingale system as there are three options of even bets on the table:


  • Odd/Even
  • Red/Black
  • High/Low


You can choose any of the three to place your bets. The high-low wager relates to the numbers on the table from 1 to 18 or 19 to 36. 

You put your chips on an outcome and stick to the strategy. If you have decided to bet on red, stick to it. Do not switch to black halfway, as this can make it more difficult to stick to your betting pattern.

French Roulette is the best option, as it typically has the highest RTP rate of the European and American versions. It has a unique rule called la partage. If the ball lands on zero, you can earn a 50% wager back, which the other two versions don’t offer. 


Martingale Betting System for Blackjack

Another casino game in which the system works is blackjack. Although the odds are not quite as good as in roulette, you have around a 50% chance of winning any hand. Blackjack also has one of the highest RTP rates, with many above 99%. 

The approach is the same as roulette: start on your optimum wager bet on your unit, double it with any losses, and return to the original stake on a win. 

It may get more complicated if you double down and split the aces. If you win, you can go back to the start. If you lose, you must double that amount and bet again.

Martingale System for Casino Games

Live Dealer Baccarat

While this strategy works best for even money games, you can apply it to other games like baccarat if you go for the banker bet. In craps, you must stick to the bets – come, don’t come, pass, and don’t pass. 

Some players will also use it on basic pokie machines that have a no-frills approach with no significant bonuses, high RTP, and low volatility. However, it works best on table games, whether you prefer the thrill of live dealer action or virtual RNG table gaming options. 


Martingale Strategy for Sports Betting

Some bettors use this system on their sports bets, but you must find even money bets, i.e., with decimal odds of 2.00 or 1/1 for fractions. 

The principle is the same: you find an even money bet, use your wager amount, whether A$1, A10, or even $100, double on losing bets and return to the original bet on your winning ones. 

Martingale System – The Alternatives 

There are many other betting strategies that we will briefly touch on if you’re not sold on the martingale betting system: 


  • Fibonacci system: This system is where you start with a small wager, which involves starting with a small bet of, say, 1 unit. If you lose your bet, you move to the following sequence number, the amount of your two previous bets. If your first bet was 1 unit and you lost, your next bet would be 1 unit again. If you lose again, your next bet would be 2 units (1 + 1). If you lose again, your next bet would be 3 units (1 + 2), and so on. After any win, you go back 2 steps. 


  • Reverse Martingale: The reverse martingale strategy is the opposite of the martingale system. Instead of doubling your bet on any losses, you will double on any wins and return to your original stake on a loss. 


  • Labouchere system: This system is called the cancellation or split martingale system. It involves creating a sequence of numbers, usually for even-money bets. Choose your sequence (e.g., 1-2-3). Wager the sum of the first and last numbers. If you win, cross them off; if you lose, add the lost amount to the end. Continue until all numbers get crossed off, which ultimately should generate a profit. 


  • Paroli System: This system requires you to double your bets after any wins till you have three consecutive victories. You then return to your original stake. 


  • The 1-3-2-6 system: This is a common method for even-money bets, such as blackjack or baccarat. You start with a base bet of 1 unit. After a win, increase it by 3 units. If your next wager wins, reduce it by 2 units. If the third wager wins, increase it to 6 units. If you win all four or lose at any point, you start at the beginning with the 1 unit bet. 

Final Thoughts

The martingale betting system has existed for centuries and is still widely used by many gamblers to attempt to increase their winning margins. 

However, whether the strategy can boost your winning potential remains to be seen. While some players swear by it, others have yet to have as much success and stay clear.

The best way to try out the martingale system is to practice it first in one of the demo games. You can’t try it in a live dealer setting without spending so you can try it out on one of the virtual table games like roulette, blackjack, or baccarat. 

The primary aim when gambling is to do so responsibly and by reading up on responsible gambling practices, you can ensure that you bet within your means. 

If you want some Aussie casino site suggestions, we have a selection of mobile casinos and the fastest payout casinos to ensure you receive your winnings without delay. 

Or, if you want to learn more about gambling in Australia before trying out the martingale strategy, our blog section has many valuable articles, including ways to tell if an online casino is safe

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