# Blackjack – Martingale System

This system, which was invented over 200 years ago, instructs the player to double his bet each time he loses, on the assumption that he will eventually win and show a profit from the initial wager.

With a beginning wager of $5.00 you would double your wager with each loss. IE: $5, $10, $20, $40 $80, etc. After a win your wager would drop back to $5.00. All wagers are recovered when you win a hand.

For example, suppose the game is roulette. You bet one dollar and lose, bet two dollars and lose, bet four dollars and lose, bet eight dollars and win. The total won is one dollar (the loss was 1+2+4=7). With this betting system there is a high probability of winning a small amount (1 dollar) and a small probability of losing a great amount. The chance of the roulette ball not landing on red is 20/38. The chance of not landing on red twice in a row is (20/38) x (20/38) = 100/361. The chance of not landing on red three times in a row is (100/361) x (20/38) = 1000/6859. The chance that you have to make the fourth bet of sixteen dollars is just under 1/7. To avoid going very far with the Martingale bettor, casinos have betting limits. A routine betting limit at roulette is usually $2500. How many losses would you have to incur before the limit prevented you from doubling again? If the ball failed to land on red for eleven times the next bet would call for a wager the size of $2048. If that bet lost the next bet would put you over the limit. Were the limit to be raised to $10,000, only two more failures to land on red and your over the limit once again. The chance of not landing on red for twelve times in a row is .000451. This will happen about 4.5 times in 10,000 plays. Using this betting system, an increase (double) as you lose system, will cause you to win, on average, one dollar, 9,995.5 times out of 10,000, and lose $4095 x 4.5 times, or $18427.5. The final result after 10,000 separate plays of betting and doubling until either you win a dollar or reach the betting limit of $2500 (twelve losses) and start over again at one dollar, is most likely to be a loss of $8432.

Casinos have table limits to eliminate the effectiveness of this system. After a long losing streak you will eventually hit the table maximum, thus defeating the purpose of this system. Plus, a considerable amount of bankroll is needed to make this system work, and the payoffs simply aren’t worth it. If you started with a $5 dollar wager and lost your first four wagers and won your fifth, (without double downs or splitting your cards) you would be a measly 5 dollars ahead. This is simply not worth it, and if you are losing multiple hands in a row it is time to leave the table, not double your wagers. Also, losing double downs or splits can deplete your bankroll in a big hurry.