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The Martingale is one of the most famous betting systems for playing blackjack, roulette and some other games. It appeared in France in the 18th century.

The Martingale system is simple. You have to double your bet after each loss and return to your initial bet after the win. The whole point is that when you win you return all your losses and earns a profit. Let’s imagine you have bet $5. See the scheme below.

1 lose 2 lose 4 lose 8 win 1
$5 lose $10 lose $20 lose $40 win $5

You lost $75 and then thanks to the last win you won $80, thus you won $5.

This system is effective and many casinos change the game rules to defeat it. There are table limits which sometimes don’t allow a player to recover his losses.


You must have a lot of money to play with the help of this system. If you are on a losing streak and lose more than six times in sequence, your wager will increase more than 30 times. If you double or split a hand, your bet will have to be much higher. That’s why if you like this system you’d better play at a low-limit table. More than that, many blackjack tables have betting limits. So, if you are sitting at a table with a maximum $500 bet you won’t be able to win your money back. But this fact does not make this system bad. There is less than a 0.01% possibility that you can lose 10 times in a row.

The Martingale system has some variations. For example, there is a "Martingale-four" system that offers to quadruple the initial bet if you lose. A "half-Martingale" system offers to increase the initial bet by 150% instead of 200%, since losses can’t be fully recovered, this system isn’t as effective as the original Martingale.

The Grand or Great Martingale system offers the player to double his bet and add one more unit to that wager. The sequence is as follows:

1 loss 2+1 loss 6+1 loss 14+1 win 1 ...

As you can see if you are on a losing streak you will come to the table limit quicker than when playing the classic Martingale.

The Reverse Martingale System allows you to double the next bet when you win and return to the original bet when you lose.