Martingale is a betting strategy well-known among bettors, which originates in France (18th century) where it was introduced by Paul Pierre Levy, a French mathematician. The Martingale betting system was considered at that time a sure strategy that would definitely bring great incomes, but it was soon discovered that it has many flaws and it's not a completely reliable betting strategy (like any other strategy).
What is Martingale betting strategy?
First of all, the Martingale betting system was mainly used in casino - more exactly on roulette (betting on the colors red and black), but it was also applied in sports betting for events with a 50-50 possibility of winning.
The main idea underlying the Martingale strategy is to double your stake each time you lose and place your original stake each time you win. The advantage of using this betting strategy is that you can recover your stake (and make profit) no matter how many times you lose, but the disadvantage is that you need a really big bankroll.
Example: Let's say that you have a $200 bankroll and you want to place bets.
1. First bet = $10. Status: win. $210 bankroll.
2. Second bet = $10. Status: lost. $200 bankroll.
3. Third bet =$20 (the previous bet was lost, so we double the stake). Status: win. $220 bankroll.
As you can see, by doubling the stake not only have we recovered the $10 lost from the previous bet, but we also won another $10 and we've increased the bankroll. The big problem is if we lose many bets in a row: if we have a small bankroll (as in our example) it can lead to a disaster.
4. Fourth bet = $10 (since the previous bet was won, we'll place the original stake). Status: lost. $210 bankroll.
5. Fifth bet = $20. Status: lost. $190 bankroll.
6. Sixth bet= $40. Status: lost. $150 bankroll.
7. Seventh bet = $80. Status: lost. $70 bankroll.
Now, we should double again the previous stake and place a $160 bet, but unfortunately the bankroll has a low amount left (only $70) - therefore the strategy stops here. There were sufficient only 4 losing bets in a row in order to lose a very big part of the bankroll and to make us unable to continue. These kinds of situations can happen and you can lose even more than 9 bets in a row (no matter on what you're betting) and this is why a bettor shouldn't use this strategy unless he places low stakes and he has a very big bankroll which can cover a very large number of losing bets in a row.
As was previously mentioned, the Martingale betting strategy can also be applied for sports betting. Therefore, when betting on sporting events, a bettor must be sure to select events with only 2 possible outcomes and with odds of at least 2.00.
Even if a bettor has a very big bankroll and he decides to start betting using the Martingale betting strategy, there can also appear other unpleasant situations which can make it unsuccessful. Some online bookmakers can limit your account on sports or even in casino, therefore after a couple of losing bets you won't be able to double the stake and bet a higher stake in order to recover your losses.
Martingale can be a really great strategy in some cases, but the bettor must be careful to have a big enough bankroll and to use the services of an online betting site who doesn't apply limits.