Martingale is a popular negative progression Blackjack betting strategy that requires the player to gradually increase the stakes after every losing bet. The strategy relies on an assumption that long losing streaks are highly unlikely, which means that every next hand could be the one to interrupt the streak, recover the lost balance, and incur a profit.
How Does it Work?
Simplicity is the main appeal of Martingale, commanding the players to double the stake after every losing round and practice flat betting during the winning streaks. These are pretty much the only two rules that you will need to follow if you decide to implement this strategy, although keeping your base bets closer to the table minimum is highly recommended.
For the most part, the system will work during a limited number of rounds, producing short-term results. If, however, a losing streak is prolonged, the players are in danger of either reaching the table limits or go low on their bankroll.
Assuming that you start with $5 and double the wager after every losing hand, a string of 6 consecutive hands will have cost you $315. The next round, according to the Martingale system, is due $320, and there are no guarantees that you will actually win.
Another issue to be mindful of is the table limit – even if your budget can sustain the consecutive losses, there is a danger of hitting the table limit, which will prevent you from raising the bet on the next round. In other words, the strategy can only work if you are a high roller player, at a no-limit table.
The Advantages of Martingale Betting Pattern
As mentioned, Martingale is extremely easy to adopt and has no betting requirements that will restrict the system to just a certain profile of blackjack players. The strategy has been proven effective across shorter blackjack session, especially if you start with low betting units.
The Disadvantages of the Martingale System
Unfortunately, Martingale will not give any actual advantage to the players, as it cannot affect the house edge. It merely helps you distribute your budget more effectively and aims at a quick balance recovery.
As mentioned, the main flaw of Martingale is that there is a very real danger of losing your entire budget in a relatively short period of time or reaching the table limit, which will prevent you from seeing the method through.
The Variations of the Martingale Betting System
The Mini Martingale
The Mini Martingale is the variation that restricts the number of times a bet should be increased. This will prevent you from reaching the table limit, but it will also reduce your chances of recovering your losses on a single hand.
The Anti Martingale
This method is also known as the Reverse Martingale, transforming the negative progression method into the positive one. The idea here is to exploit the winning streak and double the bet after every successful hand. A sudden change in luck is the main “glitch” of this system.
The Grand Martingale
The Grand Martingale was devised to override the main problem of the original system, which is the low winning potential. In addition to doubling the bet after a losing hand, the player will also need to add a base blackjack betting unit on top. This, however, does not reduce the risk of reaching the table limits – if anything, in actually increases the speed at which you are spending your budget and hitting the maximum bet.