Most people out there have probably heard of the Martingale Betting System or even tried it at some point in their lives. They may not even know that it actually had a name, but they’ve used it all the same.
Well I’m here to say that the Martingale Betting System sucks.
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For those who haven’t heard of the Martingale System, let me briefly explain what it is. The theory is that if there are only two outcomes, one will HAVE to come up, based on the “law of averages”. For example, if I flipped a coin 5 times, and it came up heads 5 times, then “chances are” it will come up tails the next time.
Of course that’s all BS – every flip is independent of the other. However it doesn’t stop people trying to use the Martingale Betting System when it comes to playing roulette or Blackjack, or placing bets on sports.
When it comes to betting on these events – you double your money every time you lose. So let’s take the 00 out of Roulette for a second, so you only have red and black. You bet $1 on red and lose, then you bet $2 on red. If you lose again, you bet $4 on red. Lose again, bet $8. $16->$32->$64->$128->$256->$512 and so on and so forth, until you eventually win.
That system SUCKS.
It sucks for a variety of ways. One reason it sucks is you are eventually going to lose – simple as that. Unlesss you have an infinite bankroll, you will never win. YOU WILL LOSE. You always lose in the long run, and this is just a mathematical fact. Plus you will usually lose rather early, due to many casinos, both online and offline, having limits as to the amount you can actually bet.
The second reason it sucks is – think how ridiculous it is – if you lose a few times in a row, soon you will be betting $128 to win $1. And if you lose? $256 to win $1. If I came up to you on the street and said “I’m going to flip this coin. Heads I owe you $1. Tails you owe me $256.” Would you take it? Hell no! But that is effectively what the Martingale system is. If you take $500 to a Roulette table, you can be risking the whole thing within 10 spins!
However the main reason the Martingale System sucks is this:
Because it’s boring.
Look, when I go to a casino, either online or offline, I know I have a negative expectation at pretty much every game. I can play perfect strategy and still be expected to lose – that’s the way casinos work. So when I go to play at casinos, I make sure I go there just to have fun.
And risking $512 to win $1 is not my idea of fun.
As a brief sidenote – I generally like to set myself “rules” for when I play at casinos. For example if I hit up a slot machine – as soon as I have won two times, I cashout. Simple as that. Then I’ll walk around – maybe hit up video poker or another slot machine. I find this really adds to the fun, as well as make the money last. Nothing like going to a casino with $500, and blowing it all on the first slot machine closest to the door.
So when it comes to games like Blackjack or Roulette, I do like to use a betting system – just not the Martingale Betting System. I prefer to use progressive betting systems, which I find are a lot more fun, even if the outcome is eventually going to be the same – bust.
A standard progressive betting system is one where you increase your bets when you win, not when you lose. For example you hit up the Blackjack tables and your initial bet is $10. You lose – stick with a $10 bet. When you win, you still bet $10. Now if you win two bets in a row, you increase your bet to $15. If you win that bet, then you can now bet $20, and move up in increments of $5. As soon as you lose one hand, you go back to the $10.
This type of system is one that I much prefer to flat betting, simply because it’s more fun. If you flat bet $10 every time, when you go on a “heater” and win a bunch of hands in a row it’s still just $10 you are betting. But if you win 8 or 9 hands in a row, suddenly you’re betting $50 a hand, 5 times your standard bet, and it really can increase the fun.
There are many other systems – for example the D’Alembert betting system, where you double your bet after every win, and halve it after every loss. So if you bet $10 and lose, you would bet $5. If you bet $10 and win, you would next bet $20. Win that one, you’d bet $40, although lose that one and you’d go back to $10. The D’Alembert is also a popular system because it gives you that “finality” at casinos – where you are betting with a set amount and if you go bust it’s a lot easier to leave the table.
There are also limited betting systems, for example the Base Five Progressive Betting System. In this one, you can bet in increments of 1-2-3-5-1. Using the $10 bet, this means that you would bet $10. Win or lose, you then bet $20. Next is $30, followed by $50, then the cycle repeats itself starting at $10. Or you can only increase to the next “level’ when you actually win.
The one thing you have to remember is with any betting system, you are going to lose money. However when you go to a casino you aren’t going to be there playing 100,000 hands in a row, so often you are going to pick up some nice short-term wins. More importantly, you are going to have a lot more fun using a progressive betting system as compared to flat betting, or the Martingale.
Finally, by setting yourself up with a betting system you kill the chances of “impulse bets”. I’m sure many people out there have played 8 hands of Blackjack in a row betting $10 every time, lost every one, and decided that the next one HAS to win, then thrown down $200 to chase their losses and then some. Then if they lose that – well, the next hand HAS to win right? Next thing you know, you’re betting way above your bankroll and your kids are eating dog food for dinner.
So use a betting system when at a casino. You’ll have a lot more fun, and you’ll be able to control your betting a lot more.
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