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Caribbean Stud: How To Use The Martingale Betting System

The Martingale system has its roots in 18th century France, and is a term to describe popular gambling methods of that time. It is basically the gambling method closely linked to the Martingale Probability theory. With the example of coin tossing, the Martingale system entails a person to bet on the coin landing on either heads or tails – which has odds of 1:1 – and after every loss, increase the wager of the next coin toss to cover their previous losses and win some extra, continuing exponentially. This does seems like a certain way to win, but it does require the bettor to have infinite wealth to cover the high costs of the losses. The fundamental idea underlying this system is that the odds and result of each coin toss remains separate and unchanged by the coin tosses that come before or after.

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In Caribbean Stud

This method has remained in the popular systems of gambling since its conception, but when using it in the case of Caribbean Stud, there are other variables to take into account. The system is usually applied to games which have odds closer to 50-50, such as roulette. In Caribbean Stud and most other casino games the odds are not neutral, but negative, so following the fundamental idea of the Martingale system that each bet is independent, the bettor will always have negative returns. Caribbean Stud is in fact a casino game which results in much more favourable odds for the house, and following the problem just outlined above, the bettor is likely to lose more respective to the balance of the odds. In Caribbean Stud, the game is played directly against the house which has an edge of 5.22%

Potential Large Quick Losses

So if using the Martingale system when playing Caribbean Stud, the player must consider each hand to be separate of each other, and playing against the odds, must exponentially increase their losses only for a small return. To illustrate how quickly these losses can be built up from a losing a starting bet of $1, the player must increase their bet to cover that loss to $2, $4, $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $256, $512 and so one, in only 10 turns. It is very likely that a losing streak of 10 can happen.

Varying Odds

What further complicates the use of the Martingale system in Caribbean Stud is the style of play. It is not just simply red or black as in roulette, or heads or tails; but a game of cards, different combinations of which all returning different odds; and a game on which the skill of the player is a huge influence on the outcome.

Limiting the Range of Odds

There are some strategies which a player of Caribbean Stud can adopt to bring the odds closer to the 50-50 required by the Martingale system.

A-K Strategy

This strategy does require the player to approach each hand with the same rules every time, and it is imperative that no hunches come into the playing process. This is that the player must fold any hand less than an A-K and never fold a pair, it is known simply as the A-K strategy and can reduce the edge of the house to 2.3%, which no matter how significant, would still give negative returns to a player when playing with the Martingale system.

Three Rule Strategy

As the name suggests, there are three rules the player must follow; and, as with the previous rule, when playing with the Martingale system, this strategy must be followed for every hand to reduce fluctuation of the odds.

1. If the dealer’s exposed card is equal to any card in your hand from a 2 to a Q, then raise.

2. If the dealer’s card is an A or Q, and you are holding either a Q or J, then raise.

3. If the dealer’s exposed card is lower than your fourth highest card, then raise.

This strategy will reduce the edge of the house from 5.22% to 2.5%, which, much like the A-K strategy does not provide odds that are suitable for the Martingale system, and would still result in a loss.

Anti-Martingale System

This system follows the same principles of the Martingale system, but as the name suggests, in reverse. The principle of the Martingale system that a bettor must increase their bets after every loss in order to theoretically regain it, in the Anti-Martingale system is done by the reduction of a bet after a loss and an increase after a win. This does serve to somewhat slow down the rate of which a bettor can build up a huge amount of debt, but is based on the erroneous ‘gambler’s fallacy’, which subscribes to the belief of winning streaks and losing streaks, and therefore does not follow the principle of the Martingale system that the odds of each hand are completely independent of each other.

Why the Martingale System Does Not Work

As outlined above, the circumstances that the Martingale system requires to work simply cannot exist when playing Caribbean Stud, and instead of having any benefit, becomes a method that is more likely to lose a lot of money quickly, than beating any odds. Aside from all of this though, a Casino is never going to allow any method to beat their odds and find a certain way of winning on their tables, and with betting limits the necessity of the Martingale system for the bettor to have infinite funds is completely stripped away. What is most likely to happen is that after ten turns, a player will reach $512 loss, and be incapable of continuing the process to $1024, as it is beyond the standard limit of $1000.


The evidence overwhelmingly builds up against any benefit of using the Martingale system in Caribbean Stud, in fact points specifically towards why not to use it. It can be just about pulled off in a game that involves 50-50 odds such as roulette, but in a game such as Caribbean Stud none of the requirements exist at all. In fact the Martingale system is more of a hypothetical system which, with unlimited time and money can prove a certain way of winning, but in practicality provides no certainty in any scenario for any game.

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