Roulette is an elegant casino game, filled with noblesse and flair, that has always been associated with wealth and glimmer. Also, roulette was responsible for the ultimate financial downfall of several people thinking they are smart enough to decipher its rules and outwit its system using pure mathematics. Several mathematicians have tried to find the best strategy to predict where the ivory ball will land next – but they all failed. The Martingale system is maybe the most famous result of their activity.
The Martingale system is maybe the simplest betting system ever devised, and it is also a successful one – at least in theory. In practice, though, you would need to have infinite funds and no limits on the bets you can place for it to work. Let me explain.
Using this system requires the player to place ‘safe’ bets only, for example on red or black and odd or even. The player wagers one unit – say $1 – on red, for example, and loses. The next wager will also be placed on black, but the amount doubles for the next spin, to $2. If this bet also loses, the third one will also be placed on black, but the amount will be double again – $4 – and so on, until the bet is successful. In case of a win, the player will win back the amount wagered until the win, plus will make one unit – $1 – profit.
Why wouldn’t this system work in practice, you might ask. Well, first of all, the amount to be bet increases exponentially. At the first few bets that wouldn’t be a problem – $1, $2, $4, $8, $16, and so on – but after a losing streak long enough, like 15 lost bets, the funds necessary to move on would rise to over $32,000 (around $16,000 to bet and the same amount already lost), and for the next step the amount would double again.
Another reason why the Martingale would not be a good system to use is that casinos – both online and real life establishments – usually limit the maximum amount a player can bet on a single spin. This limit is variable from casino to casino, but it’s surely not high enough for the Martingale to be viable at all. Not to mention the fact that the house edge – the amount of the commission applied by the casino operator on the amounts won by the players – would rise to huge amounts after a long enough losing streak, eliminating any potential profits a player could make by using the Martingale.
Roulette is a game best played for the thrill and the excitement, and not necessarily for the profit it could produce. Play it at an online casino or in real life, in the brick-and-mortar casino of your choice.