The most popular and well known roulette strategy is the Martingale Strategy.
Created over 300 years ago and enhanced by Paul Pierre Levy just 70 years ago, the Martingale Strategy is often the go too method for gaming the advantage at the roulette table.
The concept of the strategy is to bet in a certain way on a winning spin but playing a different way on a losing spin.
During a winning spin the bet stays the same but, on a losing spin the bet doubles to recoup the losses of the previous spin.
Recently, we here at Guide to Casinos HQ we put the Martingale Strategy through its paces. This seemed to be the best way to answer the question as to whether the Martingale Strategy actually and truly works.
We were surprised at the results but if our case study and experience is relatable and averaged out across all players, the strategy could give players an advantage.
The Martingale Strategy isn’t just applicable for roulette, it can be used for day trading or blackjack for example, but it fits the gameplay of roulette very well.
Our recent tests gave us a 39% return on our gameplay in our tried and tested experience and in this example, we will walk through what the Martingale Strategy is, our results and whether it is worth using this at the roulette wheel.
What is the Martingale Strategy
The Martingale Strategy is a betting concept where the stake remains the same on a winning bet, but doubles on a losing bet until the bet wins. The mathematical concept looks to recoup all losses for every losing bet. In the long term the strategy would always work unless the player runs out of money.
For example, a losing £10 spin should result in a next bet of £20. If this spin loses too the next should be £40 and so on.
On the other hand, if the £10 spin wins then next bet should be £10 again.
Recommended reading: Best Roulette Strategies – we tried and tested the best 9 roulette strategies, find out the only one that lost us money!
This benefit of the strategy is no matter how many times the player loses, the next win will see a recoup of all losses so far plus the original stake to start the betting strategy again.
Does the Martingale Strategy Work?
The great thing about the Martingale Strategy is with an infinite stake the strategy could never fail.
Unfortunately, players never have an infinite amount to stake.
Let’s say we start with a £10 bet which loses. The next bet is £20, which could also lose. A £40 bet follows next and if this loses too then the next bet would be £80.
A £80 spin and win on an evens type roulette bet such as red, black, odds or evens would provide a £80 win.
An £80 win is equal to the total of all bets so far (£10 + £20 + £40) plus a small £10 profit.
If the £80 bet lost too, and the next bet of £160 won, it would produce a win of £160 to recoup the £150 spent so far (£10+£20+£40+£80 = £150).
Although unlikely, 10 failed spins in a row – at a starting stake of £10 – would see the player lose £5,120 and the next bet would need to be £10,240 to continue the strategy!
A £15,360 stake is out of the reach of most players.
This is why the Martingale Strategy is mathematically advantageous and will always favour the player, as long as the player does not go bankrupt first and can’t afford the next bet in the strategy.
Martingale Strategy Actual Results
The best way to prove whether a strategy works is to actually try it out.
We spent time playing the Martingale Strategy, and following the rules to the absolute letter, and we were surprised with the results.
Playing roulette randomly using an evens odd bet such as red or black, should see a win 48.6% of the time on a UK roulette wheel.
The odds are slightly less on a U.S. roulette wheel as they have a double zero as well as a single zero.
We spent £18 on our test which should have resulted in an end pot of £17.50, but we actually ended with a £27 pot.
A return of 39%!
Here are the actual stakes and plays we made using the Martingale Strategy:
After starting positively with two win spins we ended up winning 60% of spins and losing 40% of our spins across 10 spins in our case study.
The game of roulette though is very much down to chance, and although we saw a positive 39% return on our stake, the results could easily have been different.
It is also worth noting that although the Martingale Strategy have us a return of 39%, it wasn’t the best roulette strategy in our full case study.
Martingale Strategy vs Other Strategies
Although the Martingale Strategy is the most cited and the most followed, it isn’t the only roulette strategy to try.
During the 1800’s a number of strategies appeared from mathematicians to tacticians and even numerologists, each looking to gain an advantage over the roulette wheel and the house that ran the games.
The most famous of all the strategy creators is arguably Blaise Pascal, the creator of the Paroli Strategy.
Although the name Blaise Pascal may not be familiar to you, as well as creating the Paroli Strategy for roulette, he also invented the game of roulette!
Here are the most popular and famous roulette strategies ranked in order based on our results trying and testing each one:
- Labouchere Strategy
- 3 2 Strategy
- Martingale Strategy
- D’Alembert Strategy
- Paroli Strategy
- Fibonacci Strategy
- Andrucci Strategy
- 1 3 2 6 Strategy
- James Bond Strategy
At the top of our results list the Labouchere Strategy gave us a return of 160% whereas the James Bond Strategy gave us a loss of 70%.
In fact, the James Bond Strategy is the only roulette strategy on our list that gave us a negative return.
Despite not being at the top of the strategy returns list, the Martingale Strategy is within the top three.
Is the Martingale Strategy Worth Playing?
A player has two choices when staking and playing at a roulette wheel:
- Bet randomly
- Bet using a roulette strategy
On average, a player choosing randomly would win £9.62 for every £10 staked.
This represents a 3.8% loss on stake.
Seven from the nine strategies we tested resulted in an 8% or greater return on stake.
Considering in our tests the Martingale Strategy gave us a 39% return, it is a roulette strategy worth testing.