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Black Jack School

The Martingale Betting System

Anyone who has been around casinos has heard of the Martingale betting system but the question is will it lead you to the path of riches or the road to the poorhouse? First we need to explain the system to those who don’t know how it works. It is rather simple to use you just double your bet each time you lose. As soon as you get a winner you will have a net win of 1 unit (the amount of your first bet.)

Example (Blackjack) – Your first bet is for $5, you lose. The next bet is for $10 if you lose you go to $20. If you win you will now have 1 win ($20) and 2 losses ($5 and $10) for a net win of $5 (your original bet). The beauty of this system is that you will win sooner or later as long as you have the bankroll and the ability to continue wagering (house limits could be a problem). The drawback to this system is that if you hit a losing streak you are risking a great deal of money to win 1 unit. In our example of $5 being the base unit, if you lose 7 times your 8th bet will be in the amount of $640. Considering that you have already lost $635 from the previous 7 bets you can see why many people would be squeamish if they got to this point.


There are some things you must consider if you plan to try the Martingale system. Here are some of those factors:

Table limits – Make sure that the table limits are as high as possible so you can run thru your progression.

Bankroll – You should have 200 times your initial starting unit. If your first bet is $5 then you should have a bankroll of $1,000.

Choice of games – You should only use this system on games that have a low house advantage. The best of these are Baccarat, Craps (Pass/Don’t Pass) and Blackjack with perfect strategy.

Short Term perspective – Try to hit for some small profits and then pocket them, the longer you play the greater chance of an extended losing streak.

The reality is that you can show some short term profits with the Martingale system but if you continue to use it you will sooner or later hit that long losing streak that will deplete you of your bankroll.

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Interesting Facts

Did you know... that the chances (probability) of being dealt a blackjack is .024%, which equates to one BJ approximately every 42 hands dealt?