The Martingale and all its Variations: Our Guide

Martingale is a strategy that increases your chances, or even your certainty, of winning money at games of chance. The principle of each martingale depends on the game under consideration. However, martingale is very famous for being used mainly in online roulette.

La Martingale: What’s that?

The purpose of a martingale is to nullify the mathematical advantage the casino has over the player. Some of them are highly criticized and one must be very careful to choose the right martingale for the situation. It is also important to understand the risks associated with this strategy. It is important to know that such a strategy is almost systematically prohibited in physical casinos and is liable to immediate expulsion. Therefore, these strategies should not be taken lightly. However, you will be able to apply these martingale strategies much more easily with online casinos. There are many forms that we will describe to you.

La Martingale classique

The classic martingale is the simplest version to understand. It consists of playing a binary event (black or red for example) so that the player doubles his winnings if the event is successful. Each time the event fails, the player bets the next round following the event that has just taken place, doubling his bet. Thus, in the long run, thanks to this martingale, he not only gets back his initial bet, but also wins double his initial bet
This strategy is based on the premise that it is highly unlikely to have a succession of red and black repeatedly over a very long period of time. Since each draw is independent of the other, you always have about a 50/50 chance of winning.

Example: A player plays €1 on black. If black comes out, he will have €2, €1 to pay back his bet and €1 in his pocket. If red comes out, he loses his euro. If red comes out, he will double his bet on the next round, and bet on red, so €1×2 = €2. Again, if red goes out, he wins €4. 2 goes to pay off his bet for this round, €1 goes to pay off his bet for the previous round and €1 goes into his pocket. If black goes out, he loses his £2. He will then bet double on black, i.e. €2×2 = €4. And so on and so forth.

From a probabilistic point of view, you are sure in the long run to win a move and thus pay back all your losses and gain 1 unit.
There are two major problems with martingale. Firstly, it would require an unlimited bankroll. Aware of the effectiveness of this strategy and to avoid being cheated, casinos often cap the maximum bets, forcing you to bet in fixed tranches of tens of euros, which puts a strain on this strategy and your bank account is not unlimited
To give you an idea of what you should bet if the first game costs you €1, by doubling your bet on each check, you will come to the end of the 10th move to have to bet €512, and by then you will have already bet over €1023. All to win … 1€ !
The other problem is a mathematical one: the presence of the zero. This square also makes you lose. You will therefore have less than a 50/50 chance of winning your moves. This is even worse on American Roulette, which has two zeros. The classic martingale, although encouraging and allowing in the long run (and assuming you have an unlimited bankroll) to win every time, has its limits. This is why other martingale strategies have been developed.

La Grande Martingale

The grande martingale is similar to the classic martingale. Nothing is different except that you add 1 extra unit to each failure to increase your winnings.

Example: When you bet and lose 1€, the next move you play 1×2=2€ in classic martingale and 1×2 1=3€ in grande martingale. On the third move, you play 2×4=€4 in classic martingale and 3×2 1=€7 in grande martingale, and so on.

This martingale has two advantages compared to the classic martingale :

  • Each time you lose, you increase your bet by 1, and thus your winnings as well. Thus, on the 10th move, you won't win €1 as in the classic martingale, but €10.
  • If you string a lot of wins together after 3/4 moves, your bankroll will fill up faster and faster and you will be able to deal with more and more failed moves. When for the classic martingale it takes 12 winning moves to increase its bankroll by 12€, you will only need 3 winners after 4 losing moves for example in the big martingale.
This strategy works well if you are lucky enough to have many hits after 3 or 4 losing moves to fill your bankroll quickly. A bad streak quickly can be dramatic. This strategy also requires an even larger basic bankroll than the classic martingale. The faster you want to make money, the more you expose yourself to the risk of losing money quickly. At the end of the 10th move, in classic martingale you will be betting €512 for a total of €1023 bet, compared to €1023 for a total of more than €1500 already bet for the grand martingale!

La Martingale de Piquemouche

Piquemouche’s martingale is the antithesis of the great martingale. Its aim is to allow you to bet as many times as possible without starting your bankroll too quickly
It starts like the classic martingale and varies in the sequence of its strokes. Its logic is simple, if you have an event that goes against you 10 times in a row, sooner or later it will turn in your favour. You will therefore be able to play a large number of moves without having an infinite bankroll. This strategy is much more realistic and applicable in practice.

Example: You will bet €1 on a binary event. If you win, you have 1€ in your pocket. If you lose, you don’t double your bet and you bet £1 again. If you win, you return to the balance and can start from scratch. If you lose again, you still don’t double your bet and play €1 again. Either you win, you will be down to £1 and bet £1 again. You will then need a second winning move to return to balance and start from scratch. Either you lose that third shot again and only then will you double your bet
Here is the sequence of bets to follow in case of repeated failure: 1-1-1-2-2-4-4-8-8, etc. The big advantage in this strategy is that on the 10th move, you will only be betting 8€ against more than 1000€ for the grand martingale and will have bet a total of only 29€!

After 18 straight losing moves, you will have lost only €187 in total, compared to more than €130,000 in classic martingale. However, the probability of losing 18 straight losses is very small.
Like any other martingale, it has the defects of its qualities. While it allows you to bet little, it allows you to win relatively little money with each move. There will even be times when you will be in negative after winning a move and then you will have to start again. It is difficult psychologically to cope with this kind of situation. The second problem with this strategy is that it takes a lot of time. You have to be very patient to win very little. In the long term, it is very likely that you will make money with very little risk. But is the time spent on this martingale worth the return on investment?

La Martingale d’Alembert

This variant of the classical martingale is named after a famous mathematician of the 18th century. It itself knows many variants. We are going to evoke here the two best known, namely the martingale in pyramid of Alembert and the martingale against d’Alembert
Alembert’s pyramid starts from a simple observation: the more you miss, the more chances you have to succeed in the next move. Conversely, the more you win, the more chances you have to miss at the next turn. Based on this observation, this martingale proposes to increase his bet by one unit after each loss. On the other hand, it proposes to reduce the bets by one unit for each victory.

Example: Let’s assume that one unit is equal to 1€. So you will start by betting 1€ and you lose. This martingale then advises you to bet one more unit, i.e. 1 1=2€. If you lose again, you will then add one more unit, i.e. 2 1=3€. If you win, then the martingale advises you to remove one unit, i.e. 2-1=€1. You will then go back for a new series starting at 1€.

This martingale offers the advantage of being a hybrid solution between a very defensive and conservative strategy like Piquemouche's and a very offensive strategy like the grande martingale. It allows you to earn large sums of money fairly quickly while not risking too much of your capital.
The main defect of this martingale is that it is subject to a requirement for quick results. If you win your first moves quickly, you will bet a long time between 3 and 5 units, which becomes reasonable. In case of a bad series, you will find yourself playing large amounts on a regular basis. If this bad series arrives from the beginning, you will be in loss for a long time and it will be necessary for you to be very strong mentally not to crack.

The martingale against d'Alembert is the exact opposite of the pyramid. You will decrease your bets with each failure and increase with each victory. It starts from another postulate: luck and bad luck are a question of series, it is thus necessary to exploit to the maximum a winning series and to limit the risk in the event of losing series. This strategy proves to be very lucrative in case of winnings, but in case of bad series you will stay in the negative for a very long time.

For the martingale, on the other hand, it's the other way around. You increase your bets by 1 when you lose and decrease them when you lose.


La Martingale de Wells

This martingale is quite unknown. It focuses mainly on loss limitation
To use it, we start from a base of minimum 5 units. The strategy of the martingale d’Alembert is then applied. Thus, with each losing move, you will increase your bet by one unit and with each winning move you will decrease your bet by one unit. If you reach an average of one winning move out of two with this martingale, you will win an average of half a unit per move. This is low but brings regular and reliable winnings.

Example: We start with 5 units. If one unit = 1€, then we start from 5€. If you win the first move, you will add 1 unit, that is to say 6€. If on the contrary you lose the first move you will decrease your bet by 1 unit, that is to say 4€, and so on.

Wells' martingale is one of the most balanced of all, the risk taken at each loss increases slightly and at each gain one protects one's new capital. We then progress slowly and surely. This strategy allows the player to come out a winner, especially if the frequency of winnings is regular. Moreover, it is ideal for beginners because it is easy to implement, reliable and low-risk.
If you want to win a large sum of money quickly or play with your emotions, this strategy is not for you. However, it is ideal for mastering the martingale strategy.

La Martingale de Paroli

Paroli’s martingale is very simple to set up. First, you will need to set a winning amount as your goal and stick to it. If you want to double your bet it is called a Paroli 1, if you want to quadruple it is called a Paroli 2, etc. The martingale consists of doubling your bet with each win (which is equivalent to betting everything you’ve won again) and stopping once you’ve reached the goal. You will then start from a lower initial bet.

Example: We start with a goal of winning €12 and a first bet of €3. We then talk about Paroli 2 and we will bet this 3€ on an event. If we win, we bet another €3 and the winnings from the previous move, i.e. a total of €6. If we win a second time, we reach our goal of €12 winnings and we leave with a new goal.

This martingale focuses more on gains than losses and can save you a lot in a very short period of time. You will also, as you go along, bet the casino's money and not your capital, which offers an interesting leverage effect.
His main negative point is that it all depends on luck. Here we have a martingale who manages the bets but doesn’t pay any attention to overcoming the odds. If you have a Paroli 3 martingale as your objective, then you will need 3 consecutive winning moves to make money. With this strategy, you can chain a majority of winning moves and still lose your money!

Paroli 2, objective 8€ of profit:


La Martingale de Martin Yung

Martin Yung’s martingale works on the basis of five winning strokes and is very similar to Paroli’s martingale. Each time the player loses a move, his bet increases as in Paroli. But his winning target decreases by one and therefore the number of moves to be played as well.

Example: We start with a Paroli 5, i.e. with 1€ for example with 5 desired winning moves. We bet as follows no matter what happens: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32
If you lose the first move, then you double the bet, from 1 to 2, but at the same time, you only aim for a Paroli of 4, which is 4 winning moves. Each time you lose, you decrease the winning expectation by 1.

This martingale allows you to make money very quickly, but you risk your capital just as quickly, so be aware of this before you start!
This variant of Paroli’s martingale is no exception to the problem of betting in the event of a bad series. It is less risky because you hope to win a little less with each failure, unlike Paroli’s martingale. However, the bets get out of hand very quickly and you reach the betting limits and bankroll limits too quickly. On the other hand, if you are lucky, you will quickly make money. And you only need one winning move out of the 5 to be a beneficiary.

La Martingale de Whittacker

This martingale is a little peculiar. It simply consists of betting the sum of your two previous bets as long as you lose money, and to return to the basic unit when you go back to positive.

Example: You bet £1 as long as you win
The martingale starts when you lose a hit. Here is the way to calculate the bets of a Whittacker martingale when you lose
Stroke 1: 1€
Stroke 2 : 1€
Move 3 : 1 1=2€
Strike 4: 2 1=3€
Move 5 : 2 3=5€
Move 6: 3 5=8€, etc.

This strategy offers the advantage of not taking risks if you are a winner, and only taking risks to recoup your losses. It limits the exponential increase of your bets and is therefore more realistic to implement. The goal of this martingale is to cover two losses in one win. Therefore, if you lose up to 4 straight moves, you will easily recover your losses.
This martingale is very defensive and will only bring you small gains when you are in positive. You can also use this Whittacker martingale by calculating your last three losses. The increase in stakes will then be extremely fast and your winnings will be just as low.

La Martingale Belge

The Belgian martingale is a very defensive strategy that mixes d’Alembert and Paroli, which is ideal if you don’t want to risk your capital too quickly while hoping to win big. You will gradually increase by one unit each losing move in a linear way. Unlike other strategies, you do not take the risk of finding yourself after a few moves short of capital. However, when you win a move, you will double your bet and hope to win a second consecutive move, just like a Paroli 1. The player will then recover all his losses and win a nice sum.

Example: You will bet £1, then £2, then £3, then £4, etc. on each loss
Each time you win you will double your next bet. 1, 2, 4, 8, etc.

In the event of a bad series, the low increase in stakes protects you from a loss of capital, like the martingale d'Alembert. It is one of the most balanced strategies in terms of risk and potential gains.

Like any fairly defensive martingale, your winnings are quite slow. You will also have to start mastering Alembert’s martingale and Paroli before you can really play well on this one.

La Martingale Hollandaise

The Dutch martingale seems rather complicated to understand. However, it offers a lot of security to the player’s capital, progressive gains, the possibility to be a beneficiary very often and can be used even by small bankrolls
To use it, you will need to start a one-unit bet, then increase your bet by one unit on the first failure. Then you stay on the same bet until you win. Only then do you move up to the next higher unit.

Example: Unit = 1€

Bet 1: 1€, loss, -1€
Bet 2: 2€, loss, -3€
Bet 3: 2€, loss, -5€
Bet 4: 2€, loss, -7€
Bet 5: 2€, win, -5€
Bet 6; 3€, winnings, -2€
Bet 7: 4€, etc.

We can see in this example that by losing 4 out of 6 moves, we only lost 7€. Likewise, the 7th bet will increase to €4 and, if it wins, will pay back all the losses and even make you win money! Thanks to this martingale, by winning only 3 out of 7 moves, or 42.8% of your moves, you will be a winner. This strategy therefore focuses mainly on winning. You only increase your bets when you win. You thus benefit from the leverage effect of the casino chips. Eventually, its goal is to bet only the chips already won!
The downside of this strategy is that when you lose money, it can take a long time to get it back. It will take you hours of playing and concentrating on this martingale to finally win, quite a bit of money. The time invested is not always worth the money you get back.

La Martingale Cyclique

Cyclic martingale is a very particular martingale strategy which, as its name suggests, focuses on cycles. It consists in accepting that gains and losses come in cycles and therefore focuses on adapting the bets to the circumstances. The martingale that most resembles it is the D’Alembert martingale. You will bet in regular increments, accepting that you may lose. If a win occurs, it cancels most of the previous losses.

Example: We assume that you are going to play on 3 levels to start with. You are going to bet 1 unit 3 times no matter what happens, then triple that number three times no matter what happens, then triple that number three times no matter what happens, and so on. The series of bets will then be as follows: 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 3, 3, 9, 9, 9, 9, etc.

If you only make 44% of your moves, you make money. With a 46.37% chance of winning every shot at roulette, you will, in the long run, earn money. We have taken here in the example a cycle of 3 levels, but it can have 2, 4 or even 5 levels if you have the necessary capital. The more tiers you have, the more smoothly you read your results and the more likely you are to earn money. Moreover, this technique is perfectly adapted to the betting ceilings of casinos which often prevent you from playing martingales that rise too quickly.
Its major disadvantage is its irregularity. If you get most of your winnings at the beginning of the cycle when the bets are low and not at the end of the cycle when the bets are high, then you risk losing money. This means that you may not always be able to recoup your loss and you will have to start an even higher cycle. In any case, you need favourable series in all martingales to be able to benefit from gains that will cancel your previous losses. Your only way to recoup your previous losses is to wait for a favourable cycle. It is important to keep a cool head because by using it, you risk being negative 90% of the time. An impatient player or one who wants money quickly is therefore not cut out for this martingale.

The Sawtooth Martingale

The sawtooth martingale is a very interesting method because it limits the player’s losses in case of a losing streak. You start with a betting base of 10 units and lower these bets by 1 for each loss
Be careful, when you have two consecutive losses, you only bet one unit until the next win. As soon as you win a move, resume your series of bets at the amount of your last win.

Example: So you bet 10 units (for example 10€ if one unit is worth 1€). Either you win and then increase the next bet by one unit (i.e. 11€ if one unit is worth 1€). Or we lose and then we decrease the next bet to 9€. If you lose again, the next bet is €1, until the next win. We will then start again with 11€.

This martingale prevents "bad runs". It is thus rather advised if you want to evolve gradually and cyclically.
Its main concern is that after a while you will start playing large amounts and you will quickly reach the limits of your bankroll. You will therefore need substantial capital to adopt this martingale. Nevertheless, it remains one of our favourites for those who can afford it.

The American Martingale

This martingale has the particularity of focusing on limiting your bets on losing moves. To operate this strategy, simply add up your last two losses. This amount then becomes the sum of your bet. If you have more than two consecutive losses, you will have to add the first and last bets of your losing streak. This will allow you to avoid betting your capital too quickly. You will continue to do this until your losses are completely erased. Finally, note that as soon as you have cleared your losses, you will have to go back to your initial bet to get back to the basics of martingale.

For more efficiency, we recommend that you simply write down on a sheet of paper the result of each of your moves. Online casinos allow you to play from home and make such a strategy.

Example: Loss 1 = 1€, loss 2 = 2€. Bet 3rd shot = 1 2=3€.

Loss 1 = 1€, loss 2 = 2€, loss 3 = 3€. Bet 4th shot: 1 3=4€.

If you have recovered all your losses, next bet = €1.

It is ideal for defensive player profiles. Its objective is simple: to erase two losses in a single win. This means that you only need to win 33% of the strokes to be in balance.
On the other hand, as with any strategy that wants to quickly erase your losses, after several repeated failures, you find yourself betting a lot of money. You will therefore need a lot of capital and a lot of patience. You also risk reaching the casino limits quite quickly with this martingale.


The GUT Method

The GUT (Great Universal Theory) method is quite new since it was created by the administrator of a forum dealing with online roulette. It is a method that is quite controversial because it offers no mathematical advantage. However, a lot of people use it daily and seem to be conquered by it.

Example: Of the 37 numbers in the roulette wheel, we’ll look at the ones that come out. Once 18 of the 37 numbers have come up, we bet on the 19 that didn’t! We do the same as soon as the difference between the drawn numbers and the unlisted numbers is 0 or 1!

It is totally different from other martingales or ascenders of any kind. This martingale is also very economical because you only bet in very specific cases.
It’s very complicated to understand at first glance. Moreover, it has no rational mathematical explanation


The Extended Martingale

The prolonged martingale is really different from the other martingales we have mentioned. Unlike other martingales, it does not focus on a binary outcome (red or black for example) but on a much more remunerative outcome. If you use this technique on a binary result, you will get the normal martingale.

Example: Let’s take the example of a player who has decided to play a crossbar. For more information on the different types of bets, we invite you to consult the betting guide on our site. A crossbar pays 11 times the bet in case of a win. We therefore choose to play a bet (for example €1) and we can play it up to 11 times in case of a consecutive loss. Beyond the 11th consecutive loss, we will double our bet. This then gives us a win that makes up for all previous losses and even brings us a substantial win
You can optimize these bets and combine them with others if you find a significant discrepancy in the output of squares, crosses, thirds, etc.

This technique helps to alleviate the three main problems of all the martingales we've discussed: bets that rise too fast, limits on your capital, and betting thresholds imposed by casinos. This strategy suggests that you bet only what covers previous losses, adding a small surcharge to still be profitable.
It is important to learn the basics of normal martingale before you start working on it. Once you have mastered all the tricks of the game, you will be able to develop your own strategies


The Andrucci Method

We conclude our overview of martingales with the least known and perhaps most criticized. It is based on the concept of “hot numbers”, i.e. numbers that come out more regularly than normal. It assumes that short-term probabilities cannot be similar to long-term probabilities. Long term at roulette means that after hundreds of millions of draws, all the numbers come out about the same way. However, this martingale states that over a few hundred draws, this is not true.

Example: The principle of the Andrucci system is very simple. To maximize your chances of winning at roulette, you must bet on the numbers that came up most often in previous draws. You will therefore have to analyze the last draws and determine the three main hot numbers. For example, 8, 22 and 28. You can do this analysis on 30 draws as well as on 200 draws. Once you have determined these hot numbers, bet on them until they come out. However, we advise you to start by not focusing on the numbers that come out the most but on the colors that come out the most. This way you will take fewer risks. Here, 8, 22 and 28 are black and even numbers. So bet a classic martingale on black or even.

This method decides to go out of theory to go into reality: there are numbers that will come out more often depending on many factors. Among these, we can cite the way the croupier throws the ball or a slight inclination of the roulette wheel, imperceptible to the naked eye.
This martingale is controversial because it takes the logic of all other martingales in reverse. Casinos do not prohibit it and even often encourage it by indicating the hot numbers to the player. Mathematically, this martingale has no logic and is wrong. However, it is becoming increasingly popular because it allows occasional players to win money quickly, without the need to rack their brains. If you are an avid roulette player, we do not advise you to go against the probability calculations

What comes out most often on the last 100 moves: black.


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