What is Martingale? The simple answer is that it’s a betting strategy proven to deliver results in the short term. The Martingale Strategy is a popular betting strategy developed in the 18th century in France. The approach enjoyed global popularity as it was simple to follow and delivered favorable results compared to other systems. The game’s popularity soared as more players clamored for a way to beat the house edge. Many players found that the Martingale Strategy worked well on table games such as roulette, blackjack, and craps. As expected, gamblers interested in real money slots hastily adapted this particular strategy to make it a practical slots strategy that could, in theory, be effective in turning a profit.

Martingale Strategy

The strategy’s basic premise was to circumvent any losses experienced by a player during gameplay by making up for the losses with an eventual large win.

The system requires a player to decide on a starting wager based on a player-specified percentage of their bankroll. The strategy is only put into play when a bet loses, as the player needs to double the stake after each loss up until they win a bet. A winning bet would recover all of the losses and award the player with a profit equal to the original bet’s stake. The player would then begin betting with the initial stake again.

We’ll deal with the player betting at a roulette table for illustration purposes, with the bets simplified to even-money bets such as red or black bets. If the player struck their first wager at $10 on red and lost, the next bet would be worth double the initial wager’s value, resulting in a $20 stake. If the $20 bet loses, the player would be down by $30. The next round would then require a stake of $40. If the player wins this round, they would win $40 back and be up by $10.

For even-money bets, the bet progression is as follows: 1 – 2 – 4 – 8 – 16 – 32 – 64 – 128 – 256 – 512 – 1024 – 2048 – 4096 – 8192.

In theory, the Martingale for casinos would work in the short-term, with the long-term efficacy of the system running into two limiting factors:

1.       There are betting limits imposed on games that would prevent a player from wagering larger amounts to complete the sequence put forth by Martingale for gambling.

2.       The player’s bankroll may not allow such high-stake wagers.

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is an integral part of gambling, so crucial in fact that every player, whether they’re playing in a professional or recreational capacity, should incorporate it into their gameplay. Bankroll management is a process that only exposes a set percentage of your gambling budget to risk, ensuring that the remainder of the player’s gambling budget is intact.

The gambling budget should only be used for gambling and should not exceed any amount that the player cannot afford to lose. Another valid reason to implement bankroll management is that the bankroll can withstand losing streaks without depleting all of the funds set aside.

A simplified example will demonstrate the importance of this concept; the same roulette player uses a 50/50 model with a 50% chance of winning and a 50% chance of losing. Now we know that these odds aren’t strictly speaking correct, but this is a simplified scenario. If the player placed their entire bankroll on red, and the result was black, they would have lost all of their money. However, if the player only wagered 5% of their bankroll, this loss wouldn’t be as devastating as losing all of their money in one fell swoop. By spreading the risk, the player allows probability to come into play.

Bankrolls are managed differently depending on the games played, although most players agree that each wager should constitute a small percentage of their budget. Many players use only 10% of their bankroll for each gaming session, while others take it even further by drilling down to the cost per wager. The most common value of each bet in online casinos is 1% of the bankroll session’s value. For example, if a player’s overall bankroll is $1000 and their session budget is $100, they’ll in all likelihood spend $1 per spin or hand.

Bankroll management offers the following benefits:

·       More low-risk gameplay – when a player manages how much they wager, they ensure that they never exceed a set percentage of their budget. This method allows for more extended gameplay sessions with the money set aside.

·       A player can track their wins and losses effectively – this method also allows the player to analyze the results and possibly detect patterns in their gameplay.

·       Analysis dictates progression – when a player has a definitive idea of how much they stand to win or lose, they can change their gaming behavior. They are now in a position of changing their stake, seeking a different variant of the game, or even moving to another casino that offers more alternatives. 

·       Saving money on banking fees – disciplined players should always have cash in their betting account, which results in fewer banking transactions to fund the casino account.

·   Bankroll rewards – successful players may opt to withdraw only a percentage of their winnings. The withdrawal amount is pure profit giving the player free reign on how to spend the money.

The best way for players to try out bankroll management is to test the strategy on reviewed slot sites. Smaller bankrolls such as $20 or $100 should also consider using their bankroll to fund an entire session instead of a session percentage. A $20 bankroll would equate to 20c per hand or spin.

Martingale for Online Slots

Implementing Martingale for gambling slots is dramatically different from roulette as it’s not possible to place even-money bets on slots. A winning spin has the potential to return a prize equal in value to your stake, less than the value of your stake or multiples of the amount. If it yields less than the stake, it won’t compensate for any losses. However, it would still qualify as a win under the Martingale strategy.

Slot players naturally have the option of approaching the Martingale strategy differently when playing slots for real money. Players would start by spinning on low denomination slot machines and continue their gameplay until they win a set amount, or it becomes impossible to recover their losses with the game’s highest payout. Once this happens, a player would need to move to a higher denomination slot that boasts a bigger jackpot as the strategy dictates that a player should increase the stakes until they turn a profit.

For example, a player would start playing at a quarter machine and play one coin. If the slot’s jackpot is worth $500, you’ll play the game until you have lost more than that amount. From here, the player will progress by spinning with two coins. If that jackpot is worth $800, the player will have a $300 loss limit before moving onto three coins. If the next slot jackpot is $1100 and the player loses another $300 using three coins, they would no longer be able to get an overall win on the quarter machine and move onto a 50c game, dollar machine, five-dollar machine, etc.

The player should expect to strike it lucky with a smaller non-jackpot and some bigger wins, but they’ll need to increase the stakes if they wish to stay in the game. With slots, the player may not lose the $500 or $800 or $1100 for quite some time, or they might lose it in a short amount of time. As online slots use random number generators, there’s dramatically more risk involved.


The Martingale Strategy requires a player to win back all of their money before turning a profit. The profit will, in all likelihood, be small as the strategy returns the initial stake. As the stakes increase, so does the risk. Implementing bankroll management into gameplay will inevitably prolong gameplay and grant players greater control over their entertainment and gaming finances. Players should ideally consult a Martingale calculator if they’d like more insight into the strategy at work.

 About the Author – Hein Sondag

Hein has worked in the online casino and sports betting industries for over ten years. A wild man at heart with a passion for writing about what matters most about betting – turning a profit while enjoying the gameplay. He’s an avid fan of horse racing, baccarat, and the slot industry’s latest developments. When he’s not keeping tabs on the latest online casino developments and writing for OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos, he’s cycling, hiking, and swimming with sharks.