Martingale Strategy – Everything about the System and It's Variations

The Martingale betting strategy is perhaps the most popular of them all. If you are looking for an all-or-nothing moment in your football-betting experience, Martingale can get you there the quickest.

In this review, we'll investigate whether the modified versions of the Martingale system can bring utility to footy punting. Can they deliver measured excitement to specific markets? Is this strategy as volatile as most punters believe it to be, or could it be a lot of fun under the right conditions?

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The History behind the Martingale system?

The Martingale gambling strategy became popular in France during the 18th century. It was used for games of chance where the probability was 1/1, like coin tosses and betting on colours in roulette. With such odds, the simplicity of the Martingale strategy could deliver if there were no other factors to consider.

The essence of the classic Martingale strategy can be summarised as doubling the stake after each loss and betting the base stake after each win. For example, let's say Jim places an over/under bet on Tottenham – Manchester Utd using his usual stake of £5. The odds are close to 50%, and the bet fails.

With a 50/50 probability of an event occurring, sooner or later, Jim should get it right. Jim finds another match with almost even odds for the over/under market, and this time he stakes £10. If Jim wins this bet, he is five quid ahead for his two bets. If not, our brave Martingale punter will have to double the stake again to £20 to cover two failed bets and still emerge winning. If he wins, though, he goes back to betting £5 again.

Is This Strategy Successful in the Long Term?

In theory, the Martingale strategy works – Jim should win sooner or later. However, in the above example, if his bankroll is £100, he won't have enough money after four consecutive losses. Jim's fifth bet would be £80, and he would have only £25. This is one of the potential issues of the strategy – burning through one's bankroll too fast.


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Another issue is reaching the bookie's maximum bet limit. Some of top football betting sites allow up to £10,000 in a single stake. In their case, Jim would reach the maximum bet limit after twelve consecutive losses. This does seem like an unnaturally long losing streak, but punters should be more concerning about the unreasonably high stakes.

Here is the biggest issue: If Jim wins after the fourth bet, he will have a profit of £5. If he succeeds after the fifth bet, his profit will be £5. It is somewhat ironic that after such big stakes and risks, the end profit remains as big as in the first bet. In the end, Jim wins only the initial stake.

While long losing streaks may not be likely to happen, playing with increasingly high stakes may have adverse effects on anyone. Some people are born with nerves of steel, while others enjoy the adrenaline rush of high-stakes bets. We, conversely, prefer to take calculated risks and believe in the benefits of compound interest applied to sports betting. It's just not worth it to get a heart attack over £5.

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Best Martingale Gambling Strategy - Variations

Since the Martingale system is quite simple, there are many variations out there. For example, a more aggressive Martingale strategy bets four times the previous stake instead of only doubling it. In this Martingale strategy betting, the risk is multiplied, but the profit also is raised significantly:

Stake Total Losses Bankroll After Losing Total Wins Profit Bankroll After Winning
1 -1 99 2 1 101
4 -5 95 8 3 103
16 -21 79 32 11 111
64 -85 15 128 43 143

The Grand Martingale Strategy

A popular variation of classic Martingale is the grand Martingale system. It brings a bit more profit, but it is not nearly as risky as the above variation. Here, the goal is to win as much profit as the number of Martingale bets. For four consecutive bets, the punter should get four times the initial stake. This is achieved by adding another base stake in addition to doubling the previous bet. Here is how it works:

Stake Total Losses Bankroll After Losing Total Wins Profit Bankroll After Winning
5 -5 95 5 5 105
15 -20 80 30 10 110
35 -55 45 70 15 115
75 -130 -30 150 20 120

Frequently Asked Questions

🎩Q: Who Invented the Martingale Strategy?

💬A: There is no historical record of the inventor of the Martingale system. However, chances are the inventor was French since this system originated in France and first became popular there. There is some speculation on the origin of the word, and some of the more amusing interpretations claim the words means a woman of ill repute or a naive person.

Q: Is the Martingale Strategy Illegal?

💬A: Absolutely not! There is nothing about the Martingale strategy that violates any laws. However, the strategy may conflict with bookmakers' rules if it exceeds the maximum bet limit of the sportsbook. Since punters accept the terms and conditions of bookies, they cannot oblige the bookie to accept their bet.

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