Classic Betting Strategies – The Martingale System

The Martingale betting system probably wins the prize for the oldest of the classic betting systems. According to reliable evidence gamblers used it as far back as the 1700s. You’ve got to love its simplicity – much easier to learn than say card counting. Even today many newbies try this strategy in spite of its hidden drawbacks.

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Martingale requires the gambler to double his bet after every loss and go back to his base bet after every win. In this way every single loss or losing streak would be canceled out by a single win. If the gambler had a winning streak, money would pour into his pockets.

The theory sounds promising. Let’s look at an example and see the problems with putting this into practice. You bet one unit and lose. You double your bet to two units 먹튀폴리스 공식 블로그. Notice what happens if you win this second bet. You will have one unit profit – you lost one unit and won two. If you lose the bet of two units, double your bet to four units. If you win, you’ve lost three (the bets of one and two units) but won four – profit one unit. You can stack up one unit of profit every single time you win a bet no matter how many losses you suffered before that win. Wow!

The rationale behind this seemingly foolproof strategy is that you can’t lose forever and since you recover all your losses with a single win, Martingale must be unbeatable. While it’s true you can’t continue losing forever, you can lose a huge amount of money due to one of two reasons. First, you will need an immense bankroll. There is no reason you can’t lose seven, eight or even more bets in a row. In Atlantic City, betting only on the pass line at craps (which has a very low house edge), I personally lost nine bets in a row. If I had been using Martingale (I wasn’t) and had started with a $5 bet, can you figure what my tenth bet would have been? Would you believe $2,560? What kind of a fool would bet over $2,000 to win $5? A poor one!

The second reason Martingale fails to earn you a fortune is that the casinos limit the amount you can put up for a single bet. Looking back at the example above, casinos recognize that someone might be foolish enough or rich enough to carry Martingale to the extreme and if they did, the gambler would never lose. So they established table limits – maximum bets. A typical $5 table has a $500 maximum bet limit. So even if I had an unlimited bankroll and a head full of stupidity, I couldn’t make the bets Martingale calls for to be a never-loser.

One last warning. Don’t fall for the mistaken opinion that after say seven losses in a row a win is extremely likely. In reality with a game like roulette (betting black or red) or craps (betting pass or don’t pass) the odds of a win are the same after one loss, two losses, or ten losses in a row. These games produce random results. Dice have no memory and don’t realize that a win is “due” after a string of losses. In roulette if black comes up ten times in a row, the odds of getting red on the next roll are the same as on any other roll.

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You’ve read the books and articles where the poker writers state the odds of making certain hands. For example: making an open end (outside) straight draw is 5 to 1, a flush draw is 4.2 to 1, and a gutshot (inside) straight draw is 11 to 1. Playing Texas Hold’em there are many variations in the odds to be learned such as what’s the difference in the odds if the next card is the turn (4th card) or the river (5th card)?

But let’s look at the logic and math behind these calculations to determine if they are of any value to us as poker players. How are the odds of 5 to 1 calculated for an open end straight draw? To successfully complete the straight we need one of eight cards, four on either end of our four-card straight. How many cards remain unseen? We started with 52, 8 of them are useful to us and we see four of them in our partially completed straight. So, the experts say 52 minus 8 minus 4 leaves us with 40 unseen cards, which are of no value to us. Therefore 40 failures to 8 successes works out to 5 to 1 odds. And I say GARBAGE. Your actual odds could be much higher or much lower.

Let’s say you’re playing in a ring game with ten at the table. That means that twenty cards have been dealt plus three for the flop and one has been “burned” by the dealer. If all of the eight cards you need to complete a straight have already been dealt to other players, your chances of making your straight are ZERO, and your odds according to mathematicians are infinite. On the other hand, what happens if all of your eight cards remain in the pack the dealer is holding? The dealer holds 52 less 20 dealt to the players less 3 for the flop less 1 burned or 28 cards. So now calculate your odds: 20 cards that won’t help and 8 cards that will, which works out to 2.5 to 1. Quite a difference!