Just Say No to Martingale
There are two basic types of progressive betting systems. One is an up-as-you-lose system known as Martingale, and the other is the exact opposite: An up-as-you-win system known as Reverse Martingale. Martingale is bad, and extremely flawed fundamentally. Reverse Martingale is good, and can make you a lot of money when it hits.
A Martingale progression is what most scams are pushing. The way it is supposed to work is you start with a small bet and if you lose you keep doubling the bet until you win. This is normally done on a proposition that is as close to even-money as you can find - such as the pass line in craps, the banker in baccarat, or red on a European roulette wheel (only one zero). Because extended streaks are not supposed to be common, it gives an illusion of an almost sure-fire formula for grinding out steady small wins.
It doesn't work. The extended losing streak that wipes you out is right around the corner. Casinos know this. If you tell a casino you are coming to town to work a Martingale system they might send a limousine to come get you at the airport. Even if you didn't have to worry about a house betting limit, you will go broke playing this - and soon.
What people don't realize is that if you flip a coin 100 times, you are actually expected to get a run of 13 in a row at least one time. The risk/reward is terrible doing this. Look how much you have to bet as you keep losing if you are trying to win $5:
Bet 1. $5
Bet 2. $10
Bet 3. $20
Bet 4. $40
Bet 5. $80
Bet 6. $160
Bet 7. $320
Bet 8. $640
When you make that $640 bet you have just as much chance of losing it as you did on the first $5 bet. And if that streak of 13 in a row (which is expected once in a 100-run trial) does hit, and you have the money and the gall to keep at it, you would be betting $20,480 on the 13th bet while still trying to win that $5. In reality you would have breached the house limit of $5,000 on the 11th bet. And streaks of 11 in a row happen all the time.
When you lose bet number 8 above are you really prepared to put out $1180 on the next roll, spin, or deal? How are you going to feel watching that ball bounce around before it lands?
I remember sitting next to a young guy (who was a longshoreman in Long Beach) at a Pai-Gow Poker table in Vegas some years ago. He was doing this and claimed he could make $150 a day following a betting progression. I asked him about what happens when the dealer wins 7 or 8 times in a row and he emphatically proclaimed "I have never seen that happen." The dealer gave a coy smile (that I recognized as meaning she sees it every day), and I advised him not to quit his day job. This fantasy profession of his would wipe him out inside a week's time.
Reverse Martingale: A Much Better Approach
Why not start betting on the 8 in a row sequence above instead? Just keep doubling the bet every time you win instead of every time you lose. There are lots of of small winning streaks along the way so you will see plenty of action. And it starts to get fun after you have won 4 or 5 in a row and the big bet is out there, instead of stressful. That is all house money, after all.
Sure, they will grind away at you in the meantime, five dollars at a time. But you have 128 chances at hitting the 8 in a row streak before losing $640. Because there will be many 4 and 5 in a row streaks, it will take a long time to lose that much. Before your trip is over, you will probably hit it. And it will be fun.
I am not trying to pitch this as the end-all gambling system. I am only trying to get your mind right, Luke. I want you to start thinking like a winner; a dangerous player who might take the house for a big score without risking a lot of money. Those are the guys they are really worried about. The players who can measure risk vs. reward wisely and manage their bankroll well. Listen to me on this. They won't be sending the limo for you - but you will have a lot more fun - and a better chance of winning - than the guys they do send it for.
Disclaimer: The information on this website is for entertainment purposes only and is not to be taken as financial advice. Gambling is extremely risky and you might lose a lot of money. In some jurisdictions gambling, whether online or offline, might be deemed illegal - so check with your local laws before doing any gambling. The gambling systems mentioned on this website, and the products that are linked from it, may not work. Problem gamblers should never gamble and never try to work a gambling system and should stay away from all gambling games and not even read any of these web pages. Pursue the contents of this website at your own risk. Please act responsibly.