The Martingale Betting System Explained

Many websites claim to have an unbeatable betting system in the hopes of luring in punters to fork over money to purchase their secrets. One betting system that has often been tried and touted is the Martingale betting system.

Basically, what the Martingale system entails is placing a bet and if the bet loses, you double your stake, if that loses, you double your stake again – the theory is that if you do this enough times you will win a bet and make a profit.

flipcoinTake for example the flip of a coin. If the bookmaker is offering 2.00 odds for both possible outcomes (heads or tails), you put a $100 bet and have a 50-50 chance of winning. If it loses, you put $200 on the next bet. If that loses, you put $400 on the next bet and so on.

In theory, it does make sense, however the reality is it falls apart for two key reasons:

  1. Limited bank roll size
  2. Maximum wager restrictions

If you had infinite money in your account, and there were no betting restrictions in place you could make it work. But nobody has an unlimited supply of cash, and bookmakers do have restrictions.

In the example above, if you bet on tails 8 times in a row and lose every time – which although mathematically unlikely, isn’t impossible – you would find yourself in a very big hole.
Consider this when the wager is doubled from a $100 starting bet:

  • $100
  • $200
  • $400
  • $800
  • $1600
  • $3200
  • $6400
  • $12800

By the 9th bet you would be down $25,500 and need to place another $25,600 to place the next bet on tails. If it loses you’re down over $50,000 and there’s still no guarantee that it comes up tails in the next few bets and if it comes up heads 2 more times you’re down $200,000+

The other main factor is that bookmakers may restrict the amount you can bet. They may decide $200,000 is too large of a bet to accept at which point you’re in a very large hole.

The other important factor is that bookmaker margins (house edge) ensure that the bookie has a slight advantage. Rather than $2.00 odds, it is more likely you would get $1.91 odds or similar for a bet with a 50-50 chance.

So what is the best way to place winning wagers?

Here are 5 key tips that every punter should follow:

  • Firstly, the bonus bet offers from bookmakers go a long way to giving you an advantage. For instance, when you join Crownbet they are now offering $150 bonus for your first $50 deposit, giving you a $200 balance to start with when you open an account. See the bottom of this post for a list of the best bonus bet offers to give yourself the best chance of profiting on your bets.
  • Secondly, research – don’t bet blindly on your favorite team every week. Look at all the factors that may affect the outcome, and before you look at the odds being offered, try pricing up the market yourself on paper. Then look at the odds being offered and only bet on those that offer positive value. E.g. if you think the Sydney Swans are heavily favored to win an AFL match and should only be paying $1.20, but when you load up the bookmaker odds and see that they are being offered at $1.60, it is worthwhile considering a bet. Take a look at news sites and see if any key players are out or any other reason for the discrepancy in odds, if not and you are still convinced it will be an easy win, bet where you feel the value is.
  • Thirdly, never chase your losses. Much like the Martingale System shows above, betting bigger to try and recoup your losses is never a good strategy. Set a size for your betting account and never bet more than 5% on a single bet. For example, if you have $1000 in your account, place $20 per wager. This will help cover in case you go on a cold streak.
  • Fourth, discuss your bets on betting forums, it’s always good to get feedback on your bets. Others may pass along some information that you hadn’t considered when formulating your bet.
  • Fifth, compare odds to make sure you’re always getting the highest possible return for your bets. Do a google search for ‘Odds Comparison’ and you will find many sites that have the odds from every major bookmaker, and can then see where the best odds are. Why bet on a horse at $4.00 odds when a different bookmaker is offering $6.00 odds for the same horse?

Top 9 Bookmaker Offers:

These are the top 9 offers currently available via,

Offer 1: Crownbet Deposit $50 Get $150 Bonus*
Offer 2: Sportsbet Deposit $150 Get $150 Bonus*
Offer 3: Bet365 Deposit $200 Get $200 Bonus*
Offer 4: William Hill – Bet $200 Get $200 Bonus*
Offer 5: Tom Waterhouse $250 First Bet Matched*
Offer 6: Ladbrokes Bet $250 Get $250 Bonus*
Offer 7: Centrebet $200 First Bet Matched*
Offer 8: Betstar Deposit $250 Get $250 Bonus*
Offer 9: Bookmaker Deposit $100 Get $100 Bonus*

*Not available to NSW, SA, WA, VIC, see bookmaker’s website for full terms & conditions.

If you do have an interest in betting, it is best to treat it like any other form of entertainment. Never bet more than you can afford to lose and always get the best value possible!