In Event of Poker Emergency, Bring Out the Big Guns – The Martingale Betting System

As a punter, you’ve probably had those lousy sessions when you lose up to ten hands in a row. As much as it is annoying, you may end up using up your entire bankroll and for nothing. In such times, what you need is a solid strategy to help break your losing streak. Martingale system, a time tested and popular betting strategy, might just do the trick. But you need to know when and how to apply it right for the best results. So here’s martingale betting system explained in depth.

How does martingale work?

The essence of martingale betting system is to help gamblers recover their previous stakes in the losses building up to an eventual win. The profit usually is equal to the initial bet placed or buy-in in the case of poker. You begin by betting a small amount and doubling it after every loss. However, if you win you continue betting with the same stake.

To explain this, here is an example: The table is set and you place an initial bet of £2. You lose the first round and are ready to bet in the second round. By applying the martingale system, you need to bet £4 in the second round. The strategy gives you a bump in the odds by ensuring that you recover the £4 that you lost in the first round. If still at the second round you don’t win, you double the £8 to get £16 as your stake in the third round. Somewhere down the road you’re bound to win and recover the initial £2 regardless of all the previous loses. Simple as it seems, martingale strategy can be extremely effective especially for those making a debut in online gambling.

There is however a trade-off when using the martingale betting strategy. You can only double your stake for so long before the amount gets ridiculously high. For instance, if you begin with a £4 initial bet, by the 10th loss, you will require at least £4096 to place a bet. By the time you are at your thirteenth loss, which is expected in both real-life and online gambling, the stake would reach £32768. This raises two problems. On one hand, you might not be able to afford such a hefty bankroll. Even if you could, you might not be willing to risk it at one go. On the other hand, all poker games have fixed table limits which may restrict you from wagering such a large amount.

Does martingale work?

Having known what this betting strategy is about, the question ‘does martingale work?’ might be lingering in your mind. From the description of the martingale above, it is apparent that this system is only viable in the short term. Therefore, a simple workaround for this problem is to play for shorter hours. Thirty minutes to an hour would suffice. If you cannot afford a larger bankroll, start wagering smaller betting units ranging from £2 to £10. That’s because when betting with larger betting units, you will reach the table/house limit faster or go broke. Sometimes, restarting the bet might also help you reduce the risk of going broke.

Note that just like other betting strategies, the martingale betting system does not help you bypass the house edge. It merely helps you to systematically place your bets for a more predictable outcome.

Applying the Martingale in Poker

Unlike in other casino games, individual hands tend not to matter when using the martingale system in poker. Instead, you can better your winning chances by taking advantage of the buy-ins. In tournaments, for instance, Sit n Go and Heads Up variants provide the best opportunity to use the system. Start with a £5 buy-in in these games. If you lose, register a £10 buy-in, then £20 and so forth. Once you win, gather your winnings and restart with a £5 buy-in. The goal is to win an amount equivalent to your initial buy-in after which you cash out.

So should you use the martingale system?

This strategy is effective but only in the short term. Therefore, use it if your goal is to win some cash in a few hours of play. It is also worth a go if you have a relatively large bankroll (£200 and over). Gamers who just started online gambling can also use martingale to recover their losses. In essence, it is upon you as a gamer to decide if this strategy is suitable depending on your situation.