Why You Should Not Use the Martingale System When It Comes to Blackjack

Since the dawn of betting, people around the world have been trying to find ways to beat the system. Card counting, insider knowledge, fixed matches, and staking strategies are just a few examples of this.

It makes sense – people enjoy winning and dislike losing. This is especially the case when money is involved.

The problem with betting systems is that most of them don’t work. If it’s a well-known system, then you can guarantee that casinos and bookmakers are aware of it and have put measures in place to stop it from taking place.

One of the most common systems in this regard is the Martingale System, which newcomers gravitate towards because of its apparent simplicity.

How Does the Martingale System Work with Live Blackjack?

Cards, blackjack


The Martingale System can be used for all casino games that contain a win that pays out 1:1, such as live blackjack, roulette, craps, and Baccarat.

For a simple example of a 1:1 pay out, consider live blackjack where a player has placed a £1 bet. For a standard win, the player will receive a pay out of £2 – the £1 stake is returned plus an additional £1 in winnings.

The only time this differs is if the player has been dealt blackjack, at which point the winnings are increased, usually to a 3:2 pay out, or if the player has placed side bets.

The Martingale System requires you to double your stake after every loss. The idea here is that you will eventually win and recoup all your losses before starting the sequence again. For example, if you play a £1 hand of live blackjack and lose, you will then stake £2 for your next hand, and so on until you win.

Why You Should Not Use the Martingale System

The Martingale System is appealing because it seems like an easy way to make money when playing games like live blackjack. After all, the system makes sense mathematically – eventually you will win a hand and recoup any losses.

However, this is a dangerous trap to fall into for a couple of reasons:

Limited Bankrolls

After a few losses, many people falsely assume that they are ‘due a win’. Although a win will come along eventually, there is no guarantee that it will be in the next few hands. What isn’t immediately obvious when looking at the Martingale System of doubling bets is that the stake jumps quickly, as shown in the following sequence:

£1, £2, £4, £8, £16, £32, £64, £128, £256, £512, £1,024

Following a few losses, this sequence has jumped from a £1 starting stake all the way up to £1,024. With a few more losses, this player would be betting 5 figure sums on a single hand.

Ultimately, most players do not have an unlimited bankroll to keep betting in this way which means they can easily end up with losses that they cannot recoup.

Bet Limits

Likewise, casinos understand that players use strategies such as the Martingale System and put restrictions in place to hinder their use. For example, casinos will often have bet limits on games such as live blackjack and roulette. This means that you could lose several times and then be unable to place your next Martingale double up bet. Again, you’re left in a big hole that you’re unable to climb out of.

There is mathematical legitimacy to the Martingale System but, eventually, you’re likely to run into real-life restrictions such as a lack of funds or maximum betting rules that make it a dangerous system to adopt.

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