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Avoid the Martingale System

The Martingale System

The Martingale System is NOT an acceptable bankroll management strategy. Inevitably, someone will suggest this to the novice bettor and they will be hoodwinked into thinking its a fail-safe approach. The Martingale System implies that the bettor keeps doubling the amount of their bet until they win. To truly understand the methodology and the inherent risk, let us offer an example:

The bettor has a bankroll of $1,000. According to Kelly Criterion, they should bet between 1-5% ($10-$50) per game. Let's say that the bettor wants to bet $25 per bet. If the bettor loses, according to the Martingale System, they bet $50 on the next game. If they lose that, then they would bet $100. If they keep on losing:

Bet 1: $25

Bet 2: $50

Bet 3: $100

Bet 4: $200

Bet 5: $400

Bet 6: $800

Bet 7: $1600

If the bettor loses six straight times, they do not have enough money to fund the seventh bet unless they reach back into their wallets. If you think that you would never lose seven bets in a row, you clearly have not bet long enough. Even the most experienced sports bettors have down weeks. It is not overly uncommon to go 0-10. It happens and if you are implementing the Martingale technique, you could be in trouble fast. Worst part about it? Under this scenario, bet 7 would be $1,600 to win a whopping total of $25.

Again, the Martingale System is NOT an effective strategy to win long term.