Martingale Betting System
The Martingale betting system is notorious for being the most risky betting system. Although some people swear by the strategy because of its high risk factors and high rewards. The major drawback to the system is quickly losing your entire bankroll for nearly guaranteed small profits in the short term. This strategy is also in the category of negative progression betting.
How the Martingale Betting System Works
The concept is quite simple. The Martingale strategy works by first making a bet. Once the bet has been wagered, then play your hand of blackjack and make your next bet strategy based on if you win or lose on the first bet. For instance, if you win the bet, then you just keep making the same sized bet and so on. If you lose, then you must bet twice the amount that you have wagered when you lost.
For a basic example of the martingale betting system, assume that you have wagered a bet of $1 and lose, and then the next bet is $2. If you win this round, then you would win $4, which would recover the losses of the previous round plus make a $1 profit. In contrast, if you lose again, your next decision should be making a $4 bet. In negative progression with consecutive losses, your bet would increase to $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $256, $512, $1024 and you start to get the picture!
Drawbacks and Advantages of the Martingale Strategy
As you observed, after 10 bets, you are already starting to bet over a thousand dollars. The whole purpose and advantage of the martingale system is you are actually betting on the chances that you won't lose 10 hands of blackjack in a row. The odds of that are quite slim and they can be greatly improved if you are also implementing card counting along with the system to improve your odds even more. Even if you are using basic strategy, your odds are much better that you won't end up losing more than 10 consecutive hands in a row.
Now the drawback to the system is the fact that you are making only a $1 profit every time you win and you are risking your entire bankroll over a short time. Also, players generally need a large bankroll in order to use the martingale system effectively, especially when a bad streak of blackjack hands are dealt. The larger your bankroll is, the more room you have to play with and you would have to lose even more hands in a row in order to lose your bankroll, and the odds get slimmer that such a thing would happen.
When Should the Martingale Betting System be used in Blackjack?
If you have a million dollar bankroll and you are playing on a blackjack table with low minimum bets, then it seems very unlikely that you would lose your whole bankroll as you would have to lose 20 hands of blackjack in a row. People have made a lot of money playing blackjack by using the Martingale system and many have lost everything. Who wants to even risk a million dollars only to make at most, $100 an hour winning $1 per hand of blackjack?
Casinos have also taken advantage of the Martingale betting strategy as well. They have placed betting limits on the table such as a $1000 maximum bet. If this was the case, a player could lose 10 hands in a row and could not follow the Martingale style anymore because of this betting limit, so they could be left with making $1000 bets all the time to make up for losses or just lose everything. Realistically, you won't make a big profit using this system because you need both a huge bankroll and a blackjack table with high limits. You pretty much need to be a millionaire anyways to almost guarantee against a loss.