One of the most famous betting systems used in all casino games is the Martingale system. The Martingale betting system is actually most popular with roulette because of the high table limits since roulette usually has a larger maximum than the other table games. This system is very popular but it also requires players to have deep pockets and to take on enormous risks.
The basics of the Martingale are simple. It is a negative progression form of betting where players make larger whenever they lose and keep the bet the same whenever they win. This system works best when customers bet on red or black colors, odd or even numbers and high or low numbers. Basically the outside bets are perfect to use here. The key here is you want to bet on something with the best odds, or nearly 50/50 odds with these outside bets.
Here is an example of using the Martingale betting system while playing roulette. First a player can bet $10 on red. The croupier will then spin the wheel and drop the ball in. If the ball lands on the red slot, the player will win $10 and the next bet they will make is $10 again. Basically the bet will always be $10 after winning a bet and you will always make a $10 profit after every win.
If you lose though, then your next bet will be double the previous bet. For instance, if you lost on a $10 bet, you would then bet $20. If the ball lands on red, you would win $10, which would cover your previous loss of $10 plus a $10 profit. If you lose for a second time in a row, you would again have to make a wager that is double that of your previous bet, or $40. If you win here, you would cover your total loses and again make a profit.
The severe risk comes when you start getting a long streak of losses. Say you lose twice in a row, then your bet keeps doubling to $40, then $80, then $160, $360, $640 and then over a thousand dollars. You would need to lose six times in a row before you would start betting over $1000. This is nearly equivalent to flipping a coin and having it land on heads six times in a row. It is theoretically possible but highly unlikely. It becomes more and more unlikely that the ball will keep landing on red. Eventually it should land on black since the odds should even out over the long term.
As you can see, there are two major requirements to use the Martingale system effectively in roulette. You need deep pockets (large bankroll) and you need a roulette wheel with high table betting limits. In the example above, lets assume the table limit is $1000 and you need to double your $640 bet. You can only bet $1000, so this screws up the whole system. In fact, a player could theoretically never lose while using this system if there was no table limits and he had an infinite amount of money.
For practical purposes, a billionaire probably would never have to worry about losing all of their money if the started off with small bets. It is because of this system that casinos placed betting limits on roulette tables, so that the Martingale system would eventually fail after a long streak of losses, otherwise the casino could lose a lot of money like it has done in the past.
Try out the Martingale betting system on our free flash roulette game. There is a low betting limit in this flash version, but if you play for real money, the table limit is much higher. At least you will get a feel for this system and be able to practice it a little to see how it works.