Martingale Betting Strategy: Analyzed Formula, Examples and Tips

The Martingale betting strategy is one of the best known and simplest online sports betting strategies, but is it also one of the best? This is what we will try to find in the following paragraphs. Here we will also show you how you can use it in the right way to turn it into a winning system!

1. The basic formula of the strategy

2. How to use the Martingale strategy correctly?

3. Examples of how to apply Martingale in sports betting

4. The problems of the Martingale strategy

5. Advantages and disadvantages


As far as is known, Martingale was first used in France in the 18th century. The first and simplest variant of this strategy was used for the famous “head / straw” coin game. Even so, she did not have an official name in those days. Then in 1934 Paul Levy introduced the concept of “martingale” into probability theory, a name that this theory received 5 years later from Jean Ville, who further developed this theory. was developed based on this probability theory.

The Martingale strategy consists in choosing a bet with a odds of over 2.00. If it is a winner then you will have to double the stake of the next bet and so on until you win. Thus we can have the following string: 1u, 2u, 4u, 8u, 16u, 32u, 64u, 128u, 256u, 512u, 1024u.

This system goes on the idea that it is unlikely that someone will catch a very long series of negative results (although below I will explain why it is not so unlikely). A big advantage of the strategy is that the moment the bettor wins, he will make up for all previous losses and make a profit. Let’s take a concrete example:

Using martingale we decide to bet on the matches of the Botoşani team that will make a match of over 2.5 goals. The initial stake is 5 euro. We assume that each bet has a odds of 2.00

Step 1: Stake 5 euro: Dinamo- Botoşani 0-1 -> Lost. We’re doubling the stakes.
Step 2: Stake 10 euro: Botoşani – Rapid 1-0 -> Lost. We’re doubling the stakes.
Step 3: Stake 20 euro. Viitorul – Botoşani 0-0 -> Lost. We’re doubling the stakes.
Step 4: 40 euro stake. Botoşani – Steaua 1-2 -> Won.
The moment we win in step 4 we will have a win of 80 euro. Lowering the stake of the four bets (5 + 10 + 20 + 40) we make a profit of 5 euro even though we hit only one odds bet 2 out of four played!

First we need to see what is the maximum budget we can allocate to this strategy and how many steps we can cover with it to have a profit worth playing for. For example, if you want to cover a five-step strategy, then you must have 31 times the value of the first bet.

How do we calculate this? Consider x the value of the first stake. Then we have:

first bet value – X
value of the second bet – 2X
value of the third bet – 4X
value of the fourth bet – 8X
value of the fifth bet – 16X
The total value of the bank should be: x + 2x + 4x + 8x + 16x = 31x

If you want a bankroll that covers seven matches then you need a budget of 127x. For example, for a first bet of 5 euro on a five-step strategy, a budget of 155 euro is required, and for a seven-step strategy on the same initial stake of 5 euro, the amount of 635 euro is required.

In theory, the strategy sounds very good because in our example it allows you to make a profit just by hitting one correct result out of five. Many inexperienced bettors will say that it is impossible to catch five or seven successive non-winning bets, but in reality this is not the case. No matter how good it sounds, the Martingale betting strategy is quite risky, and in the following I will explain why.


The Martingale betting strategy has the advantage of being able to be used in many types of bets and in many situations. I will present below some examples of situations in which you can use it, but I am sure that you can come up with other equally good ideas.

Martingale on over / under 2.5 in football
We are talking about bets with two betting options, where either the odds are balanced (1.80 – 1.95), or where one of the options is considered to have a lower probability of winning, and implicitly a slightly higher odds (of +2.00, can reach even around 2.40). Suppose we bet only over or just under, but which matches do we choose? We have several variants:

– we choose a team and bet only on its matches, but here the obvious problem is that it will take a long time to make a decent profit.
– we choose a championship where the matches are played at different times (such as Romania Liga 1), and we bet one by one on all the matches in a stage according to the Martingale strategy.
– we analyze several matches in one day and choose for example only those where the odds for over / under is at least 2.00, and we consider that there are quite high chances to score many / few goals in the match.
We recommend the third option for two main reasons. First of all, you can cover several matches in the same day, and this way you will make a faster profit. Secondly, you do not rely only on luck, but also on your sports knowledge. Combining Martingale with the ability to choose a decent number of winning bets, then increase your chances of being profitable in the long run.

Use Martingale  betting strategy on Draw results in Romania Liga 1
It is recommended to play odds around 2.00, but it is not a rule. You can also apply it on higher odds, such as 3.00 – 4.00, as we find in betting on equal results. But in this case, keep in mind that the chances of catching a large number of losing bets in a row increase considerably, and then you too will have to have a much larger budget to be able to support as many such wrong steps as possible.

As in the case above, you can choose the matches of a single team, of an entire championship (but one where the matches are played at different times), or of several games of your choice. This time I will focus on the second option – betting on all matches in a league, namely Romania League 1.

It’s an ideal championship to do that. It is one of the few in which two games never take place simultaneously, we know him very well and we can watch him in full on TV, and there are enough matches to end in draws.


In the end, it’s all about math and probabilities. Let’s take one of the above examples: we have a budget of 155 euro and we start with a bet of 5 euro. We assume that all our bets are only on odds of 2.00.

To double the bank we will need 31 winning bets. But we also have 31 series of bets, where surely a series can have only one bet (if we win the first one), or it can have several if we give non-winning bets (and obviously we will give).

Leaving aside the big time we waste to achieve this goal, there is another problem that arises and that you may have already caught. Many say they can’t catch five non-winning bets in a row, but basically the probability of catching five such bets is 1/32.

Why? We have a 1/2 chance of catching a first win. Then we have a new 1/2 probability of catching the second lost bet. The final probability of catching two consecutive bets lost is made by multiplying (1/2 * 1/2 = 1/4). This calculation is also valid for five steps, so we reach the value of 1/32.

the chance of catching a losing bet – 1/2
the chance of catching two losing bets in a row = 1/4
the chance of catching three losing bets in a row = 1/8
the chance of catching four losing bets in a row = 1/16
the chance of catching five losing bets in a row = 1/32
So we have a 1 in 32 chance of catching 5 losing bets in a row, which doesn’t seem like much, but given that we need 31 series of bets to double our bank, the conclusion is not very encouraging:

The probability of doubling the bank is only slightly higher than the probability of catching a series of losing bets long enough to lead to the loss of the entire bank.

Even with this high risk, the Martingale strategy remains one of the most appreciated and well-known sports betting strategies on the internet, and this is because many do not manage to make such calculations. Plus you can adapt the strategy to your style of play and make various changes to reduce the risks and increase your chances of winning.

Considering what we have discussed so far, let’s conclude what are the advantages and disadvantages of this strategy:

– It is very easy to practice, so that even the most inexperienced bettors can use it without problems.
– You can use this strategy on many types of bets and in many situations.
– A single winning bet compensates for all previously lost bets.
– With a 5-step strategy you can make a long-term profit even if you only have 20% of winning bets, but sure as long as at no time you catch more than 4 losing bets in a row.
– By combining the Martingale strategy with some sports knowledge, we can increase our chances of catching a series of negative results as rarely as possible, and then we could turn the chances of winning in our favor. However, the above calculations were made taking into account a probability based strictly on luck.

– In order to really put the Martingale system into practice, you have to have a fairly considerable bank. It is absolutely necessary to calculate the number of steps you allow yourself to make mistakes and thus you will realize the budget you have. Not all bettors have such considerable banks, which is why the system cannot be accessible to any bettor. It is a huge disadvantage because — Martingale can only be used by a certain category of bettors, those with a very good financial situation. Sure, even if you have a budget of 100 euro you can use it, but only if you are satisfied with a profit of 3 euro per bet.
– Some online bookmakers do not tolerate the use of these strategies, but at least at first they will not take action, because they are based on the fact that you will lose all your money sooner or later. Personally, I have not heard of any limited, restricted or banned bettor because he used Martingale, but theoretically it is possible.
– It is a strategy that requires a lot of free time, and this is because it takes a large number of winning bets to double the bank.
– Martingale brings rather long-term profit, because the profit on a single bet is quite small. On the other hand, the strategy is better in the short term. It’s hard to believe that you can be so unlucky as to catch many losing bets in a row from the first days, but if you use it constantly I say that sooner or later you still “burn”. And these two situations don’t really kiss!

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