Surviving Martingale

Aug 21, 2006 4:30 AM

We started to talk a couple weeks ago about a small Martingale betting ploy using two spots (deuces) to cover your action, so naturally we’ll continue this week!

Martingales, or any doubling system of betting, have a beguiling simplicity to them. You are guaranteed, if you stick to the system, that you will eventually break even or win. The only two flies in the ointment are house betting limits, and of course the limits of our own bankrolls.

The basics of this system are as follows. Take a normal one dollar wager like a six spot, five spot, or eight spot, (whatever you want to play), and along side of it make a one dollar wager on a two spot.

At each stage of your gambling session, calculate how much of your bankroll you have depleted. Then simply calculate how much you must wager on the two spot to regain your capital.

For instance, if you are down $32.00, you would play a one dollar five spot and a $3.00 two spot that game. I call this a small Martingale because you don’t have to completely double your bet each game to progress the wager.

The following chart illustrates this system. The first column is the game number. The second column is the $1.00 wager for your main ticket each game. The third column tells you how much you must bet on the two spot to come out ahead if it hits that game. The fourth column is the total amount you have wagered for the entire session, including that game. The fifth column tells you what your net winner will be if the deuce hits. The chart assumes that you will win nothing on the one dollar (big ticket) ticket that you are playing.

Game Main Bet Deuce total Bet Net Winner  5 Spot Odds
1 $1 $1 $2 $10 1550.57
10 $1 $2 $24 $12 155.51
20 $1 $6 $77 $7 78
30 $1 $15 $194 $10 52.17
40 $1 $35 $455 $1 39.25
50 $1 $80 $1,035 $9 31.50
60 $1 $180 $2,329 $11 26.34
70 $1 $401 $5,210 $10 22.65
80 $1 $894 $11,622 $6 19.88
90 $1 $1,993 $25,898 $10 17.73
100 $1 $4,438 $57,686 $10 16.01

Average Net Win = $6.78

The odds against playing a hundred games without hitting a solid deuce are about 493.25 for one, while the odds against playing a hundred games without hitting a solid five are 16 for one. By a hundred games, you will be spending over $4,000.00 per game, and will have spent $57,686.00.

Of course, this is high silliness. No one in their right mind would risk fifty or sixty grand to win $800.00 or so. Not to mention that at a hundred games, this system bumps up against the $50,000.00 limit at many Keno games.

After only a few more games, the system will push the limits of a $100,000.00 game. This means that you can’t win enough to break even once you reach these plateaus.

A more realistic betting limit is our own bankroll. If our bankroll consists of $100.00, we can see by the chart that we must hit a two spot within 22 games, or we go broke. Since the chances of hitting a two spot are roughly one in 16.6, the chances of not hitting a two spot in 22 games are about 1 in 4. So we have about a 25% chance of losing our $100.00 bankroll.

If our bankroll is $500.00, we can play 39 games, and we have about one chance in eleven of losing our entire bankroll. Just remember though, that if we do hit our deuce, the series starts all over again. If we do it often enough, we will, sooner or later, hit that losing streak.

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck! I’ll see you in line! email: [email protected]