Reverse Martingale vs. Martingale

Every gambler hopes that they can find a surefire way to beat the system. Some rely on lucky numbers, some believe that gambling on certain days works in their favor, some believe in sitting in certain positions, and many believe that if they can master a strategy, it will help them beat the house. The Martingale and reverse Martingale strategies happen to be two of the most popular. 

The Martingale system has been around for quite a long time — some historians estimate that gamblers started to use it almost 300 years ago. It follows a simple principle — each time you lose double your wager so that when you win, you recover all your losses and take home a profit. The system will make the gambler money at some point, but like all systems, it isn’t guaranteed. It assumes that the gambler has a large bankroll, so large in fact that they can continue to double their bets for as long as it takes them to win. 

However, the fact that gamblers have continued to use it for more than 300 years is an indication that it works. Some people swear by it, and they use it every time they sit down to play a game, whether it is roulette, blackjack, baccarat or craps. They believe in it because they get results, but does that mean that it is a sure-proof way to beat the house?

The history of the reverse Martingale (or anti-Martingale) strategy isn’t very clear, but we can assume that it came about sometime after the Martingale strategy. Someone must have figured out that if a player did the opposite of the Martingale and doubled their wager every time they won, they would walk away with a healthy win. 

Some gamblers swear by the Martingale, while others believe that the reverse Martingale is the answer. Which one is best? Do they both work?

The best way to answer these questions is to look at both systems in detail. 

What is the Martingale strategy?

The Martingale betting system is probably one of the oldest, and it continues to survive because so many gamblers believe that it works. It isn’t very difficult to understand, and one doesn’t need to be a mathematical genius to use it. 

Its premise is simple: double your bet after every loss. It is only used on even money bets, and the player starts by deciding what their goal is for a particular game and how much they are willing to spend to get to that goal. They keep playing until they win, and they can decide whether they want to keep playing or not. 

If they do win, they can use the same system but should carefully evaluate their bankrolls before they start, or they may lose everything, including what they won in the initial round. 

How does the Martingale strategy work?

A player starts by betting an amount, say $10. If they win that round, using this system they should pocket the $10 that they have won and place another wager for $10. 

If, however, they place their first bet and lose, then their next wager should be one of $20. If they lose this bet, their next one should be $40, and if they lose that, the next one should be $80. 

Let’s say they keep playing until they eventually win, when they have placed a bet of $3,200. The total profit for this session of gaming will be $100. It seems like a huge risk to take for such a small reward, but that’s the catch. 

For the strategy to make sense, the player must be willing to play many sessions. 

For enthusiasts who plan to pop into the casino to while away an afternoon, this isn’t a good strategy — they will run out of time before they can win, and there is a good chance that they will lose quite a bit of their bankroll. 

Pros and cons of Martingale

There are certain benefits to using the Martingale system:

  • What most gamblers like about this system, especially amateurs, is that it is so simple that anyone can use it. There isn’t much to think about, and so long as one doubles their bet after a loss they can keep playing until they win. 
  • For those who have a big bankroll, this is a great system because they can keep wagering until they win. If one keeps playing it is mathematically impossible for them to keep losing. They will win at some point, and if they are using the Martingale strategy, they will recover one or all of the money that they had lost and potentially make a little profit. 
  • A player on a winning streak could easily walk away with a lot of money.

However, even as you think about these benefits it is important to keep in mind the disadvantages of the Martingale system:

  • If a player loses a big wager they may be wiped out. For players who are keen to win using this system, it is important to think about their bankroll carefully. If it isn’t very big, they may want to start with small bets (like $1) so that they don’t get overwhelmed when they have to keep doubling their bets. 
  • Some casinos set table limits to discourage players from using this system. Before putting it into play, find out whether it is allowed by your particular establishment. 
  • There are no guarantees. As mentioned earlier, the ones who benefit the most from using the Martingale system are those who have a big bankroll. Otherwise, a player has to start with very small bets which doesn’t always make sense. 

The important thing to always remember with the Martingale and all other casino systems that are supposed to give players an edge, is that they don’t come with any guarantees. If they did, everyone would use them and would always win. Also, casinos wouldn’t allow players to use them because the house would always lose. 

These systems have been around for so many years because even when they give a player an edge, it is a small one. For those who want to be winners, the best thing to do is to get a good understanding of how different casino games are played.

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What is the anti-Martingale strategy?

You can think of the anti-Martingale strategy as the opposite of the Martingale strategy. Instead of the player doubling their wager each time they lose, they double it each time they win. The idea behind it is to amplify their wins. The bigger the bet they place, the more they walk away with if they win. 

Imagine a player starts his wagering with $5. This is also their return point, which means that if they lose, they will bet this amount for the next game. 

If they win that particular round, they should bet $10 for the next game. If they win, they will need to put down $20, and should they win again they will put down $40.  

Should they lose at this point their next wager will be $5 — the original amount that they had bet. 

The reverse Martingale is designed to maximize winning streaks rather than minimize losses. 

It sounds like a perfect system, so why don’t more gamblers use it? The reason is simple — to put it into play one must be on a winning streak. Gambling is a game of chance, and it is only a matter of time before one begins to lose. Should one lose when they have a large wager on the table their losses are magnified. 

Players who understand how to use the reverse Martingale usually set themselves a realistic time for a winning streak and get out before it expires. They also reset their bet level to their initial bet so as not to magnify their risk. 

There are some rules for players to keep in mind if they decide to use this system:

  • Every bet after a loss should be kept the same.
  • Every bet after a win should be doubled. 
  • If in the process of doubling their bets they lose, the player should go back to their original bet amount.
  • This system is used on even money bets. 
  • It works best if the player decides in advance how many wins they want in a row. Too many and they risk losing it all. 
  • This system is best for low-risk red/black bets.

Players must remember that for each win, there is a great risk attached to the next game. It may mark the end of the winning streak. If a player had put down a large wager, they lose it all.

Is reverse Martingale better than Martingale?

The reverse Martingale is generally considered a little better than the Martingale because there is a potential for huge wins. If the player times his winning streaks properly, he can get out before he starts losing, and his take-home will be quite significant. 

That said, it is important to remember that neither of these systems guarantees success whether the player is playing blackjack, poker, baccarat or any other casino game. 

When they work it is for a limited time, and they can lead to significant losses. One can hope to keep winning with the reverse Martingale strategy and place a big bet only for their losing streak to start at that exact moment. 

The same goes for the Martingale system. A player can keep doubling their bets in the hope that they will eventually hit a winning streak and run out of money before they do. 

So, what system should one use? It depends entirely on the player and the kind of risk they are willing to take. Their bankroll also goes a long way in determining how much risk they can take on. 

Pros and cons of anti-Martingale strategy

There are certain benefits of the anti-Martingale strategy that are hard to overlook:

  • Just like the Martingale, it is an easy wagering system that anyone can use. Players don’t have to be mathematically astute to enjoy its benefits. 
  • Losing streaks aren’t a big worry for the player because they bet the minimum amounts for them. 
  • Players get to keep their original wager intact throughout the gambling session. 
  • If a player is lucky enough to have consecutive winning streaks, they take home a healthy profit. They however must not get greedy because a losing streak could start at any time. Smart gamblers who use this system decide on how many rounds they will keep doubling their wagers and then get out as soon as they reach their target number. 
  • It is a newbie-friendly system. 

However, even with these benefits in mind, it is important to remember the drawbacks of using the reverse Martingale strategy:

  • Every player who decides to use this system should be prepared for the losses that they may encounter along the way. If what they thought was a winning streak should turn out otherwise there is a lot at stake. 
  • It requires a healthy bankroll, and not every player has that. Alternatively, players can make small bets but sometimes it doesn’t make much sense to do so, especially if winning streaks last a long time. 
  • It can be a tricky strategy to use in American roulette because the table has two zeros. The additional zero means higher odds of losing, and anyone using the reverse Martingale has to wait longer to get on a winning streak. 
  • It takes only one loss to wipe away whatever profits the player has accumulated up to that point. Knowing exactly when to stop isn’t easy, and many players often find that they have kept doubling their bets for too long. 
  • Some casinos are strict about players using any sort of system that may give them an advantage.

The reverse Martingale is certainly a good way for serious gamblers to increase their odds of winning, even if it isn’t guaranteed. It can also be a good way for newbies to spice up their game. 

However, one must carefully think about how long they intend to play and how much money they are willing to risk. Good players are careful not to get greedy. Just because one is winning now doesn’t mean that they will keep winning. 

Martingale and anti-Martingale in casino games

What games are best played using the Martingale and the reverse Martingale?


The system was developed for roulette, so you can use both of these systems in this game. 

Before players use it they are advised to make sure that they understand the game, the rules and strategies that players can use to help. If they don’t, they will make silly mistakes that will cost them their bankroll. 


These two strategies are excellent for blackjack because they are so easy to use — just double your wager after every win or after every loss. Some people believe that it lowers the house edge, but this may depend on where one is playing. 

The important thing to keep in mind when using these systems for blackjack is that it can take a long time to win, and losses can be significant. 


This game comes with an in-built low house edge which means that players who use the reverse Martingale could potentially take home huge wins. That said, some casinos protect themselves against this, so it is important to find out what the house rules are. 

Again, whether one is on a winning or losing streak, they should keep in mind that it will not last forever, and they should think about how big their wagers should be compared to the size of their bankroll. If their wagers are too big, they will run through it before they can give either system time to pay off. If you would like to practice your hand in a New Jersey casino that allows both the reverse Martingale and the Martingale strategy, you should visit Resorts Casino. They have all the popular games like baccarat, poker and blackjack, and players are allowed to test these strategies to see whether they work.

Author: Tanya Fields

Campaign Acquisition Manager Length with RC: 1 year, 9 months Favorite Casino Game: Starburst Background in iGaming: Opened the iGaming Department at Hard Rock Atlantic City in 2018 in both Customer Service, and then CRM, prior to moving over to RC in January 2021 Location: Based in NJ at the RC HQ Content: Occasionally, but only as it pertains to RC