This betting strategy is commonly associated to the well known table game roulette but it can be applied to sports betting. Here we look at the martingale betting system football; we explain what it is, how you can apply the theory to the real world and assess whether or not it’s worth using.
What is the martingale betting system?
The martingale betting system is a simple betting strategy that sees a punter double their stake after each losing bet. If you apply this method to the correct odds then eventually you’re guaranteed to bag yourself a winner.
As we mentioned in the opening paragraph, the martingale betting system is widely associated to roulette. In roulette, martingale bets can only be placed on selections such as red or black where the chance of success is 50/50. No matter how many times you lose, when you win you’d walk away in an overall positive position. Confused? We thought you might be. Imagine a scenario where you start off wagering £1 on red:
£1 on red pays £2 LOST
£2 on red pays £4 LOST
£4 on red pays £8 LOST
£8 on red pays £16 WON
In the above scenario, you’ve wagered £1 + £2 + £4 + £8. That is a total of £15. You’ve won £16 in total i.e. a £1 profit, which is exactly as you would have achieved had your first bet won. There are two key messages to the to the system; you must stick to the same selection e.g. red and you must double your stake with every loss.
The martingale betting system football: How does it work?
Hopefully, the above roulette based example makes things simple for you to understand. Football is obviously more complex to bet on so how exactly is the martingale betting system football a strategy that works?
Well, the method is the same. If you always back a selection – ideally a single bet – with odds of evens (or more) and double your stake on a loss then eventually you’ll win and walk away with double your original stake. There is an important consideration to make though.
The key thing is that, unlike roulette, you will have to change your bet slightly each time – football matches aren’t the same as roulette; there are far more variables. In theory, if you’re constantly changing your selections around purely to find something with odds of evens then you could always get your bet wrong and lose. Of course, in reality, backing a loser every time is unlikely but it is a definite risk factor you need to consider.
One way around this option is to back the same result from the same team each time they play – particularly in the draw markets, which commonly have good odds. How often do you see a team go through an entire season without drawing a match? The downside of this being that football games come around less often than the spin of a roulette wheel; we’ll touch on how this impacts your potential winnings later.
Beyond the complexities of football betting being a more open skill than roulette, the theory is the same. Bet on something that has odds that at least double your money and, providing you double your stake each time, eventually you’ll end up.
How much money will you need?
The stakes ramp up quickly
This is one of the downsides to the martingale betting system football. Even if you start off with a modest stake of, say £1, you’ll quickly find you can ramp through the cash:
As you can see from the above, in a scenario where you didn’t find a winner in 10 bets your stake needs to be north of £500 in order to eventually win your £1 starting profit. That’s a compound stake build too. That means you’d need to find the £512 of bet 10 after losing the prior nine bets; that’s a total of £1,023. It’s big bucks to the average punter.
The return on investment isn’t very attractive
So, with the rapidly growing stakes in mind and sticking to our original football suggestion of backing a team to draw every game, how long are you waiting for a payout and how much will you eventually end up with? Let’s take three examples from the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.
Manchester City, who won the league, drew six of their 38 games. That’s an average of one draw every 6.3 games although their longest streak without a league draw was 15 games. Norwich who finished bottom of the league drew seven games; that’s one every 5.4 games with their longest run without a draw being eight games. By contrast, the draw specialists of the season were Brighton who had 15 draws; that’s one every 2.5 games with their longest streak without a draw being seven games.
In a world where you’d chosen Brighton as ‘your team’ you’d only stand to win £15 profit over the course of the season based on doubling your initial £1 stake for every draw they have. In reality, the average odds for a draw in football is 9/4 (3.25). That would see you net £2.25 profit for each draw or £33.75; that is over the course of the entire season if you back a team that draws at a rate better than one in three.
So, is the martingale betting system football worth using?
Our opinion is that football and the martingale system don’t work together. In theory, it’s a method to guarantee a profitable position. In reality, it needs bettors to have a lot of disposable money and takes a long time to return a little – unless you want to pick a moving bet i.e. different events on an hour by hour basis at which point the risks of constantly losing increase. The fact is that football fixtures don’t come around often enough to allow you to build up a decent profit balance. Not sure what we mean by that? Well, in a week, a football team might play two maybe three games. Imagine how many times you can spin a roulette wheel in that period of time!
The pro and cons of the martingale betting system football
|Easy to understand||Requires a large bankroll|
|Delivers guaranteed profit||Profit return likely to be limited vs outlay|
|Unlikely to be restricted by bookies||Long term commitment|
Martingale betting system football: FAQ
What is martingale betting? Martingale betting is the process of doubling your stake on an even money bet every time your bet loses. Eventually, your bet will win ensuring you profit by the amount of your initial stake.
Does martingale work in sports betting? Yes, martingale does work in sports betting. There are, however, some serious caveats to that including the need for a big cash balance and, by comparison, limited profits.
Is martingale betting good? Martingale betting is good when used by the right person in the correct circumstances. It is not good for everyone though.