Introduction

Before placing your next wager, either in the form of an online bet or a real casino bet, it's important to understand that the house has an advantage in virtually all games. If casinos weren't guaranteed a profit by the odds, they would certainly not still be in business and growing rapidly each day.

Some people claim to have found a magical gambling system that can defy the house advantage. They charge exorbitant amounts of money to learn the secret to supposedly prevent the decay of the gambling industry with their bank-breaking secret. Shelling out money to learn of a gambling system is a horrid mistake.

Whether you are doing Internet betting or gambling in real life, a gambling system will never work. Most of them rely on progressions, or increasing your bet to "attain the maximum odds." No such phenomenon exists. Gambler's fallacy is the false belief that an event can be due; for instance, believing that, after 15 black spins in roulette, the next spin is much more likely to be red. Outcomes in gambling are independent of each other. In our roulette example, even after 15 black spins, the 16th spin is just as likely to be black as it is red.

Applying our knowledge with roulette
With that in mind, let us address perhaps the most popular of all gambling systems: the Martingale. Devised in France centuries ago, the Martingale makes quite a bit of intuitive sense. The system works by placing a minimum even-odds bet, such as red in roulette or the pass line in craps. If the wager is lost, the player doubles his or her bet, so that if he or she wins, all losses will be recouped, as well as a win of the minimum wager.

The problem comes with exponents. As you keep doubling, the number can quickly go over the table maximum. For instance, suppose a roulette wheel has a minimum bet of \$5 and a maximum of \$250. After coming across just six losing numbers in a row, the next wager would have to be \$320, larger than the table maximum, and possibly larger than your bankroll. A casual player may state that the odds of such a streak are low, but as we could rebut from the earlier argument regarding gambler's fallacy, it's not all that unlikely.

What if...
Let us suppose there was no table limit. Certainly the Martingale would work then? Alas, this is not the case, and is, contrary to what some may say, not even the reason casinos implemented the table limit. Let us extend our roulette example. You're a big-wig celebrity with a \$1 million bankroll. A losing streak would have to be phenomenal to overcome such a huge amount of wealth, right? Afraid not. After only seventeen losing wagers in a row, you will have bet \$655,385 under the Martingale!

The only circumstance under which the Martingale will work is one where the player has infinite wealth and plays without limits. Since no such circumstance exists, the Martingale only serves as an adrenaline-rushing way to quickly lose all your money. The same goes for any progression betting system. Sure, you'll see many more short-term wins, but when you do lose, you will lose hard and fast. Wins and losses combined lead to the same house advantage under any gambling system.

A solid conclusion worth remembering
So the next time you go to an online casino or a brick-and-mortar establishment, you can have the knowledge that employing a gambling system does not improve your odds. While they can lead to some nice short-term wins, they will cause any gambler to crash down quickly. Most players likely would enjoy to spend more time at a casino, and thus should bet casually as they always do. Bet responsibly, and good luck!