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Repost of Why not to play "Marting Gale" (the doubling strategy)

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Dear fellow CG members,

Lately I have a feeling that the discusion about the "Martin Gale or Doubling" strategy is coming up again. So I repost an article I wrote two years ago about this strategy. So let's start.

Most of the times I meet a rather unexperience gamblers, they come up with the "Martin Gale" strategy , even though they don't know that it is called Martin Gale, and they want to try it out. Thinking that  they are smart. Experience gamblers like me can tell you that the Martin Gale strategy doesn't work otherwise we, the experienced gamblers, would be filthy rich now and all casino's broke.

But first what is the Martin Gale strategy? Well imagine you have €100 and you are placing €1 on Red (Roulette) and when red comes, yeah you win €1. But if you lose, you can double your bet to €2 and when you win you win €2 but you already spend €3 to get it so your net win €1. But if you lose again you have to double the last bet again and bet €4. You see where this is going. It looks like a good strategy but there are very big obvious flaws in this strategy.

1. All casino's have maximum on the betsize so that's your first limit, so you can't double a unlimited times

2. There is another limit, that's your money. This is perhaps the biggest flaw. Even when you have enough money. How much money will you risk to win €1 (will you put over a €1000 on the table to win €1)

As you can see that doubling the last bet the bet will increase exponentialy and you can hit the betlimit of the casino very quick, if you don't exceed your own money limit before that. These are the main reasons not to do it but there are more reasons, scientific reasons not to do it. One of them is for instance, if you take the example above and you want to double that €100 with Martingale. You have to do that a 100 times, because you win only €1 each time. The chance to double your money is about 36,8%. But if you place all your money at once on Red the first time, your chance is almost 50% (much better odds).

Another fact is the probability of a bad streak (= bet losses in a row) , this is much higher then you think. A bad streak of 7 losses in a row is close to 50%

If you want to know more about this then watch V-Sauce (Poplar Scientific Program on Youtube).


Or/and watch Numberphile (Program about Mathematics on Youtube).


So please don't do Martingale.

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