Martingale Betting System - Are You SURE?
Very common and popular system among newbies who like roulette, but not a very useful one. Sure, it seems simple and logical - you start with, let's say, 10 bucks and you double it every time you lose in order to win it back.
Let's look how the bets increase with every loss - 1) $10, 2) $20, 3) $40, 4) $80... 9) $2960! Okay, it's very rare to lose 9 times in a row when playing roulette and betting on red/black, but let's face the facts and more important - the ODDS. The chance of losing 9 times a row is somewhere near 1/500, meaning that chance of losing 3 grands in order to win back your $10 is around 1 in 500...
You may get lucky, of course, and probably you will first few times, but in the long run you lose and when you lose, you lose really big. Hey, I've seen roulette ball landing on black 13 (thirteen!) times in a row and I have heard stories of people getting 17 reds in a row. Now, if you take this initial $10 bucks and calculate, you can see that if you keep using Martingale and if you wait long enough, you will lose hundreds of thousands. For example, if you start with $5 and lose 17 times in a row, your last bet will be $327,680. Now - how sick is that?!?!
"If I had the money and the drinking capacity, I'd probably live at a roulette table and let my life go to hell," said Michael Ventura once. I think he forgot to mention "Martingale Betting System".
Some people use Anti-Martingale System, where you have to predict a win (6 blacks in a row, for example) and where you have to double every time you have won. If you've won three times in a row, start all over again. If you lose, start over with minimum bet (do not increase!).
GamblingRalf recommends Anti-Martingale System (if any system at all, and IF roulette at all...), because it's not as nerve-wrecking as the others - you don't have to place cosmic bets to win back your pocket change.