Reverse Martingale Strategy

You may be familiar with the conventional Martingale strategy which is a negative progression system that advises players to increase their bets after a loss.

The Reverse Martingale or “Anti-Martingale,” is a positive progression system that has players increase their bets following a win. 

While the classic Martingale strategy remains one of the most famous and effective betting systems in the casino industry, the Reverse Martingale is considered less risky. 

How the Reverse Martingale Strategy Works

The Reverse Martingale system is just as simple to master as the original. The main goal is to land a winning streak in order to win big. To achieve this, the player must return to staking the original amount each time there is a loss. When there is a win, the bet is doubled. The purpose of this positive progression system is to take advantage of a good run by gradually increasing the stakes.

For example, a roulette player starts by placing a wager on an even with one unit. If it wins, he places two units on even again. If it wins once again, he places four units on even. This continues until the player wins or loses. The key is learning when to walk away. Some players may ride a winning streak and walk away with a large profit. Others may play too long and find that their profits have disappeared. 

The logic of the Reverse Martingale strategy is based on the idea that both wins and losses tend to come in streaks. By placing higher bets during a winning streak and less during a losing streak, a player is likely to come out a winner in the long-run. The Reverse Martingale is believed to be one of the safest systems used in casinos. However, like all gambling strategies it’s not without flaws.

The Reverse Martingale: Step-by-Step

The Reverse Martingale strategy is most commonly used in roulette. Therefore, any examples given will be based on this game. Ideally, you want to use the Reverse Martingale in either the French or European versions of roulette. Avoid the American variation as it has the highest House Edge which results in the lowest payout.

1. Place an initial wager. Keep your initial wager fairly low. For your first bet, your options include 1-18, even, odd, red, black, or 19-36. Each choice has the same probability of winning. For the Reverse Martingale to be most effective, select an outside bet for your initial wager, such as red or black. 

2. Double your stake. If your first spin resulted in a win, simply double your stake and place another bet. For example, if your initial wager was $2, your second bet would be $4. Remember, make an outside bet that will provide an even money return.

3. Place an identical bet. If your first bet loses, just make a second wager for the same amount. As the odds of winning are just under 50% with each spin, you are likely to win in a subsequent spin.

4. Repeat this process. Continue betting in this manner until you get a win on your outside bet. Once you get a win, return to step 2 and double your stake. Continue to double the stake with each win until you lose, then place an identical bet to the previous one. 

Here are a few examples to help you get a clearer look at how the Reverse Martingale looks in action:

James opens a European roulette game online and places an initial wager of $5 on black. His bet wins so he increases the stake to $10 on his next bet and wins again. 

Following the basic guidelines of the Reverse Martingale strategy, he continues doubling his stake to $20 on his next spin. 

However, this time a loss occurs, so he bets $20 again. This time he wins.

In this example, his end profit would be $15. (5 10 20-20 = 15)

Here’s another example using slightly higher stakes:

Sarah tries using the Reverse Martingale strategy in an online game of roulette and makes an initial wager of $20 on even.

Her bet wins so she doubles her stake to $40 on the next spin. She wins again so following the strategy, her bet is again doubled to $80. 

This time around her bet loses, so she bets $80 again on her next spin. She wins. 

She tries one more spin, doubling her stake to $160, and wins again.

In this example, she would profit $220. (20 40 80 160-80 = 220) 

The 3-Step Reverse Martingale Approach

While the Reverse Martingale strategy is a fairly low-risk approach to betting, you can reduce your risk even more by using the 3-Step Reverse Martingale strategy. This basic concept of this approach is to limit the progression of the bet to just three consecutive games. Then you can continue playing with the lowest bid possible. 

Here is an example of how this work:

You make an initial deposit of $100 and an initial bet of $10. The bet results are as follows:

  • $10 loss                          100-10 = 90
  • $10 win                          90 10 = 100
  • $20 win                          100 20 = 120
  • $40 win                          120 40 = 160
  • $10 win (new cycle)    160 10 = $170
  • $20 loss                          170-10 = $160
  • $10 loss                          160-10 = $150
  • $10 win                           150 10 = $160
  • $20 win                           160 20 = $180

You can see from this example that even with some losses, the 3-Step Reverse Martingale approach provides a positive ROI. 

Limitations of the Reverse Martingale Strategy

While the Reverse Martingale approach can be successful, there are going to be times when you walk away with less money than you started with. Long losing runs are a real possibility with this strategy and there could be entire sessions where you lose. 

To consider if the strategy is actually making you a profit, you’ll also need to consider what you’ve bet overall. For example, if you bet $10 on red and aim for four straight wins and you are actually successful, you would have return of $160. However, your profit would only be $150.

Unfortunately, the odds of winning four times in a row are fairly low. In European roulette, the probability of the same color showing up 4 times in a row is just 5.6%. With these odds, you would only win every 17.85 attempts.

Advantages of the Reverse Martingale System

What makes the Reverse Martingale strategy an attractive option is the low amount of risk involved. Because of the rules that state that you only increase your bet when you win, you’ll only ever be in a position to lose your initial bet. If you’re lucky, you could experience a winning streak and walk away with a hefty profit.

If you are planning on using the Reverse Martingale strategy, be sure not to play too aggressively and know the right time to walk away. Remember, this approach allows you to earn some winnings in the short-term but most players will succumb to the House Edge in the long-term. 

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