Martingale Blackjack System
The Martingale is a system that can be applied to many forms of gambling and blackjack is no different. The basics of the system are very easy to understand – you start out by placing a small bet on each hand and then when you lose, you double your next hand. If you lose again, you double your next hand and keep on doubling until you win, then you go back to betting your original amount.
The Staking Plan
First of all, you starting hand should be the minimum that the table will allow as you are going to need plenty of room to increase your bets as well as keeping them at a manageable size.
It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and start out with a large bet, but that will just speed up the rate at which you increase them after a few losses.
In real casinos, the minimum bet on blackjack is usually at least £5 but in online casinos it is £1 so I will assume you are playing online when showing you the maths. This is the progression you would use when starting out with a £1 bet –
£1 – £2 – £4 – £8 – £16 – £32 – £64 – £128 – £256 – £512
Even with a £1 starting point, it doesn’t take very long for the bets to increase to much larger amounts, so the first piece of advice would be to always start out at the table minimum. As long as you always double your last bet, you will always be in profit by the amount that you started with, here’s an example –
Bet £1 and lose. Next bet is £2.
Bet £2 and lose. Total loss is £3, next bet is £4.
Bet £4 and lose. Total loss is £7, next bet is £8.
Bet £8 and lose. Total loss is £15, next bet is £16.
Bet £16 and win. Total profit is £1.
It doesn’t matter when you win, the profit will always be the original bet, even if you are several steps into the progression and betting over £100 per hand and that’s the risk of the Martingale. So the two main rules for this system are start out at the table minimum and always double your losses until you win, then go back to the start
Blackjack Specific Martingale Rules
Any blackjack system should be used in conjunction with basic strategy, but there are going to be a few problems with that when it comes to the Martingale because actions such as splitting and doubling will affect the maths so they need to be taken into consideration. It’s a trade off because for the best odds, you will need to stick to basic strategy, but doing so will see you betting additional amounts mid game, so here are your options –
Ignore Splitting and Doubling Down – To summarise it very quickly, you would look at your basic strategy card and treat splitting and doubling as a hit, therefore your maths will stay the same. The downside of this is that your odds are worse over the long run of play because the house edge takes into consideration the additional amounts you could win by doubling and splitting.
Stick To Basic Strategy and Alter The Staking Plan – Following on from the example above, after 3 losses, the total amount lost is £7 and the next bet is £8. So on the next hand, you bet your £8 but basic strategy says that you should double, so an additional £8 will be placed on the table. If you lose, your total outlay would now be £23, so your next bet would need to be £24.
You would constantly need to change your staking plan to accommodate the bets you’re making mid game. If you can do this on the spot with no problems, stick to basic strategy, otherwise ignore splitting and doubling down and accept the slightly worse odds.