How to play blackjack and baccarat using the Martingale system

  • Discover how to use the Martingale system in blackjack and baccarat
  • If and when used correctly, it can certainly pay off

The Martingale system has attracted something of a bad reputation over the years, but there’s no doubt that it’s a decent system to try when used correctly.

blackjack martingale
Use the Martingale system to your advantage in games such as blackjack (above) and baccarat and it can pay dividends

Much of the problem comes from the perceived infallibility of the strategy. When you bet against the house, you’ll never find a system that guarantees success – in the long run, you’re likely to lose. But if you enjoy the fun of gambling and can withstand a large loss, the Martingale can make for a decent system to try out. Here’s how to use it to your advantage for blackjack and baccarat.

Make sure you’re making the right bets

For baccarat, stick to betting on the player. The house edge is the lowest, and as an almost even-money bet, it’s exactly the kind of situation that the Martingale is designed for. The system does not work well with bets that have a high payout but little chance of occurring, so don’t even think about betting on the tie, or the risk of going broke is astronomical.

For blackjack, stick to the one bet rather than doubling (although splitting should still be done where basic strategy applies.) Although the house edge in Blackjack when basic strategy is applied is among the lowest at the casino, it should be noticed that the variance is extremely high – so a hefty bankroll is needed to cover the swings involved.

Be wary of limits

Take care of table limits, and particularly the difference between the lower and upper limits. Even if your bankroll can take a hugely unlucky string of losses, if the table limit is too low, you could eventually run into trouble if you hit the limit and can no longer double your bet.

Baccarat martingale
When it comes to baccarat stick to betting on the player – it’s a perfect situation for the Martingale system

For baccarat, thanks to the often high stakes and limits available, this is usually less of a problem – but it’s certainly something to be wary of with blackjack. But regardless of the game, it’s still important to make sure there are no issues with the limits at the table.

Start small

Betting just £1 from a huge bankroll might seem a tiny amount, but the exponential rate of growth in bets in the Martingale system means that starting small is essential. Consider if we have a £500 bankroll to back up our system. £5 might seem like an ideal amount to start off with, but if we’re not careful we could run into serious trouble.

If we bet £5 and lose, we then need to double our wager to £10. If we can’t hit our luck the second time, we then need to double up again to £20. Next, £40. Then £80. When it gets to £160, if we lose, we’ve lost a huge amount of our bankroll and we don’t have the money to continue with the required bed of £320.

While this sequence is quite unlikely, it’s increasingly inevitable the more we play. The odds of a full house at poker or being dealt aces are even smaller, yet players will have seen both of these many times simply due to the volume of hands played. And the same applies here.

Instead, suppose we start off with a £1 bet. Instead, the sequence here would be £2, £4, £8, £16 and £32. Six losses here would only set us back £53, compared to the £315 when we started betting with £5. We still have room to go for another three bets in the martingale with our £500 roll.

LeoVegas is a great place to try the Martingale for blackjack with its huge differences between minimum and maximum bet, giving you plenty of room to work with the martingale. For baccarat, PaddyPower’s limits of £1-£10000 make it an attractive option to give it a shot.

Find out more about blackjack here and how to play baccarat here.

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