So I recently heard about the Martingale betting system, and saw how it could be used for Roulette. I sought to apply it, and was curious about what results I would find.
At first, I was incredibly excited! I found I could achieve a 99% win rate with some realistic cash numbers.
Then I took a closer look. I saw there was something wrong. I looked it up on wikipedia, and sure enough…
I came to the same conclusion Einstein did. No matter how I altered the strategy, the one fatal flaw kept hitting me in the face – if you play for long enough, you will lose it all.
Sure, a 99% win ratio sounds good. But, what if you win 99 times, each time winning $5. Then you lose once, and lost all $10,000 you were playing with. The wins don’t outweigh the loss. You can get that 99% VERY close to 100% (like 99.999%) by increasing the amount of cash you start with, but you can only reach 100% by having an infinite amount of initial cash. Hohum.
However… if I was a billionaire, I’d probably be ok playing roulette with a starting bet of around $10. I would accept those odds. But then… the interest I’d receive on my billion from the bank would be more than I could earn in a casino with this betting strategy.
I’m attaching my c++ code I used to check Roulette here. It assumes you choose one of the bets that gives you an 18/38 chance of winning each time(all red/black, even/odd, or 1-18, 19-36), doubling your bet every time you lose, and resetting the bet back to the initial ‘base bet’ each time you win.
Gambling doesn’t pay.