Winning bettors use sports betting systems. But not every betting system is the same. Some betting systems are better than others. And some betting systems are dangerous.

One of the systems many gamblers use is called the Martingale. But, can you use the Martingale system for sports betting as a legitimate strategy?

The Martingale system is a progressive betting system. Progressive betting systems can be profitable, but they can also be costly.

You can use the Martingale system for sports betting. But it’s not always the best system. Here are complete details about what the Martingale betting system is, and how to use it as a sports betting system.

Also, if you’re interested in betting systems like the Martingale, you’d almost certainly benefit from learning how hedging bets works.

The Martingale System for Sports Betting

The Martingale System for Sports Betting: The Basics

The Martingale system, and most progressive type systems, increase bets after losses. You continue increasing bets after losses until you win. When you win, you get enough to cover your losses and make a profit.

Usually, gamblers use the Martingale system on bets that pay even money. Most sports bets don’t pay even money, but you can still use the Martingale.

Here’s a basic example of the Martingale progressive betting system works:

The first bet you make is the table minimum, for example, $10. In this example, the bet pays 1 to 1. In the next three sections, you learn how to adjust the basic Martingale for betting on sports.

If you win the first bet, you make $10. But, if you lose the first bet, the next bet you make is $20, or twice the amount of your previous bet. After each losing bet, you bet twice the amount of your last bet.

When you win the second bet, you win $20. Of course, you lost $10 on your first bet, so your profit is only $10.

If you lose the first bet of $10 and the second bet of $20, you bet $40 on the third bet. When you win the third bet, you win $40. Subtracting the $10 and $20 bets you lost, you make a profit of $10.

Every time you win a bet, you make a profit of $10 in this example. If you started at $20 instead of $10, you win $20 each time you win a bet.

And every time you win a bet, you start betting at the lowest amount again.

The Martingale System for Sports Betting: How Bettors Use theSystem

Because most sports betting options don’t pay even money, it’s not as simple to use the Martingale system. But with a few adjustments, you can use this system.

Using a Martingale betting system with point spreads and totals is pretty easy. But using it with moneylines is a little more complicated.

The information and examples in the following sections use the normal $110 to win $100 vig setup. If you find opportunities to place bets with lower vig at one of the recommended sportsbooks on this site, you don’t have to bet as much after losses.

Point Spread Martingale and Totals Martingale

Betting on point spreads and totals with sportsbooks doesn’t pay even money. Because you have to bet $11 to win $10, you can’t simply double your bets after losses. You have to bet a little more than twice your previous bet.

The math for the Martingale system for sports betting works the same for point spreads and totals. So the following example covers both totals and point spreads.

If you start with an $11 bet and lose, if you double your bet, you bet $22 to win $20 on the next game. When you win the second bet, you win $20, but $11 of it goes to cover your first bet loss. You still make a $9 profit though.

But if you lose several bets in a row, when you eventually win it doesn’t cover all of your previous losses. If you start at $11 to win $10 and lose four bets before you win, here’s what happens.

You bet and lose at $11, $22, $44, and $88, for a total loss of $165. But you’re betting $176 to win $160 on the next bet. The $160 win isn’t enough to cover your previous losses.

The amount you have to bet is 2.1 times your previous bet amount instead of double. So, you bet $23.10 on the second bet, $48.51 on the third, and then $101.87, etc.

The good news is you win roughly half your point spread bets and totals bets on average. So, the Martingale System for sports betting can work well because you usually don’t lose too many bets in a row.

Moneyline Martingale Underdogs

Using the Martingale system for sports betting with moneyline bets is complicated. If you bet on underdogs and win, you win more than even money. And if you bet on favorites, you bet a lot more than even money.

The simple solution is sticking with totals and point spreads if you use the Martingale for sports betting.

But the system can work with moneyline bets.

If you’re betting on underdogs, you win more than you risk. So, if you’re betting at + 260, you risk $100 to win $260. Or you risk $10 to win $26.

When you lose the first bet, you can bet $10 again on any moneyline paying $20 or better. If you find another moneyline at $26 to win $10 and bet $10, you’re still ahead from both bets when you win.

If you lose two bets in a row, you can bet $10 on any bet that pays $30 or higher or raise your bet on an underdog that pays less. For example, if you want to bet on an underdog paying + 200, you bet $15 instead of $10. A bet of $15 at + 200 pays $30 when you win.

Moneyline Martingale Favorites

But what happens when you bet on favorites using the Martingale System for sports betting?

When you bet on favorites, you have to bet far more after losing bets. If you bet $26 to win $10 on a – 260 moneyline, you’re down $26 after the first loss. To make up the difference, you have to bet enough on the second bet to cover the $26 and give you back the price of the second bet.

So, if you’re working with another – 260, you have to bet almost $100. A bet of $100 at – 260 pays $38.46. $38.46 covers your loss of $26 and makes a profit of $12.46.

To determine how much you have to risk divide 100 by the negative number. In this example, 100 divided by – 260 is – .3846. (Drop the negative sign for this computation.) Then compute the total you need to win and divide it by .3846.

In this example, you need to win $36 ($26 + $10). $36 divided by .3846 means you have to bet $93.61.

You use the same formula for different numbers. So, if the first bet was at – 260 and the second bet is at – 300, here’s how to run the numbers.

You bet $26 to win $10 and lose. You need to win $26 plus $10, for a total of $36. 100 divided by – 300 is .333. $36 divided by .333 is $108. So, you need to bet $108 at – 300 to win $36.

Dangers of Using the Martingale System for Sports Betting

The danger of using the Martingale system is when you lose several bets in a row. The amount you have to bet quickly grows to a large amount.

And as you saw in the last section, if you use the Martingale to bet on moneyline favorites, you can’t afford to lose often. But, on the other hand, if you’re betting moneyline favorites you can’t afford to lose often even if you don’t use the Martingale.

The best way to use the Martingale with sports betting is having a set budget. Decide what the maximum amount is you’re willing to risk before starting. And stick with your Martingale bankroll for budget purposes.

Using Sportsbook Promo Codes with the Martingale System for Sports Betting

A great way to try using the Martingale system for sports betting is by taking advantage of bonus offers. Check out all of the current sportsbook bonus codes and offers here.

If you get a risk-free bet, you can start with a strong chance to build a bigger bankroll. And if you get a sports betting bonus, you start with a bigger bankroll to use the Martingale system for sports betting with.

And here’s a secret to help you get started on the right foot. Sign up for as many sportsbooks as you can, based on the legal sportsbooks where you live. You can receive risk-free bets and bonuses at many different sportsbooks, and there’s no reason not to take advantage of them.

Should You Use the Martingale System for Sports Betting?

Does Martingale work for sports betting?

Yes and no.

The final decision about using the Martingale System for sports betting is yours. But if you don’t mind a little risk, the Martingale system for sports betting can be profitable.

But there’s always a chance you lose many games in a row. So, don’t fool yourself into thinking there’s no risk.

In the long run, learning how to successfully handicap games and finding good lines is more profitable than using the Martingale System for sports betting.

But you can do both at the same time if you’re brave.

You can get more insights into the pros and cons of the Martingale System at Michael Bluejay’s excellent site about Las Vegas.