This
is the oldest and simplest system (though it is often
misnamed "martindale"). It was first devised
in the sixteenth century by the mad Polish inventor
Joseph Wronski. Thousands of people rediscover it
each year, as it is a very seductive system.
The player doubles his bet every time he loses. If
the table minimum is $20, a Martingale sequence would
go like this: $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $640, $1280....
You can see that if you win at any point you would
be $20 ahead. In theory, you could keep on doubling
your bet and never lose. This would, however, only
be true if you had infinite capital, as well as infinite
time. The Martingale bettor will almost certainly
win in the short term. This convinces a lot of players
that it works. In fact, all they are doing is giving
them selves a good chance of a small win offset by
a small chance of a large loss. Six losses will take
you beyond many table maximums.
The antiMartingale is a system in which the opposite
strategy is played. You double your bet every time
you win, and reset it to the amount of your first
bet when you lose. Consequently, you have a large
chance of a small loss and a small chance of a large
win.
There are numerous other variations on this most popular
of betting systems. Without exception, they have no
effect on the longterm odds of the games. In the
short term, however, they can have a significant effect.
A player who uses the Martingale is certain to walk
away from the tables a winner, provided he does not
encounter a streak of sufficient length to wipe out
his bankroll, but when this does happen, the loss
is so great that it counterbalances the series of
small wins the bettor is enjoying. In effect, the
gambler is trading a small chance of a great loss
for a large chance of a small win. If he wishes to
win a very small amount, he is likely to do it, but
if he plays the Martingale system for any length of
time, total ruin is inevitable. A Martingale bettor
should expect to win his initial bankroll 50 percent
of the time (minus the house edge), before encountering
a streak of sufficient length to wipe him out.

The
basic strategy for a pair hand that you think is currently
the best hand at the table is to bet and raise with
it. However, you must take into account the number
of opponents ,,on face and tile prospects of your
hand remaining best if it doesn't improve. Vulnerable
hands, even if they are probably in first place after
the flop, may warrant more conservative play. For
example, suppose you hold K • T 1l and the flop
is T • 6 V5V. Your pair of tens is like a car
with good lowend torque that is fast off the line,
but can be passed quickly by a hand with more highend
horsepower. If there are three or four other players
in and a J, Q, or A falls on the turn or the river,
one of them will likely make a higher pair than your
tens. Add to this the presence of a flush draw and
a straight draw, and you’ll be luck to win with
your pair. In such a situation, you should check from
early position. In later position, you should bet
or raise only if you think it will significantly cut
down on the number of your opponents 