When playing roulette there are many strategies that people employ. They don’t help to win the game – there isn’t yet a way in which a guaranteed outcome can be achieved when playing roulette – but they do help manage the bankroll. But the strategies aren’t strictly tied to roulette, they can be universally adapted to almost anything. How can the Martingale roulette strategy be applied to politics?
The Martingale Strategy is simple and involves doubling the bet every time you lose when betting on one of the (almost) 50/50 events – red/black, evens/odds. The strategy doesn’t anticipate the outcome of the roulette game, it merely manages your bankroll to mitigate against significant losses outside of your established bankroll. The system provides a way to win back any potential losses, should you eventually end up winning. But as the game is heavily based on luck, there is always an element of risk.
Roulette is a game of chance and decisions that aren’t based on the previous turns in the game. This is similar in a way to politics, in that past successes are often ignored during a present failure. There is a wide range of versions of roulette that can be played online, and games such as Money Back roulette at https://games.paddypower.com/c/roulette help show how such strategies could be used. Money Back roulette automatically returns the money if you land on 0, which was traditionally where the house cleaned up. The game implementing an element of the strategy in its gameplay gives some idea as to how it might work.
The Martingale strategy, or at least its theoretical basis, is common in politics and is known as ‘doubling down’. A politician will make an announcement and it may be poorly received. They will then, instead of u-turning and cancelling the announcement, then lean in towards it and possibly add to it. This occasionally works in their favour as the lengthier explanation for the initial announcement helps give them legitimacy as to why they made the decision.
An example of this would be Boris Johnson’s recent commitment to spending, as per https://www.cityam.com/. From the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to the £1 billion pledged to help schools in 2021, any criticisms about expenditure have been met by even more spending. For Johnson, this helps solidify his initial spending commitments by showing that he was so confident in them, he did it all again.
Across the pond, the 2020 Presidential Election sees President Trump doubling down on the ‘Sleepy Joe’ rhetoric about Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Even, as the Boston Globe states here, https://www.bostonglobe.com/, when it doesn’t seem to be working as well as ‘Crooked Hillary’ did.
Theresa May doubled down on her decision to implement a ‘dementia tax’ back in 2017, which was met with such uproar, that she eventually had to renege. This ruined her ‘strong and stable’ image and was arguably a factor in her reduced majority during that year’s snap election. So, doubling down doesn’t always produce favourable results, but it does show strength and commitment. Not every gun should be stuck to, but a politician needs to show their electorate that they are at least capable of making such decisions.
The Martingale strategy is just one of many used in roulette to maximize the bankroll and has increasingly been adopted by politicians. However, while the statistics of eventually getting a win in roulette make sense for the strategy to exist, there is no guarantee in politics that doubling down on anything will work in a politician’s favour. Occasionally, as history has shown, doubling down in politics can result in ruin.