Guide To Martingale Forex Trading Strategy

Guide To Martingale Forex Trading Strategy

Traders on the forex market have a variety of tools and strategies at their disposal. Some of these strategies are very simplistic, while others are much more complex. 

One such strategy that is popular among forex traders is the Martingale strategy, which is based on the belief that after a losing trade, increasing your position size will eventually result in a winning trade that covers your losses.

The core assumption of this strategy is that markets will eventually turn in your favor, regardless of if the asset is in a state of deviation from its mean, or not. 

While the Martingale strategy has its critics, it can nonetheless be useful in certain scenarios. The viability of the strategy largely depends on the entry position of the trade and it is important to note that the strategy was derived from betting techniques and is generally geared towards individuals with an above average risk tolerance. Martingale is not considered to be a viable long-term forex strategy

If you would like to know more about the Martingale strategy in forex to decide whether it is of any appeal to you, this investfox guide can help. 

Martingale Forex Strategy Explained

The Martingale strategy is a popular betting and trading strategy that originated in 18th-century France and was initially used in gambling, particularly in games of chance like roulette.

It's a high-risk, negative progression strategy that relies on the idea that you can recover previous losses by increasing your bet size after each losing trade or bet until you eventually win, at which point you revert to your original bet size.

When it comes to forex trading, here’s how the Martingale approach can be applied:

  • Start with a Base Bet: You begin with a small initial trade size or position. This is your base bet
  • Place a Trade: If your trade results in a loss, you double the size of your next trade in an attempt to recover your previous losses
  • Repeat Doubling: If that trade also results in a loss, you double the size of your trade again and continue to do so after each consecutive loss
  • Reset After a Win: When you eventually have a winning trade, you reset your position size back to your original base bet and start the process over

While the Martingale strategy takes some elements from the mean reversion theory, it is a distinct high-risk strategy based on the idea of recovering losses by doubling position sizes after each losing trade, with no specific consideration for mean reversion tendencies.

Martingale Strategy Example In Forex


To better understand what the Martingale strategy is and how it could work in forex trading, we can use a hypothetical example of a trading strategy on the EUR/USD, which is a major currency pair and a popular one on the forex market. 

Let’s assume that a trader using the Martingale strategy has an account balance of $1,000 and buys a micro lot of EUR/USD, with the current exchange rate being 1.06. 

Step 1: Initial Trade

  • You place a buy trade of 1 micro lot of USD/CHF at an exchange rate of 1.060
  • Your trade size is 1,000 units of USD
  • You set a stop-loss order at 20 pips below your entry price (1.058) and no take-profit order

Step 2: First Loss

  • Unfortunately, the market moves against you, and your trade hits the stop-loss level, resulting in a loss of 20 pips
  • You’ve lost $2 (20 pips * $0.10 per pip, as you're trading 1,000 units)

Step 3: Double The Position

  • Following the Martingale strategy, you decide to double your position size to recover your losses. Now, you place a buy trade of 2 micro lots (0.02 lots) of EUR/USD at the same exchange rate of 1.06

Step 4: Second Loss

  • Again, the market moves against you, and your trade hits the stop-loss level, resulting in another loss of 20 pips
  • You lost an additional $4 (20 pips * $0.20 per pip, as you're now trading 2,000 units)

Step 5: Double Again

  • You double your position size again, this time placing a buy trade of 4 micro lots (0.04 lots) of EUR/USD at the same exchange rate of 1.060

Step 6: Third Loss

  • Unfortunately, the market continues to move against you, and your trade hits the stop-loss level, resulting in another loss of 20 pips
  • You've lost an additional $8 (20 pips * $0.40 per pip, as you're now trading 4,000 units)

Step 7: Continuing The Pattern

You continue to double your position size after each losing trade, hoping for a reversal and a winning trade to recover your losses

The key idea behind the Martingale strategy is that you will eventually have a winning trade that covers all your previous losses, plus a profit equal to your initial trade size.

However, it's important to emphasize that this strategy can lead to significant and rapid losses if the market continues to move against you, and it's not a recommended approach for forex trading due to its high-risk nature.

Martingale is not a consistently profitable forex strategy and carries a lot of risk to traders. 

Martingale Strategy Risks And Disadvantages

The Martingale trading strategy comes with its fair share of disadvantages that could lead to massive losses and psychological stress. 

Here are some major pitfalls to avoid when using the Martingale strategy in forex:

  • Unlimited Risk: In theory, you can have an extended losing streak, leading to exponentially increasing position sizes. If your account doesn't have sufficient funds to cover these larger positions, you could face significant losses or even a margin call
  • Market Limitations: Forex markets are not infinite, and they have limits. There may be situations where you cannot keep doubling your position size due to market constraints or because you run out of margin
  • Psychological Stress: The Martingale strategy can be emotionally taxing because it requires you to keep increasing your bet size, which can lead to impulsive decisions and a loss of discipline
  • No Guarantee of Success: There is no guarantee that you will eventually have a winning trade. The strategy assumes that markets will eventually reverse in your favor, but this is not always the case

Key Takeaways From The Guide To Martingale Forex Trading Strategy

  • Martingale is one of the riskiest trading strategies on the forex market
  • The strategy, which has its roots in betting, involves doubling down after every losing trade, with the assumption that once the market does swing in the trader’s favor, it will recoup losses and return a profit 
  • Martingale is not advisable for forex beginners, as it can lead to heavy losses when the market takes too long to turn around 
  • When the strategy is drawn out to longer periods, the doubling will also continue to double the losses, which may accumulate to more than a profitable turnaround can cover 

FAQs On The Martingale Forex Strategy

What is the Martingale strategy in forex?

Martingale is a trading strategy that assumes that the market will inevitably turn in the favor of the trader so they double their positions after each loss, so that the very first winning position recoups the losses and generates profit. 

Is Martingale a risky trading strategy?

With its roots in betting, Martingale is a highly risky strategy with a high potential for failure. The core assumption that the market will turn just enough to cover past losses may not fully materialize. 

Is Martingale strategy gambling?

Martingale has its roots in the world of betting, which makes for a highly risky trading strategy. The core assumption of the Martingale strategy is that the market will eventually turn in favor of the trader, which may take a while and deal heavy losses.