- 1 roulette game strategies
- 1.1 Full List of Roulette Strategies
- 1.2 Roulette Strategy Without Hype and False Promises
- 1.3 Pick the Best Roulette System with Roulette Geeks
- 1.4 Learn from experts about the best roulette strategies!
- 1.5 Roulette Wheel and Table Variations
- 1.5.1 What’s Your Game? Pick the right variation of roulette (Spoiler alert: it’s European roulette)
- 1.5.2 American and European Roulette
- 1.5.3 The Aim of the Game – What to do if you want to beat the house
- 1.5.4 Stop the rot – Why people lose when playing online Roulette
- 1.5.5 Identifying a Dealer Signature
- 1.5.6 Understanding the Physics of Roulette
- 1.5.7 How to use Chaos Theory to win at Roulette
- 1.6 What are Roulette Systems or Strategies?
- 1.7 Can roulette systems really make me rich?
- 1.8 Roulette Strategies: What It Takes to Win the Game
roulette game strategies
Full List of Roulette Strategies
What you will find below is a full and comprehensive list of the different roulette strategies we’ve written about, as well as tips and other pieces of information that you may find useful.
For each strategy, we’ve gone into great detail on the rules, progressions, odds of a losing run and the maths behind them. You’re welcome to test them out on our free roulette games for as long as you like.
Before we get into the various strategies, it would be best to make a few things clear. Roulette is a mathematically perfect game in favour of the casino. The house edge for European roulette is 2.7% and for American roulette it’s 5.26%.
The only way a roulette strategy could be truly effective and a guaranteed winner over the long term of play would be if it was able to eliminate the house edge and put the odds in your favour. There’s no such strategy for roulette. While that may be disappointing, please read on because the information below is the best and most detailed that you’re going to find.
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Roulette Strategy Without Hype and False Promises
If you’ve searched online for a system before, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a lot of junk out there with websites talking about “best winning systems” “guaranteed to win” “exploits casino flaw” “suck cash on autopilot” and many more.
You won’t be finding any of that rubbish below, just real world strategies and tips, without the hype and false promises. You can read about all of those systems/software programs that guarantee easy winnings in our roulette system reviews.
The whole point of a roulette strategy is to first of all manage your bank roll, and secondly to increase your odds of winning over the short term by betting large to win small. For example, several of the strategies below involve increasing bets after a loss and continually increasing them until you get a win.
By doing this, you are betting large amounts (the bets added together after each loss) to win a small amount because after your previous losses have been covered, there will only be a small profit. Quite often with progressive systems, hundreds of £/$/€ are wagered to win just 1 £/$/€.
Something else to consider is that you will have more winning sessions than losing sessions, but your wins will be small (while risking more) and on the occasions when you lose, your losses will be far greater than your wins. That is the risk of gambling and roulette is no different.
With all that said, here are the different roulette strategies we’ve written about. This list is by no means conclusive; we do add to it and we’re always open to adding ideas from our readers, so feel free to contact us if you think you have a strategy that we could write about and would be of interest to our readers.
Martingale Roulette System – This is a system that involves increasing bets after a loss until you get a win. It is commonly used on Red or Black but it can be applied all over the table if you have the correct progression. Not only have we gone through every bet, we have tables showing the overall loss at each stage and we’ve shown you the odds of going on a bad losing run i.e: 10 Reds in a row when you’re betting on Black.
Reverse Martingale – Also known as “Paroli”, this is a positive progression system where you increase your bets after a win in the hopes of riding a winning streak while keeping the losses to a minimum when you go on a losing run.
D’Alembert Roulette System – This is a strategy that is based on even chance bets. It’s a relatively safe system to use (like any strategy there’s risk involved though) and if you have as many wins as losses you will have a nice win.
Reverse D’Alembert – This is the opposite of the regular D’Alembert (above). The main downside of this system is that you need more wins than losses in order to be successful.
Fibonacci Roulette System – This is an interesting strategy that uses a slower rate of progression than the Martingale by winning back losses over several winning spins rather than one. It’s possible to have considerably more losing spins but still come out on top, providing of course that you don’t go on an extended losing run over a short space of time.
Reverse Fibonacci – Another example of a system having the rules flipped around to create a “reverse” version. In our opinion, this one isn’t as good as the normal Fibonacci which we covered above.
Labouchere Roulette System – This is sometimes called the cancellation method because you construct your own betting line and cancel numbers off it as you win. It is slightly more complicated than most other strategies and may require some practice to get your head around it.
Cover The Table – On this page we talk about several different ways that you can cover large portions of the roulette table such as betting on 35 numbers, betting on 17 splits and so on.
Flat Betting – On this page we talk about the upsides and downsides to flat betting which means betting the same amount on every spin with no progression.
Oscar’s Grind – This is a Red/Black system that play in stages of four and aims to get a profit of 1 unit for each betting cycle. It increases bets after every win and they remain the same after a loss.
Red And Black Strategies – This is a page that contains links to all the different strategies that we’ve covered that can be used on Red or Black which are by far the most popular bets.
Dozens And Columns – Here we talk about two different betting systems that can be used on either the dozens or the columns. The first is designed for betting on just one dozen or column, the second is for betting on two at the same time.
James Bond Roulette System – Used by Bond himself, not in any of the films, but in the written novels. This is a system that covers 2 thirds of the table, plus the 0. It could be described as another strategy to cover the table but due to it’s notoriety, we’ve given it it’s own page, complete with a diagram, examples and whey you shouldn’t use a progression.
FOBT System – Short for fixed odds betting terminal, these machines are found in bookmakers throughout the UK and they are big business. Here we discuss whether or not there are any systems that can be applied specifically to them and then we go into whether or not it’s possible to cheat on them. Spoiler Alert: it’s not.
Roulette Computers – These are cheating devices that, realistically, can only be used in real casinos. Without doubt, the use of an effective computer is the best and easiest way to win at roulette, but finding such a device is difficult. Then there’s the fact that in many countries and jurisdictions, they’re illegal and you will end up in jail for using one, so for this reason, we can’t recommend them.
Roulette Tips – Here is a collection of 8 roulette tips that should be helpful to new or intermediate players. You won’t find anything new or ground breaking here, but we truly believe that this is the best collection of tips that you’re going to find on the Internet. The reason for that is because we keep it real, we don’t make false claims about “winning a fortune” like other websites; we just give useful tips to help you understand the game.
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Pick the Best Roulette System with Roulette Geeks
Learn from experts about the best roulette strategies!
Roulette is the casino game all serious gamblers want to master. We’ll tell you why you should never play American Roulette, give you intricate strategies for European Roulette, tell you where to play and describe tactics professional players employ to get an edge over the house.
If you would like to begin with the most simple strategy of the roulette strategies available, we recommend that you watch this video and start with the Martingale system:
Pro tip : set yourself limits based on how much you would like to win. Test your chances of winning using our simulator.
Below you’ll learn the science behind winning at roulette, the different versions of the game, the highest rated online roulette sites, bonus tables and academic guidance collated from the leading roulette minds in the world. Read it thoroughly and give yourself the best chance of gaining an edge over the house. If you want to jump right at the strategies here are our Top 3 recommendations:
Remember, good luck comes from having the edge and knowing where to stop – and knowledge is your natural advantage.
The key elements weather you play roulette online, in a casino or on a mobile device, are
In a land based casino you’ll also have
This role is automated in the online Random Number Generator (RNG) and Live Dealer versions of the game.
The aim of roulette is to predict which numbered pocket the roulette ball will end up in once the wheel has stopped spinning. You bet using chips which you place on numbered spots, lines, boxes or junctions on the gaming table. In roulette, players bet against the casino (known as ‘the house’), not against other players.
The rules of roulette are there for a reason: to give the house an edge (or help you get an edge if you know how to exploit them).
It should come as no surprise that the house has the edge when it comes to the odds of winning. You can check out roulette game odds in the player vs. house odds infographic.
Roulette Wheel and Table Variations
What’s Your Game? Pick the right variation of roulette (Spoiler alert: it’s European roulette)
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: American roulette. With American roulette you play with a zero and double zero on the wheel/table. On a European roulette wheel, there is only zero, and no double zero. This means that the house edge for European roulette is significantly better for you the player at 2.70% compared to 5.26% in American roulette. Simply put, you’ll get ripped off playing the American version of the game. If you want to beat roulette, don’t do it. Ever. Always go with European roulette, Roulette Geeks recommends.
Now, let’s run through the details of roulette game variations:
American and European Roulette
As discussed above, we know there are two distinct and commonly played types of roulette in online, mobile and bricks and mortar casinos around the world. The first, European roulette is, as the name suggests, most commonly found this side of the pond. It only differs in one small but key characteristic from its sibling.European roulette wheels have only one pocket for zero whilst American wheels and game tables utilise a zero and a double zero. That rather tricky addition favours the casino significantly and as we’ve already discussed should act as a red flag to you, the astute player.
Infographic 1 below shows some of the key differences between the 2 games types and player vs. house odds.
In addition to the different roulette types and wheel configurations between American and European roulette (which, incidentally, have the same game grid layout with the exception of the extra zero) there is also a table variation known as French roulette.
French roulette is like European roulette in many ways: most importantly the the number of pockets in the roulette wheel are identical. There are two differences. Firstly, and unsurprisingly considering the name, the words on the table are all in French. Secondly, the French version of the game uses the ‘La Partage’ rule, by which you only lose half your even-odds stake if the spin is a zero.
In actual terms, the games are very similar and if you can overcome the language barrier and are proficient at European roulette you should be quite comfortable playing this variant of the game. You can see the differences between an American/ European roulette table and French table in the graphic below:
In real casinos, the roulette wheel is three feet across; online its size depends on the platform you’re playing on, your device, screen size and resolution.
There are 38 pockets on an American roulette wheel and 37 on a European roulette wheel. The difference is due to an American roulette having a zero ‘0’ and double zero ‘00’ while European roulette has just one zero. Half the pockets are red, the other half black, while the zero and double zero are green. The colours alternate between black and red around the wheel, only interrupted by the green zero and double zero.
On first glance the numbers appear random. However, numbers directly opposite each other are always consecutive, meaning odd red numbers are usually opposite consecutive black numbers.
On the European roulette wheel, the number sequence is 26, 3, 35, 12, 28, 7, 29, 18, 22, 9, 31, 14, 20, 1, 33, 16, 24, 5, 10, 23, 8, 30, 11, 36, 13, 27, 6, 34, 17, 25, 2, 21, 4, 19, 15, and 32.
On the American roulette wheel, the number sequence is 0, 2, 14, 35, 23, 4, 16, 33, 21, 6, 18, 31, 19, 8, 12, 29, 25, 10, 27, 00, 1, 13, 36, 24, 3, 15, 34, 22, 5, 17, 32, 20, 7, 11, 30, 26, 9, 28.
The Aim of the Game – What to do if you want to beat the house
- The objective for you, the player, in the game of roulette is to predict where the roulette ball will land in the slotted wheel.
- This prediction could be the exact number, the red or black colour segment, whether the number is high or low or if it’s even or odd.
- Most games involve a combination of these roulette types of bet.
The game of roulette works as follows:
Step 1: You (and other players) lay their chosen value of chips as bets on the table in a numbered, coloured or even/odd box.
Step 2: You can additionally select a line or intersection of lines to spread the bet wider (see the graphic below). In this instance, the total win will be reduced but the chances of winning increased (Read more about bet options, win rates and payouts in the Roulette Betting Types section below and also the Roulette Glossary at the bottom of this page).
Step 3: When all bets are placed the wheel is spun one way with the ball sent in the opposite direction. Online roulette games allow the player to click a spin button to initiate the game.
Step 4: You (and other players) can move your chips to change bets even after the ball has entered the wheel in every roulette game.
Step 5: When the ball moves from the outer rim towards the numbered wheel pockets the croupier (or in online roulette the table instructions) then calls “no more bets”. At this point, no bets can be changed nor new bets placed.
Step 6: Once the ball stops in a numbered pocket the croupier or RNG software will place a marker on the game grid indicating the winning number.
Step 7: The croupier or software collects all losing bet chips from the table and pays out all winning bets. In online roulette this happens automatically.
Too much to remember? Not a problem. We created a ‘cheat sheet’ as an aide memoir for the basic roulette bets, odds and table positions.
On European single zero roulette tables the house edge is 2.7%. On an American double zero roulette table it’s 5.26%. The house edge is gained through these zeroes – otherwise you would simply be able to coin flip ‘red or black’, ‘high or low’ and ‘odd or even’ to get even money. You can see the odds of winning different types of bets in American and European roulette in the table below.
To better understand the house edge in terms of roulette win percentage and probability it’s worth referring to this well researched website by Jacob Kanzen.
Stop the rot – Why people lose when playing online Roulette
- The house always wins (eventually). Both land based and online casinos wouldn’t exist if, over time, they weren’t assured a winning edge, so be mindful that over time the odds are stacked against you.
- Changing strategy mid-game. Disorganised or haphazard gameplay is unlikely to do anything other than burn your bankroll.
- Impatient bettors who chase their losses. As above, organization, patience and game awareness are essential if you are to hone best practice strategy in roulette.
- Lack courage. First of all, don’t misinterpret courage for bravery. Courage is holding back and betting small while your luck’s down as people round the table clean up. Bravery is going broke chasing the summit in the wrong conditions.
- Choosing wrong strategy: Make sure to select a roulette system that suits your bankroll, risk-willingness, game style, and win objectives. You can do this by looking at the key tactics to winning online roulette, reading our 12 roulette strategies, and/or trying out roulette strategy simulator .
There are two main types of bet in roulette: inside bets and outside bets.
Inside bets are any bets placed on the numbered segment of the game grid, including bets on lines and intersections. Outside bets are those placed in the boxes outside the numbered game grid, including red or black and odd or even boxes. You can see inside and outside bet segments in the table graphic below.
An inside bet is any bet placed in the numbered game grid on the roulette table, including:
- Straight up bet: 35 to 1 – bet is placed on a single number
- Split bet: 7 to 1 – betting splits 2 numbers
- Street bet: 11 to 1 – bet covers 3 numbers in a row
- Corner bet: 8 to 1 – bet covers 4 numbers
- Base bet: 6 to 1 – Bet covers 1, 2, 3 and one or both zeros
- Line bet: 5 to 1: bet covers 6 numbers in 2 rows
- Column bet: 12 to 1: bet covers 12 numbers
- Dozen bet: 2 to 1: bet covers 12 numbers
An outside bet is any bet placed in the outer boxes of the roulette table. These bets include:
- Low: betting on all numbers from 1 to 18 giving near to even money odds
- High: betting on all numbers from 19 to 36
- Red: betting on the ball landing in any red pocket.
- Black: betting on the ball landing in any black pocket.
- Odd: betting on the ball landing on any odd number (1, 3, 5, 7… etc.)
- Even: betting on the ball landing on any even number (2, 4, 6, 8… etc.)
- Dozen: betting on either 1 to 12, 13 to 24 or 25 to 36, thirteen through twenty four, or twenty five through thirty six .
- Column: betting on a whole vertical column and if the ball lands in any number in that column you’ll win
Here are some of the most frequently employed tactics and strategies to legally win when playing online roulette.
Identifying a Dealer Signature
A dealer signature is what happens in live roulette when you work out that the croupier is consistently ‘aiming’ the ball so it regularly ends up in a similar segment of the wheel. If this happens you are able to align your bets accordingly to cover that segment on the game grid. This enhanced knowledge will allow you to beat the house and come out in a positive winning position. Although this is impossible on an RNG or mobile casino an online player may try to calculate a signature whilst playing live dealer roulette (see the Live Dealer Roulette section for more information).
Understanding the Physics of Roulette
With reference more to live roulette than online (although again it might be feasible for you when playing Live Dealer Roulette ) ‘roulette physics’ was a term coined in the ‘70’s by American maths wizard Doyne Farmer.
More recently, a study in the journal Chaos by Michael Small and Michael Tse outlined statistical models that could help to calculate a roulette ball’s end pocket from the speed and trajectory of the spinning wheel using high-speed cameras. Whilst the speed of the ball and wheel spins are predictable, the bouncing of the ball as it nears the pockets is nearly impossible to ascertain in advance.
Using a manual method, however, the paper’s authors predicted which half of the wheel the ball would land on with some accuracy, and on some spins predicted the exact number. This improved the player’s odds to 18%, an increase from the 2.7% in the house’s favour.
The authors claimed that some gamblers tried to use their research in practice (which would be illegal under casino policy and most jurisdictional laws) and it’s recommended that you avoid this type of strategy in either land based or live dealer casino games. Even if it did work, you could end up losing a lot more than your chips…
How to use Chaos Theory to win at Roulette
Chaos Theory is one of the most intriguing and complex of all scientific theorem. In the context of a highly complex roulette wheel environment, all you need is an edge over the house to win. No matter how small, an edge played consistently over time will generate profit. The Chaos Theory’s usage in Live Dealer and live casino roulette shares many similarities with the Physics of Roulette system outlined above. A player looking to achieve an edge in the chaotic spinning of wheel and ball can consider the entry point of the ball, the speed the wheel is spinning at and any bias the table has shown towards certain pockets on previous spins.
Put this data together and you would theoretically be able to enhance your edge. For those of you who want to explore the physics and Chaos Theory behind ‘winning at roulette’ you can read the 1994 paper by Mark Anthony Howe here .
For anyone to whom this is a step beyond your scientific capabilities, we’ll also explore some of the more player friendly roulette tactics and strategies to win at roulette in the section titled Winning roulette strategies and systems .
There’s no such thing as ‘pure luck’ in roulette. The perceived chance of beating the house can be ratified through what is known as standard deviation (SD). The SD of roulette can be worked out through the ‘binomial distribution of successes’ (given that 1 unit = a win, and 0 units = a loss). The line of thought behind this theory is that over a large enough number of spins the outcome will follow the same normal distribution curve.
For binomial distribution, SD is equal to √npq, where:
- n = number of spins played (e.g. 100 or 10,000)
- p = probability of winning (48.65% per spin on French Roulette)
- q = probability of losing (51.35% per spin on French Roulette)
After enough spins ( n ), the theoretical distribution of the different outcomes will converge to the normal distribution. This gives you a good opportunity to forecast the possible win or loss.
Let’s take an example: after 1,000 spins, the ball lands on red 55% of the time, significantly away from the predicted 48.65% times. This means, according to the theory, that you should start betting on black as the normal distribution of roulette spins is predicted to be 48.65% red, 48.65% black and 2.70% green after a large amount of spins. In other words: if you see one type of outside bet dominating the others, you can expect the roulette wheel to be “in debt”, which will even out over a large enough number of spins.
- Popular Roulette Systems
- Efficient Roulette Systems
- Can roulette systems really make you rich?
What are Roulette Systems or Strategies?
There are many different types of roulette systems which can suit all types of players, from those who like a slow, but safe game where the stakes are low, to those who seek to make a huge profit in a short amount of time. Every strategy has different pros and cons, and here at RouletteVision, you will find a wide range of systems to suit your needs.
The majority of roulette systems are based on progressions which require players to adjust their bet sizing in accordance with previous results. Before we proceed to explain what each roulette system is all about, we would like to issue a forewarning to players – systems are a good way to manage your funds but altogether cannot yield you an advantage over the casino. Neither do they influence the results of each spin of the wheel.
However, what betting systems can do is help you manage your gambling budget properly, which is of crucial importance when playing any casino game, be it of skill or chance. Many of the betting systems we have outlined below have been in use for a long time by roulette players looking to conquer what is in fact an unbeatable game. Some systems are more risqué as their bet-size adjustments are steeper. Those rest on the principle that bet adjustments can eventually help players recoup previous losses and turn a profit. Others rely on covering entire sections of the layout by smartly apportioning one’s chips between the numbers.
The idea behind the d’Alembert roulette system is to recoup your losses by increasing your bet after each loss. It’s the same principle as the Martingale roulette system, but bets increase linearly making this system considerably safer.
The d’Alembert system falls into the category of negative progressions since those who use it increase their bets after a loss but the progression is less steep when compared to other similar systems. Bets do not increase as quickly here. The d’Alembert is an even-money system, meaning that roulette players can use it when betting on number properties like red/black, odd/even, and high/low. Its peculiarities and maths render it unsuitable to use on inside bets as well as on other types of outside bets like dozens and columns.
Double Street / Five Quad Roulette System
These roulette systems are two similar variations of each other, both are based around covering a large amount of the board with a relatively small bet. With the Double Street Quad system, a grand total of 17 numbers are covered.
Unlike the majority of progressive systems applicable to the game of roulette, the Double Street Quad system does not target even-money bets. Instead, it involves a combination of inside bets as follows – two base units are placed on two double streets, one unit is staked on a corner bet, and another one on a straight-up bet on any individual number you prefer.
The Five Quad system is similar to the Double Street in that it also requires a total of six chips (or base betting units) but it enables you to cover a larger portion of the wheel with 21 numbers without risking too much of your money. Five chips are staked on five corner bets of four numbers each whereas the sixth chip is placed on an individual number with a payout of 35 to 1. The chances of turning a profit with this approach are more significant since the corner bets pay at odds of 8 to 1. Thus, if you bet $1 on each of your preferred corners, you will collect $9 if one of them wins for a healthy net profit of $4.
One of the great things about this system is you can lose many more times than you win and still make a profit. This strategy can also be used with a relatively low bankroll, especially when you start at the beginning of the sequence, and for many I am sure this is a big bonus.
The system is based on the popular number sequence, created by 16th-century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci and runs like this – 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on to infinity. Each successive number in the sequence is equal to the sum of the two numbers that precede it. Roulette players must adjust their bets according to the Fibonacci sequence of numbers – they increase the size of the stakes following a loss and decrease it after a win.
The Hollandish Roulette System
I’m actually quite a fan of this system, as it has a lot of benefits to it. It’s simple, relatively low risk, and can still provide you with a fairly nice profit. The main issue is you can find yourself in a hole which can take a lot of time to get out of, the downfall to many systems.
Similarly to the Martingale, the Hollandish betting system relies on a negative progression which is to say players must up their bets after they register a loss and reduce them after they win. This approach is mostly recommended to those who bet on even-money propositions. The degree of risk involved is smaller.
The Hollandish system requires the player to divide their roulette session into smaller sessions, consisting of three spins each. The betting progression itself depends on the size of the player’s starting betting unit. Thus, if you use a base bet of $1, the progression will be 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and so on but if you have opted for a $2 base bet, you will have to adjust your bets according to the following progression – 2, 6, 10, 14, 18. When they score a win, the players start at the beginning of their sequence again.
Each “mini” session requires you to bet the same amount three times. When the mini session is over, you determine whether you are on profit by evaluating the outcomes of the three spins the session consists of – in case two or three of the spins were winning ones, the “mini” session is graded as successful and you return to the beginning of your betting sequence. If not, you skip to the next number in the sequence and bet the corresponding amount three times in a row for the next mini session.
The Kavouras Bet Roulette System
Devised by a passionate roulette player, the Kavouras Bet system involves a betting pattern that may appear a bit more complicated at first glance. Once you get the hang of it, you will see the Kavouras betting pattern is actually quite simple largely due to the fact it does not require any adjustments in the size of the stakes you make. Instead, the same amount is wagered again and again.
The Kavouras pattern enables you to cover 20 numbers on the layout. One base unit is placed as a corner bet on numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3; two base units are staked on the double street with numbers 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36, and finally, one unit is placed on each of these five splits: 8-11, 13-14, 15-18, 17-20, and 27-30. You never adjust your bet sizing on the basis of previous results, but repeatedly follow the above-mentioned pattern by betting a total of eight units.
Since more than half of the layout is covered with this pattern, players will win more often than they would lose on average. As is the case with all roulette strategies, the biggest fault of the Kavouras Bet is that it does nothing to reduce the advantage the house holds over players.
One of the biggest peculiarities of the Kesselgucken system is that it does not involve maths, or previous outcomes. Instead, it relies on the player predicting the outcome of the spin by observing the ball while it is released. This is precisely what “Kesselgucken” means in German – “to observe the wheel”. You make an educated guess as to where the ball will land and place your bet before refusal.
This approach requires a good deal of practice and is significantly more complicated to master when compared to the standard betting systems for roulette. There are several important factors that need to be considered in advance when the Kesselgucken method is applied – the speed of the ball, the speed of the wheel, and the starting position where the ball is tossed. The goal of the player is to place their chips on the layout as late as possible. The later the bet is made, the easier it would be for the player to evaluate which pocket the ball is most likely to settle in.
The Kesselgucken approach is especially suitable for French bets like Voisins du Zero, Orphelins, and Tiers du Cylindre which cover entire series of numbers, located in adjacent positions on the wheel. The method is applicable at both landbased venues and online live dealer casinos. On the downside, some landbased establishments have started taking countermeasures against “Kesselguckers”. Such players may be hindered if the roulette wheel rotates at a faster speed, for example.
The Shotwell roulette system emerged in the late 1970s but continues to be used to this day. Unlike progressive systems, the Shotwell rests on the idea that players have greater chances of success if they distribute their chips so that they cover numbers that are evenly located on the spinning wheel. This way, the spinning ball always “flirts” with one of the numbers the player has bet on since the said numbers are rarely separated by more than three pockets.
This is achieved by placing a double-street bet to cover six numbers and making straight-up bets on several individual numbers. This approach is recommended for American Roulette predominantly. To provide an example, you can make a double-street bet of one unit on numbers 1 through 6 and four straight bets (of one unit each) on numbers 20, 26, 8, and 10 on a double-zero wheel. The spread would be different on wheels with only one zero pocket due to the different arrangement of the numbers. It turns out you cover every fourth number on the American wheel which corresponds to a 25% chance of collecting a payout.
The Labouchere Roulette System
Firstly, let me just say that this system is remarkably clever, but also relatively simple to use. The system comes under many different names, some call it Split Martingale, others refer to it as the Cancellation System, but the principle behind it is always the same.
Labouchere is one of the more complex betting systems based on negative progressions so it may take up a little time before you get used to it. It does involve a bit of maths, and to start with, you will probably need a pen and paper to keep track of the numbers, but don’t worry because the maths is pretty straightforward.
You need to write down a sequence of numbers, according to which you should adjust your bet size. You can write down any sequence you prefer but be sure to choose wisely as each of the numbers corresponds to the number of base units you are expected to bet.
Each bet is equal in size to the sum of the first and the last numbers in your sequence. When a win occurs, the Labouchere demands you to check off the first and the last numbers and proceed by betting the sum total of the next numbers. Should they lose, the players add yet another number to their sequence and proceed in the same manner until they score a win.
The Labouchere is similar to the Martingale in that it calls for bet increases after losses. The bets are reduced following a win. Unlike the Martingale, however, the Labouchere aims at helping roulette players recoup their losses through multiple wins instead of a single win only. The progression does tend to get a bit steep which is why Labouchere is deemed suitable for roulette players with more sizeable bankrolls.
The Martingale Roulette System
This is easily the most notorious betting progression of all times and most roulette players have resorted to it at one point or another. Everyone knows this system, it’s very popular indeed. In part, this is because of people raving about it’s unique ability to overcome great losses in one fell swoop, and also because there are a great number of people who will tell you to avoid this system at all costs.
The foundation of the Martingale lies in a negative betting progression where the roulette player is expected to double their stake after a loss and reduce it with one unit after every winning round. This is practically all there is to it, the idea being the Martingale will enable you to recover all losses you have suffered in a bad streak to eventually end up with one base unit in net profits.
Like most other systems, the Martingale is recommended for even-money propositions like red/black, odd/even, and high/low. In fact, it is applicable to all casino games where even-money bets are involved, including blackjack and craps. Many roulette experts advise against using the Martingale system as it does not take into consideration the peculiarities of the game that might hinder players from utilising the system effectively, such as table limits and the possibility of depleting your bankroll during a longer losing streak.
The Grand Martingale Roulette System
This is a riskier version of the popular Martingale system but overall it rests on the same principle and is again applicable to even-money bets. The aim of the Grand Martingale is to help players generate more substantial profits after a bad streak but this comes at the price of steeper increase of the bets after losses. This is so because players bet double the amount after a loss plus one base betting unit.
The Grand Martingale can be effective in helping players generate profits over the short terms but like all other betting progressions, it cannot help you prevail over the house edge over the long-term. Because the stakes grow at a rapid pace when consecutive losses occur, the Grand Martingale is recommended only to those who have the bankrolls to afford such steep bet increase.
Unlike other strategies, there is no progression, negative or positive; the value of every bet remains the same regardless of whether you are winning or losing. Because of this, inside bets are typically placed instead of outside bets, something different from most systems.
This flat betting approach renders the Masse Egale fitting for less experienced roulette players as there is no need to memorize any complex betting progressions and patterns. The Masse Egale is applicable to all types of inside bets, including streets, splits, and straights on individual numbers. Simply put, the player selects one individual number and continues to flat bet on it until they register a win. One of the biggest problems with this approach is that the losing streaks tend to get quite long when straight bets are placed. Then again, if your lucky number does hit, the payout of 35 to 1 will be sufficient to counterbalance the losses you have incurred on losing coups.
This system differs from other roulette strategies in that it does not require bet adjustments on the basis of previous results but exploits the fact there are more red grids than black ones in the third column on the table’s layout. If you take a quick look, you will see that only four of the numbers are black (6, 15, 24, 33) as opposed to eight red numbers (3, 9, 12, 18, 21, 27, 30, 36).
Therefore, the red betting system requires players to make two bets only. You need to make only two bets on each spin of the wheel – one base unit of $5 is staked on the entire third column and two units or $10 are bet on black. This way, you cover 26 numbers out of 37 which corresponds to 70% of the entire single-zero wheel.
There are five possible outcomes when this approach is implemented. If the ball falls on a black pocket that is also within the third column, you collect even money for your outside bet and a payout of 2 to 1 for your column bet for a total of $20. Provided that you hit a black number outside the third column, your even-money bet on black wins and earns you $5 in net profit.
Another possible outcome is for the ball to land on a red number outside the third column, in which case you lose $15 with both bets. The same happens if the green zero hits. Finally, if you hit a red number that is the third column, you lose with your outside bet on black but collect a 2-to-1 payout for a profit of $10 with your column bet. Thus, you break even on this spin.
If you’re losing then decrease your bets to minimize the impact of a losing streak. Likewise, if you’re on a winning streak then by increasing your bets after a win you’re going to make some money fast. The beauty of this system is that, unlike so many others, it thrives on streaks.
The Oscar’s Grind system first appeared in a book by Allan Wilson, called The Casino Gambler’s Guide. This strategy works well for even-money propositions. This is how it goes – you bet one unit of $1 on red, are unfortunate, and lose. You continue flat betting one base unit after each subsequent loss and up you bet with one unit after each win you register. The system is built around the idea both losses and wins tend to occur in streaks. The player mimics this trend by keeping the bets smaller when on a losing streak and increasing them gradually at the start of an apparent hot streak.
One of the greatest advantages of adopting this approach is the gradual increase of the bet sizing which reduces the probability of the player reaching the table’s maximum limit. The aim is to extract maximum value from winning streaks through bet increase and reduce the negative impact bad streaks would have on your bankroll.
The Paroli is a roulette system based on a positive betting progression and is to be used primarily for outside bets that pay even money. In its essence, the Paroli mirrors the Martingale in that bets are doubled up after a win and reduced after a loss. The key difference here is that the maximum stake does not increase indefinitely but is limited to a fixed amount.
You start off with one unit and double up each time you win. If you lose, you go back to your base unit. This renders losing streaks harmless, it doesn’t really matter if you lose 7 or 8 times in a row, as it’s only one unit lost each spin. You continue doubling your stakes after a win until you register three successful coups in a row, at which point the Paroli demands you to drop back to your base betting unit.
While the Paroli does not guarantee players would generate a profit in the end of a betting session, many find it appealing due to its relative simplicity. It eliminates the risks of incurring massive losses during bad runs and may help you generate small, yet consistent wins over the short term.
The system doesn’t take long to grasp, and can make you a decent profit with a win to loss ratio greater than just 1:3. They say it was devised by the legendary gambler Thomas Garcia, who used it to break the bank no less than 5 times, and accumulate a small fortune.
Garcia was a travelling salesman by trade but engaged in gambling as a means to boost his income. He tried a variety of systems to prevail over the house in the game of roulette before he finally made the Tier et Tout his betting strategy of choice. Garcia even managed to generate the staggering amount of 240,000 francs using the system during his first ever visit of the Homburg Casino in the 1860s.
The aim of the Tier et Tout is to enable players to accrue profits by using the house’s money. The player splits their session’s bankroll into two parts. They bet 1/3 of the bankroll on the first spin and if it happens to lose, they stake the remainder of 2/3 on the next spin. Should the first spin be a winning one, the player adds the profits to their overall bank and splits it into 1/3 and 2/3 segments again. Obviously, the idea here is to succeed in scoring a win in at least two spins. If you reach a point where your bankroll is not divisible by the number 3, you round the sum down and pocket the remainder.
Can roulette systems really make me rich?
Many will tell you that a certain system is guaranteed to make you big money. In fact, by looking at how some systems work, you may be deceived into thinking that they are right. After all, some systems can make you a profit even after more losses than wins. But unfortunately no system can beat the odds, and those odds are against you. The fact remains that the longer time you spend at the roulette table, the closer the ratio of money-lost to money-bet will get to the overall expectations for this particular game. In other words, you cannot beat the house over the long run, at least not by incorporating betting systems into your gameplay.
One of the greatest shortcomings of roulette systems is that the stakes are adjusted depending on what had previously happened. Many system players believe that an outcome that has not occurred for a prolonged time becomes overdue. In their minds, one such result is more likely to occur in the near future. This is known as the “Gambler’s Fallacy” or the “Monte Carlo Fallacy” – a false line of thinking that gained huge notoriety in 1913, when the ball landed on black 26 times in a row in the Monte Carlo Casino. Gamblers present in the venue lost millions of francs that night by betting on red, falsely believing it is overdue because the long streak of black numbers was bound to be followed by a streak of red.
This reasoning is ludicrous since roulette is a game of independent events and each spin of the wheel should be viewed separately from the rest. It neither affects the outcomes to follow nor is it influenced by the outcomes that came before it. It is from this perspective that bet adjustment on the basis of previous results falls short. Not to mention, some of the steepest progressive systems overlook a number of factors that might prevent the player from recouping their losses. Should a longer bad run occur (and the example from 1913 only goes to show this is indeed possible), the player risks either depleting their entire bankroll or hitting the table maximum before the losses are recouped.
Despite all of their shortcomings, roulette systems do have some weight and can prove to be useful where money management is concerned. Don’t give up yet, because there are many benefits to using roulette systems…
Every player has a different style of playing, or a different end goal. Each requires a certain method of playing roulette. For example, you might be someone who is looking to make a huge profit, and has quite a high bankroll to play with. Yes, you could just bet all our money on black (or even an inside bet!), but instead you might want to try the Labouchere system, so you can still make a large profit, but manage your money more efficiently. Or perhaps you have a smaller bankroll, so you might prefer the Oscar’s Grind system, which is considerably safer. That’s why I think every player should try a roulette strategy, because you might really enjoy it and find that it suits the way you want to play.
While using any of the above-listed systems does nothing to increase your odds of winning or reduce the house edge, these strategies will indeed enable you to manage your bankroll well. This is the first step towards becoming a successful roulette player. And remember, consistent winning is impossible without discipline and proper bankroll management regardless of the type of casino game you are playing.
Any discussion of roulette strategy must begin with some observations about the mathematics behind the game. And the math behind roulette is straightforward. I’ll explain why later on this page, but the least you need to know is that roulette can’t be beaten in the long run with any kind of strategy.
All of the bets on an American roulette game offer the same house edge (5.26%) except for one, and that bet (the five-number bet), is even worse. It offers a house edge of 7.29%.
The house edge is a percentage that predicts how much of each bet the casino expects to win over the long run. The formula is based on calculating the expected value of each bet.
To calculate the expectation, you look at the probability of winning versus the probability of winning, multiplied by the amounts won or lost.
For example, on a standard even or odd bet, you have a 18/38 chance of winning and a 20/38 chance of losing. If you’re betting a dollar, you’ll win $1 less than half the time and lose a dollar more than half the time. You have a 47.37% chance of winning a dollar, which equates to + $0.47, and a 52.63% chance of losing a dollar, which equates to -$0.53. When you add those together, you get an expected value of -$0.05, or 5.26%.
In Atlantic City and some other areas, a rule for “surrendering” is in place. This rule reduces the house edge, but it doesn’t eliminate it. It also only applies to the outside bets that pay even money. These bets include:
With the surrender rule in place, you only lose half your bet if the ball lands on 0 or 00. This reduces the house edge to 2.63%.
The European roulette table has a major difference from the American roulette table. The European version of the wheel only has a single zero, instead of 0 and 00. That’s why European roulette is also often called “single zero roulette”. This variation almost cuts the house edge in half again, to 2.7%.
Mathematically speaking, you’re still almost guaranteed to lose money, but you’ll lose it more slowly.
In Europe, they not only offer a single zero roulette wheel, but they also offer a rules variation called “en prison”, which is similar to the “surrender” rule in Atlantic City. If you make an even-money bet and the ball lands on 0, your money is “imprisoned” instead of being lost.
On the next spin, if your original bet is good, then you get your original wager back. On the other hand, if your original bet loses, you lose your original wager.
This further cuts the house edge in half, to 1.35%, which makes single zero roulette with the en prison roulette a bet on par (almost) with blackjack and video poker.
Multiple con-men and voodoo priests are eager to sell you roulette betting systems. These are all equally worthless, so you should never pay money for a “winning roulette system”. After all, since it won’t work, you might as well use one of the many free systems that are available.
These betting systems all involve variations of raising and/or lowering your wagers based on what happened on your previous bet. For example, when you’re using the Martingale System (one of the most popular roulette systems), you will double your bet after every loss until you get ahead.
Here’s how the Martingale works in actual play. You bet $5 on black. You lose. You bet $10 on black again, and you lose again. So now you bet $20 on black. This time you win. You gain back the $15 you lost on the two previous bets, and you’re $5 ahead for the session.
At first glance, this seems like a “can’t-lose” system, but that’s not how it works in reality. Two things prevent the Martingale from being a winning system:
If you keep doubling your bets, you’ll hit the table limits faster than you might think. Look at the progression below:
Most roulette tables accepting a $5 bet have a maximum bet of $500. Once you’ve lost seven times in a row, you’re unable to continue your progression because of the betting limits.
Even if you could continue, this still wouldn’t be a workable system, because eventually you’d go on a losing streak that requires bets beyond what your bankroll could cover. In the progression above, you will have lost $1275, so your next bet will have to be $1280. Even if you win at that point, you’re only ahead by $5.
And your chances of winning on that ninth spin are still only 47.37%. Each spin of the roulette wheel has the same odds of winning or losing as every other. The table has no memory of what happened on previous bets.
You’ll occasionally see people talk about exploiting biased wheels. The idea is that a roulette wheel is an object, and it’s not perfectly made, so some numbers will come up more often than others.
If you can “clock” the wheel and figure out which numbers come up more often, you supposedly can get an edge over the casino. There are a couple of problems with this “strategy”.
The first is that if you’re going to have any kind of statistical accuracy, you’ll have to record the results of at least 2000 spins. Most roulette tables only make 40 spins an hour, so you’d have to track results for at least 50 hours. Even after doing all that work, you might discover that the wheel isn’t actually biased, so you have to start all over again.
Even if the wheel does display a bias, it might not be significant enough to account for the house edge. Systems sellers will tell you that you can get meaningful information from 100 spins or fewer, but that’s mathematical nonsense.
Some people think that the dealer will consistently release the ball into the wheel at the same speed every time, out of habit. They then think they can predict where the ball will land, at least within a few numbers.
But this isn’t practical. Not only do you have to estimate how fast the dealer spins the ball, you also have to estimate how fast the dealer spins the wheel. Accounting for the bouncing of the ball caused by the dividers, you’re going to be facing a lot of randomness. Thinking that this is a winning roulette strategy is flat-out wishful thinking.
The best strategy for roulette is to expect to lose. Enjoy the relaxing and social nature of the game, and be sure to get a free drink from the cocktail waitress. Have fun betting on numbers that are significant to you, like your date-of-birth, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that those “lucky numbers” will help you win in the long run, because they won’t. But you’ll have fun.
Roulette Strategies: What It Takes to Win the Game
The Internet is swarming with websites that claim to have the best roulette strategies that will ensure a win-win situation. Unfortunately, we all know that there is no sure-fire way of getting over the house edge when it comes to playing theroulette game, regardless of whether we’re on a European roulette or the American version of it. Although the following roulette strategies do not give you a 100% assurance of winning every game, they will somehow improve your odds and make them work to your advantage.
- Learn the basics of the game. You cannot teach a child to run unless you teach him how to walk first. The same thing is true with roulette (and any game for that matter). You wouldn’t know how to win or have the edge against your opponents if you don’t even know how to play the game.
- Understand that roulette is a game of chance and odds. Common sense will tell you that in roulette, there’s no sense in taking note of the previous results as they definitely have nothing to do with the future outcomes. Roulette balls have no memories so you are sure that every single spin is an independent event.
- Don’t rely too much on your luck and don’t believe in myths. As a game of chance, roulette will not always work out to your advantage. If you find this hard to accept, then you might as well not play the game.
- One of the most significant roulette strategies is to choose to play European roulette rather than the American version of the game. The house edge in a European roulette game is at 2.7%, while it’s at 5.36% for the American roulette. This has something to do with the double zero that is part of the American roulette wheel.
- Work on your best bets. Roulette strategies will tell you that you should opt to work on your best bets. This means putting a wager on two-chance options only like betting on Red or Black alone or on Odd or Even. This way, you have a 50% chance of winning on your every bet.
- Stay away from worst bets. Roulette strategies recommend that you avoid betting on single numbers and five-number bets. The house edge on these bets is placed at 7.89%.
- Look for tables that follow the En Prison rule. This roulette strategy puts the house edge at 1.35%. This, however, is played only in the American roulette where there’s a double zero. En Prison stipulates that when a zero comes out, you are given a second chance on your even chance bet. This bet is placed in prison until the next spin of the wheel. But if on the spin, the zero doubles, then you lose; if not, you will be paid accordingly.
- One of those roulette strategies that is often taken for granted is practicing correct money management. Often casino players commit the mistake of trying to chase their losses and not sticking to the budget they have set aside for the game. It’s always important to know when to quit.
- Know your objectives. It might not be a good idea if you want to play roulette for profit. Even those who are adept with roulette strategies know that playing video poker or blackjack will give you better gains.
- Enjoy the game. This is also one of those most taken-for-granted roulette strategies. When you miss to see the fun part of roulette, then you won’t find any satisfaction at the end of your casino day.
Also checkout the roulette tips and Money management for playing roulette.