Roulette Betting Tips Strategy and Systems
Roulette betting strategy has been a hot topic for more than 250 years, dating back to the invention of the modern roulette wheel. Over the years many gamblers have attempted to shift roulette odds to their favor and improve their chances of winning through the use of roulette systems and betting strategies. The honest truth however is roulette is a negative house edge game and no matter what system you follow the house edge is not changed. What can be changed is variance. We’ll get to this topic later in this article, but first we’ll cover some of the more popular roulette betting strategies.
Traditional Betting Strategy
Traditional roulette betting strategy is to look for patterns and then bet on or against them. For example if odd has come up a few times in a row a bettor might then chose to fade odds on the next spin by betting even, or choose to back odds if they believe the streak might continue. This is most basic form of roulette betting strategy and when proper bankroll management is used it is one of the most enjoyable systems to follow as it gives a gambler more engagement than randomly picking numbers all while not putting too much of their bankroll at risk.
Martingale Betting Strategy
This is one of the most dangerous roulette betting strategies. In fact our number one roulette betting tip is to avoid the martingale or other progressive systems. The idea behind martingale is to chase losses in order to capture a profit each time your bet does win. For example a bettor might follow a progression of $5 lose, bet $10 lose, bet $20 lose, bet $40 win. Basically they’ve double their bet after each loss so that when the win finally did come along they captured all their previous losses plus a small profit. The problem with this system is that eventually the odds catch up and bankroll size or table limits prevent the bettor from continuing. A chart on our Martingale roulette page emphasizes that point.
Labouchere Betting Strategy
This system has been around since the late 1950s or early 1960s. How it works is a player decides how much they want to win at roulette and then writes down a series of positive numbers that totals that amount. For example if a player wants to win $100 they might write down: $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $7, $8, $10, $15, $20, $25. This player now makes bets which are the sum of the largest and smallest largest number on the list (Example: $1+$25 = $26). When the bet wins they cross those two numbers out. When the bet loses the amount lost is then added to the end of the list. The theory behind this system is that because each win crosses out two numbers and each loss adds only one number you only need to win 1/3 of the time over a session for the system to work. This system does work well in the short run especially when applied to European Roulette with a bonus involved (such as Bodog.com offers). The problem is much like Martingale: the odds eventually catch up and when you do end up losing it will be for a massive amount compared to the relatively small wins you captured each time the system was a success.
This system is similar to the Martingale except it uses a slower bet progression. How it works is you start with a flat bet called a unit, generally the table minimum say $5.00. Each time your bet loses you add another unit to your next bet. When you win a bet you take one unit away. For example bet $5 lose, bet $10 lose, bet $15 lose, bet $20 win, now bet $15. If this $15 bet is a loss you’ll bet $20 next time, if it is a win you’ll bet $10. There is another version of this system called the reverse D’Alembert system which chases wins. Of all roulette betting strategies the D’Alembert Systems might be the safest so long as you know when to quit and don’t get in over your head with large bets.
Number One Roulette Betting Tip
Now that we’ve covered a few betting strategies we’ll share with you our number one roulette betting tip: “never bet more than you can afford to lose”. As we mentioned in our intro there is no betting strategy capable of overcoming house edge. In fact, one the smartest men to have ever walked this earth (Albert Einstein) once said “no one can possibly win at roulette unless he steals money from the table while the croupier isn’t looking”.
Roulette House Advantage
The method for calculating house advantage in roulette is rather simple because roulette always pays out what the true payout would have been if only 36 numbers were on the wheel. In order to calculate house edge we simply need to divide the number of outcomes over 36 by the total number of outcomes available on that wheel. Therefore in European roulette the house edge is 1 divided by 37 for 2.70% and in American roulette it is 2 divided by 38 for 5.26%. For the purpose of roulette betting strategy we’ll state: no matter what betting system or strategy you use, over the long haul you’ll lose 2.7% of the total sum of all money wagered on a European roulette wheel, and 5.26% of the total sum of all money wagered on an American roulette wheel. A betting strategy cannot change this; however betting strategies can change variance.
Roulette Betting Strategies Alter Variance
The opportunity to win in roulette comes from variance. While statisticians, math gurus, and casino strategists would have my head for making such an oxymoron statement as none of the group above believes all that much in luck, the best way I can describe variance in layman term is to say: variance is a mathematically quantifiable measurement of luck. To explain this further if you were to start tracking a European roulette wheel marking the results of each spin, prior to all 37 numbers being spun it is mathematically favored that one number will have been spun seven times prior to all 37 having been spun at least once.
There is even a roulette betting strategy that completely eliminates variance. To do this simply place an equal sized bet on all 37 numbers, spin and take a 2.7% loss each and every spin. This is simply food for thought and the two examples given, this one and the one in the previous paragraph are simplified examples to show betting strategy does change variance.
The way to win in roulette is to bet hoping to take advantage of variance, which is something that often occurs at random. What we do encourage you to realize is: no matter what betting strategy you attempt there is no way to overcome house edge. Over the long haul odds are you will lose 2.7% of all money wagered on standard European roulette, no matter what numbers you bet, what progressive or cancellation system you used, or no matter what other factors might apply.
With all this said, have fun with roulette. If you do want to test a system do so at 5Dimes.com as they offer an American roulette game with a $1 min and a $1,000 max that has increased payouts resulting in a 1.00% house edge as opposed to the 5.26% house edge American roulette traditionally offers. For more on that read our 5Dimes Bonus Casino review, or to find other low house edge games refer to our online roulette guide.