Before we explore roulette strategy, let’s get to grips with the basics of this popular game’s setup.
Basic Roulette Rules
The roulette wheel is divided into numbered pockets, ranging from 0 to 36, and in the American version, there’s an additional 00 pocket. Players can place bets on individual numbers, combinations of numbers, or other betting options like colours (red or black), odd or even numbers, and high (19-36) or low (1-18) numbers.
Once bets are placed, the croupier spins the wheel in one direction and releases the ball in the opposite direction. As the wheel slows down, the ball eventually falls into one of the numbered pockets, determining the winning number and colour.
Types of Roulette Bets
There are several types of bets you can place on a roulette game. These are:
- Single numbers
- Combinations of numbers
- Odd or even numbers
- Red or black colours
- High (19-36) or low (1-18) numbers
- Dozens: groupings of 12 consecutive numbers
- Columns: any of the three vertical rows of 12 numbers
Once bets are placed, the croupier spins the wheel in one direction and releases the ball in the opposite. Players watch as the ball bounces around and eventually settles into a pocket. This pocket determines the winning number and colour. Winnings are determined by the type of bet. For example, a common payout structure pays out the following:
- Betting on a single number pays 35:1
- Red or black, odd or even, high or low bets pay 1:1
- Column or dozen bets pay 2:1
Each table will have minimum and maximum bet limits. Players need to make sure that their bets are within these parameters. After each spin, the croupier will clear away losing bets and distribute winnings to the successful players. Players can then choose to leave their winnings on the table for the next spin or collect them. For online players, the same rules apply, but naturally, all of this is done digitally.
American vs European Roulette
The allure of roulette draws players in from Las Vegas to Monaco, but depending on where you’re spinning the wheel, there are crucial differences to consider. The primary differences in roulette variations are between American and European versions. Let’s take a closer look.
The Wheel Layout
- · American Roulette: Features 38 pockets, numbered from 1 to 36, with an additional 0 and 00. This addition of the double zero (00) pocket is the most significant difference.
- · European Roulette: Has 37 pockets, with numbers from 1 to 36 and just a single 0. This simplicity affects the house edge, which we’ll discuss next.
- · American Roulette: Because of the extra 00 pocket, the house edge almost doubles. The casino’s advantage stands at 5.26% for most bets.
- · European Roulette: Offers a lower house edge at 2.7%, making it a more player-friendly option.
- · American Roulette: The extra 00 pocket means there’s an additional betting option, but it also slightly decreases the odds for other bets.
- · European Roulette: Features the “en prison” and “la partage” rules in some casinos. If the ball lands on 0, players who placed even money bets (like red/black) can either take back half their bet (la partage) or leave their bet for the next spin (en prison). These rules further reduce the house edge on even money bets.
Most online casinos host both variants in both their live casino and table game offerings. The key point to remember between these two roulette variants is that the European variant offers a lower house edge, which is why seasoned players often play on this version.
Best Online Roulette Strategy
Next, let’s look at different types of roulette strategies.
One of the most well-known strategies in roulette is the Martingale system. It’s a straightforward concept based on the principles of probability and doubling bets.
Martingale Strategy Theory
The Martingale is a negative progression betting strategy, which means players double their bets following each loss. The core belief behind this approach is that a win will recover all previous losses and gain a profit equal to the initial stake. The strategy is primarily applied to even-money bets like red/black, odd/even, or high/low.
Martingale Strategy Implementation
- Starting Bet: Begin with a small wager on an even-money bet, e.g., £5 on black.
- After a Loss: If you lose, double your bet on the next spin, making it £10 on black.
- After a Win: When you win, revert to your initial bet size (£5 in this example) and start over.
- Continuation: Continue this pattern, doubling your bet after each loss and returning to your starting bet size after a win.
Martingale Strategy Pros and Cons
|The Martingale is easy to understand and implement.
|The Martingale doesn’t change the house edge or the game’s odds. It simply relies on the principle that a win is bound to happen eventually – which isn’t guaranteed.
|The system can work well for players who experience a win in their initial few bets.
|Casinos often have table limits. If you hit a long losing streak, you might reach the maximum bet limit before you can recover your losses.
Martingale Strategy Variations
There are several variations of the Martingale strategy, including:
- Mini Martingale: This variation limits the number of times you double up to curb big losses. It’s a more conservative approach.
- Grand Martingale: An aggressive version where, after each loss, you double your bet and add an additional initial bet. This can lead to faster profits but also steeper losses.
- Anti-Martingale: Instead of raising your bet after a loss, you double it after a win, aiming to capitalise on winning streaks while limiting losses during losing streaks.
Drawing inspiration from a centuries-old sequence discovered by the Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci, this strategy adds a mathematical and intriguing layer to the roulette game.
Fibonacci Strategy Theory
The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, typically starting with 0 and 1. So, the sequence begins: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on. In the context of roulette, the Fibonacci strategy involves adjusting your bets based on this sequence, moving up the sequence with each loss and moving down with each win.
Fibonacci Strategy Implementation
- Starting Bet: Begin by betting the first number in the sequence, usually 1 unit.
- After a Loss: If you lose, move one step up the Fibonacci sequence for your next bet. For instance, if you’ve just bet 5 units and lost, your next bet should be 8 units.
- After a Win: When you win, move back two numbers in the sequence for your next bet. So, if you win after betting 13 units, your next bet should be 5 units.
- Resetting: If you reach a profit or get to the beginning of the sequence, start over with the first number.
Fibonacci Strategy Pros and Cons
|Compared to strategies like the Martingale, the Fibonacci system increases bets at a slower rate, leading to slower losses.
|Despite being less aggressive than Martingale, a prolonged losing streak can still lead to sizable bets.
|If you achieve more wins in the short term, it can be profitable.
|Like most betting systems, the Fibonacci strategy doesn’t change the inherent house edge or odds of the game.
Fibonacci Strategy Variations
There is one notable Fibonacci strategy variation – the Reverse Fibonacci. As the name suggests, this variation works oppositely. Instead of progressing through the sequence on a loss, you do so on a win. Similarly, you move back two steps in the sequence on a loss. This approach aims to capitalise on winning streaks and limit losses during bad runs.
Named after the French mathematician Jean le Rond d’Alembert, the D’Alembert strategy is a popular choice among roulette enthusiasts. It is based on the principle of equilibrium, suggesting that over time, the number of wins and losses will balance out.
D’Alembert Strategy Theory
The D’Alembert system operates on a simple premise: after a win, the likelihood of another win decreases, and after a loss, the likelihood of a win increases. While this idea might not be strictly true in the world of probability, it forms the backbone of this strategy.
D’Alembert Strategy Implementation
- Starting Bet: Begin with a chosen base stake on an even-money bet (red/black, odd/even, high/low).
- After a Loss: If your bet loses, increase your next bet by one unit.
- After a Win: If your bet wins, decrease your next bet by one unit.
- Reaching Base Stake: If you’ve increased your bet and reach a win, you can choose to revert to the original base stake or continue decreasing by one unit.
D’Alembert Strategy Pros and Cons
|The D’Alembert strategy is less aggressive than systems like Martingale since you increase or decrease your bets by only one unit at a time.
|Like other strategies, the D’Alembert doesn’t change the inherent house edge or the game’s odds.
|This method provides a balanced approach, making it easier to manage your bankroll.
|This method is more about gradual gains and limiting losses, so don’t expect massive wins in a short period.
D’Alembert Strategy Variations
Some variations of the D’Alembert strategy include:
- Reverse D’Alembert: This is the opposite of the traditional D’Alembert. Instead of increasing your bet after a loss, you increase it after a win, and vice-versa. The belief here is to capitalise on “hot streaks” or winning sequences.
- D’Alembert Progressive: This involves adding a progressive element by increasing the number of units you add or subtract after each win or loss. For example, instead of adjusting by one unit, you might adjust by two or more.
James Bond Strategy
Popularised by the iconic British spy, the James Bond Strategy is as suave as its namesake. Designed specifically for the European roulette wheel, this system is non-progressive – meaning the bet amount remains consistent.
James Bond Strategy Theory
The James Bond Strategy covers more than half of the board, increasing the chances of a win on each spin. The idea is to allocate the bets in such a way that no matter where the ball lands, the loss is minimal, or a profit is made.
James Bond Strategy Implementation
Assuming a total bet of £200 for easy calculation:
- High Numbers: Place £140 on the high numbers (19-36).
- First Dozen: Bet £50 on the first dozen numbers (1-12).
- Zero: Place the remaining £10 on zero as an insurance bet.
This structure covers 25 of the 37 possible outcomes on the European roulette wheel. The payout for each section is:
- If the ball lands on numbers 19-36, you win £80.
- If the ball lands on numbers 1-12, you win £100.
- If the ball lands on zero, you win £160.
However, if the ball lands on numbers 13-18, you lose your entire £200 bet.
James Bond Strategy Pros and Cons
|The strategy is easy to understand and implement.
|Numbers 13-18 are the strategy’s Achilles heel, leading to a total loss.
|With more than half the board covered, there’s a higher probability of a win on each spin.
|To properly use this strategy and endure potential losses, a sizeable bankroll is needed.
|The James Bond strategy offers structured betting – providing a sense of control in a game of chance.
|Like all strategies, James Bond doesn’t change the house edge or the game’s intrinsic odds.
James Bond Strategy Variations
Here are some James Bond strategy variations to consider:
- Modified Bet Amounts: Players can adjust the strategy to their bankroll. The key is to maintain the ratio, so if you’re betting £100 total, you might place £70 on high numbers, £25 on the first dozen, and £5 on zero.
- American Wheel Adaptation: While designed for European roulette, adventurous players might adapt the strategy for American roulette, though this increases the house edge due to the double zero.
What are the Statistics Behind Roulette Strategies that Work?
Roulette, like all casino games, is designed to favour the house. However, understanding the underlying statistics can shed light on the game’s nature and why certain strategies may or may not work. Every game in a casino has a built-in advantage for the house, known as the “house edge.” In roulette:
- European Roulette: With one zero, the house edge is approximately 2.7%. This means that for every £100 wagered, the casino expects to win about £2.70 over the long run.
- American Roulette: With both a zero and a double zero, the house edge nearly doubles to around 5.26%.
The expected value (EV) is a statistical measure used to calculate the average expected outcome of a bet. In the context of roulette, the EV is typically negative because of the house edge, which means a loss over the long term for players. To understand how different strategies perform in real-world scenarios, simulations, and models are essential tools:
- Computer Simulations: Using software, players can simulate thousands or even millions of spins to see how a particular strategy fares. While past results don’t influence future outcomes in roulette, these simulations can provide insights into long-term trends.
- Probability Models: By breaking down each bet’s potential outcomes and their associated probabilities, players can better understand the risks and rewards of each strategy. For instance, the Martingale system may offer many small wins, but the occasional large loss can wipe out those gains.
While statistics and models provide a clearer understanding of roulette, no strategy guarantees consistent wins. The house edge ensures that over the long term, the odds are always in the casino’s favour.
Best Roulette Strategy Tips and Best Practices
Whether you’re a seasoned roulette player or a novice at the wheel, using the best roulette practices means you’re likely to have a more enjoyable experience. Let’s dive into the essential aspects to consider.
How to Choose a Roulette Strategy
To pick the best roulette strategy, consider:
- Your Risk Appetite: Some strategies, like Martingale, are high-risk but can offer high rewards, while others like D’Alembert are more conservative.
- Your Bankroll: Make sure the chosen strategy fits your budget. Strategies requiring high bets may not be ideal for limited bankrolls.
- Game Variant: Strategies can differ for American and European roulette due to the extra zero in the American version.
- Purpose: Are you playing for fun, aiming for consistent small wins, or chasing big payouts? Your goal will determine your strategy.
Managing your bankroll is a crucial aspect of roulette play as it determines for how long you can maintain a specific strategy. You should:
- Set a Limit: Decide on a fixed amount you’re willing to lose, and once you hit that limit, walk away.
- Consider Unit Size: Your betting unit should be a small fraction of your total bankroll, usually no more than 5%.
- Profit Goals: Set a clear profit target. Once achieved, consider pocketing the profit and playing only with your initial stake.
The way you think, behave, and act is also a factor to consider, and avoid playing on tilt where you are likely to make mistakes. So…
- Stay Calm: Win or lose, keeping a level head ensures you make rational decisions.
- Avoid the Gambler’s Fallacy: Remember, each spin is independent. Previous outcomes don’t influence future spins.
- Know When to Stop: Whether you’re on a winning streak or a losing one, discipline is key. It’s often best to set both win and loss limits to prevent chasing losses or getting too greedy.
When playing roulette, whether at a brick-and-mortar casino, or an online platform, you must make sure to play ethically as per the casino’s rules. You must also respect others. Whether in a physical casino or online chatroom, respect all fellow players and dealers.
Using Roulette Strategies Online vs Land-Based Casinos
The captivating world of roulette has been adapted to the digital era, offering players both the traditional ambiance of land-based casinos and the convenience of online platforms. However, there are nuances to consider when applying roulette strategies in each environment.
Differences in Strategy Application
- Pace of Play: In online roulette, especially non-live variants, players often have the freedom to dictate the pace, offering more time for strategic decisions. However, land-based casinos may operate at a steadier rhythm, which means players need to make quick decisions.
- Distractions & Atmosphere: Physical casinos offer an immersive experience with lights, sounds, and fellow players, which can be distracting. Online play offers solitude, potentially leading to more focused gameplay.
- Game Selection: Online casinos frequently provide an expansive variety of roulette games, from European and American to other novel versions. This vast selection allows players to cherry-pick games better suited to specific strategies.
Tips for Online Play
- Practice Modes: Many online platforms offer free or demo versions. Use these to refine your strategies without monetary stakes.
- Stable Connection: A steady and secure internet connection is crucial. Interruptions during key bets can be frustrating and costly.
Recommended Online Platforms
Here are some of our recommended online platforms, all UKGC-certified and so, some of the most reputable and trustworthy online casinos out there:
- 888 Casino
- LeoVegas Casino
Roulette Strategy Myths and Misconceptions
Roulette is an extremely popular game – with some statistics showing it’s the most popular table game in casinos worldwide. But this game’s popularity has also led to several myths and misconceptions. Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Myth 1: Betting on Red or Black is a 50/50 Chance
Reality: Betting on red or black may seem like a 50/50 bet, but the presence of the green “0” (and “00” in American roulette) gives the house an edge, slightly skewing the odds against players.
Myth 2: The Martingale System is Foolproof
Reality: The Martingale system, which involves doubling your bet after a loss, is often described as a surefire way to recoup losses. However, it comes with significant risks, such as hitting table limits or depleting your bankroll quickly.
Myth 3: Biased Wheels Can Be Exploited
Reality: Modern casinos use precisely engineered wheels and rigorous maintenance to prevent such biases. Similarly, online versions of the game operate on Random Number Generators (RNGs) – ensuring a random outcome each time.
Myth 4: Betting Patterns Influence Outcomes
Reality: The idea that specific betting patterns or rituals can influence the outcome of a roulette spin is a fallacy. Each spin is independent, and previous results do not affect future ones.
Myth 5: Certain Bets Guarantee Wins
Reality: No bet in roulette guarantees consistent wins over time. While bets like straight-up numbers or combinations offer higher payouts, they also come with lower odds of winning.
Roulette Strategy Conclusion
When considering all the available roulette strategies, it’s essential to recognise their limitations and the essence of the game. Remember – roulette remains a game of chance, and the house always maintains an edge. No amount of theorising or strategising will change this hard fact. So, while strategies like the Martingale may offer short-term potential, they come with the risk of significant losses.
We recommend you consider the strategies we’ve outlined as tools to manage bets. Responsible bankroll management, setting clear betting limits, and understanding the odds of various bets are all aspects to master. After all, roulette’s charm lies in its unpredictability, excitement, and elegant simplicity.
Best Roulette Strategies - FAQ
The most effective roulette strategy varies based on individual preferences and risk tolerance. However, no strategy guarantees consistent wins due to the game’s inherent house edge. While some players prefer the Martingale for its simplicity, others opt for the James Bond or D’Alembert. We suggest choosing a strategy based on your bankroll and goals.
The 3/2 rule in roulette refers to a betting strategy where a player splits their wager between the red numbers and the second column of numbers. This approach covers a majority of the wheel, with 32 of the 37 possibilities (in European Roulette) resulting in wins, providing broader coverage and increased win potential.
The safest roulette strategy is typically the D’Alembert system. It’s a flat progression method where players increase or decrease their bets by a fixed amount following a win or loss.
In roulette, bets on even money propositions, such as Red/Black, Even/Odd, or High/Low, offer the best odds of winning. In European Roulette, these bets have a 48.65% chance of winning due to the single zero, while in American Roulette, the odds are slightly lower at 47.37% because of the double zero.
Long-term consistent profit in roulette is challenging due to the game’s inherent house edge. While players might experience short-term wins with various strategies, the house edge means that over extended play, the odds favour the casino.
The “00” in roulette refers to the double zero pocket found in American Roulette. It increases the total number of pockets to 38 and raises the house edge to 5.26%, compared to European Roulette’s 2.7%. This makes bets on individual numbers in American Roulette slightly less favourable for players.
The Martingale system, which involves doubling bets after losses, can lead to short-term wins in roulette. However, due to table limits and the risk of long losing streaks, it’s not foolproof for long-term play. Over time, the house edge remains, making a sustained profit with Martingale challenging and risky.