I am not a spontaneous person. My mother taught me to manage my risks, plan ahead, and always be prepared.
As a result, when I started gambling, I tiptoed my way through the shallow end instead of diving in, so to speak. But then, I got a chance to learn how to play the game of roulette, and it changed everything. Okay, maybe not everything, but it definitely changed some things.
Roulette is a straightforward game that is reasonably easy to understand. The only intricate part of roulette is understanding the betting options, but even that is relatively easy to grasp.
You’re probably wondering how a simple game like roulette changed this cautious, restrained bettor into a gambler who knows how to take a few well-planned risks. There are three simple lessons that roulette taught me, and now I want to share them with you.
My Gambling Style Before Roulette
Before I explain what roulette taught me, you need to understand what kind of bettor I was before I started playing roulette, besides knowing that my mother raised me well.
First of all, I was a relatively inexperienced gambler when I first started playing roulette. I had played real money blackjack, tried a few slot machines, and joined a few poker games, but that was about it.
All of those games only have one betting option, with the exception of a few side bets. In blackjack, you can either hit or stand, and occasionally, you double. When you play poker, you play the blind bet, and then you either call, raise, or fold. You cannot call and fold at the same time. So, I only played one bet at a time and never considered the possibility of playing multiple wagers simultaneously.
As a beginner gambler, I wanted to save as much of my bankroll as possible so that I had enough money to keep playing. Therefore, the only stakes I ever played was the minimum bet for that table or game.
The only time I played more than the minimum bet was when I played multiple lines on a slot machine, but even then, I played the minimum for each line.
Finally, I always did everything I could to make the smartest plays. I never allowed myself to take risky bets, ever. For example, when I played blackjack, I followed a strategy chart without ever making a move that was not listed in the table. My understanding of the house edge made me want to avoid slot machines altogether.
To sum it all up, I only played one bet at a time, I always played the minimum bet, and I never took risks that increased the house edge. Roulette ended up changing every single one of those traits for me, and it helped me learn to enjoy gambling more than I had before. Here is what I learned from playing roulette.
Lesson 1: Place Multiple Bets
Roulette was the first game that I played that gave me the option of placing multiple bets at one time. At first, I was overwhelmed by all of the options, so I just picked one that I understood at first glance and stuck with it.
The first few rounds, the only bet that I placed was the even or odd wager because that was one of the most uncomplicated options to understand. Eventually, I switched over to the red or black bet, but I did not dare play both at the same time.
Now that I have learned the basics of the game and all of the betting options, I would never play the way that I did at the beginning. But the truth is that it gave me an opportunity to learn the other betting options at my own pace, so I don’t regret playing one bet at a time for a while.
I took some time to look around the roulette table and learn what each space represented, and I looked up information to help me figure out the parts that I didn’t understand. The most important detail that I learned was the difference between the inside and outside bets.
In case you’re not familiar with the terms, essentially inside bets are high-risk-high-reward bets that are listed on the inside of the table. They focus on individual numbers or a group of specific numbers that are near each other. On the other hand, outside bets are listed on the outside of the table, and they focus on characteristics of numbers or a larger group of numbers.
Outside bets are low-risk-low-reward, compared to the inside bets.
Once I understood the betting options, I realized that it was okay to play more than one wager at a time. Obviously, two bets mean that I have to play multiple stakes, so I try to make sure that I am not playing too many at one time.
I still want to be able to play for an extended amount of time, so I have to manage my bankroll even more carefully than if I only played one wager. But as long as I am intentional about managing my money, playing multiple bets actually allows me to play longer.
Playing multiple wagers gives me an opportunity to multiply my winnings while still controlling my stake. If I bet that the ball is going to land on an even number, and a number within the first twelve, then I have two chances to win.
Even if one of those bets is wrong, I still have a chance to win the other. When I am lucky, the ball will land on both an even number and a number within the first twelve, and then I win twice! Over time, I collect my winnings and keep betting the same amount so that I can play another round, even if I lose this one.
Lesson 2: Adjust Your Stake
The next lesson that I learned was that it’s okay to play different amounts for different wagers. I do realize that I am making myself sound like a fool, but the truth is that I had never before considered playing different amounts.
My strategy had always been to play the minimum bet so that my money would last longer. Of course, I knew that if I played a higher stake, I could potentially win more, but I was not willing to risk losing more if things didn’t go the way I wanted them to.
But roulette was different because it has so many betting options. More importantly, different wagers in roulette have different odds.
When you play blackjack, every hand has the exact same chance of winning as any other hand until you get your cards. But in roulette, some bets have better odds than others. The reason that fact made such a difference for me was that I learned how to maximize my stakes by playing different amounts for each of the various bets.
I maximize my winnings by playing higher stakes on the low-risk wagers and using lower amounts for the high-risk ones. You will have to find what works best for you, but I can tell you the system that I use to give you an example.
Generally speaking, I play three wagers for every round of roulette. The first one is always an outside bet that pays even money, such as the even or odd wager or the high/low bet.
Even money payouts are the lowest possible, but they also have a strong chance of winning, so I play $5 on whichever even money bet I choose.
Next, I focus on another outside bet, but I choose one with a slightly higher payout. There are only two options for an outside wager that pays two to one, so it’s either a column or a dozen bet. They each have the same possibility of winning, so I just choose one based on whatever I feel in the moment.
I usually stake $3 on this outside bet because it is the middle ground. If I lose the bet, I will lose less than I would on my $5 wagers, but the times I do win, I make enough money to make it worthwhile.
Finally, I choose one inside bet to play, but I use the minimum stake for that one, usually $1. The inside bets have the smallest chances of winning. I use the smallest amount possible so that I can still enjoy those betting options without getting upset each time I lose.
Adjusting the amount of each stake that I make helps me control my emotions throughout the game. It is vital to control your emotions when you gamble because you don’t want to fall into the trap of chasing your losses when you start to feel desperate.
Lesson 3: Balance Risk and Reward
In order for a game to be considered a form of gambling, it has to include an element of chance, or in other words, it has to incorporate some risks. Casinos make a profit by calculating those risks for their thousands of customers and adjusting the odds in their favor. So, you cannot avoid taking chances if you want to gamble.
But you can take steps to balance the number of risks that you take with the potential rewards. Generally speaking, casinos will pay more on riskier bets because they know that the player will lose those options more often than they win. If you want to play it safe, you have to settle for even money or two to one payouts.
Roulette gives you an opportunity to try both risky and safe bets at one time. You can make small adjustments to your game strategy to balance out the risks and the potential rewards. Playing multiple wagers with a variety of different stakes is the first step to finding that balance, but there are also other small adjustments that you can make.
One way that you can hold onto a significant reward with a little less risk is to put your money on more than one number.
Let me give you an example of my own experience. After I got used to playing multiple wagers and learning how to adjust my stake, I only played one inside bet, and it was always a straight bet. I would simply choose a number that fit the other criteria that I had already bet on, like choosing an even number in the first twelve. My stake would go to that number, and that number alone.
Then I learned about the split bet, and the street wager, and the four-corner option. Each of these options has a different payout amount, and they also have more chances to win than a simple straight bet.
A split bet pays seventeen to one, which is half of the thirty-five to one odds for a straight bet, but it has two ways to win. Street bets allow you to place your bet on three different numbers, and you win if the ball lands on any one of them. But it only pays eleven to one.
All of the inside bets have relatively low chances of winning compared to the outside bets, but some options give you an opportunity to increase your odds of winning without increasing your stake. I find that it is worth it to give up a potentially massive payout for the sake of winning more often, especially if the payout is still significant.
Switching out my straight bet for a street bet is a minor modification that doesn’t cost me anything, but it allows me to play longer and win more often. It gives me an opportunity to decrease my risk while still receiving a relatively high reward. You don’t have to skip the inside bets entirely or make some drastic change to balance the risk versus reward aspects of roulette.
Simple modifications and being open to a variety of betting options gives you the flexibility that you need to play a successful game of roulette.
If you’re accustomed to playing blackjack or poker, roulette might come as a surprise to you. It certainly did for me. But I am thankful that roulette challenged me to think about my betting options more deliberately than I had before.
Roulette changed me from a single-wager, minimum-stake, low-risk kind of bettor into one that can analyze the risks, maximize the stakes based on the odds, and play multiple bets at one time. Most importantly, I realized that I had more fun when I played several wagers at once.
The game can do the same for you if you are not afraid to stay open-minded and try new strategies. If you want to give it a try yourself, check out these top online casinos.