Betting Strategies and Tactics of Roulette
Roulette is one of the oldest casino games still being played today, so it’s no surprise that, collectively speaking, more effort has gone into devising betting strategies and tactics for this game than virtually any other.
Many dedicated gamblers, some of them excellent mathematicians, have devoted their lives to finding the perfect roulette system that could guarantee they would consistently win money.
To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever succeeded. We don’t think anyone ever will, either. The reality is that roulette is just as popular with casino owners as it is with players for one simple reason – they consistently make money off the game.
There’s a built-in house edge in the game that basically guarantees the casino will always make money in the long run.
This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to win money when playing roulette. Long winning streaks are perfectly possible, and they do indeed happen. What is impossible is to have a system that will guarantee that you win each and every time. Such a system simply does not exist.
There have been some very good books written about roulette strategy, and if you’re really interested in learning about the subject in depth, then you should look into reading some of these.
There are certain betting systems that some people like to use when playing roulette. These systems typically involve adjusting your bet size according to some kind of prescribed sequence and don’t actually have anything to do with what numbers you choose to bet on.
We don’t actively advise the use of such systems, as they’re fundamentally flawed and don’t really do anything to improve your chances of winning.
With that being said, there’s nothing particularly wrong with using them either, providing you accept them for what they are and don’t expect them to make you a fortune.
You do need to be careful with some of them, though, specifically the ones that involve increasing your stake after a losing bet. This can get very expensive if you lose a few bets in a row, so you’ve got to be prepared to stop when the stakes start getting too high for you.
Winning Roulette Systems and “Secrets”
If you do an internet search for “roulette strategy,” “roulette system,” or “how to win at roulette,” you’ll get thousands of results. Many of these websites will provide genuinely valuable and interesting insight into roulette strategy, but many more of them will probably be only a few lines about the various betting systems you can use.
You’ll also find a number of websites that are trying to sell you a roulette system or some amazing secret. These websites will often claim that you can make huge amounts of money with their system.
The more clever ones try to at least make it more realistic with less bold claims, but they still promise that you can consistently make a profit by playing roulette.
We’ve already stated that there’s no system that can guarantee that you make money off of roulette, and we believe that anyone trying to tell you otherwise is only trying to sell something that will ultimately prove to be worthless.
Of course, there’s the remote possibility that we’re actually wrong and such systems do exist. We very much doubt it, but let’s assume that is the case.
They would surely be making so much money out of their system that they wouldn’t need to go to the effort of selling their system for a few extra bucks.
As such, we’re confident that we are right to believe that anyone selling such a “system” is really just trying to rip you off. Please avoid these paid systems and don’t waste your money.
Why the House Edge Matters, and Why It Doesn’t
It’s widely accepted that the house will always win on roulette. As we mentioned earlier, this is because of the house edge that exists in the game; the player is basically always at a disadvantage.
The house edge exists because the true likelihood of making any winning roulette bet is actually less than the odds reflect.
Take a straight-up bet, for example. This pays out at 35:1 when it wins, so you would make $35 for every $1 staked (plus your stake back). However, the actual chances of that number hitting on a spin are 37:1 (or 2.70%) if playing with a single-zero wheel, or 38:1 (2.63%) if playing with a double-zero wheel. Assuming perfect probability, you would have to place this bet 37 times (or 38 times with a double zero) to win it once.
You would win $35 on that spin, but you would lose $1 on each of the other 36 spins (37 spins with a double zero), for a total loss of $1 ($2 with a double zero). Of course, because each spin of the roulette wheel is a completely random outcome, the probability isn’t going to be exact.
It’s quite possible the number you are betting on will hit more than once during a 37 or 38 spin cycle. It’s also possible that it won’t hit at all.
In the very long run, however, the actual results will be reasonably close to the expected probability. This is why the casino can be confident of making money in the long run; mathematically speaking, the odds are in their favor.
On rare occasions, a player or a number of players wins big. In extreme circumstances, the casino might even have a sustained period of losses. Over time, though, the laws of probability will apply and they will make money.
The house edge isn’t the only reason why no system can guarantee that you can win consistently at roulette. Indeed, it’s arguably not even the biggest reason.
Most people who have studied roulette to any degree, and particularly those who look at things from strictly a mathematical perspective, would say that the house edge is precisely why it’s not possible to beat roulette and why no system can work.
In some respects, they’re correct; however, we have a slightly different view.
This is because it’s the house that gets to see enough results for probability to effectively even itself out. They have multiple tables with many players making numerous bets, and as such, statistical variance and standard deviation aren’t really issues for them. Statistical variance and standard deviation, in basic terms, describe how actual results differ from expected results in the short term.
For example, in 370 spins of a roulette wheel (single zero), the expectation is that each number will come up ten times. This means that, in theory, the zero will come up ten times. Of the remaining 360 spins, 180 would be red and 180 would be black. 180 would be odd and 180 would be even.
180 would be high and 180 would be low. However, in practice, the chances of each number coming up exactly ten times in 370 spins are tiny.
To put it another way, it’s quite probable that in 370 spins there will be a significant deviation from the expected results. As the number of spins gets smaller, the chances of a significant deviation get even greater.
So while it’s incredibly unlikely you would ever see a black number come up 370 times in a row, it’s not at all uncommon for a black number to come up six times in a row.
Most roulette players don’t play anywhere near enough to be at all confident of seeing expected results. Even if you played for 100 spins every day for a year, you still wouldn’t see enough spins for probability to even itself out.
Even if there was no house edge and the casino paid out at the true odds rather than the reduced odds they use to give them the advantage, it would still be impossible to have a system that was guaranteed to make you win.
You should win more (or lose less) in the long run without a house edge, as you will get paid more on your winning bets, but you would still not be able to guarantee a win unless you had an infinite amount of money and an infinite amount of time.
This is because no system can ever predict the outcome of the next spin (unless cheating is involved, of course) because it’s impossible to accurately predict the outcome of a truly random event with any degree of certainty.
Even if a black number came up fifteen times in a row, you still could not be sure that the next number would be red.
The key to success is not in trying to devise some magical system, but in doing whatever you can to make the most of your good luck when you get it.
You should not waste your time trying to come up with a roulette system that will guarantee that you win. Instead, you should focus on using strategies that maximize your chances of winning.
Our Strategy Advice for Roulette
Once you accept that you’ll never be able to guarantee consistent winnings from playing roulette, you can focus on the most important things. First, you should be thinking about what you can do to maximize your chances of winning.
If you can’t be sure of winning, you should at least try to give yourself the best chance to. Second, you should try to see playing roulette as a form of entertainment and view any winnings you do make simply as a welcome bonus.
The question is what you can actually do to improve your chances, as we’ve established that the house edge is against you and that you can’t reasonably expect to predict the outcome of a spin or series of spins with any accuracy.
In our opinion, there’s only one real strategy that will definitely give you a better chance of winning, and that’s money management.
We don’t believe it really matters what method you use to select which wagers you make, and we don’t believe it really matters if you choose to use a betting system or not. The thing that genuinely matters and will help you to walk away a winner is having the discipline to manage your money properly.
The fact is that, while it’s very difficult to stop when you’re winning, it’s possibly even harder when you’re losing. You absolutely have to try to stop at the right time. You should ideally have stop limits in place so that once you’ve won or lost a certain amount, you simply walk away from the table.
There’s no particular formula for setting these limits; it’s really just a matter of what you’re comfortable with.
By simply being disciplined with your money and knowing when to quit while you’re ahead and when to cut your losses, you’ll almost certainly do better in the long run. It’s all too easy to start chasing losses when you’re behind, but this tends to end badly.
You’re not certain to start winning just because you’ve been losing, and if you keep increasing your stakes and continue to lose, then you’ll go bust eventually.
It’s just as easy to want to keep on playing when you’re winning, too. Your luck is quite likely to turn at some point, though, so it really is a good idea to try to stop before you give everything back.
If you really can’t stand the idea of stopping when on a winning streak, then you should at least have some kind of system that makes you take a certain percentage of your money off the table after winning a certain amount and then just play with the amount you have left.