Roulette Strategy

While roulette is primarily a game of luck (like all casino games), there is also an element of skill involved. As such, many people like to study up on the different roulette strategies out there, in the hopes of gaining an upper hand. While no roulette strategy is able to guarantee you a win, many satisfied players will attest that a good one can certainly tilt the odds in your favor. So where to begin?

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Martingale System and Reverse Martingale System

The oldest: Perhaps most popular roulette system amongst players is what is called a Martingale strategy or system.  Like the game of roulette itself, it originated overseas in France. It was first implemented in the coin toss and has since made its way over to the roulette wheel. Extremely basic in nature, it dictates that you double your bet after each loss, in order to recover prior losses and win a sum equal to your original stake.

While many players swear by this system, you need to have a pretty hefty bankroll to keep it going, as exponential bets can just as likely bankrupt you along the way.

The anti-Martingale system: also referred to as the reverse Martingale, has you operating in exactly the opposite manner as the Martingale system. That is, with the anti-Martingale you increase your bet after every win, and decrease your bet after each loss. It builds on the non-scientific premise that something called a winning streak exists. This, however, my friends, is a fallacy. While a winning streak does indeed feel great, it is purely random, so this system is not all that advised.

Fibonacci and Reverse Fibonacci System

The Fibonacci system will require a little math on your part: But it’s really not all that complicated, once you get over the big, slightly difficult to pronounce the name. Basically, it’s based on the numbers in what is called the Fibonacci sequence in which every number, following the first two, equals the sum of the previous two. In practical terms, it looks like this: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21….

It’s most often used on outside bets in roulette: More specifically, mostly black/red or even/odd bets. In calculating, you are not calculating where to place your bet, rather how much you should bet. Watch the pattern:

  • Start by defining what a unit is to you, say $5 (i.e. you will be betting in multiples of this number)
  • Now you’re going to bet in accordance with the Fibonacci system, in units
  • On your first bet, you bet 1 unit of $5
  • If you lose, again you bet 1 unit of $5
  • If you lose, you bet 2 units of $5 (i.e. $10)
  • If you lose, you bet 3 units of $5 (i.e. $15)

In other words, it’s similar to the Martingale system in that you increase your stakes with each loss, in the hopes of recouping your money (plus), though in this case, the actual amount you bet each time follows a carefully formulated system.

  • Decreasing your stakes: The difference, however, is when you win, you now start incrementally decreasing your stakes, starting with two numbers down in the sequence. So for example, if you were up to 13 units being bet, after a win you’d move down to 5 units.
  • The reverse Fibonacci system: It’s what’s called a positive progression rather than a negative progression. That is, you increase your stakes after each win, rather than after each loss, in the same manner as outlined above, following the Fibonacci number sequence.

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Labouchere System

  • The Split Martingale or cancellation system: The Labouchère gambling strategy starts off with you writing down how much money you would like to win with a corresponding list of positive numbers that add up to that amount. Then you make a bet equal in size to the sum of the first and the last numbers on your list. If you win on the bet, those two amounts are deleted from your list. If you lose on the bet, the amount that you lost is added to the end of the list. This manner of play continues either until you’ve completed your list and crossed out all of the numbers, or you’ve run out of money.
  • This system is most suited for even money bets: Evens or Odds, red or black, and 1-18/19/36. It can be fun to play, though it results is not as clear as they seem. That is, crossing out all your numbers has good odds for a win and recouping money lost along the way, but not guaranteed.

D’Alembert System

This is considered one of the easier roulette strategies: Which is the main reason it’s so popular amongst online casino games lovers. Like the Martingale, the D’Alembert system is a negative progression; that is, you increase the size of your bet with every loss and decrease it when you win.

This system is also based on betting units:

  • Start off by defining your units, say 1 unit is $5
  • On your first wage, you must bet exactly 1 unit, so in our case, $5
  •  If you lose, you increase to 2 units, that is $10 in our example
  • If you lose again, then you increase to 3 units, i.e. $15, etc.

The D’Alembert system: Meant for use with even money bets and assumes you should, over time, win about the same amount of even money bets as you might lose.

Its biggest advantage over the Martingale system is that stakes here are increased more slowly, so it’s less likely you reach ridiculously high wagers. On the flip side, it can also make recovering losses a longer process.

Other Roulette Systems

While those outlined above are the most prevalent, other roulette strategies do exist. They include the Grand Martingale, Paroli betting system, Shotwell system, Oscar’s Grind, FOBT system, and Flat Betting system to name but a few.

Playing European instead of US Roulette

European and American roulette are very similar games: However, because the US wheel has two zeros (instead of one), it also has a higher house edge (that is slightly lower odds). This is the only real difference you need to note. The systems outlined above can be used in both formats of the game.

Outside vs. Inside Betting

  • Outside bets literally sit outside the central number bets on the roulette table: They have better odds of winning, though that, of course, means smaller payouts. They include 1-18/19-36, red or black, even or odd, dozen bets, column bets, and snake bets.
  • Inside bets are harder to hit: But they also payout in higher amounts to counter for that. They include a straight/single bet, split, street, corner/square, double street, trio, basket, and top line bet.

General Betting and Money Management Tips

Following a roulette system can be profitable, but don’t rely on it. Always use your head when gambling online, and that includes keeping an eye on your bankroll. Set yourself a budget – both in terms of money and time you are willing to spend – and keep to it. Online Roulette should be affordable and fun!