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Do Roulette Betting Strategies Really Work?

Author: Gambling Man
30 October 2020, 14:52
Votes: 4

When you go into a casino, you often see players at the roulette table taking notes or betting in a specific way. The chances are they are following one of the popular roulette betting strategies. Some players swear they are profitable, some like them purely for entertainment, others ignore them altogether.

Do Roulette Betting Strategies Really Work?

But what is the truth? Are roulette betting strategies a way to succeed at the roulette tables?

Sadly, no. If they were, all of us would be millionaires within weeks, and every casino would crumble under a mountain of debt. And even if someone has ever devised a foolproof roulette strategy, you can bet they would keep it to themselves.

We can say that many of the roulette betting strategies, some of which we explain later in this article, can raise your chances of a short-term profit, over a particular gaming session, for example. But not in the long term.

The real reason why roulette strategies fail

The great majority of betting systems rely on you wagering on 50/50 shots that are perfect for roulette, where you can back red/black or odd/even. Most need you to go on a mini-streak to become successful, and that is where the systems fail.

There are two reasons for this. First, even though they pay out 1:1, these 50/50 roulette bets do not have a 50% chance of succeeding. That’s because there are not merely 18 red and 18 black numbers, or 18 odd and 18 even numbers on the roulette wheel. You also have the zero, green segment, which forfeits all your bets (unless you are playing a curious French roulette version). American roulette tables have a second, double zero segment, further reducing your odds.

These zero segments create the house edge in roulette, effectively meaning that you cannot win over time, and something that helps the US gaming sector to profit. Nothing is stopping you from pocketing a profit in the short term, of course.

The second reason systems fail is because of the Gambler’s Fallacy. In many betting systems, you are more likely to back one side of a 50/50 bet because it has not come up in a number of previous spins of the wheel.


That is the Gambler’s Fallacy, however, because every new spin is independent of anything that has happened before and cannot be influenced by it. For example, if you toss a coin and it comes up heads twice in a row, it does not make it any more likely that the next toss will be tails.

So, why use betting strategies?

Even though you might not entirely believe in them, it’s exciting to try new strategies out at the roulette table. If you enjoy math, probability, and believe in a pattern where streaks can form, you will enjoy testing the systems out while playing at US online casinos or live casinos.

As casino gaming is about entertainment and trying to win money, this is reason alone to try roulette betting strategies.

In some cases, these systems also teach you to manage your betting in a formulaic way, one that will not see you losing your bankroll in a couple of spins. And, as we have said, there is always the chance of banking a short-term profit.

Also, take a look at the table with odds for American and European roulette:


American roulette odds

European roulette odds

One  number

2.60 percent

2.70 percent

Two numbers

5.3 percent

5.4 percent

Three numbers

7.9 percent

8.1 percent

Four numbers

10.5 percent

10.8 percent

Five numbers

13.2 percent

13.5 percent

Six numbers

15.8 percent

16.2 percent

Examples of roulette betting systems

Some players are so sure of themselves that they have devised their own betting system. It’s likely any such strategy will be loosely based on one of the better-known systems.

Martingale system

Perhaps the best-known strategy, this progressive betting system sees you starting with a low 50/50 bet, say one unit on red. Keep going until you lose, at which point you must double your bet to two. Lose again and double to four. When you win again, return down to one and start again. The issue here is that it’s not uncommon to go on a long losing streak, meaning you might soon run out of cash – or the casino might refuse to take too high a bet.

Parlay/Paroli betting system


Both systems work best when you have a set profit target in mind. Hit it and walk away. While you increase your bets when you lose with Martingale, with Parlay or Paroli betting, you increase the wager when you win, reinvesting your chips on the next 50/50 spin. If you lose, you must return to the start. The idea is to win enough successive spins at some point to reach your profit target.

Many other systems exist, such as the Labouchere, D’Alembert, James Bond (which more punters will try in the lead up to the next James Bond film release), Oscar’s Grind, or Fibonacci.

Try for yourself

The best way to learn about these betting strategies is to try them out for yourself. These days, many online casinos let you play for play money if you wish, perfect for honing your systems before investing your cash.

Read more: Explanation of how to calculate odds for roulette

Read more: Interesting facts about roulette wheel numbers


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