An Introduction To Roulette Strategies
Once you learn some roulette strategies, then you’ll understand that roulette is simply a game of chance. No input from you can have any effect on the outcome. You have no control over the spinning ball. But you can utilize a playing strategy as a means to maximize your potential winnings whilst simultaneously keeping your losses to a minimum. Essentially these systems are to help you manage your bankroll. With the right system in place, you are more likely to leave the table with more chips than when you started. In roulette there are three basic betting systems: Flat bets, Negative bets and Positive bets. Some of these suit the budget gambler better than the high roller.
Roulette Strategies: Flat Betting
This is when you place a series of bets that are each of the same value. Though is may appear boring, this is by far the safest way to gamble as this allows you to know at any time the state of your bankroll. It also prevents you from losing large sums of money.
Negative Progression Betting
With this system you are constantly increasing the size of the bet after each loss. This can be a very risky strategy. Most gamblers are familiar with these systems. The most famous being the “Martingale”, followed by many others including the “D’Alembert”, “Fibonacci”, and “Labouchere.” These should only be used on even money bets.
Positive Progression Betting
This system is the exact opposite of the above. With this, you will raise your bets after every win whilst reverting back to smaller bets after each loss. The assumption being that you will eventually hit a winning streak and wipe out any previous loses. If Lady Luck is on your side, this system can create some massive wins. There are many positive progressive systems out there, with the Paroli and Parley systems being the most popular.
The Martingale System
This is probably the most famous casino betting system in the world. Essentially you’re changing the size of your bet depending on the previous spin’s outcome. You increase the size of your next bet by two times after every loss. So if you start with 1 unit and you win, then your next bet will be 1 unit. You then lose that spin. Now you double your bet and wager 2 units. Let’s say that bet is also lost. So your next bet is 4 units. You win this and so go back to betting 1 unit. But take care. Because you’re doubling your bets to cover loses it’s easy to reach either the table limit or the end of your bankroll. Players who have won big love the martingale system. Those who have lost hate it.
The Fibonacci System
This is another progressive system whereby each number comprises of the total of the previous two numbers. Here’s the sequence: 0-1-1-2-3-5-8-12-20-32-52-84….Probably the first thing you’ll notice about this system is that there’s no profit involved. This is because you’re always betting the sum of your losses. To that end this style of betting should only be used for a short period, otherwise you losses can quickly mount up.
The D’Alembert System
Though these roulette strategies are similar to the martingale system, they’re not as aggressive, and therefore suited to more budget minded players. The basic idea of the D’Alembert is to increase your bet by 1 unit after each loss and to decrease it by 1 following each win. Because the change of bets is relatively small, the chances of reaching the table limit is very small. A very simple system to play, but again, only use it for a short period.
The Paroli System
This is a positive betting system for placing even money bets. Essentially you’re placing a flat bet until you hit a winning streak. At this point, you’ll double your bets after each win. For example, you bet 1 unit on the red. If you win, then your next bet will be 2 units and so on, until you lose or hit three wins in a row. The outcome is either a possible loss of 1 unit or a net profit of 7 units. With this method you are not really risking your starting bankroll. Also the majority of bets will be coming from your winnings. With these roulette strategies you can expect either big wins or one negligible loss.
Roulette Strategies: Labouchere
This progressive system is probably the most complex of all those listed here. It works with even money bets much like the Martingale method. The idea is that you begin with an arbitrary line, say, 1-1-2-3. You combine the first and last value to get the size of your next bet. So, in this example, 1+3=4, so 4 is the size of the wager. Winning removes those two numbers from the line. You then continue with our example: 1-2 meaning the next bet will be 3. If you were to lose, then you would add the size of your bet to the right hand side of the sum: 1-1-2-3-4. So our next bet should be a 5. The idea is to clear a line. When that happens then your net gains will be the total sum of the original line.
This is a very simple progressive system similar to the martingale. With this method, you double your bet after a win and reduce it to its initial value after you lose. Here’s an example: you bet $10 on an even-money bet so if you win you’ll increase your bet to $20. If that bet is successful, then the next bet is 440 and so on, $80, $160 etc. It’s recommended that you reset your bets after every four or five wins. The great thing about the Parlay system is that it doesn’t need much in your bankroll and it generally relies on your winnings to continue.
Roulette Strategies: Money Management
One of the most important, though often overlooked aspects of roulette is money management. The best course of action is to decide on a limit BEFORE starting to play. Then pick a system that compliments both your budget and playing style. To that end, if you’re watching the pennies, then stay away from systems like the Martingale. Some people insist that progressive systems are of no value. Looking at the math, yes there is little benefit from using them But, gambling isn’t just about winning. It’s about having fun. All these systems are great to play with. Just don’t go betting the house on them.
Be sure to check out our general Roulette Guide which goes into the history and basic game play. We also list the best casino sites to play. Then we have a deep dive into Roulette Rules, along with guides on how to play European Roulette and American Roulette. We have it all covered!