Roulette is a casino game where everyone wants to get an edge, but very few manage it. Aside from the game being highly unpredictable, there isn’t the same scope for employing winning strategies as there is in blackjack. That doesn’t mean you can't try to coax fortune in your favour and give yourself a better chance at a long-term profit.
We’re going to take a scythe to the strategies that don’t work and give you some things to try that will. Naturally, nothing is ever a 100% certainty. However, there are some roulette techniques that are ineffective. Here’s a rundown of the best and worst roulette strategies.
A lot of players get seduced by the prospect of hitting a single number and receiving a 35/1 payout. While this is great, the odds of you hitting a single number are actually 37/1 if you’re playing European Roulette and 38/1 if you’re playing American.
Aside from the numerical discrepancies, you can see it’s not easy to predict the exact number that will appear. To counter this, you can make outside bets. These cover a lot more of the board and, in turn, give you a better shot at winning. Yes, the returns are smaller, but so is the risk.
As an added extra, you can try betting on two columns/dozens at the same time. If you place equal bets on each, you’ll cover just under 66% of the board with two bets and still make a profit when you win. Essentially, you should take the slow and steady approach. Even though this won’t guarantee you a win, it will ensure you can stay active and have fun for longer.
One of the biggest mistakes many casino players make is playing for too long. When you start to get tired, lose focus or become emotional, your results suffer. Because you start to play on impulse rather than a predetermined strategy, things often go wrong. To avoid this, play in short bursts.
It’s said that the average human can concentrate for approximately 20 minutes without getting distracted. Use that as a marker. If you can step away from a game two or three times an hour, reset and then return, you’ll get a lot more out of the experience.
Perhaps the most common roulette strategy is number tracking. Put simply, when you play live or online, you’ll be able to record each result. The idea is that you can start to identify hot and cold numbers, ones that are appearing most/least often.
When you play online roulette, many sites will tell you the hot and cold numbers automatically. Unfortunately, the process of noting down each result is a waste of time. Unless you’re playing in an unfair game where certain numbers are being favoured more than others, a roulette spin is 100% independent and true. In simple terms, this means all numbers have an equal chance of hitting.
What’s more, each spin is unconnected to the previous one. Unlike a deck of cards where removing some can influence the next hand, the roulette wheel stays the same. Any previous results have zero effect on the next round. While it might be tempting to think you’ve found a pattern you can exploit, the reality is you haven’t. What you’re probably seeing is a cluster of numbers that looks like a pattern in the short term but not so much when you view them over a longer period of time.
In the casino world, theory and reality often clash. Just because something works on paper, it doesn’t mean it will bring you success in the real world. This is something the Martingale betting system is guilty of. Under this strategy’s rules, you have to double your even money bet each time you lose and then go back to your starting amount when you win.
For example, if you started betting one and lost, you’d have to wager two the next round. This continues until you win, at which point you go back to betting one. In theory, this works because you will always be one unit (i.e. the amount of your starting bet) in profit when you win.
The problem is that this gets very expensive, very quickly. Taking the above example, if you lost six rounds in a row, you’d have to stake 64 on your seventh bet. For those who do have big bankrolls, the house limits get in the way. At some point, you’ll reach the maximum bet and can no longer implement the system successfully.