Roulette is a game of chance in which the outcome of every new spin is independent of all past spins, and the house has an edge created by one or two zeros. Since it’s a totally random game of chance, many players around the world have tried to exploit the randomness by harnessing it in a roulette strategy that is supposed to carry you to profits and prevent bankruptcy by always placing a bet of the mathematically correct size.
While all of these betting systems will fail when a long losing streak happens, they can function quite well in shorter playing sessions. These are the ones most commonly used, and you should investigate each one individually and decide if you wish to use one yourself. This is in no way a recommendation to use a betting system, it’s just information you may choose to use or not. These systems are normally only exploting the two-sided bets such as red/black and odd/even as the others have way too high variance to be part of a system.
Martingale and reverse Martingale
The basic betting system everyone knows is Martingale, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it one more time. The premise is that you will be doubling your bet whenever you lose. This means you’ll be risking more and more money in order to win 1 unit, but you’re likely to win that 1 unit eventually. The problems arise when the losing streak is long enough to finally demand a bet larger than the cash you have. If you start with 1 unit, after ten consecutive losing spins you’ll need to place a bet of 1024 units in order to win 1 unit. If you don’t have that much – you won’t be able to get the money back.
Reverse Martingale, also known as Paroli system, is the opposite. Whenever you win, you’ll bet double money on the next spin, effectively gambling with the house’s money. This is one of the oldest betting systems, it exists since the 16th century, and the trick is to know when to stop. You can decide to stop against three or four consecutive wins or you may push it to ten, at which point you’d win 1000 units. Or you may collect a portion of your winnings and continue to bet with the remainder.
D’Alembert roulette strategy
D’alembert roulette strategy is a safer alternative to Martingale, as it doesn’t double the bet when you lose, but increases it by 1. That means that after 10 consecutive losses you’d be betting 10 units, while in Martingale you’d be betting 1024 units. When you win, you don’t reset the bet to 1 unit, but only decrease it by 1, so if it was 8 units and you win, your next bet would be 7 units. This betting system will bring you a profit in all cases when you’ve won as many spins as you’ve lost, and that’s the beauty of it – you just need to win half of your spins on two-sided roulette bets.
Fibonacci roulette strategy
Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers in which the next number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers. This roulette system is similar to the D’Alembert system, as after a win you don’t reset yourself to 1 unit, but it is generally accepted you should go down two steps and bet that amount. For example, if you won your bet of 52 units, your next bet will be two steps down, 21 units.
Labouchère roulette strategy
This system is also called the cancellation system or split martingale, and it is based on a pre-game decision of how much money a player wants to win. Then he writes down a list of numbers that sum up to the desired amount, and the value of each bet is the first plus the last number on the list. If the bet is won, the numbers are crossed, and if the bet is lost, new numbers are added. When the desired amount has been won, you stand up and walk away from the table. The best part of this system, that should be used in other systems as well, is that it sets an amount you want to win, after which you quit the game.
Non-progressive betting strategies
While most betting systems are progressive and are changing the bet size, there are also non-progressive betting strategies that have a different purpose – to cover the large portion of the wheel with your bets and therefore increase the odds of winning on any given spin. For example, if you cover 35 of the 36 numbers with a 1 unit bet on each, you’d risk 35 units to win 1 unit and would win 35/37=94.59% of the time. You’d only lose when either the one number you didn’t cover or the zero come up.
The James Bond strategy is to cover more than the half of the table with your bets, which is supposed to turn the odds in your favor as you’ll give yourself more than 50% chance to win. Also, there are strategies that are designed not to cover numbers that are neighbouring on the board but on the wheel. Some of these are readily available as side buts, such as Voisins du Zero or Orphanelles.
Which roulette strategy is the best?
The purpose of the roulette system is to prevent bankruptcy during a long losing streak, so although all betting systems will lead to bankruptcy when the losing streak is long enough, those that are less radical seem to perform better in practice, whereas Martingale is the most aggressive one. In order to create a perfect system you’d likely have to combine several elements of the game, and this are the basic systems known so far. Maybe you can come up with your own?