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In between the thousands of spam comments on this site, I do get quite a lot of casino and roulette related questions. Last week I had an interesting one which might seem very simple to many of you but thought it was interesting none the less. It’s a suggestion for a roulette strategy to win, but in reality as you’ll probably realize there’s some slight flaws in it.
So here’s the question –
If I and a friend walk into a casino with $20,000 dollars then head over to the roulette table. We then split our stake and one of us bet on red and the other bets on black, what could stop us leaving the casino as winners.
So the Best Roulette Strategy Ever or a Waste of Time ?
It sounds such a simple plan that you’d imagine with out even the slightest knowledge of casinos that there’s a problem here. Unfortunately you’d be absolutely right and I’m afraid we haven’t discovered a way to win every time. It portrays a huge lack of understanding of how roulette works and perhaps most importantly the odds and pay outs involved in any roulette game. So here’s a quick summary of the potential outcomes of this scenario to explain the position, presuming I’ve chosen red and my friend places on black and we wager the maximum bet.
- Scenario 1 – Roulette wheel spins black and my friend wins and doubles his money, I of course lose mine after betting on red. End result is we walk out with $20,000 dollars between use.
- Scenario 2 – Roulette wheel spins red and I win and double my money, my friend loses their stake after betting on black. End result is we walk out with $20,000 dollars between us.
- Scenario 3 – Roulette wheel spins and lands on zero (neither red or black) and you both lose your stake. End result you walk out without a penny.
It is unfortunately a plan with many flaws and ultimately without any chance of success whatsoever. The odds of winning are actually zero despite the even money bets! The best result you can achieve is to walk out with the same money you entered with, however there’s a risk that even that may not happen. Depending on whether there are one or two zeros on the wheel, you have either 2.8% or 5.6% chance of losing everything. American roulette tables have two zeros so you effectively double the risk of losing. This built in advantage that exists in every casino game is called the house edge.
In essence this particular plan will never allow you to win anything and you run a risk of losing everything every time you play. It’s certainly not one of the roulette strategies that will win you any money, of course betting against yourself in any situation is unlikely to ever be successful. You’d be much better playing something like the Martingale strategy which although also flawed does allow you actually win. If you’re not convinced sign up to an online roulette game and test it out on their free games. Most online casinos have ‘just for fun’ modes – here’s my favourite one –
This is the problem of any of these various tactics and roulette strategies that are guaranteed to win you money, they are always based on flawed mathematics. Any casino game which handed a guarantee of a player win would not exist for very long. You’ll notice if you research these various winning strategy methods that they’re nearly always a betting system than any method for playing the game. Obviously because if you’re playing roulette and indeed most casino games there’s rarely any way to influence the actual game itself. Anything related to standard roulette games, of course there is a skill element to games like Blackjack and Poker. Many argue that your chance of winning is higher too. Blackjack has the lowest level of the ‘house edge’ when played properly, which means that the casino has the least advantage.
Every game has some built in advantage which means that all being equal, the casino will have a positive expectation i.e. they would normally win. Of course this doesn’t allow for luck and obviously many individuals win huge amounts of money in casinos. Although it should be worth reinforcing that this method actually guarantees you’ll never win! The game of roulette is best played at the whim of lady luck. Sure you potentially have the chance to win big with every spin but even the best strategy won’t beat pure luck!
Other Popular Strategies to Play Roulette
Roulette is a very old game and lots of betting strategy and techniques have developed over the long term. None of these are guaranteed to make you win at roulette whatever anyone says. Some though are sensible betting systems which can help you win by playing with some discipline. Whether this takes away some of the fun and spontaneity from what is basically just a game of chance is for you to decide.
Here’s some of the most famous though –
- Martingale System – the most famous and oldest method which relies on one simple premise. Each time you lose you must double your bet until you make a profit or at least break even. You should keep in mind that you might not be able to double your bet if you hit a losing streak either because of house limits of empty wallets! The Martingale roulette system usually is at the core of most other methods to beat roulette and of course guarantees nothing.
- Grand Martingale – Modification of the original system following the same basic principles. However here instead of doubling your bet you add an extra amount to ensure that you do make a profit. When it works it offers quick easy profits make sure you start with the minimum bet as this gets expensive very quickly!
- Reverse Martingale – arguably this is a definite refinement of the original system and is actually very popular with modern roulette players. Again a betting strategy but with reverse martingale you increase you bet when you win instead of doubling when you lose. This is designed to minimize the damage of a losing streak and the best way to make a large return on a winning roulette run!
- D’Alembert Roulette Strategy – if you don’t like the extreme doubling of your best bets then try this one. It’s slightly more complicated but you can play for longer without the extreme risks – we explain this progressive betting system here – D’Alembert System of Roulette.
- James Bond Strategy – a very quick technique when you have limited time. Place bets in multiples of say $200, split bet size as follows – $140 on a single number, $50 on one number from 13-18 and finally $10 on a single zero. This supposedly guarantees a win 2/3 of the time but if you’re unlucky can be costly.
There are of course, many more of these systems which promise that you’ll make money and beat roulette every time. You can of course be lucky and find that a strategy works but it doesn’t mean it will next week. The chances of winning remain the same with all these systems and the roulette player can’t alter that legally! remember roulette is a game and be careful when playing with real money, it should be fun without the expectation of winning. Don’t expect to win at roulette every time!
You can see the best bet to place on a roulette table in this post, this is the one the casinos dislike not the Bond roulette strategy !
The only situation where people are statistically expected to win in a casino is where there is some sort of flaw or weakness to exploit. This could be similar to the tactic employed by Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo who studied individual roulette wheels looking for any apparent biases. There are lots of situations where this could happen, a problem with the wheel, maybe a croupier who is trying to pitch for certain areas. Although this is actually much more difficult than you would imagine and really pretty much impossible on a properly set up wheel.
Ultimately there’s no perfect roulette strategy, most of the ones you see online are actually betting strategies rather than how to play. Many of them are based on progression systems like Martingale which rely on people putting in increasing stakes and very specific bets. If you do think you’ve found such a system think again, or at the very least go and test it out in an online casino using their free play systems. It will save you some money, guaranteed.