The Strategies that work for Online Roulette
Roulette is one of the most popular casinos games, due to its simple rules, colourful layout and the excitement of watching the spinning ball, waiting for it to drop into the right slot. Unlike poker, roulette is a communal game; with everyone playing together rather than against each other. You might lose, but it isn’t because someone else won. There can be multiple winners on each spin. Some people even place multiple bets, trying to spread their chances in the hopes that they will win big.
Spreading and overlapping your bets is one strategy for winning at roulette – and is sometimes known as the James Bond strategy – but it is more often a good way to minimise losses, rather than hitting the jackpot. Because there are so many betting options for roulette – single number, pairs, fours, groups of numbers, columns, colours and odd/even – you can win several times on the same roll. For example, betting on red, odd and the first 12 numbers, if a 3 is spun, all three bets are winners. And even if not, it’s likely that at least one of those options will produce some returns.
For some players, employing a betting strategy heightens the excitement of the game. And while games like poker and blackjack require players to study different ways to play, success at a luck-based game like roulette only requires careful management of your bankroll. So should you concentrate on the low frequency/high reward bets, or play the long game of just hitting the evens? To get a definitive answer, it’s best to read up on the game and where better to start than with Frank Scoblete’s guide? The gambling expert has written a very thorough article discussing the best ways to approach the game, ensuring you’ll have a roulette strategy which helps you to turn a profit. So, let’s take a quick look at some of the most common strategies below.
This is the most basic betting strategy, and one which most people naturally use. The Martingale strategy is to double your bet after every loss. This ensures that you recoup all lost stakes, and make a small profit on top. It is best employed on low-risk bets where a return is fairly likely. In roulette this would be the even/odd or black/red bets. This means that you are unlikely to build up a string of losses that will drive your bet higher than you are comfortable risking, or even making you hit the table limit.
Here’s how it works: You bet £10 on red. If you’re right, that’s a £10 profit, if you’re wrong, a £10 loss. If you lose, next time your bet is £20, if you lose again it’s £40. Finally, you get a win and receive your stake of £40, plus £40 in winnings. That’s the £30 in lost bets (the £10 and £20) and a £10 profit. Your next bet should then return to £10.
Over a long series of games, your wins and losses should be similar, however if you only have a small bankroll, or are only planning on playing a dozen or so spins, then you could easily walk away with less than you started with. The Martingale is a good starter strategy because it is easy, not because it is sophisticated or guaranteed to bring you quick success.
It has, however, spawned several variations including the Reverse-Martingale where you double your bet after wins instead of losses. Although this can take a while to get going, it feels safer because you are only playing with your winnings.
Designed by Henry Labouchere, specifically for the game of roulette, this is the system to use if you have a specific profit in mind, and are willing to play for however long it takes to get there. You divide this figure into a number of smaller amounts which become the figures you bet with. Unlike the Martingale, you won’t be relying on just one lucky win to recoup all your losses, but rather balancing them out over the course of the game.
Here’s a quick example: Let’s say you want to win £50. Break that down into more manageable amounts and write them down – 5, 10, 10, 5, 3, 7, 10. Add the two outermost numbers together, in this case 5 and 10, and that becomes your bet. So you bet £15. If you win, cross those numbers off and repeat with the next two. If you lose, add 15 onto the end and repeat – so your next bet would be £20. Once you’ve crossed off all the numbers, you will have your desired £50 profit.
The Labouchere strategy does have its drawbacks. If you end up on a long losing streak you might find that your sequence more than doubles in length and it becomes very difficult to win everything back. In these cases it can be better to cut your losses rather than soldiering on – it all depends on your personal financial situation.
The Martingale (and its variations) and the Labouchere are all examples of progressive betting strategies: where the amount you bet rises or falls according to a strict system. While they work pretty well, it is worth remembering that nothing is ever 100% foolproof. Because of the inclusion of 0 and 00 on roulette wheels, the chances of getting a red/black are not the 50/50 split that the term ‘evens’ suggests, so even on these relatively safe bets there is a chance for the house to take it all.
And that’s an important point to remember. Following a strategy can make you feel like you’re guaranteed to walk away with a profit, but there are many ways the house tips the odds against you. For example, setting table limits is a good way to hamper a Martingale player, as once they get five or six losses into a streak, they won’t be able to increase their bets enough to recoup their losses in one go. Anyone following a strategy needs to remember that roulette is still a game of chance, and there is no one way to make sure that you always come out on top.
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