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Since roulette is so popular, it is not surprising that players from all over the world have always tried to develop roulette strategies and thus take their luck into their own hands - at least in part. But the big question is: was any roulette strategy ever really successful? Unfortunately, the simple answer is no. There is no guarantee of profit in the casinos of today. However, some players still believe that these roulette strategies can at least influence the odds of winning.
What are roulette strategies?
The objective of a roulette strategy is clear. By betting money according to a certain plan and an individual approach, the aim is to try to make a long-term profit from the game of chance. Other games like poker require tactics and skill, making it possible to increase the chances of winning significantly with clever moves and your own thinking. At least this is true if you are facing off against other players and not against the bank. However, this definitely does not work in roulette.
The probabilities that the events you can bet on will actually occur are always random and cannot be changed by anyone. Over the years many smart people developed roulette strategies, mostly with a positive progression of your bet sizing. In theory, some of them work and might have been successful at one point. But the casinos quickly realized that there might be a problem and adjusted their games accordingly. In the following sections, we want to highlight some of the most popular roulette strategies, how they work and point out some of their flaws.
Probably the best-known roulette strategy is the so-called Martingale strategy. It mainly attracts inexperienced players because it follows a very simple principle: you only bet on simple chances and every time you lose you double your stake for the next round. This way, a win evens out all previously lost bets, so that all losses are recovered. Once a bet was successful you take your money off the table and go back to your initial bet size.
In addition, the chances of winning with simple chances are almost 50 to 50, which leads players to believe that a win cannot stay away for too long. Sounds very tempting, doesn't it? There are numerous other variants of the Martingale, which we will not go into detail about here. But fundamentally all of them have the same idea in common.
Example of a Martingale game:It is important to first define a bet size to start with. A good initial bet is usually the lowest possible amount at the table that you are playing on. If the player initially selected an amount of €1, this stake will be doubled to €2 in the next run if the wager was lost. If the player is wrong again, he now has to bet €4 already. It is important to always bet on the same chance until a win is made. This goes on until you finally win one round. After that, you’ll reset your bet size to €1. This leaves you with a small profit.
The Reverse Martingale
Another popular strategy is the Reverse Martingale Theory. This strategy is based on winning streaks. As most casino players know, wins seldom arrive one at a time — or at least this is what players tend to think. Based on this, you can reverse the Martingale strategy and double your bet every time you win, and then lower the bet as soon as you lose. When you play like this, you might be able to win big from a lucky streak. The benefit of this way of playing roulette is, first and foremost, that you’ll never end up losing based on the two reasons that make the Martingale Theory just a theory.
In the Paroli game, the strategic roulette player approaches the matter in exactly the opposite way to the Martingale System: he/she always doubles the stake after a win, but the stake remains the same after a loss. The strategy is supposed to be more efficient because the probabilities of a loss are still - albeit minimally - higher than the probability of a profit. Many players use the Paroli strategy in combination with a self-imposed limit or a personal profit target. This goal can be, for example, that you want to win three times in a row so that you have won eight times the original stake.
Example of the Paroli strategy:Before starting the real money roulette game, the player sets the goal of winning double the Paroli. He/she starts with a Paroli and continues to do so as long as he/she loses. After a winning coup, the player leaves all the chips on the table and would have achieved the first Paroli. If they won again, the chips would stay on the table again and the player would have the second Paroli in front of them. The goals are achieved and the player starts all over again with the original stake.
Like Paroli, the Parlay system is based on a positive progression. The stakes are therefore always increased when the player records a profit. The Parlay System in roulette is similar in some ways to the Paroli strategy but has its own approach.
Not only the even-money chances can be played here. The player flexibly defines the stages of his game by defining both the starting stakes and the desired winnings. Every time you lose it, you go back to the first step.
Procedure for the Parlay strategy: The player has determined before the start of the game that he/she wants to win a total of €30 with a starting stake of €1. Now he/she could put the €1 on red, for example, and a win would give €2 to play with. He/she could then bet this sum on a chance of 1:3 and would then be up €6 if successful. If they were to bet this sum on a chance of 1:5, they would have achieved his goal if he won.
This strategy is about limiting losses and managing your stake in a disciplined manner. Although like Martingale, this is a negative progression, the progressions are much flatter. With the D’Alembert strategy, the player relies on even-money chances. In the beginning, a number of pieces/chips are defined, with one piece standing for a fixed amount. With every loss, a piece is added in the next run and with every win, the next stake is reduced by a piece.
Example of the sequence of the D’Alembert tactic: The player decides to place four pieces at the beginning of a D’Alembert run. If he/she has lost his first bet, he/she bets five pieces on the same chance in the next round. If there was a win, four pieces would be put down in the next run. If the player has won, the next time there are three pieces to be invested as a stake.
The Law of Small Numbers
If you play 37 rounds of roulette, each number theoretically has the chance of being drawn once. However, as early as the late 19th century, a Russian mathematician observed that only about two-thirds of the numbers were actually drawn in most cases. On average, about half of these numbers were drawn twice.
According to this roulette strategy you want to try to cover two-thirds of the numbers with one bet and hope that as many of these numbers as possible are actually drawn. Some players observe the table carefully and pick previous numbers for their bets. It’s not hard to guess that this strategy is solely dependent on luck but there’s still some entertainment value in following this system.
The Marche (French for “march”), is another popular type of betting technique in roulette. In a way, it has some similarities to card counting in blackjack. You keep a keen eye on all previous game outcomes and try to predict the probabilities of future outcomes. However, since there is no deck of cards with which to orientate yourself in roulette, each new round is completely unaffected by everything that has happened before.
Even if Red has won ten times in a row, this does not mean that Red will have a higher (or lower) chance of winning in the eleventh round. Therefore, players who use the Marche roulette strategy simply place their trust in the hope that various statistical outcomes will occur. One such outcome is the law of equalization: if red won last, you bet on black, since from a purely statistical point of view, in the long run, red and black win about equally often. However, other players prefer to bet on past winners in the hope that a series will occur or continue. The problem is that statistics can’t really predict any outcomes on a roulette table in the short term.
The Flaw of Every Roulette Strategy
Some of the previously explained roulette strategies work quite well in theory. Many players think they might have cracked the code of how to collect some easy money in the casinos. Unfortunately, there are some problems that might not be apparent at first. One of the most obvious flaws is that all betting strategies assume that you have an unlimited bankroll. In Martingale, for example, you would be fine if you could double up endlessly and in the end, you would always leave the table as a winner. The problem is that after only a few double-ups, the necessary increase of your wager might just crack your wallet.
This leads us to the next big problem. The elephant in the room is the table limits. Each casino game has a limit for the maximum allowed bet size. This table limit can be reached rather quickly and you won’t be able to double up your bet any longer. Therefore the strategy failed and you are left with a big loss. Some of the roulette strategies are still fun to try, but you should be aware of the risks!
How to Lose With a Progressive Strategy
When you play roulette with a progressive strategy, you should, in theory, always be able to win in the end. You’ll bet a lot, but eventually, you’ll win back your bets, and in this way, steadily increase your bankroll. However, there are two ways of losing with these strategies.
The first way of losing might seem obvious – you run out of money and you’re not able to double your bet. This is why starting with a low bet, and perhaps also playing with the strategy for using the game round history to eliminate the first few loses, is smart. But even then the bets can quickly become so big that you aren’t able to keep doubling. Now you might think that losing 10 times in a row on what should be close to a 50/50 bet sounds highly unlikely, but it’s not. Believe it or not, on average, 8 losses or more in a row can happen several times over a 200-spin game round. So, running through their cash balance is what stops a lot of players from winning.
If you have enough money to keep doubling until you’re betting thousands of euros on a single spin (for the chance to win €1…), there’s another thing that will eventually stop you. The table limit. All roulette tables have a limit for both minimum and maximum bets, and sooner or later, you might hit this. As soon as you do, even if you have enough funds to cover the bet, the casino won’t let you place it. So, you’ll no longer be able to follow the strategy, and you’ll lose.
All of this being said, you can be lucky for quite a while with these strategies. Just remember to cash out while you’re still lucky and win!