Roulette Strategies

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Since roulette is so popular, it is not surprising that players from all over the world have always tried to take their luck into their own hands with various roulette strategies. But the big question is: is 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 – and perhaps they can, at least in the short term.

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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. A strategy is supposed to offset the losses you inevitably will have by making the most out of the wins you get. Since there is nothing you can do about the outcome of each game round, all roulette strategies are based on changing your bets based on your long-term wins and losses. If done correctly, this should in theory make you end up on the plus side. 

Actually, roulette strategies don’t just work in theory. They do, and that’s a fact. But…there is always a but! For the strategies to work out, a couple of things need to be in place. Firstly, you’ll need to have a whole lot of money in your bankroll. Secondly, the roulette table you’re playing on can’t have a max bet limit. Unfortunately, few players have an unlimited bankroll, and casinos always have a max bet on their roulette tables to prevent players playing with a betting strategy. This is how the casinos are protecting themselves. 

One thing to keep in mind is that all common roulette strategies are based on outside bets, usually the even-money bets. These are red or black, high or low numbers, or odd or even numbers. Now, let’s have a look at some of the most popular roulette strategies.

Martingale

Probably the best-known roulette strategy is the 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 is successful, you start from scratch with the strategy. 

In addition, the chances of winning with simple chances are almost 50:50, 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 cover here, but all of them have the same fundamental idea.

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, they now have to bet £4. 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 equal to your initial bet, no matter how many times you have to double before you get a win.

Paroli

In the Paroli game, the strategic roulette player approaches the matter in exactly the opposite way to the Martingale System – they always double 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. They start with a Paroli and continue to do so as long as they lose. After a winning coup, the player has achieved the first Paroli so they leave all the chips on the table. 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 goal is achieved and the player starts all over again with the original stake.

Parlay

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 with its own approach.

Not only the even-money chances can be played here. The player flexibly defines the stages of their game by defining both the starting stakes and the desired winnings. Every time they lose it, they go back to the first step. 

Procedure for the Parlay strategy: The player has determined before the start of the game that they want to win a total of £30 with a starting stake of £1. They could put the £1 on red, for example, and a win would give £2 to play with. They 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 the goal with another win.

D’Alembert

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 they lose the first bet, they bet 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 wins the next round, 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 solely depends on luck, but there’s still some entertainment value in following this system.

Marche

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 orient 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 equalisation: 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. 

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 might have to bet a lot, but eventually, you’ll win back your bets and steadily increase your bankroll. However, there are two reasons why you might still lose with these strategies.

The first reason for 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 losses 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 pounds on a single spin (for the chance to win your initial bet…), 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!

Using Roulette Strategies With a Casino Bonus

Claiming a casino bonus in order to increase your bankroll might seem like a good idea, and in many cases it is, but not always. Before you decide to use bonus funds on your account to play roulette using a strategy, you should carefully read the bonus terms. Some casinos won’t allow a betting strategy to be used when it’s bonus money you’re playing with, and even if they do, the max bet allowed with bonuses might become an issue. 

Many casinos have rules for how large a bet can be, and this limit is often around £5. With a progressive strategy, positive or negative, you can easily end up betting more than £5 per game round, and if you do you’re in breach of the casino’s bonus terms. Which again means they might not want to pay out your winnings. 

And one more thing to keep in mind is that not all casino bonuses can be used to play roulette at all, so you need to check which games you are allowed to use the bonus for.

Eve Luneborg
Eve LuneborgUpdated: 09 Sep 2022
Eve started working at an online casino back in 2014, and she’s been involved in the iGaming industry ever since. Starting off as a support agent at LeoVegas Casino, she later took...
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