Most Popular Roulette Strategies
Roulette is one of the most popular casino games, which you’ll find at virtually any casino you walk into or find online. It’s also a fairly simple game without any complex rules or interactions that you have to remember.
The main thing new players may be unaware of is all the different kinds of bets you can make. It may be tempting to place a bet on a single number, but this carries by far the worst odds (although the best payout).
There are three main types of roulette: European, French, and American. In European/French variants the roulette wheel goes from the numbers one to 36, with a zero on the wheel as well. The numbers are also divided into red and black sections. You can bet on single numbers, odd, even, black, red, and cover groups of numbers too.
American Roulette has a zero and a double zero on the wheel.
The greater section of the wheel you cover, the better the odds you’ll win. On the other hand, the payout also decreases as you cover more areas. It’s important to find the right balance for you. Our table below summarises all bet options, odds, and payouts.
|Straight Bet (single number)||35:1||2.7%|
|Split (2 numbers)||17:1||5.41%|
|Street (A column of three numbers)||11:1||8.11%|
|Corners (4 numbers)||8:1||10.81%|
Below you’ll find a list of the major roulette strategies. Some strategies will work better than others, and which one you pick may depend on your own style. We’ve described each one in detail, as well as any shortcomings it may have.
1. Martingale Strategy
The Martingale strategy is an attempt to win back losses from the previous round. If you lose, you’d then bet double the amount on the next spin. Let’s say you wager $10, but you lose. Next time you would then bet $20.
There’s one obvious problem with this strategy, which is that you’re not guaranteed a win by any means. If you lose again during the next round, you’ll find yourself in an even deeper hole.
2. Reverse Martingale Strategy
This is similar to the strategy above in that it involves doubling your bets. However, with the Reverse Martingale strategy, you double your bet only when you win. In the case of a loss, you’d return back to what your original wager was.
3. Fibonacci Strategy
The Fibonacci strategy is only used on the bets that carry roughly 50% odds of winning. This includes odd/even, red/black or high/low.
It’s based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, where each number in a sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers. It is somewhat similar to the Martingale strategy but considered less aggressive.
4. The D’Alembert Roulette Strategy
The D’Alembert strategy is named after 18th-century mathematician Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert. Like the Fibonacci and Martingale strategies, it’s only used on the even bets.
It’s another variation of these strategies where you increase your bet after a loss. If you lose, you add one unit to your bet. When you win, you decrease your bet by one unit. It’s based on the still commonly held gambler’s fallacy that you’re more likely to win after a loss.
5. Contra D’Alembert System
The Contra D’Alembert system is a positive, progressive strategy of betting. In short, you increase your stake after a win and decrease it when you lose. You can see it’s the opposite of the D’Alembert strategy above.
6. The James Bond Betting Strategy
Interestingly, according to writer Ian Flemming, Bond’s preferred casino game was originally written as roulette. Unlike the other strategies covered so far, this is a flat betting system. This means you bet the same amount every round.
Unlike the other strategies, this one involves making multiple bets at once. Assuming a $20 bet, you would place $14 on high, $5 on 13-18 and $1 on zero. The idea is to cover several areas. You place the highest bet on the one with the best odds.
7. Fisher Roulette Strategy
Once again, this is a strategy where you bet only on the even numbers (high/low, red/black, odd/even). Since these carry the highest odds, they’re the safest bets you can make. Even if you lose one round, a win in the next will let you break even. This is one of the simplest strategies to use while playing Roulette.
8. Labouchere System
The Labouchere System is meant to be used with even bets. Before you begin playing, you decide how much money you want to win. Then, write a string of numbers that adds up to this total.
Each round, you bet an amount equal to the number on the far left and right summed up. If you win, cross these two numbers out. If you lose, however, these numbers are then added to the end of the list again. Ideally, you continue until you cross out all the numbers and therefore win the amount you set out to.
9. Reverse Labouchere System
The reverse Labouchere System is essentially the opposite of what was described above. Like before, you write a sequence of numbers down. Your first bet is equal to the sum of the numbers on the two ends.
Each time you win, you add the amount you wagered to the end of the sequence. If you lose instead, the numbers at the end are crossed out. This system is more about limiting losses.
10. Andrucci System
Unlike some previous strategies, this is a high-risk, high reward system. In the Andrucci system, you select a single number based on the chaos theory. First, it involves keeping a record of 30-37 spins and seeing which number won the most often.
Roulette is supposed to be a completely random game, but this assumes that it isn’t. You then bet on this single number 10-37 times or until you win. The single number bet offers the highest payout by far.
11. Paroli System
The Paroli system is about placing even bets only, and each bet you make is influenced by the outcome of the previous round. If you end up losing a round, you bet the same amount on the next round. However, whenever you win, you double your next wager.
Ideally, you want to win three times in a row, at which point you go back to your starting stake. The obvious problem with this strategy is the assumption that your winning streak will continue. Several losses in a row can really throw you off as well.
12. 3/2 System
The 3/2 strategy employs more than one bet each round. Place your larger bet on red or black, which covers about half of the wheel. The smaller bet is placed on one of three columns of 12 numbers.
The 3/2 name comes from how the best is split up. If you wager $3 on red, you place $2 on a column for a total bet of $5. The idea here is you cover a large portion of the wheel.
13. 1 3 2 6 System
The 1 3 2 6 system is a fairly simple strategy that is used with even bets. The name details exactly how you will wager on each round. On the first round, you bet $10, which is followed by $30, then $20, and finally $60 for the fourth round. Of course, you could start with any amount you wish.
The main drawback is it works on the assumption that you’ll win each of those rounds. Ideally, your goal is to make it to at least round three with consecutive wins.
14. 666 System
The last system we’ll cover is considered an aggressive betting strategy in roulette. This system aims to cover as much of the wheel as possible. It gets its name from the fact that all the numbers add up to 666. You’ll be betting $66 on a single round.
The bets are distributed like this:
- Wager $36 on back or red.
- Wager $4 on six split bets (two numbers).
- Pick three numbers that weren’t covered by the split bets above and place $2 on each one.
If you win the even bet and lose everything else, you’ll still come away with a small profit. To work this system, though, you’ll need a fairly sizable bankroll.
Which Roulette Strategy Should You Choose?
A lot of this comes down to your own preferences. Are you about taking bigger risks for bigger payouts? Maybe you prefer the safer route instead.
One important strategy we should talk about is picking the correct version of roulette to play. Not all roulette wheels are equal, and some carry better odds than others. You should always skip on American Roulette, as this contains an extra 00 on the wheel and therefore means slightly lower odds of winning.
European (and French) Roulette is a much better option. The house edge for these is only 2.7%. In American Roulette, the house edge is 5.26%.
The best strategies to try when you’re new to a casino
For new players, simple and safe strategies are the better ones. You don’t want something like the Martingale, where a few successive losses can send you spiralling into a hole.
One of our favourite strategies is the 3/2 system, and here’s why. First, even bets carry the best odds, so you always want to utilize those. What if we can make those odds a little better? Let’s say you want to bet $15 total.
Rather than betting the full $15 on red/black or odd/even place only $10. Place the remaining $5 on a column bet (which has the next best odds). If you win the even bet and lose the column bet, you still get a $5 profit ($20 back). If you lose the even bet, there’s still a chance to at least break even if you win the column bet (which would return $15).
Therefore this system incorporates something like a small safety net into the even bet you make. Of course, if both win, you get more money than if you just spent all $15 on the even bet only.
Roulette strategies to play if you’re a pro
Here are a few strategies which pros might want to use and why. Some of these aren’t suitable for newer players as they may need large funds to work.
The idea here is you can’t be on a losing streak forever. So while you might incur some larger short-term losses, you should be able to recover those losses if you’re using this system. The Martingale strategy is better for pros as it may need a larger bankroll to employ.
This system is somewhat similar to the Martingale but considered safer. The Fibonacci allows for progressive bets but without the larger risk seen with the Martingale.
James Bond System
Here, you attempt to turn the odds in your favour by covering more of the wheel. It’s not quite as well known as some others but has the potential for big payoffs.
Roulette strategies that got the most wins
Here we’ll quickly list off a few of the biggest wins in roulette history, and what (if any) strategy was employed.
Charles Wells Fr2,000,000, 1891
Wells was a small-time crook who managed to beat the odds at the roulette table. By winning 23 out of 30 spins, he came away with 2,000,000 Francs. There was no particular strategy used (other than even money bets); it was largely pure luck.
Mike Ashley £820,000, 2008
Mike Ashley is a British businessman who won big. By utilizing numerous bets such as splits, corners, street, and six-line, he covered enough of the wheel to rake in a big profit.
Ashley Revell $135,000, 2004
Ashley Revell decided to go big at the casino and bet everything on red. The gambit paid off with a $135,000 win. In this case, it was just pure luck, although even bets like red/black do have the best odds.
General Beginner Mistakes That Are Easy to Avoid
We’ll wrap up this guide on roulette by going over a few common mistakes you should avoid. New players often don’t know about these, and it can cost them.
Set a Budget
Before you start playing, it’s important that you decide how much money you’ll be playing with. This is often referred to as your bankroll. It’s important that you don’t go beyond this number.
While many casinos have a bar and offer alcoholic beverages, that doesn’t mean you have to drink them. When playing any casino game, you need to keep a clear head so you can think properly.
Avoid American Roulette
American Roulette should be avoided, as the odds are a fair bit worse. You can easily identify an American wheel by the double zero. Stick to European/French Roulette as the house edge is lower.