Top roulette strategies

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The game of roulette was invented by a scientist pursuing an impossible dream, and it has been inspiring impossible dreams ever since. Blaise Pascal created the iconic roulette wheel while trying to create a perpetual motion machine. Ironically, it is the friction that spoiled his original experiment that is so crucial to slowing and stopping the roulette wheel in order for the ball to drop.

Ever since Pascal failed in his dream, people have been queuing up to offer us an impossible dream of their own – a way to beat the bank at roulette and guarantee a profit. Of course, no such system exists. If it did, we’d all be cleaning up at the roulette tables and the casinos would soon be out of business. If anyone tells you they have a guaranteed system to win at roulette, you should be very wary, however there are ways that you can improve your chances and protect your bankroll at the roulette table.

Start with the right game

As we have discussed elsewhere on gambling911.com, choosing the right roulette table can make a big difference to your chances. The basic rules of roulette are simple enough, but there are subtle variations that change the odds. The most obvious of these is the wheel itself. With a single zero on the European wheel, the house edge is just 2.7%, whereas the addition of a double zero on the American wheel doubles this to 5.4%. This means that red/black or odd/even no longer come out as 50:50 chances, but 48.65:48.65 on the European wheel and 47.37:47.37 on the American version. To put it another way, if you play on the American wheel, you are guaranteed to lose more than one in twenty even money bets, even if you always bet the same way.

The rules you play by can also affect the odds, sometimes offering you a second chance, such as in French roulette. In this game, when the ball lands in the zero, you will either get half of your even money bets back (en partage) or your bet will roll over to the next spin (en prison) with the bet returned (without profit) if you win that second spin. En partage and en prison cut the house edge in half on such bets to just 1.35%, so you are only guaranteed to lose one in seventy five spins.

Use the right system

 photo by Gerwin Sturm CC BY-SA 2.0

 Beware the gambler’s fallacy

Once you have chosen your table and your game, the next thing to decide is your strategy. There are plenty of systems out there, but they are almost all victim to what is known as the ‘gambler’s fallacy’. This is the belief that random events are influenced by previous random events. For example, if a coin flip produces five heads on the trot, the fallacy is that a tail is now more likely on the next flip, when in fact, heads and tails remain equally likely unless there is some fault with the coin. You might think that there is no chance of the same lottery numbers appearing two weeks running, but each draw is unique, and each set of numbers has the same chance of occurring, regardless of what happened last week.

Systems such as Martingale (where you double up on losing bets until you win) or Paroli (where you double up on winning bets), will help to keep you level on the night, less the house edge, but they won’t help you break the bank. It also takes real nerve to keep doubling up your bet each time, as the numbers quickly get larger. You may even hit the house limit before the system works out for you.

Just enjoy yourself

At the end of the day, it’s worth remembering why you are playing in the first place. Like all casino games, roulette is just a bit of fun, and should be taken as such. If you go for glory and bet on an individual number, you may well walk away with 35 times your stake, but chances are you’ll walk away empty handed. However, if you play the outside bets, at even money, over the course of an evening you should be about level, less the house edge. And paying 2.7% of your pot for the pleasure of an evening’s entertainment seems a reasonable deal. After all, with most casinos, you’ll probably get a free drink or free nibbles worth about that anyway.

So forget about trying to break the bank at Monte Carlo. Simply choose your game wisely and place your bets sensibly and you won’t go far wrong. And maybe, just maybe, once in a while, things will go very, very right.


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