Roulette Strategy

Thanks to the simple rules of the game, roulette strategy is relatively straightforward. The roulette strategies on this page won’t change the house advantage, but they can help you stay in the game longer and possibly win more money. Use these roulette tips to help maximize your wins, minimize your losses and stay in the game longer.

I’ve seen many e-books over the years that claim to sell winning “roulette strategy” systems. The house will always have an advantage in roulette so don’t let any of these claims fool you. Roulette strategy can be found for free all over the internet, and these products are simply rehashes of the same old information.

Roulette Bankroll

A proper bankroll is key to all casino games, whether it be roulette, blackjack or poker. It’s not so much the size of your bankroll that matters, it’s what you do with it. When you play online roulette for real money, you should size your bets so that they are small in proportion to the money you have set aside for gambling.

The manner in which you size your bets should be based on two things:

  1. The types of bets you tend to make
  2. Your risk tolerance

High risk, high payout bets such as straight-up bets on a single number are super high variance bets in the short term. If you make a lot of those types of bets, you should keep your bets equal to 1-5% the size of your total bankroll. Low risk, low payout bets such as even/odd are much lower variance in the short term. You can place bets equal to 5-10% the size of your bankroll and play for a decent amount of time.

You will also want to take your risk tolerance into consideration. For example, if you don’t care how long you stay in the game, you can place bets equal to 100% the size of your bankroll and be just fine. But if you prefer to stick around for a while, you’ll want to reduce the size of your bets so that you expose yourself to less risk each round.

It’s also important that you keep your roulette bankroll separate from the rest of your money. No matter how confident you may feel, there’s always a chance you lose at the casino. By keeping your roulette bankroll separate from your personal finances, you won’t lose sleep over a bad night at the tables.

Look for the Surrender or “En Prison” Rule

Some live casinos have a “surrender” or “en prison” option for their roulette tables. This is a special feature in which you can get part of your money returned to you if the ball lands on 0 or 00 during any even money spin. The rules vary from one casino to the next, but here’s an example to show you what I’m talking about:

Let’s say you place a $20 wager on red. The ball is dropped, the wheel spins and the ball lands on 0. If the casino offers the surrender option, you’ll only lose $10 instead of the whole $20. If the casino offers the en prison option, the ball will be placed “in prison” until the wheel is spun again. On the next spin, your bet will be released with no winnings if the ball lands on a winning slot. Otherwise, the bet is lost.

The surrender and en prison rules cut the house advantage in half on even money bets. On European roulette wheels, the house advantage drops to about 1.35%. On American roulette wheels, the house advantage drops to about 2.63%.

Avoid These Roulette Bets

Certain roulette bets have a higher house advantage than normal. If you place these bets on a regular basis, you’ll lose your money faster over the long run. Make sure to always avoid the following roulette bets:

  1. Any bet on an American roulette wheel
  2. The basket bet

American roulette wheels are a complete rip-off and should be avoided at all times. The difference between American roulette wheels and European roulette wheels is that American wheels have an extra spot reserved for double-zero. This additional green spot effectively doubles the house advantage on every single bet.

House advantage of European roulette: 2.7%

House advantage of American roulette: 5.26%

If you have no choice but to play at an American roulette wheel, make sure you at least avoid the basket bet. The basket bet (also called the “five number bet”) is a wager on the group of numbers that includes 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The payoff for this bet is only 6 to 1, which results in a house advantage of 7.89% rather than the standard of 5.26% in American roulette.

Roulette Betting Systems

There’s nothing wrong with roulette betting systems, but they should be approached with caution. First of all, know that there is no such thing as a winning roulette betting system. The house advantage in roulette is built in to the very rules of the game and there’s nothing you can do to change that. As long as you keep that in mind, feel free to explore the possibilities of roulette betting systems.

The most famous roulette betting system of all is the “Martingale System.” In this roulette system, you place even-money wagers and double your bet every time you lose. The idea behind this system is that if you constantly double your bet after every loss, you will eventually win and then make all your money back. The problem with this system is that it encourages larger and larger bets that can very quickly dig you into a deeper hole than you anticipated.

My Roulette System

One simple system I like to use is one that combines inside bets and outside bets. For example, I’ll place several straight-up bets on low numbers, a single bet on the bottom 12 (2 to 1 payout) and a bet on all the high numbers (1 to 1 payout). The goal here is to remain about even with my even money bets until I manage to hit a big payout with one of my straight up bets.

With this system, you win any time the ball lands on a low number. If the ball lands on one of your straight up bets, you’ll be paid 35 to 1 for that bet plus 2 to 1 for the bottom 12 bet. If the ball lands on a high number, you’ll get 1 to 1, which should help offset the cost of your other bets. This roulette betting system isn’t perfect but it makes it fun to play and it spreads your risk across the table.

If you decide to play according to a roulette betting system, make sure that you do not just blindly follow its recommendations. Most importantly, make sure you always stick to your bankroll management plan. If a betting system tells you to bet more money than you’re comfortable betting, it’s not a good system for you. Remember – betting systems have been proven time after time to have no effect on the house advantage.

Don’t Pay for Roulette Systems

There are about a million “top secret guaranteed roulette systems” out there, and each one asks that you only spend $19.95 or $29.99 to learn how to beat the casino for thousands of dollars a month. Out of all the advice you see on this page, make certain that this one sticks. There’s no such thing as a winning roulette system. Even if there was, you can bet your booty that nobody would be selling it to the general public just to have the casinos catch on.

The people that sell roulette systems are scam artists, plain and simple. These “guaranteed” systems often have convincing web sites, but don’t let them talk you into buying. Here’s one guarantee you can hold me to: I guarantee that you’ll be disappointed every single time you spend money on a “winning” roulette system.

Playing the Numbers

Roulette tables almost always have a little board somewhere near the table that lists the results of the past few spins. Many gamblers use this board to decide on which numbers they will bet on next. For example, a gambler may notice that the ball has landed on even numbers for the past five spins and is due to hit on an odd number any time now.

The thing about playing the numbers is that it’s all superstitious. Roulette balls and roulette wheels have no brains, and therefore have no memory of their last results. If a roulette ball lands on red 30 times in a row, it will still be roughly 50/50 to land on red on the 31st throw. The idea of numbers being “due” to hit is often referred to as the “Gambler’s Fallacy.”

Ready to Play?