There aren’t too many great roulette strategies out there and that’s because it’s really a game of pure luck. Also, a player won’t benefit from these strategies when playing at online casinos and one of the reasons is that there’s a maximum betting amount that you can play when playing online roulette.
# 1: Martingale
Martingale is probably the most common gambling strategy out there. It seems like every week someone “invents” this roulette strategy. The martingale strategy is pretty simple, you start off by betting one unit, then if you lose you bet two units and you keep doubling each time you lose. So if you lose the second bet you bet four units, then if you lose that bet you bet eight units, etc. Rise and repeat. Actually, the martingale strategy is highly effective in the short term, which gives users the illusion of it being a profitable strategy. The problem with the martingale system is that you are ultimately risking your entire bankroll just to win one bet, and while the chance of losing your bankroll over say ten or twenty hands are quite small, the longer you employ this strategy the higher the chance of going broke becomes. One interesting variation on the Martingale strategy is the Fibonacci sequence. Here, instead of a crude doubling of your wager, you instead have a negative progression of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. This gives you more jumps to get your money back, but just like the martingale system, this approach to is flawed.
# 2: Positive Progression
A positive progression player bets more when they are winning, so, for example, you bet $10 on red, you win, then you increase to say $15 or $20 and hope to ride out the streak. This is a sort of reverse gamblers fallacy, where instead of expecting things to turn around because the opposite result is due, the user expects to win because they have been winning. Unfortunately for practitioners of this strategy, the roulette wheel does not have memory, and just because the wheel has been landing on red, or even, or 1-12, or whatever it is you are betting on, does not mean this will continue to happen. Each spin of the roulette wheel is random and you cannot use past results to predict future results. The progression strategy fails because the user of it is making negative expectation bets. No betting system can have a long-term expectation of profit if you are making negative expectation wagers. Conversely, if you are making positive expectation wagers, then any betting system will have a long-term expectation of profit, although a skilled player will size their positive expectation wagers in accordance with the Kelly criterion in order to most rapidly increase the size of their bankroll.
# 3: One-shot strategy
Probably the best strategy for roulette would be to play the game exactly one time. Let’s say you decided to play roulette once if your life, and bet $50 on red. You have a pretty good shot at winning this bet and making $50. There are 18 red squares on a roulette wheel out of a total of 37 squares (assuming single zero or European roulette) so your chances of winning this bet are 18/37 or 48.64%. By playing exactly one spin you offer the best chances for the variance to be on your side and for you to end up a winner. This is still not a good strategy because you are making a negative expectation bet, but at least here you have a pretty good chance to walk away from a winner because with most gambling in the short term variance is king. So while you have a 48.64% chance of being ahead if you bet just on one spin, you have only a 35.5% chance of being ahead over 100 spins, because the more trials you have the more likely you are to have a result that aligns with your long-term expectation.
In conclusion, there are not any good strategies for playing roulette because it is a game with a negative expectation. The best approach is to just play small bets for fun.
BONUS READ: Tips and Tricks: Play Roulette Like A Pro
Ari Waknine was born in Brooklyn, New York and was the founder of iGamble Group, an online gaming critique firm that helps players pick online gambling websites that fit their profile, as well as, helping them to increase their winnings. He is also the founder of NewCasinos.org, and is strictly focusing on this project making stronger and better than ever.