Roulette, without question, is the most glamorous casino game of all time. Millions have dreamed of winning a big payout at the original wheel of fortune. Playing the roulette wheel, with its excitement and anticipation, is an uncommonly genteel experience. Though, as with all games, you must be thoughtful and gain experience. A quick glance at the roulette wheel, with its extra 0 and 00 slots, makes you suspect the payouts don’t match the odds. You’re right. Those two numbers give the casino a staggering advantage of 5.2%. What does that 5.2% house edge number mean? In the long run, for every $100 you bet, you will walk away with $94.80 (you lose $5.20 and the casino pockets $5.20 profit).
No roulette strategy can zero out this steep house edge. However, with the right combination of strategies, it is possible to improve your odds and win much of the time. By following these five general strategy rules, you can refine your gaming into winning roulette games at both brick and mortar casinos and the best online roulette casinos. Before you start placing bets, you also should read our articles on how to play roulette and top roulette betting strategies. Above all, it’s important that you don’t go near a roulette table until you’ve mastered the bets, the odds, and the payouts.
Winning Roulette Strategy Rule #1: Limit Your Losses
Before you even walk through the door, firmly decide on the maximum amount you will spend at the table. That’s your bankroll for the day, also known as your stake. Players fall victim to the house edge by not knowing when to walk away from a losing streak.
Winning Roulette Strategy Rule #2: Bank Your Wins
Always leave the online roulette table with the money you’ve won. Your winnings are not “free” money to throw away on bets. This is your profit. Bank it. Rather than betting your winnings, set them all aside (or at least 90% of them, but 100% is much better). Pros usually bank all their winnings and only play from the money in their bankrolls. No matter what percentage you choose to keep, stick to it religiously when playing live casino games.
One simple way of achieving this is to keep your bankroll in one pocket and your winnings in another. This way you never mix them up and never bet your winnings. If you follow both these rules, you will eventually lose your bankroll at the roulette table because the house edge will catch up to you. However, because you tucked away your winnings, you are far more likely to walk away from the table with more money than the bankroll you spent, creating a profit for yourself.
Winning Roulette Strategy Rule #3: Play European Roulette
If your favorite online casinos offer European roulette, always choose European over American roulette. Let’s reiterate that: always choose European roulette! Why? The house edge (5.2%) on an American roulette wheel is due to the 0 and 00 numbers that reduce the payouts relative to the odds on every bet. On the other hand, the European roulette wheel does not have the 00 number and is limited to just the single 0 number, shaving the house edge to 2.7%. There is no betting or playing strategy in the world that will slice such a big chunk out of the house edge. Again, always play European roulette.
Winning Roulette Strategy Rule #4: Betting Systems Don’t Always Work
Many roulette betting strategies are some variation of progressive betting. You start the game with a low bet and, following some formula, you gradually increase or decrease your bet with each following play. The goal is to win more money when you win and lose less money when you lose. The most popular roulette betting strategies are negative progressive betting strategies. The king of all these is the Martingale Strategy in which you double your bet after each loss.
For instance, if you bet $5 and lose, you bet $10 on the next play. If you lose again, you again double the bet to $20, and so on. The theory is that the player will eventually win and recover all the money lost during a losing streak in one spin of the wheel. Here’s the truth about progressive betting strategies. You will win a little money most of the time, but you will lose a lot of money some of the time.
Winning Roulette Strategy Rule #5: Use Multiple Bets to Increase Your Odds
Betting on more than one outcome allows you to maximize winnings by increasing your odds relative to payouts. This is especially useful in online roulette games. Take a look at the roulette table layout for these examples. Some roulette table layouts have each column of numbers listed evenly by color – each column contains six black and six red numbers. However, on some roulette table layouts, the second column (in the middle) contains eight black and four red numbers, while the third column (the right column) has four black and eight red.
When you have this second layout, one of the most popular and effective betting strategies is to bet on the second or third column and increase winnings by betting red or black. Because the second column contains 8 black and 4 red numbers and the third column has 4 black and 8 red numbers, you increase your payout relative to the odds by betting the second column and black or by betting the third column and red. A $10 column bet and $10 corresponding color bet pays $35 if you win both, which is the most likely outcome if you win the column or color.
Other multiple betting strategies hedge your bet by covering as many outcomes as possible at different payouts to generate high-probability wins. The most famous is called the James Bond strategy. Using a total bet of $200, you make the following three bets on each spin:
Bet: $140 $50 $10
On: 19-36 13-18 0
Payout: 1-1 5-1 35-1
Win: $140 $200 $350
Total: $280 $300 $360
Profit: +$80 +$100 +$160
This combination will win slightly over 2/3 of the time, so if luck is just a little bit on your side, you will walk away with extra money in your pocket. Want to learn more? Check out our article on multiple betting strategies in roulette to discover the best bets to make at the table and increase your odds of winning online roulette and other top live online casino games.