Video poker appeared The words “roulette strategy” sound promising, but the search for a consistent way to win at the classic casino game has driven numerous men and women to the brink of madness. That’s because roulette is a pure game of chance, and all the tricks and tactics in a gambler’s arsenal are going to come up short when the little white ball starts randomly clattering around the pockets.
Fortunately, there are strategies that can be used to increase your enjoyment of the game and prevent a needless waste of money. I like to think of them as meat-and-potatoes tips, as they provide solid advice without promising unrealistic results.
The Basics of Roulette
The game of roulette is a popular attraction at land-based casinos, as the large table and multiple betting options draw in numerous players and onlookers. While it might not generate the communal feel of craps, it still involves far more social interaction than slots or video poker. If you want to achieve the same atmosphere during a session of online roulette, you’ll need to invite a few friends and total strangers to come over and drink alcohol while they watch you play.
The focal point of any roulette game is the table, and the distinctive wheel is located at one end (or in the center for those playing in Monte Carlo). Much of the table’s length is devoted to a cloth-covered betting area known as the layout, and this is where chips are placed to keep tracks of the various wagers.
The wheel has a series of pockets that alternate red and black. The European-style wheel has 37 pockets, while the more common American version adds a 00 for 38 pockets (and a higher house edge).
After players have had a chance to place their wagers (dependent on the minimum and maximum imposed by the casino), the wheel is set in motion. A small white ball is then introduced onto the wheel, spinning in the opposite direction. Gravity takes its toll after a short time, causing the ball to drop into the bottom of the wheel and come to rest in one of the pockets.
Roulette Wagers and Odds
No matter what type of roulette strategy you might want to implement, it’s always easier to accomplish if you’re familiar with the available wagers and their accompanying odds. In this section, we’ll take a look at both.
The items listed below are the most common roulette bets, but you may find an occasional table that offers additional options. Before you begin play, always take a few minutes and examine your options to be certain.
- 0 – Player wins if the ball lands in the 0 pocket. Odds are 36 to 1 (European) and 37 to 1 (American).
- 00 – Player wins if the ball lands in the 00 pocket. Odds are 37 to 1, but this option only exists in the American version of the game.
- Straight Up – Player selects a single number. Odds are 36 to 1 (European) and 37 to 1 (American).
- Split – Two numbers are selected, but they must be connected either vertically or horizontally on the layout. Odds are 35 to 2 (European) and 18 to 1 (American).
- Row – Players wagers on the 0 and 00 pockets. Only available in the American version of the game, the odds are 18 to 1.
- Corner – Any four connected numbers that form a square on the layout. Odds are 33 to 4 (European) and 8.5 to 1 (American).
- Basket – The player wagers on one of the following three combinations: 0, 1, 2; 00, 2, 3; or 0, 00, 2. Odds are 34 to 3 (European) and 11.667 to 1 (American).
- Street – Three numbers are selected, as long as they’re connected horizontally across the layout. Odds are 34 to 3 (European) and 11.667 to 1 (American).
- 1 to 18 – The player wagers on the first 18 number from the layout. Odds are 19 to 18 (European) and 1.111 to 1 (American).
- 19 to 36 – The player wagers on the last 18 numbers on the layout. Odds are 19 to 18 (European) and 1.111 to 1 (American).
- Red – All the red pockets are wagered on. Odds are 19 to 18 (European) and 1.111 to 1 (American).
- Black – All the black pockets are wagered on. Odds are 19 to 18 (European) and 1.111 to 1 (American). This is the favored bet of John Cutter (Wesley Snipes) from the film Passenger 57.
- Top Line – The player wagers on the following numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. Not available on the European version of the game, this bet has odds of 6.6 to 1 on an American table.
- Six Line – The player selects six numbers, but they must all come from two adjacent horizontal rows. Odds are 31 to 6 (European) and 5.33 to 1 (American).
- 1st Dozen – The numbers 1 through 12 are wagered on. Odds are 25 to 12 (European) and 2.167 to 1 (American).
- 2nd Dozen – The numbers 13 through 24 are wagered on. Odds are 25 to 12 (European) and 2.167 to 1 (American).
- 3rd Dozen – The numbers 25 through 36 are wagered on. Odds are 25 to 12 (European) and 2.167 to 1 (American).
- 1st Column – All numbers on the first vertical column of the layout are wagered on. Odds are 25 to 12 (European) and 2.167 to 1 (American).
- 2nd Column – All numbers on the second vertical column of the layout are wagered on. Odds are 25 to 12 (European) and 2.167 to 1 (American).
- 3rd Column – All numbers on the third vertical column of the layout are wagered on. Odds are 25 to 12 (European) and 2.167 to 1 (American).
- Even – All even numbers on the layout are wagered on. Odds are 19 to 18 (European) and 1.111 to 1 (American).
- Odd – All odd numbers on the layout are wagered on. Odds are 19 to 18 (European) and 1.111 to 1 (American).
If you want a 50/50 chance of winning, stick to the following bets: even/odd and black/red. While the payouts may not be as outrageous as some of the other options, you’ve got as good a shot at winning as you would on a coin toss. In fact, I’ve seen cases where people have sold all their possessions and then risked the money on a single wager of black or red.
Winning Tips for Roulette
Perhaps “winning tips” is a somewhat misleading phrase when applied to the game of roulette. A more accurate description might be “tips for enjoying roulette and giving you the best chance of winning.” Be sure to emphasize the word “chance,” however, as it governs the game more than any other factor.
In order to enjoy European roulette at a land-based casino, you may have to board a plane and fly all the way to France. The American version of the game is most popular at casinos these days, especially since it gives them an additional advantage over the customer.
With just a single zero, the house edge is 2.70%. Add in the 00, however, and the edge rises to 5.26%. No wonder the casinos are such fans of the non-European version.
The sooner you admit that luck plays a major factor in roulette, the sooner you can calm down and start to have a good time. No matter what strategy you use, a fair wheel is always going to provide a random result. The best course of action is to stop putting pressure on yourself to win and instead focus on having a good time. If you manage to walk away with some extra money in your bank account, then that’s a nice added bonus.
Before you play at an online casino, it’s always a good idea to do thorough research about their overall reputation and speed of issuing payments. There are a number of sites out there that like to slow-pay customers, meaning they delay payments in the hope that the player will get frustrated and use the requested money to make more wagers (and possibly lose it in the process).
There are other online casinos that just refuse to pay winners, often using the fine print in their terms and conditions to wriggle out of such responsibilities. These establishments are to be avoided at all costs; otherwise, you run the risk of enduring a great amount of frustration.
Online casinos are always going to be random thanks to the advanced computer software that powers their sites, but it’s possible that a brick-and-mortar establishment might have a biased wheel that results in a pattern. This is highly unlikely, and it would take careful examination of hundreds or thousands of spin to notice. It has happened in the past, however, so there’s no harm in taking a closer look if you get the sense that the results of the wheel can be predicted.
There are certain acceptable modes of behavior when playing roulette at a brick-and-mortar casino. While the employees and others players don’t mind filling you in, it’s always better to know in advance. A few examples include waiting until the wheel has stopped before requesting a chip change and placing chips directly on the table instead of tossing them.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many players start to chase losses by dipping deeper and deeper into their bank accounts. This can lead to all sorts of problems, from debt to divorce.
The best way to avoid this is to make a careful assessment of how much money you can afford to lose prior to each gaming session. If that predetermined amount is depleted, then stop playing immediately. It’s as simple as that.
It’s easy to find free game of roulette online, and I suggest you take advantage of them before putting money on the line. This gives you a chance to experiment with the different wagers in a pressure-free environment. If you want to use a betting system, this is also an excellent time to find out that it’s flawed (see the following section).
Roulette Betting Systems
A betting system governs how much money you wager during an entire gaming session or just a single round of betting. In either case, you’ll be provided with certain parameters that you’re expected to follow in order to make the system work.
Unfortunately, betting systems only provide the illusion of working over the short term. If you step up to the table frequently enough, the random nature of the game is always going to expose the system as flawed. Despite this warning, here are some of the more popular examples:
If you make a bet and lose, double the size of the next wager. The idea is that an eventual win will compensate for the losses, but this is flawed logic.
The player doubles their wager following a loss, but they also make an additional bet on a single number.
The player doubles their wager following a win instead of a loss.
To begin with, calculate how much money you want to win during a session. Then write down a series of numbers that equal the amount you want to win. Then bet the sum of the first and last numbers on your list. If you win, remove those numbers. If you lose, add that amount to the bottom of your list.
Employing a consistently winning roulette strategy is impossible, as the game is randomized on every possible level. You can, however, adopt certain practices and habits to help your chances, as well as your overall enjoyment of the game.
The main key to roulette success is to view the game as a fun diversion instead of an opportunity to become wealthy. The latter is bound to end in disappointment and potential disaster, as roulette—like every other casino game—is meant to profit the house instead of the player over the long term.