Players are always looking for edges where they can beat the house. Roulette is one live casino game for which plenty of betting strategies have been created to try to give players the opportunity to win more consistently.
Players who are looking for a roulette system to employ won't have to look far. There are many out there, though not every system is for every player.
Most of these roulette systems are relatively easy to understand, but where they came from and how they work are a little more complicated. Below is an in-depth look at some of the more popular roulette systems and how you can use them when you're playing roulette.
The Martingale strategy is a betting system for roulette that focuses on placing wagers on one of the 50-50 outside bets. These bets are either red or black, odds or evens, or lows (1-18) or highs (19-36).
The theory behind the system is that even though there's almost a 50-50 chance on every spin that you will win when you bet on these numbers, over a long period of time, both sides will win at least once.
On any one spin, there's a roughly 50-50 chance that, say the roulette ball will land on red. But, when you string together multiple spins, the ball will land on red at a much higher rate than 50%, statistically speaking.
This doesn't mean that it's impossible that the ball will land on black for 10 spins in a row; instead, it means that it's statistically unlikely to do so. And this is exactly what the Martingale strategy seeks to capitalize on.
To use the strategy, you first set your base betting amount. Let's say it's $10 for argument sake. Place a bet on one of the 50-50 outside bets (red for argument's sake). If your bet wins, you simply repeat the $10 bet. If your bet loses, you repeat the same bet, but double the amount you're betting. You continue to double your bet amount until you win.
So, for example, if your initial bet loses, your second bet amount would be $20 ($10 + $10). If your second bet loses, your third bet amount would be $40 ($20 + $20).
It's a relatively risky strategy, if only because it can get quite expensive -- and because your wins will only equal $10 in this case. It is a strategy that will work more times than not, but you need a sizeable bankroll to use it effectively.
The biggest downfall of the Martingale roulette strategy is that your wins will only be equal to your initial bet amount, no matter how much you're wagering. That's because you have to factor in all your losses that led to the win.
Take this example …
Bet 1: $10 (Lost)
Bet 2: $20 (Lost)
Bet 3: $40 (Lost)
Bet 4: $80 (Lost)
Bet 5: $160 (Lost)
Bet 6: $320 (Won)
At first glance, you may think you just won $320. But, when you factor in all your losses in Bets 1-5, you only netted a $10 win.
The Grand Martingale roulette strategy, then, tries to increase your winnings. It follows the same betting pattern as the Martingale system. In addition to doubling your bet when you lose, it also adds your original bet on top of it.
So, for example, your second bet in this case would be $30, since you take your original bet of $10, double that ($20) and then add another $10 on top of it. It's a more aggressive strategy than the regular Martingale roulette system, but it could result in bigger wins faster.
Another downfall of the Martingale strategy is it doesn't really allow you to capitalize on "hot streaks," which is how players often win a lot of money at casino table games. The Reverse Martingale roulette strategy corrects that.
Instead of doubling your bet amount on losses, you double your bet amount on wins. This helps you to mitigate your losses, since you'll be repeating your bet amount when you lose. It also allows you to capitalize on a streak of four or five reds in a row, for example, since your fifth bet in this case would be $50.
The Fibonacci strategy is based around Fibonacci numbers, which includes sequences of numbers where the next number in line is equal to the sum of the two numbers that appear before it.
The sequence, then, appears as:
Again, choose a minimum bet and start betting from the left of this sequence. You progress down the line to the right every time your bet loses, and you move two spots to the left every time your bet wins.
To make this easy to understand, we'll use the example of a $1 base bet.
Your first bet will be $1. If it loses, you move one spot to the right on the sequence. Your second bet will be $1 again. If it loses, you bet $2 on your third spin, $3 on your fourth spin and so forth.
Keep continuing down this sequence to the right until you win. Let's say you won your $8 bet. Your next bet would be $3, since it's two spots to the left. If you lost that bet, you'd again move one spot to the right and bet $5 on the next spin.
Of all the roulette systems out there, the Fibonacci betting system is probably the most conservative. This is why a lot of players prefer to bet using this system, at least to start out. It gives them a chance to understand the game of roulette better while they aren't risking a lot of money.
There are two main downsides to this system. One, it's relatively complicated to remember the entire Fibonacci sequence of numbers. You could write it down, but you'd have to refer to it all the time.
The second downside is it limits how much you can win. As such, many players may opt for another roulette system that has the potential for bigger returns.
If you'd like to know about alternative betting systems in roulette, check out our guide on the double street roulette system.
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