Roulette Basic Strategy Guide

Roulette - Roulette Guide

Roulette

Roulette is the oldest and most popular game of chance which has been around for centuries. It didn’t take long before it became popular among people from all classes, especially the aristocrats. Due to the roulette’s simple rules people who have never entered a casino and are not very fond of games with hands on approach find this table game very attractive to play. There’s one thing every casino player should know, the simpler the game the higher the house edge. The game’s rules impose constraints which limit the player’s decisions. Add to this the limitless house budget to play with and the player is in a very unenviable position.

Most Popular Roulette Wheels

Over the course of the roulette’s existence several different variations emerged such as American, European or French Roulette. American Rules Roulette and European dominate the market. American Roulette is by far the most popular version of this table game in the USA. However, you can still find some European Roulette tables if you put in some effort.

The rules of the American and the European Roulette don’t differ at all. Nonetheless, the devil is in the details. Our devil hides in the higher house edge American Roulette has due to the added 00 field. That being said, the European Roulette wheel is a 1-36 with only 0 added, thus it has 37 fields to choose from. On the other hand its younger cousin from the West includes an additional green field with double zeros (00). This seemingly unimportant difference severely diminishes player’s returns, in fact it increases the house edge by almost 100%, from 2.70% up to about 5.26%.

If you have the freedom to choose between American and European Roulette always go for the latter. It’s a game and you as a player should use all means on your disposal to beat the house, or at least attempt to beat it. 

Beat the Roulette Wheel- How to Increase Your Odds

On a fundamental level there’s not much a player can do to beat the house. The only thing a roulette player can do is play smart and in moderation. Unlike Blackjack, Roulette doesn’t let the player tackle the game with a strategic approach.

Every spin is individual. Bear this in mind when the same number comes up twice in a row. This is the only reason why you can’t predict the next winning number. However, don’t despair yet as there are ways to skew the chances in your favor. It may not work in the long run due to the guaranteed house edge, but you’ll have fun using it in the short to medium term. 

Odds and Statistics – The Roulette Inside Out

First and foremost, don’t be afraid of the word statistics, in practice you’re not going to need to count your spins, what number came up most often etc. We’ll elaborate how roulette statistics work and how you can use this to your advantage. Bottom line is, besides what type of bet the player will place and the stake there’s not much else that can be done.

We’ll begin with the simplest type of bets, Black and Red. Afterwards we will move on to other bets such as betting on odds, evens, five-number bets, square bets etc. In this guide we’ll attempt to cover as much as possible aspects of the game. Hopefully it will help you realize, at the very least, what’s actually going on behind the numbers and the odds.

Black/ Red (payoff 1 to 1/ Probability to Win 47.37% / House Edge 5.26%)

This is the most basic and the most distinctive bet of the roulette. Every person who has the slightest idea of what roulette is knows how black or red works like. These bets are usually the closest to the player. For example, if you bet on Red there are 3 possible outcomes. The ball lands on red and you win, the ball lands on a black field and you lose or the ball lands on the 0 or the 00 and yet again you lose. A bet amount of $5 brings the player a winning of $10, the bet of $5 plus the $5 win.

A win and a loss negate each other. Should the numbers of wins and losses be the same without changing the stake the player hasn’t won a dime, but nor he/she has lost one.

Due to the presence of double zeros in the long run the player will eventually lose to the house. Remember that! later on in the guide we’ll explain how to overcome this disadvantage. In the meantime we’ll take a brief look at other similar outside bets.

Odd/ Even (payoff 1 to 1/ Probability to Win 47.37% / House Edge 5.26%)

There are exactly the same red numbers as there are black. Because of this ratio the probability doesn’t change. And as you can see below the house edge is fixed since the double zeros are always there to make your day soar. The only difference between placing a bet on Red or Black and Odds or Evens is that with the odd or even bet winning condition is tied to a precise selection of numbers, whereas the Black or Red disregards the number and sticks to the color of the field.

Low Bet/ High Bet (payoff 1 to 1/ Probability to Win 47.37% / House Edge 5.26%)

The Low Bet covers the first 18 numbers (1-18) and the High Bet covers the remaining numbers (19-36). Note, we’re talking about American Roulette Rules. Follow the wheel and see which half the numbers it favors. Betting on Low or High shows the same results in the long run.

Dozen Bet/ Column Bet (payoff 2 to 1/ Probability to Win 31.58% / House Edge 5.26%)

Betting on 12 numbers at a time is commonly referred to as a column bet. Although an outside bet this bet comes with a payoff rate of 2 to 1. This means that if you place a bet of $5 and you win, you’ll win $15, $5 being the bet/stake and the remaining $10 represent the prize. As you can see the probability of winning starts to go down. Column bets are riskier, but not to the extent where you can find yourself in a situation to lose your money fast. With the appropriate budget and bet management this type of bet can bring you a fortune. 

Outside Bets

Outside bets are bets that are placed outside of the number grid. In other words the winning condition is not tied to a particular number. These types of bets offer higher chances of winning, but at a lower payoff rate. If you intend to play for a longer time we recommend placing some of the following bets. You may not win a lot, but you should win frequently. Few consecutive wins and you’re going home with a profit. Nevertheless, we would suggest you to always bet on outside bets. The payoff may be marginal, but after several spins you can double and even triple your starting bet.

Furthermore, if you’re a beginner bursting your money with some of the inside bets won’t be entertaining at all for you. On the other hand, placing outside bets allows you to truly experience roulette at its finest. After all, entertainment is what matters the most. The following information provided next to the type of the bet refers to American Roulette Rules.

Inside Bets

Straight Bet (payoff 35 to 1/ Probability to Win 2.63%/ House Edge 5.26%)

The payoff certainly is alluring, but the chances of winning are as low as 2.63%. The odds are not in the player’s favor. However, players have the opportunity to place several straight bets per spin. The casino allows lower entry bets. For every additional number you bet on your chances of winning increase by 2.63%. If you bet on 12 numbers the chances of winning become equal to the dozen or column bet. The straight bet offers a lot of freedom and winning one of these is by far the most exciting thing that can happen to you during roulette play.

Split Bet (payoff 17 to 1/ Probability to Win 5.26%/ House Edge 5.26%)

Very similar to the straight bet, but instead of placing your bet on one number you bet on two at a time. To place a bet of this type, players should place their chips in the middle of two numbers on the number grid. The payoff is a high 17 to 1. If you manage to win a split bet during the early stages we advise you to cash out the winnings and return to play with your money you brought to the casino in the first place.

Street Bet (payoff 11 to 1/ Probability to Win 7.89%/ House Edge 5.26%)

The house edge is still fixed, the payoff starts to go down and the probability of win rises once again. Although it’s rising it’s still not recommended to place any inside bets. You never know when lady luck is smiling or if it has a grin on its face. We urge you to play conservatively with no wild ideas of betting all your money on a street (three number) bet or any other type of bet including the outside bets. That gut feeling you have is not your best friend when playing roulette.

Square Bet (payoff 8 to 1/ Probability to Win 10.53%/ House edge 5.26%)

The split requires the player to place the bet in the middle of two numbers. In order to place a square (four number bet) players should place their chips in the center of 4 neighboring numbers on the number grid. The chances of winning stand a little more than 10%. 1 in 10 isn’t by all means a reasonable outcome to expect. Nonetheless, if you’re style of play involves a riskier approach we urge you to at least place two of these bets per spin.

Five-Number Bet (payoff 6 to 1/ Probability to Win 13.16%/ House Edge 5.26%)

By now you should have clear idea how certain bets affect your odds of winning and how much you can expect in return. Getting rich with roulette in a short period of time is virtually impossible. The presence of the 0 and the 00 kills almost any strategy you had in mind. However, nature gave us mathematics and we will exploit.

Six Line Bet (payoff 5 to 1/ Probability to Win 15.79%/ House edge 5.26%)

Avoid this bet at all costs. You can put the 5 number bet in the same basket with this bet. The payoff is not enough to make up for the low probability to win. Nobody forces you to place these bets and if you want to come on top in the casino you better avoid these bets.

How to Apply this Data to Other Roulette Wheels

Note the information provided above refers to the American Roulette Rules. You can convert them fairly easy. For example, if you’re playing European Roulette the house edge is lower, 2.70%. If you subtract 2.70% from 100% you derive to a number that shows the odds of the house losing if all outside bets are covered. Afterwards divide 97.30% with 36 and you should end up with a number around 2.70%. This is the procedure to calculate the probability for all types of roulette wheels. A straight bet on a European Roulette has the same chances of winning as the house, 2.70%.

If there isn’t any European Roulette in the casino you’re playing, look for Atlantic City Rules Roulette. Although the wheel includes a 0 and a 00 the advantages over the American Roulette can’t be left unnoticed. If the ball lands on a 0 or a 00 bets on Red or Black, Odd or Even, Low and High 50% of the stake is returned to the player. This is called the half-back rule and it is a feature of the European and the French Roulette.

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Bet Management

The bet is the player’s fiercest weapon in the battle against the house. Players can increase or decrease their bets as they will. Over the past century or two various mathematical systems emerged giving guidance to players who want to abuse the laws set by nature. The bet management resembles much to what should be applied to Blackjack, to be precise players should increase their bets if they want to go home with a profit.

You can find various “strategies”, systems and few illegal gadgets that can predict the outcome of the roulette spin, but you need a lot of first-hand information to devise an approach such as this or break some rules. It all comes down to these few reasonable systems.

Note: These systems works from a statistical point of view. They work if you have a large starting budget. In practice a bad losing streak can get you out of the table and of the casino with empty pockets. You must know when to cash out and return to the table with your starting balance. Otherwise you will, we guarantee you, you will get carried away by the adrenaline and the thrill. Beating the house is the best thing that can happen to you.

Martingale

It’s a simple mathematical approach. Progressive bets make up for the previous losses. In a way it guarantees you’ll breakeven. Consecutive wins are the key to make a profit. The outcome of the previous bet you make determines what you should do with your next bet. This is called the Martingale System. The greatest enemy and probably the greatest flaw is that casinos will set a maximum bet limit on the outside bets of say $500. If you start with a bet of $5 you need at least 8 turns to have 99% chances of winning. If you apply this progressive bet approach the 8th bet will be $640. Bear in mind you should place a bet on Black or Red.

Grand Martingale

Rather similar to the Martingale, but with the Grand Martingale players tend to pick it up a notch with adding another portion to the following bet. That being said, players double the initial $5 and add another $5 ending up with a $15 bet. This not only returns previous losses, but also brings a small profit. However, it deals with the same problem of bet limits and you still need a hefty budget.

The Paroli

This is an overaggressive approach where players increase their bets when winning. Bets are increased up to a point when the player has 3 consecutive wins. Yet again we need to place outside bets. The bet is not increased until there’s a win and the bet is reduced to the initial amount after 3 consecutive wins occurred. For example, you place a $5 bet and you win, now you double the bet plus you add another unit of the initial bet ending up with a 2nd bet of $15. If the 2nd bet wins as well you double the $15 bet and you add another $5. If the third bet wins as well you go back to a $5 bet.

Shotwell System

Roughly 40 years ago the Gambling Times Magazine published the Shotwell System. It involves placing straight (one number) bets on specific set of numbers. By placing bets on these specific numbers players have a SHOT at winning no matter where the ball lands. The numbers a player should bet on look like this: 20, 26, 8, 10; or 13, 14, 15, 10; or 16, 17, 18, 28; or 11, 12, 27, 28; or 1, 2, 4, 26. Players can also include the zeros such as 00, 22, 24, 25 and 0, 00, 29, 30.

A simple approach is to place six number bets: 1 through 6; 4 through 9; 10 through 15; 13 through 18; 19 through 24; 28 through 33 and 31 through 36. Nevertheless, in the long run say 38 spins the house edge will eat away your budget if you’re not fortunate enough or you don’t back off in time.

Summary

People who say they can beat the roulette with no predetermined plan of attack are certainly going to be disappointed by the end results. We know these systems look very attractive. They surely give you the motivation to at least try to profit on the roulette. Remember to play in moderation. If you’re looking for thrill and excitement, but most importantly entertainment then the roulette is the game you’re looking for. It’s absolutely OK to find some of these systems confusing. It shouldn’t take you long before you get the hand of all of them. If you think you need additional information regarding roulette feel free to text us. We’ll be happy to help you out, maybe exchange some thoughts on this alluring casino game and how to potentially overcome the problem with the house edge.