How do you win online roulette bets consistently? What’s the best mathematical roulette strategy? We’ll show you how roulette systems and smarter betting can help you win more in the long term.
Roulette Strategies & Systems
What is a roulette strategy? It is a way of betting that aims to improve your long-term expected value (EV). Expected value is the amount of money you stand to win over the long run. It’s based on the probability of a bet hitting (i.e. its odds) and your stake. A roulette strategy aims to maximize your EV in every situation.
One of the main ways to implement a strategy in roulette is to use a betting system. Popular roulette systems such as the Martingale or Fibonacci are designed to be used on even-money bets such as red or black.
We’ve listed the best roulette strategies, based on popular opinion, and how to use them at the top offshore casino sites in the following sections.
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Positive Progression vs Negative Progression Systems
Roulette betting systems fall into one of two categories: positive progression and negative progression. Positive progression roulette strategies require you to increase your bet size after a win. On the flip side, negative progression roulette strategies require you to increase your bet size after a loss.
The roulette strategy Martingale was developed by Paul Pierre Levy. It’s often cited as the best way to win at roulette, but is it? Theoretically, the Martingale system is a sound roulette betting strategy and it works simply: you double your bet size after a loss and reset after a win.
Mathematically sound betting strategy
Easy roulette system to understand
Can be used in live and online roulette games
Becomes expensive after consecutive losses
House limits prevent the system from working
Paroli is the opposite of the Martingale. So, instead of doubling the size of your bet after a loss, you do it after a win. This makes it a positive progression roulette system. So, let’s say you bet $5 and win, the next bet you’ll make is $10. You win again, so your third bet is $30. You lose the fourth bet, so you reset to $5.
Like the Martingale, the Paroli roulette betting system is mathematically sound. However, according to MIT research, it’s not the best mathematical roulette strategy.
Based on 100,000 data sets and a game with no house edge, Paroli betting makes you 15% more likely to lose. That’s something you want to avoid if you’re thinking about how to beat roulette.
You start with a small initial bet
You only increase your bet when you win
Easy roulette system to utilize
No natural stopping point
Bets may become prohibitively expensive
People often reference the d’Alembert System when they’re discussing how to win at roulette. Like other roulette strategies, d’Alembert is a negative progression system, so you change your bet size following a loss.
The premise is simple: pick an initial betting unit, add one unit if you lose, and reduce your stake by one unit if you win. The d’Alembert is similar to the Martingale system, but it’s more manageable in terms of bet sizing. The fact you’re only increasing by a single unit, rather than doubling your take, makes it more practical.
However, it’s based on the assumption that you’re making a true 50/50 wager. A red/black bet isn’t quite 50/50. Therefore, because you’re getting a true 50/50, this isn’t the best way to win at roulette.
Bet sizing changes after wins and losses
Bet changes less dramatic than other systems
Works when the odds are 50/50
Requires a true 50/50 bet to work
Based on The Gambler’s Fallacy
Labouchere is known as a pseudo-negative progression roulette betting system. It’s described as “pseudo” because you’re not following a set pattern of positive and negative progressions. Bets using the Labouchere system fluctuate based on a sequence of numbers and your results.
You start with a sequence of numbers that add up to the amount you want to win. The sequence must start with an equal number of points. For example, if you want to win $21, your sequence could be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Once you’ve got your sequence, you add the first and last numbers together.
If you win, you remove the two numbers from your sequence and move on to the next two. If you lose, you add the bet amount to the end of your sequence.
Allow you to hit a predetermined profit
Adds structure to your bet sizing
Can be used live or online
Needlessly complex way of sizing your bets
Statistics show it makes you 8% less likely to win
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Best Roulette Bets & Odds
Roulette systems look great on the surface but are not always practical. You need unlimited resources in this game of chance and no betting restrictions. Plus, you’re counting on having no house edge to make roulette strategies like the Martingale and Labouchere work.
We need to look toward the odds. Specifically, what the odds are for each roulette bet. From this, we can pick out the best roulette bets based on their risk vs. return.
Again, it’s important to stress that the house always has an edge. We can’t show you how to win at roulette in the long run because the house always wins. What we can do, however, is use the roulette strategy chart below to identify the least risky bets. Picking these bets is the best way to win at roulette in the short term.
Probability of Winning – European Roulette
Probability of Winning – American Roulette
Cover single numbers from 0 to 36
Cover two connected numbers e.g. 4 and 5
Cover three numbers in a row e.g. 1, 2, 3
Cover four connected numbers e.g. 1, 2, 4, 5
Cover six numbers in a row e.g. 1, 2, 3 and 4, 5, 6
Cover 12 numbers in 1/3 of the board e.g. 1 to 12
Cover 12 numbers in a column e.g. 3 to 36
All the numbers from 1 to 18
All the numbers from 19 to 36
All the even numbers
All the odd numbers
All the red numbers
All the black numbers
Choosing the Right Roulette Game
The roulette strategy chart in the previous section tells us three things:
#1. The more numbers you cover with a single bet, the less risk you’re exposed to. Put another way, covering more numbers with a single bet increases your chances of winning.
#2. Bets with an even-money payout (1:1), such as red or black, aren’t 50/50 propositions. At best, you’ve got a 48.6% chance of winning.
#3. The odds of winning are better if you play European Roulette.
Point number #3 is important if you’re learning how to win roulette online games. There are three main types of roulette you can play at our recommended online casinos. Use the information below to compare the house edge (i.e. the casino’s advantage) for each variant:
The house edge in American Roulette is 5.26%. There are 38 numbers on the wheel and the maximum payout is 35:1. The numbers on an American table run from 0 to 36. The 38th number is double zero (00).
The house edge in European Roulette is 2.7%. That’s lower than the house edge for American Roulette because there are only 37 numbers on the wheel. The maximum payout is also 35:1, which is why the odds are better in European Roulette.
The house edge in French Roulette is 1.35% thanks to a special rule known as La Partage. At its core, French Roulette is the same as its European counterpart because it has the same wheel.
However, the odds are better in French Roulette because La Partage gives players 50% of their bet back if they make an even-money bet and the ball lands on zero. In the context of our discussion on how to win roulette online games, this makes French variants the best option.
More on Online Roulette
Top 5 Roulette Tips
We’ve talked about roulette systems and what the best roulette bets are, so now let’s talk tactics. You can’t devise a roulette strategy to win every time you play because the house has an advantage.
A roulette system such as the Martingale works in theory but falls short in practice because of certain betting restrictions.
What you can do, however, is think logically, play sensibly, and make smart decisions. The following roulette strategy tips give you the best chance of getting maximum value from your time at the table.
Avoid American Roulette
Play Roulette Responsibly
Use Basic Roulette Strategy
Double Your Bets on Dozens and Columns
Patterns Don’t Exist
That’s just about all you need to know about roulette strategies and how to maximize your potential. The house always has the edge in roulette, but anything can happen in a single session.
If you use the right roulette systems and bet sensibly, you’ll give yourself the best shot at winning. Moreover, you’ll have fun which, at the end of the day, is the most important thing.
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What is the best roulette strategy to use?
The best roulette strategy, based on risk and return, is the ‘double dozen’ technique. This roulette betting strategy involves putting evenly-sized bets on two separate dozens so you cover 24 numbers and make a profit if you win.
Is there a trick to winning at roulette?
No, there are no guaranteed ways to beat roulette. Roulette strategies give you a reason to bet in certain ways but they can’t negate the house edge. Therefore, the best thing you can do is play responsibly and have fun.
What are the safest bets in roulette?
The safest roulette bets you can make are red/black, odd/even, and 1-18/19-36. These are even-money bets that give you almost a 49% chance of winning when you play European roulette.
Can you make a living playing roulette?
It’s very hard to make a living playing roulette because the house (AKA the casino) always has an edge. Therefore, it’s, theoretically, impossible to make a profit over the long run. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t win in the short term.
Always use roulette systems responsibly. Never gamble more than you can afford to lose and don’t put yourself at risk unnecessarily. Read our responsible gambling guide for more information.