Winning Roulette Strategies: Which System Works Best?

christianChristian Webber
4 min read

Roulette is one of the most popular games at casinos and there have been many roulette systems, or strategies, that have been developed over the years for players to manage their bets to up their odds at winning.

A classic game of luck from the 17th century, roulette is a spinning wheel with 37 black and red, numbered slots in French or European Roulette, or 38 if you are playing the American double zero version.

RouletteAs the wheel spins, a ball is thrown in the opposite direction of the wheel and you have to guess which number or group of numbers the ball will land on. For example, you could bet on odd or even numbers, red or black numbers, low numbers (1 to 18) or on high numbers (19 to 36).

With all these possibilities, there are lots of options when it comes to deciding exactly what you want to bet on. More mathematically minded players have looked at probabilities in roulette and have tried to find a strategy that gives them an edge for a winning roulette system.

These strategies may at first come across as somewhat complicated to the uninitiated. We'll break things down for you on this page so you can learn about the tips and tricks that underlie each roulette system, and then decide for yourself how you want to play

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Is there such a thing as a Roulette System?

Being a game of chance, you might rightly ask if it is even possible to have a strategy that could properly be called a system when playing roulette. After all, if it's a fair game then you can't control where the ball will land.

martin hill"That's all true, but once you start looking at the details and the variations within roulette, you can start thinking about different ways you want to play. It is however important to remember that any roulette system is based on long term calculations, so while it theoretically gives you an edge, that edge may not play out exactly on your next bet." Peter Schmidt – Author and Casino Expert

With that having been said, let's cover some of the basic roulette rules and details so we can begin to understand how these systems work:

Learn Roulette Rules

Before you can talk about a strategy to any game, you need to understand what the rules of the game are. So here's the lowdown if you're a newbie wondering how to play roulette.

roulette-teableu-regeln-setzen-687x285-1The image shows the betting options at American RouletteMoreLess

  • Other than the wheel, there is a table in roulette where you place your bet.
  • The wheel itself is typically placed on one end of the table, although the French will have the wheel in the center, while the Monte Carlo version has the wheel on the side.
  • The table has a layout, which has either a single zero if you're playing European roulette or a double zero if you are playing American roulette.

This table is actually where most of the roulette rules lie because this is where you will find the different kinds of bets you can place.

Roulette: Types of Bets

Roulette betting is largely divided into inside bets and outside bets. As you will see below, the payout is directly related to the odds or probability of the bet.

Roulette Inside Bets

Bet NameDescriptionExample
Chips Placement
Straight/SingleA single number12
In the square of the number
Split2 numbers that are next to each other either vertically or horizontally8-9
On the line between the two numbers
Street3 numbers in a row 7-8-9
On the outer line of the number at either end of the row
Corner/Square4 numbers that meet at a corner16-17-19-20
On the center corner of the 4 numbers
Six Line/Double Street6 consecutive numbers from 2 rows next to each other 31-32-33-34-35-36
On either the right or left outer corner shared by the 2 rows
Trio3 numbers with at least one zero0-1-2; 0-2-3 (single zero layout); 00-2-3 (double zero layout)
On the corner between the 3 numbers
First Four0-1-2-3 (Single-zero layout)-
On the outer corner between 0-1 or 0-3
Basket0-00-1-2-3 (Double-zero layout)-
On the outer corner shared by 0-1 or 00-3

partypoker-canada-roulette-gamesAt PartyCasino you can find different games of RouletteMoreLess

Roulette Outside Bets

Bet NameDescription
Even/Odd (Pair/Impair)Even or odd numbers
Black/RedBlack or red numbers
Low (manque)Numbers from 1 - 18
High (Pass)Numbers from 9 to 36
ColumnAll the numbers in 1 vertical column
DozensThe 1st, 2nd or 3rd 12 numbers, eg. 1 - 12

Inside bets have higher payouts than outside bets. That's because with outside bets you are betting on more numbers, which translates into a higher probability of winning.

info iconIf you are completely new to roulette, we suggest starting with outside bets before experimenting with inside bets.

Of course, it also helps to choose a reputable online casino to play to make sure the roulette game is not rigged. Most online casinos will let you play roulette for free in demo mode if you are playing against software. This is a good way to start learning the game. Many players however prefer playing live dealer roulette games that are not dependent on computer software and algorithms.

Live roulette games are just like playing in a land-based casino. There is no computer involved except in the video stream that delivers the croupier to your screen. If you're looking to for a live roulette game from a trusted casino, check out Mr Green to start.

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Most Popular Roulette Systems

Now that we have the basic rules covered, we will go over the 3 most well-known roulette systems. These are basically betting strategies for playing the game.

  1. The Martingale System
  2. The Paroli System
  3. D'Alembert System
  4. James Bond Roulette Strategy

The Martingale System

This is probably the most popular roulette betting strategy. The Martingale system is also known as progressive betting because after every loss, you increase your bet. This should not be confused with progressive roulette itself, where some roulette games like Age of the Gods Roulette from Playtech have a jackpot attached. The rationale behind progressive betting is that you will win more to cover your losses. Start with a small bet - the table's minimum bet will do the trick - and maintain this bet until you lose.

Martingale SystemDouble up your bet after a loss. If you lose again, double up again and keep doing so until you win. Generally speaking, the Martingale system is best for playing outside bets where the odds of winning are higher.

This system is pretty simple to execute and you don't need to be a wiz to figure it out. At a basic level, it makes sense but more experienced players usually don't use the Martingale. It can be rather risky if you happen to be on a losing streak and your win may not balance out all the big cumulated losses from before.

The Paroli System

The Paroli System is kind of the opposite of the Martingale. Thus it's also known as the reverse Martingale. The Paroli strategy is also based on progressive betting, but instead of doubling down after a loss, you double down after a win. After a loss, or after 3 wins in a row, you return to your starting bet. Again, this is a pretty straightforward strategy and is easy to execute. It also has the added advantage of a built-in loss limit.

Roulette RakeDoes this roulette system work? Well, as with any system it has its limitations and the problem with the Paroli is that it's based on a streak of 3 wins in a row. If you lose on your third bet, you could potentially lose most of your winnings from the previous two wins as you would have double downed twice. That's why most people who play with the Paroli strategy play with outside bets, where the odds are better.

D'Alembert System

The D'Alembert System is kind of a mix between the Martingale and the Paroli. You increase the bet after a loss and decrease it after a win. However, you don't double down, but just increase or decrease it by 1 unit or keep it at 1 unit.

info iconSo say you start with a $1 bet. If you lose on your first shot, you go up to $2 on your second bet. If you win on your next bet, you go back down to $1. If you lose, then you go up to $3. If on the other hand, you win on your first bet, you can't go down so you stay at $1 and keep playing. Once you hit a profit, collect your wins and start over again at $1.

Again, this betting strategy is best suited for outside bets like Red or Black and Even or Odd which have a pretty equal chance at winning. The D'Alembert is also considered as a fairly low risk betting strategy with its built-in loss limit mechanisms. On the downside, it also means that you shouldn't count on big wins.

James Bond Roulette Strategy

So we've talked a bit about progressive betting systems. There is also a non-progressive betting system that is fondly known as the James Bond Strategy. With the 007, instead of increasing or decreasing your bet size, you place a flat bet and  try to cover more than half the table every time.

The James Bond bet includes 25 numbers where you would win, and 12 where you would lose, and the idea is that this would have all the odds covered. So for example, your bet would include:

  • a bet on 19 to 36 would give you 18 numbers, for $14
  • a Six Line Bet for another 6 numbers, for $5
  • a bet on 0, for $1

What's happening here is you are playing with the different probabilities and payout ratios to balance things out. In the unlikely event that the ball lands on 0, you would get a 35x payout, which is why a small bet of $1 is worthwhile. Meanwhile, the probability of the ball landing on 1 of 18 numbers is higher, which is why the bet size there is higher.

While this system seems to make a lot of sense at first, if you do the math this strategy will give you a long term loss of $20 over 37 spins if the ball lands on a different number every time. In the end, it really is all about luck.

Do Roulette Systems Actually Work?

rouletteBy now you can see that the Martingale, Paroli and D'Alembert systems are simply all betting strategies that reflect risk appetite. The Martingale is perhaps the riskiest of all, as there is no built in control on losses, while both the Paroli and D'Alembert have reset mechanisms. All of them however work best on outside bets where the odds are fairly well spread but which have lower payouts than inside bets. While the James Bond Strategy seems to have your odds covered, it does not however balance out positively in the long run.

You should approach these roulette strategies as a budget management technique rather than as a surefire way to reaping in massive wins. That having been said, we hope that you know feel confident about the ins and outs to playing roulette and can use some of these tips to enjoy the game!

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Author: Christian Webber
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