Every single player that steps up to the tables in any casino game wants to find that one amazing roulette strategy that will allow them to beat the odds and skyrocket their winnings. No casino game is an exception to this dream – including roulette. In its 400-year history, many have tried to find a perfect strategy to conquer the odds. Sadly, most that have sought the holy grail of the golden roulette strategies have fallen short.
Helping you on your way, and doing most of the legwork, we’ve trawled through history to bring you the truth, one and only definitive list of roulette strategies. Hold on to your hats (and chips!), as we’re about to break down the eight most effective roulette strategies in the world today.
A Point About Progressive Betting and the right roulette strategy
Before we jump into the core information here, it pays to address one thing – betting progression. Most betting systems designed for roulette involve negative progressions. So, after a loss in the game, you raise your bet. The idea is that you should need fewer wins to break even. There’s a catch though. Roulette is unpredictable, even more so than other table games. Long losing streaks are common, so these roulette strategies can be hard on your bankroll. That’s not even mentioning table limits.
Roulette statistics are averaged over a long period of time, so they cannot be applied to single spins or even single sessions. Roulette strategists see things in a different light, however – raising the bet after a loss offers enough time for stats to come into play and be useful. That said, unlucky streaks can decimate your budget.
It should be noted that changing the size of your bets will not affect the house edge in any way. Sessions of roulette can see lucky wins or unlucky losses in equal measure. It is of our opinion that betting strategies that rely exclusively on bet progressions are part and parcel of the game, and as such, we are featuring them on this list – be warned.
Martingale – Risky and Well-Known under roulette stratgies
Arguably the most well-known roulette betting strategy in the world and largely for good reason. The Martingale is often the very first strategy for roulette that players come across. The main attraction of Martingale is its simplicity. The strategy relies on the idea that all of your losses can be nixed by one great spin… eventually.
However, Martingale requires three things – a hefty bankroll, unshakable nerves, and an ability to stop playing before you lose everything. Here’s the breakdown for the strategy:
- Step 1 – Bet a single unit with an even-money wager (like red or black).
- Step 2 – If you encounter a loss, double your wager. Repeat with the following losses.
- Step 3 – If you win, lower your bet to the starting amount.
The Martingale strategy has two very plain issues. Mainly, doubling your wager again and again will result in you eventually hit the table limit, or, more commonly, players blow their betting budgets entirely.
Martingale offers no way to increase the gains, but it is possible to limit the amount lost by setting a limit. It can be unfortunate to stop betting after a loss when you miss a winning spin, but more often than not, you’ll be relieved. Long losing streaks can be disheartening. One option is to wait for similar outcomes that appear in a row, and then start betting on the opposite. Still, no system in roulette is foolproof, so establishing a limit is a good way to keep your bankroll under control.
Martingale is the most basic of all roulette betting systems, but within its simplicity lies its risk. If you are really going to commit to this way of play, we advise that you arrive at the wheel with some pretty deep pockets.
Reverse Martingale – Be Ready to Let it Ride
All casino-goers know that a winning streak can make you a fortune, especially when it comes to games like roulette. Also called the paroli system, the reverse martingale roulette system builds on this idea. This strategy is the very opposite of the original martingale, and works like this:
- Step 1 – Wager a single unit with an even money bet (like red or black)
- Step 2 – If you win the round, double your bet. Repeat this as long as you dare to.
- Step 3 – If you lose, return to the original bet of 1 unit.
A successful reverse martingale strategy is reliant on the player knowing when it’s a good time to take the winnings and walk away from the table. Quitting while you’re ahead of your losses means that you can start looking for another winning streak, with an even bigger budget to play.
Compared to the original martingale strategy, the reverse martingale offers a lower amount lost bad runs (as the bet is only a single unit every time you lose), as well as bigger returns for a long winning streak. Odds don’t change across the rounds. The ideal is that your winnings would easily cover your losses, as well as boost your bankroll. Waiting for the “perfect” streak can easily mean that you lose all your winnings.
The reverse martingale is a low more conservative a strategy when compared to the original martingale, as it feels very much more win dependent. That being said, it’s still potent in its own right, and can help you make the most out of winning streaks and profit preservation.
D’Alembert – Simple, Slow, and to the Point
The roulette strategy d’Alembert is a simple one, named after a French mathematician from the 18th century. The d’Alembert is similar to the Martingale in many ways, so those familiar with the martingale won’t need to adjust the way they play too much to implement it:
- Step 1 – Begin with a wager that has room to both be lowered or raised, like 5 units.
- Step 2 – Raise your wager by a single unit after losses.
- Step 3 – Lower your wager by a single unit after wins.
If you should win half of the wagers that you place, d’Alembert can result in a total amount of your wins in all rounds, multiplied by your wager unit. d’Alembert allows you to jump ahead even if you have more losses than wins. As mentioned, roulette’s odds don’t allow for a major difference. That said, long sessions with lots of losses can jump the number of wagers up to extremes, albeit far slower than when using the Martingale.
In addition, d’Alembert doesn’t have a way to eliminate all losses with one win. Having a bad run can require a few good bets that could be many, many times higher than your beginning wager. Still, d’Alembert remains a safer strategy for roulette players. Winning big might not happen, but long, devastating losing streaks also happen far less.
d’Alembert might have a fancy name, but it’s built on a rather simple premise. If you want to step up from a martingale strategy, you’ll find that this strategy is the next logical progression, even if it won’t represent a radical change.
Reverse d’Alembert – Boost Your Winning Spree
As you probably assumed, d’Alembert also has a reverse strategy – like pretty much all common roulette strategies out there. It should be noted that the reverse has a glaring weakness – you will need more wins than losses to be able to break even with this strategy, in addition to placing flat bets. Admittedly, the reverse d’Alembert is more difficult than most roulette strategies, we would be foolish to tell you otherwise. It can result in a boost in winnings if you’re having a lucky day, so try it out if you want:
- Step 1 – Begin with a wager that can be both increased and decreased, such as 5 units.
- Step 2 – Increase the wager by a single unit following every win.
- Step 3 – Decrease the wager by a single unit following every loss.
This system may seem familiar to you, as it’s similar to a lot of positive progression strategies. And just like the other strategies, you’ll need to know when to take your winnings and walk away from the table. To be honest, there isn’t too much we can say about the reverse d’Alembert, as it’s simply a reverse strategy after all.
Labouchère – Playing the Long Game
Also known by the layman’s name as the cancellation system, the Labouchère strategy, named for its French inventor, takes more effort than the other systems we’ve already covered. When we say grab your pen and paper, we really do mean it, as this strategy can get a little complex at times.
To apply this strategy, you’ll need to begin with a list of numbers. If your betting sequence is successful, the numbers are your total gain. This list can be as simple as low numbers, or any others that you like. Labouchère is a strategy that can be heavily customized. You adjust both reward and risk according to your preferences. This is probably where this strategy shines brightest, as that flexibility can pay huge dividends when you are wrapped up in a lengthy play session at the wheels.
Here is how the betting roulette strategies for Labouchère works:
- Step 1 – With an even money bet, wager the sum of the first number on your list and the last.
- Step 2 – Following a win, cross out the numbers you used to place your bet.
- Step 3 – Following a loss, add the amount of your wager to the end of the list.
- Step 4 – Ignoring the numbers you’ve crossed out, continue to wager the sum of the first number on your list and the last.
- Step 5 – When the numbers have all been crossed out, you’ve completed the betting sequence.
- Step 6 – Profits are all of the numbers on the original list added together.
The draw to the Labouchère system is that it’s only necessary to win 33.34% of the total amount of rounds for the strategy to work in your favor. Even money bets see wins at an average of 47.37%. What could be the negative here? The main issue is one that holds back many strategies – roulette is unpredictable.
Streaks, both winning and losing, are long. Average win ratios are averaged over a long period of time, not during one session. Unlucky streaks can mean that you easily hit the table limit or the end of your budget. In that case, the end of the game comes before the end of the sequence. There are great sessions that happen with Labouchère, but ultimately the big losses make the small gains useless.
Time, patience, and planning are required if you want to pull off this strategy successfully, but in our opinion, the ends justify the means – give this strategy a shoot if you have the know-how.
James Bond – Cover the Wheel and Sip a Martini
Agent 007 is arguably the most famous of all the completely fictional gamblers out there. James Bond has even resulted in the creation of a betting system that shows up online. There is no official strategy in the movies or the original books by author Ian Fleming. This strategy has purely come from the world of James Bond fandom, but don’t think this makes it a frivolous throwaway, as there is some real method to the madness.
The most popular iteration of the James Bond strategy starts off with a total bet of £200, or whatever your local currency equivalent happens to be. Players can adjust the starting bet to suit their preferences and budget, so players can go lower – such as £20 on £1 minimum tables for live dealer roulette games.
The total starting bet (for this example, £200) is then spread over three total bets that cover most of the table.
- The big numbers bet is £140 on numbers 19-36
- A line bet of £50 on numbers 13 through 18
- And finally, a bet of £10 on the number 0
For successful wagers, the net gains are:
- Numbers 19 through 36: £80
- Numbers 13 through 18: £100
- Number 0: £160
- Numbers 1-12: -£200
For this strategy, there are two differing opinions on what players should do should the ball land anywhere between 1 and 12. The original bet of £200 will be lost. As a result, some players say that the James Bond strategy is best applied to flat bets only, while others insist that bets should be increased on a progressive system (like the martingale strategy we mentioned earlier).
If you should increase your bet like the progressions above, you want to be dealing with even money bets – not a system like James Bond, where you’re covering 2/3rds of the table for various payouts.
It’s called James Bonus and it certainly isn’t the most serious roulette strategy around, while it leans heavily on spreading bets around the wheel. However, we certainly wouldn’t go as far to say that’s it one to dismiss out of hand, as it’s open nature can produce results.
Oscar’s Grind – Move Forward Unit by Unit
First appearing in 1956 – yes, this strategy is that old – the roulette system Oscar’s grind comes from an interview with a particular patient and highly disciplined gambler only known as Oscar. It’s safe to say that there is a lot of mystery surrounding the system, with this probably adding to its allure and attraction in betting circles.
This system is slow and steady, based on winnings. It’s divided into multiple sessions and results in your wins covering exactly the amount initially bet. Here’s how it works:
- Step 1 – Starting bet is one unit.
- Step 2 – Increase the amount of bet if there is both a loss and a win.
- Step 3 – Continue as such until you encounter another loss and win.
- Step 4 – If a bet would win you a gain of more than one unit, decrease your bet amount.
Oscar’s grind is honestly a very safe system and it is good to try if you’ve got a lot of patience and are have a more conservative approach to the game. It’s very slow, but it can easily withstand bad streaks. However, in the event of a win-loss sequence, bet amounts can quickly rise to insurmountable heights that can only be conquered by a good winning streak.
Oscar’s grind can be just that, a grind, but don’t doubt it’s effectiveness, as there is certainly power behind this age-old roulette betting strategy.
Fibonacci – Nature’s Betting Sequence… Supposedly
Last but by no means least, we come to the famous Fibonacci betting strategy. This strategy is not a single system but instead incorporates a lot of different strategies. The theme of the Fibonacci strategy is to attempt to gain an edge over the house by raising wagers according to the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, which is “nature’s sequence” – or a sequence of numbers that are the sum of the two numbers before it.
The first thing you’ll need is the first ten numbers of the sequence: 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 5 – 13 – 21 -34 – 55 – 89. Here’s how the system works:
- Step 1 – Start your bet at the beginning of the sequence.
- Step 2 – Raise your bet by the next number after every loss.
- Step 3 – Lower your bet by the sum of the two numbers previously after every win.
This system switches between both positive and negative progression, resulting in excellent gains for even low wins like 33.34% of your wagers. There is a reason why this strategy is so popular after all.
As always, you’ll have to watch for long streaks of losses. Statistics can balance eventually, but a bad run can easily bring your bet amount far above your bankroll. It is possible to limit losing streaks (though you can’t avoid them completely) by starting with small bets, having a big budget, and settling for little wins that gain to your overall bankroll. Odds for an individual round will never change, and you should keep this in mind when it comes to progressive strategies. It’s always possible that raising the amount of your bet might just end with you deep in the red.
It can be argued that Fibonacci has something that other roulette betting strategies don’t, that being a longstanding legacy. You’ll hear this way to play whispered about at roulette wheels around the world, and that doesn’t happen by chance, this approach can certainly deliver plenty of bang for your buck should you know what you’re doing.
Step Forward and Spin the Wheel with the top roulette strategies!
Roulette might be one of the oldest casino games in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not open to new and exciting ways to play. Betting strategies have evolved countless times over the years, with there being many variants of the roulette strategies we’ve just mentioned above, if the basic form doesn’t quite suit how you want to play. That being said, there is a reason why these particular betting systems are known and respected around the world.
These eight systems are nothing short of being tried and tested. Gamblers have used them to great success for generations, but it must be understood that each has a variety of pros and cons. To truly get the best out of any system you’ve read about here today, we highly recommend that you put in some low-stakes (maybe even free) practice to get a feel for what works for you and what doesn’t. Every roulette player is different, from budget to risk and everything in-between, so with everything you’ve learned here today in mind, step up to the roulette wheel a find a betting strategy that works for you!