Roulette Strategy: An In-Depth Guide
Although, roulette does not require the ability to execute complex calculations it does involve some degree of strategic planning. This is why we’ve created this roulette strategy guide for you, with in-depth information about the strategies available today.
You can improve your odds of winning by understanding a few simple concepts. Recognizing the importance of game selection, bankroll management, and volatility are the keys to being a successful roulette player.
You should also consider using betting strategies to enhance your short-term prospects of winning. This guide explains how to use roulette betting systems and other concepts to boost your odds of winning, or at least, preserve your bankroll longer.
Choose roulette games with the best odds
The most important factor behind winning in roulette involves understanding variations and how they affect your odds (see our guide for roulette odds for more information).
Each roulette game features its own characteristics that affect return-to-player (RTP). Below, you can read about popular variations and their odds.
This game is played on an American roulette wheel. The American wheel features 38 numbered pockets, including 1-36, zero, and double-zero.
Zero and double-zero favor the casino. The only exception is when your wager specifically involves these pockets (e.g. top line).
American roulette features a 5.26% house edge, or 94.74% RTP, due to the two house-friendly numbers.
This variation is played on a European wheel, differing from the American wheel because it contains 37 numbered pockets, including 1-36 and zero.
European roulette carries a 2.70% house advantage, or 97.30% RTP, due to the single casino-friendly pocket. We achieve this figure with the following division: 1 / 37 = 0.027.
This game derives its name from the continent where it originated. Today, though, you can enjoy European roulette at many online casinos.
The French variation is also played on a European wheel, and it appears identical to European roulette at first glance.
However, French roulette features one notable difference in the la partage rule. This rule alludes to the practice of paying half back on losing even-money bets when the ball lands on zero.
Here’s an example:
- You bet $10 on “high” (1:1 payout).
- The ball settles in the zero pocket.
- 10 / 2 = 5
- You receive $5 of your original wager back.
Remember: la partage only takes effect when you place an even-money bet.
As long as you do so, you’ll enjoy a 1.35% house advantage (98.65% RTP). We reach this figure by halving the European roulette house edge: 0.027 / 2 = 0.0135.
French roulette boasts an obvious advantage over American and European roulette in terms of odds. Unfortunately, you’ll rarely find this version in land-based casinos outside of France, Germany, and Monte Carlo.
Assuming you’re not from one of these countries, you should look for French roulette online. Luckily, a fair number of gaming sites offer this variant.
This game is played on a small wheel that only includes 13 numbered pockets, including 1-12 and zero.
In most cases, mini roulette features the la partage rule. Otherwise, its house advantage would be ridiculously high at 7.69%.
When la partage is in effect on even-money wagers, mini roulette carries a 3.85% house edge (96.15% RTP). Below, you can see the math behind this figure:
- 1 / 12 = 0.077
- 0.077 / 2 = 0.0385
Mini roulette lies between American and European roulette in terms of RTP. It’s an acceptable game to try if you’re looking for something different from the usual 37 and 38-number wheels.
This variation is specific to online casinos. It allows you to simultaneously wager on anywhere from six to eight wheels (depending upon the software provider).
Multi-wheel roulette is played on a European wheel. Therefore, it offers you the same odds of winning as European roulette.
The only difference is that you can bet on more than one wheel concurrently. In short, you expose yourself more to the house edge when activating additional wheels.
What is the best roulette game to play?
French roulette is undoubtedly the best roulette variation with regard to RTP. Theoretically, you will win $98.65 for every $100 wagered, if you stay with even-money bets.
European roulette is a close second with its 97.30% RTP. Here, you will hypothetically earn back $97.30 for every $100 risked, no matter which bets you make.
You should avoid the other games discussed earlier if your main focus is winning. However, the mini and multi-wheel variants are nice alternatives for when you want a new experience.
Set up your roulette bankroll
You cannot improve your odds of beating roulette simply by exercising judicious bankroll management (BRM). However, it would be wise to spend time familiarizing yourself with this concept to avoid losing too much money.
You can extend your roulette entertainment with a solid BRM plan. Follow the advice below to better manage your roulette funds.
How much money are you comfortable losing?
The biggest mistake in roulette—or in any form of gambling—is betting money you cannot afford to lose. Bankroll management begins with ensuring that you only ever risk disposable funds.
You can accomplish this goal by mulling over your finances and separating what’s available for roulette. Here’s an example:
- You hold $5,000 in savings.
- You want to maintain a $3,000 cushion in case of emergency.
- $5,000 – $3,000 = $2,000 for roulette
You might not hold anything in savings and still want to play. In this case, you can start small (e.g. $50) and devise a plan to slowly add to your bankroll each week or month.
Break your bankroll into units
BRM becomes more difficult when it involves a lump sum of cash. You’ll find it simpler to manage your bankroll when it’s broken down into units.
Units make it easier to track your wins or losses following each session. If you start with 100 units and lose 10 during a session, for example, you can quickly deduce that you have 90 left.
Here’s an example on dividing up your bankroll:
- $2,000 bankroll
- You want 200 total units.
- 2,000 / 200 = 10
- Each unit should be worth $10.
Set a stop-loss limit
A stop-loss limit marks a point at which you’ll quit gambling for the day based on losses. Setting this guideline in advance is crucial toward helping you quit playing when you’re having a bad session.
Without a stop-loss limit, you’ll be tempted to try and win everything back. Chasing losses is a huge mistake and can lead to blowing your bankroll.
Below, you can see an example on setting a stop loss:
- You have 150 units.
- You set a top loss of 20 units.
- 150 – 20 = 130
- You’d quit for the day immediately upon hitting a remaining balance of 130 units.
Stop-loss limits still require you to maintain discipline. However, you’re more likely to quit after so many losses if this concept is important to you.
How different roulette bets affect volatility
In gambling, volatility represents how much a casino game’s short-term results can vary from the RTP. Roulette’s volatility differs greatly depending upon whether you’re placing inside or outside bets.
Inside wagers are named for how they’re located inside the roulette board’s numbered grid. Outside bets are found in boxes located outside the board.
This group carries long odds of winning, but it also delivers large payouts. Inside wagers are worthwhile if you want to earn a big win through a small bet.
However, you’ll normally lose these bets due to the long odds, and thus, wait longer to earn payouts. Here are the main categories of inside bets along with their odds and payouts (based on European wheel):
- Single number – 35:1 payout; 36:1 odds
- Split (any two adjoining numbers) – 17:1 payout; 17.5:1 odds
- Street (any three horizontal numbers) – 11:1 payout; 11.33:1 odds
- Corner (any four adjoining numbers in a block) – 8:1 payout; 8.25:1 odds
- Six line (any six numbers in two adjoining rows) – 5:1 payout; 5.17:1 odds
Outside wagers boast a stronger likelihood of winning, but they don’t pay as much as the inside category.
As a result, you’ll win a high percentage of outside bets and be better able to control the game’s volatility. Here are the different types of outside bets:
- Column (column of 12 numbers) – 2:1 payout; 2.083:1 odds
- Dozen (block of 12 consecutive numbers [e.g. 1-12]) – 2:1 payout; 2.083:1 odds
- Odd (odd number) – 1:1 payout: 1.055:1 odds
- Even (even number) – 1:1 payout: 1.055:1 odds
- Red (red pocket) – 1:1 payout: 1.055:1 odds
- Black ( black pocket) – 1:1 payout: 1.055:1 odds
- High (1-18) – 1:1 payout: 1.055:1 odds
- Low (19-36) – 1:1 payout: 1.055:1 odds
You can control volatility better with outside bets
Inside wagers are similar to slot machines and lottery tickets with regard to their high volatility. They’re exciting bets that can offer big payouts.
Unfortunately, you’ll also experience long losing streaks if you continue placing inside bets. You’ll need a larger bankroll relative to your bet sizes to survive downswings.
Outside wagers offer a safer route with lower volatility. You’ll win more frequently with these wagers and have a better chance of stretching out a small bankroll.
Play cheaply with online roulette
If you’re like many roulette players, you’re dealing with a limited budget. Therefore, you may be looking for an opportunity to play this game with reasonable bet sizes and stronger odds.
Online roulette games offer the perfect outlet for gambling at affordable stakes and high RTP. It also boasts bonuses that can further increase your chances of winning.
Low minimum bets
Roulette in land-based casinos offers a better social experience than the internet version. However, it also forces you to wager a minimum of $5 to $10 per spin.
Most online casinos feature a $1 minimum bet, but certain gaming sites allow wagers as low as $0.10.
Here’s an example to illustrate how frugally you can play online roulette versus the brick-and-mortar version:
- You play four hours at a $5 European roulette table in a land-based casino.
- The table sees 50 spins per hour.
- 50 x 5 x 0.027 = $6.75 in hourly theoretical losses
- You play four hours at a $1 European roulette table in an online casino.
- You perform 150 spins per hour.
- 1 x 150 x 0.027 = $4.05 in hourly theoretical losses
Online rounds finish much quicker than those in brick-and-mortar casinos. Even with the quicker pace, though, you’ll lose less money per hour if you stick with minimum wagers.
Gain access to the best roulette games
Prior to internet gaming, European and French roulette were confined to Europe. As far as land-based casinos go, the French and European versions are still mostly on one continent.
Online casinos provide an outlet to play these leading roulette games even if you don’t live in Europe. You can use your smartphone, tablet, or computer to enjoy European or French roulette from anywhere.
European roulette is available at most internet casinos. This convenience ensures that you enjoy 97.30% RTP when playing roulette.
French roulette isn’t as prevalent at gaming sites, but it is available through certain online casinos/providers.
Take advantage of online roulette bonuses
Some online casinos offer roulette bonuses that are based on live roulette and other table games. Such offers may be categorized as “table games” bonuses in the promotions section.
Here’s an example of such deals:
- A casino offers a 100% match table-games bonus worth up to $200.
- You deposit $100 and qualify for a $100 bonus.
- Wagering requirements are 100x the bonus.
- 100 x 100 = $10,000 must be wagered
Roulette bonuses carry higher wagering requirements than slots bonuses. This stipulation is due to European and French roulette featuring higher RTP than most online slots.
These high wagering requirements force you to bet lots of money relative to the bonus size. Nevertheless, roulette bonuses are worthwhile if you are planning to play the game anyway.
Consider a roulette betting system
A roulette betting system is a strategy that revolves around placing wagers in a specific pattern. A betting system cannot overcome the house edge, but it can help you manipulate short-term profits.
Roulette strategies also offer a way to enjoy the game in a new light. Below, you can read about some of the most popular roulette betting strategies.
Roulette wheels are designed to distribute results equally amongst all numbered pockets over time. The Andrucci system is based on the belief that some numbers come up more frequently in the short run.
It calls on you to track results for 30 spins and bet on the number(s) that’s winning most frequently. Here’s an example:
- 19 wins seven times.
- 07 wins four times.
- 27 wins three times.
- 22 wins three times.
- 31 wins two times
- 03 wins two times.
- Nine other numbers win at least once.
- You make a single-number bet on 19.
The Andrucci is a risky strategy because it calls on you to place single-number wagers. Furthermore, no evidence suggests that trend betting helps you beat roulette.
Wheel bias is the only case where the Andrucci strategy would provide an advantage. This term refers to when a tangible wheel has one or more faults (e.g. distorted pockets) and favors certain numbers.
Online roulette games feature virtual wheels that are programmed to distribute results evenly. Wheel bias has no bearing whatsoever on the internet version.
This system calls on you to make even-money bets at the same size until you lose. After losing, you wager an extra dollar each time until you win, at which point you return to the original wager.
Here’s an example:
- You bet $10 and lose.
- You bet $11 and lose.
- You bet $12 and win.
- Your next wager will be $10.
The D’Alembert strategy helps you recover previous losses without risking too much. However, it will not help you earn back losses as quickly as the Martingale and Labouchere (covered next).
The Labouchere is one of the most-complicated roulette strategies. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most-used systems.
This strategy begins with you determining a profit goal for a given session. You then write down a sequence of numbers that equals this goal.
You can express this goal as either a dollar amount or unit amount. We’re using the latter in this discussion.
Every time you win an even-money bet, you cross off the first and last number in the string. After a loss, you add the wager amount to the end of the sequence.
Here’s an example on how the Labouchere works:
- You want to win 15 units.
- You write down the following sequence: 3, 4, 5, 1, 2
- Your first bet is worth 5 units (3 + 2).
- You win this wager.
- Your new sequence becomes: 4, 5, 1
- Your next wager is 5 units.
- You lose this bet.
- Your new sequence becomes: 4, 5, 1, 5
- Your next bet is 9 units.
- You win this wager.
- Your new sequence becomes: 5, 1
- Your next bet is 6 units.
- You win and reach your profit goal of 15 units.
This system is riskier than most roulette strategies. The payoff, though, is that you win back losses at an accelerated rate.
The Martingale is one of the most famous betting systems in all of gambling. It operates on a simple premise: double your bets after every loss.
You start with an even-money bet at the table minimum and maintain this pattern until losing. Following a loss, you continue doubling your bet sizes until winning.
Here’s an example:
- You bet $5 and lose.
- You wager $10 and lose.
- You wager $20 and lose.
- You bet $40 and win.
- You return to the original $5 bet.
The Martingale is designed to ensure that you always win back losses. It also sees you earn small profits here and there.
In the example above, you wind up with a $5 profit ($40 – $35) despite losing three straight wagers.
However, the Martingale is also the riskiest roulette system. If you continue using it, you’ll eventually hit the table’s maximum bet and end up with serious losses.
This betting strategy is the opposite of the Martingale. The Paroli calls on you to double even-money wagers following every win.
It suggests that you stop doubling bets after winning three consecutive bets. Here’s an example:
- You wager $1 and lose.
- You bet $1 and win.
- You bet $2 and win.
- You bet $3 and win.
- You return to the $1 wager.
The Paroli is a positive-progression system that only sees you increase bets following wins. That said, you don’t need to risk additional losses in the midst of a losing streak.
Nevertheless, you do assume risk by betting your profits over and over. You may grow frustrated if you keep losing after one or two consecutive wins.
What betting strategies are worth considering?
We don’t recommend that you rely on a gambling system for profits. Again, roulette strategies cannot circumvent the house edge.
However, they allow you to experience the game in a new light. On occasion, these systems have been known to boost profits during a hot session.
Your chosen strategy will depend upon your goals and your risk tolerance. Here are some things to consider when evaluating the systems explored in this article:
- Pros: provides large payouts through single bets.
- Cons: forces you to make the riskiest wagers in roulette.
- Pros: mild negative-progressive system that helps you win back losses.
- Cons: very conservative strategy that’s not as exciting as other strategies.
- Pros: helps you earn back losses and reach a predefined profit goal.
- Cons: can force you to make large bets to recoup losses.
- Pros: helps you win back all losses and bank small profits.
- Cons: riskiest system discussed on this page.
- Pros: sees you capitalize on winning streaks.
- Cons: forces you to risk your payouts again and again.
If you need a place to begin with systems, we suggest that you start with the D’Alembert. It’s a mild strategy that allows you to enjoy system gambling without taking heavy risks.
FAQs on roulette strategy
You normally have a better opportunity to win with online roulette because it provides easier access to European and French roulette, which carry the best odds.
The odds of winning in a brick-and-mortar casino would be the same as the odds of winning in an online casino, if they offered the same games. However, many land-based casinos in North and South America only feature the American wheel.
In addition, players have the option of wagering less in online casinos. This doesn’t increase the RTP, but it does expose you to lower risk.
Purely based on the desire to win, your first choice should be French roulette. This game offers 98.65% RTP when you place even-money wagers.
Your second choice should be European roulette. It features 97.30% RTP on every wager.
You might also consider playing unique variations, such as multi-wheel and 3D roulette. However, you should ensure these games are played on a European wheel instead of the American version.
We can confidently state that, no, gaming sites will not rip you off in roulette. All sites lease software from licensed game providers.
The latter obtain licensing to provide games to specific jurisdictions. For example, online-software developers that serve the UK obtain approval from the UK Gambling Commission.
Providers must undergo rigorous testing from third-party labs to gain acceptance from the UKG and other prominent jurisdictions.
We recommend that you concentrate on outside wagers. These bets win more often and help you sustain your bankroll longer.
At times, inside bets may be appealing because they offer large payouts for relatively small wagers. However, they’re too volatile to rely on consistently.
The only known way to consistently beat roulette is to use wheel bias in land-based casinos. Wheel bias is the practice of watching the wheel and recording results to determine if it favors specific pockets.
Few modern roulette wheels are broken down to the point where they show bias to certain numbers. In the end, you’ll probably waste countless hours recording results and failing to find a biased wheel.
You can earn a theoretical profit by combining French roulette’s low house edge with favorable online bonuses. Here’s an example:
You qualify for a $100 bonus. The wagering requirements are 60x. This means that 100 x 60 = $6,000 must be wagered.
You play French roulette which means that you have 6,000 x 0.0135 = $81 in theoretical losses and 100 – 81 = $19 theoretical profit.
Roulette bonuses with anything less than 100x wagering requirements are rare. However, they are available on occasion and offer an exciting reward when they do appear.