Roulette – How to Play and Win

Roulette - How to Play and Win

Roulette is one of the most consistently popular games in both real-world and online casinos, mostly due to its simple nature. Rounds are quick and the rules are easy to understand, with the appeal of a huge win with minimal investment attracting many inexperienced players.

Of course, we have covered before the statistical reasons why the game is rigged against you, with odds being arranged for a house edge that, in the long run, will mean you lose out. It is also obvious for most experienced players that a winning roulette system involves a certain level of risk and continuous investment: you can definitely win big, but you may have to gamble big to get there.

In an earlier article, we covered basic strategy and the most famous tips for playing roulette. These ‘tricks to win’ are actually money management strategies, which allow you to gamble smartly, minimising losses and maximising long-term returns. Here, we are going to cover a few more, lesser known strategies for how to win at roulette, as well as some other classics which we missed the first time around.

How to Play Roulette

If you are reading this, you probably already know this, but a simple rundown of the game for beginners is in order: roulette is played with a wheel containing pockets with the numbers 1 to 36 in alternating red and black, as well as a green 0 pocket, and another green 00 pocket in the American version. Every round, a ball is thrown into the wheel where it spins before landing in a pocket – players place their bets on which pocket the ball lands in. There are various bets you can make, but most ‘tricks to win’ and tips for playing roulette revolve around even 50-50 bets such as red/black or odd/even.

Now, with the basics of how to play roulette in place, let’s move on to some basic strategy for how to win at roulette.

  1. The Reverse Martingale

In our last article about roulette systems, we covered the Martingale, arguably the most famous basic strategy out there. An example of a progressive strategy, the Martingale involves doubling your bet after each loss: the advantage is that you will eventually recoup all your losses plus a small profit, the disadvantage is that you can easily spiral into a situation where you cannot afford to bet any more or hit the table maximum, and lose big.

The Reverse Martingale is, as you may guess, based on the opposite. Instead of minimising losses, you are focusing on maximising wins by ‘riding’ a winning streak; instead of doubling on a loss, you double on a win, essentially betting that your colour (or other even-odds bet) will land again.

So, for example: you decide you are going to be betting on red, and bet $1. The trick to win for Reverse Martingale is setting yourself a win target, after which you will walk away – say, you will leave after 5 consecutive wins. Some guides tell you to wait until red shows up before starting, so you will not be betting on a black streak. This is personal choice as – repeat after me folks – the outcome of each roll is independent from the last.

If you land on red, double your bet to $2, if not stay on the same amount. Keep doubling when you win and going back to $1 when you lose. So, say you’ve reached four, and your wins look like this:

1+2+4+8+16=31

You bet $32 on your fifth red having followed this progression, and lose. You have now lost $1 overall, which does not seem like much, but these $1 losses will eventually accumulate, and you need the patience to keep trying until you hit your winning goal.

  1. The D’Alembert

The next strategy for how to play roulette is again similar to the Martingale, but much less dramatic. The D’Alembert also has you increase bets after losses and decrease after wins, but instead of doubling them, you are just increasing them by a factor of $1.

So for example, you bet $1 on red. If you win, keep betting $1, if you lose, bet $2. As you progress, continue to add $1 after each loss but also decrease by $1 after each win. In the long run, you will turn a small but steady profit: as far as tips for playing roulette go, this is one of the safest. You will likely not hit a table maximum or incur massive losses. On the other hand, of course, you will also not make big wins, which makes this not a very exciting way to play. Also, as always, you are vulnerable to a big losing streak which could lose you quite a bit of money.

  1. The Fibonacci

The Fibonacci sequence is a sequence of numbers which is seen in everything from fine art to the structures of nature. In its most simple terms, it is made by adding the two previous numbers of the sequence, so:

1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89 – 144 – 233 – 377 – 610

So, how to win at roulette using the Fibonacci sequence? By now, you will have probably guessed that this is also a form of progressive betting. Each time you lose, you add the last two bets together, and each time you win, you go back two numbers in the sequence. The main attraction of the Fibonacci is that you can make a profit even when you lose more times than you win. Of course, the main drawback is that you are going to be making some pretty huge wagers quite quickly, which can be very risky.

  1. The James Bond

As you can see, the most popular tips for playing roulette and strategies for how to win at roulette are based on even bets. The James Bond strategy, invented by Ian Fleming himself and seen in the Bond novels, is slightly different. It’s always fun to feel like Bond when at the table, so what is 007’s trick to win?

Bond’s basic strategy uses a flat betting system, as opposed to the progressive strategies for how to play roulette we have seen so far. Fleming used $200, but you can bring it down to $20 as long as the proportion is the same. Each round, you bet:

  • $14 on 19 – 36
  • $5 on the 13 – 14 – 15 – 16 – 17 – 18 Line bet
  • $1 on 0

If you do the math on this one, you will find that you will make a profit most of the time: you only lose if you hit 1-12. The odds on this method are good, however the house edge does mean you will lose out in the long run. Also, 1-12 is a wide enough range that you could easily hit a long streak of losses and, this being a flat strategy, you have not made preparations to recoup that cost.