Roulette Strategy

Any person who gambles often will tell you that there is no such thing as a winning strategy in gambling. In fact, in any game where 1 party has an edge over the other, it will prove difficult for the one party to win. Mathematically, over time, the person with the edge will always win.

In the case of gambling, the casino (“the house”) always has an edge on the games. The edge is also called RTP (return to player). Online slot games are set at 85% to 99%, Blackjack as low as 1,5% and Roulette at 5,26% or 2,7%. To see a list of which games have the best house edge or RTP, please visit our page: 10 Casino Games With The Lowest House Edge

So you want to win at Roulette and need a strategy? We have a list of the various roulette strategies and how each one work. It is important to note that using a strategy will not guarantee a win, but it will increase your edge on the house and ultimately result in longer play time and entertainment.

1. The Martingale Strategy

Martingale Betting System is probably the most widely practiced betting strategy when it comes to gambling. Basically, a player doubles their bet after every losing hand. You continue to do so until you win. Example: You bet $20 and lose. You then bet $40 and lose and then you bet $80 and win $160. You now have $40 profit. You then start with $20 and repeat the strategy again.

The caveat with this system is that most tables have limits and no one has unlimited cash flow. So, you could easily lose hand after hand and then hit the table limit, meaning you can’t double your bets or you could run out of money which is easy to do when you think of doubling after every hand. Take a look at what 10 losing hands could cost you:

  • Hand 01, you bet $20 and lose it
  • Hand 02 you bet $40 and lose it
  • Hand 03 you bet $80 and lose it
  • Hand 04 you bet $160 and lose it
  • Hand 05 you bet $320 and lose it
  • Hand 06 you bet $640 and lose it
  • Hand 07 you bet $1280 and lose it
  • Hand 08 you bet $2560 and lose it
  • Hand 09 you bet $5120 and lose it
  • Hand 10 you bet $10240 and lose it

Total losses after 10 Martingale hands: $20,460!

How to use Martingale in Roulette: In Roulette, you can bet on the ball landing on black or red, so 50/50 odds. If you factor in the ball landing on Zero or Double Zero, your chances of winning are slightly less than 50%.

What you need to bear in mind is even if black comes up 5 times in a row, it does not mean a red will be next. You could hypothetically have a situation where black comes up 100 times in a row or more. So, if you couple this with table limit and limited funds, you can see how the Martingale system does not guarantee you will win. In fact, our research shows that most players who use gambling systems, prefer the Reverse Martingale system.

No strategy will work over the long run as the casino has a mathematical advantage when it comes to the house edge.

2. The Reverse Martingale Strategy

This system is called the Reverse Martingale for a reason. While the Martingale system advises you to double your bet after each loss, this one tells you to do the exact opposite – double your bet after each win.

You start by wagering the lowest amount of money possible on one of the even bets. You keep on betting on the same thing until you manage to win. As soon as you win, you then double the size of your bet for the next spin. If you win, you double again and so forth. Should you lose, you restart the system and bet the smallest possible amount again.

Most players who use this system swear it’s better than the Martingale system because your losses are lower. However in theory, you need a decent winning streak in order to make bank and as with all systems, there is no guarantee of winning

Here is an example of how to play the Reverse Martingale system when gambling:

  • Lowest bet allowed is $10. You bet $10 on even bets. You lose.
  • You bet $10 again. You lose. Total lost $20
  • You bet $10 again. You lose. Total lost $30
  • You bet $10 again. You win $20. Total lost is $10
  • Now you double your bet to $20. You win $40. Total winnings now is $30
  • You double again to $40. You win $80. Total winnings now is $70
  • You double again to $80. You lose. Total losses now is $10

As you can see, it’s very risky and you need to know when to pull out of the system. Long winning streaks on any game of chance are extremely rare.

While you don’t risk nearly as much as on the original Martingale system, you are of course trying to beat a game of chance

3. The Labouchère System

The Labouchère betting system was created by Henry Labouchere (1831 – 1912), an avid roulette player. This system is also known by other names such as the Split Martingale, the Cancellation System and American Progression.

It is also a negative progression betting system like Martingale, D’Alembert and Fibonacci and it can seem complicated at first, but once you understand it, it can prove quite useful on games where even bets are allowed.

The Labouchère system can be used on Blackjack, Baccarat and even placing bets on sports.

How the Labouchère system works

The Labouchère system is also known as the "Cancellation system" because it relies on a series of numbers, each of which have to be cancelled out in order for the system to end (and win).

You start by choosing a series of numbers, for instance 1-2-2-3-1. This series can be as long as you want, containing whatever numbers he wants, this is all up to you.

Every bet made is an outside even money wager (red, even, etc.) of the sum of the first and the last number (1+1 = 2 in our example). If the bet wins, the two numbers are crossed out from the list (and cancelled) and another bet with the new first and last number is made. If the bet loses, its amount is added as a new number at the end of the series and a new bet is made.

Once enough numbers have been cancelled out, the system will begin to make a profit. Once this happens the system can be started over again.


Why do players use the Labouchère system?

The main advantage of this system is that you do not lose your money as quickly as you do with Martingale. You build up your win over a number of hands and the losses don’t hurt as much. You can make money using this system if you manage to avoid going on a lengthy losing streak. On a long losing streak, you could find yourself in a situation where the bets are too high for your bankroll or the table limits restrict you from getting your money back.

One thing you can be certain of is that there will be a moment when you are on a losing streak and you could end up losing more than all your wins and more. Just because the roulette wheel landed on black 10 times in a row, it does not mean it’s going to land on red next. Each spin has the exact same chance of it landing on black over and over again. Many a gambler has been victim of this scenario (it’s called the gambler’s fallacy).

Because this system is flexible, you can adjust your levels of risk and reward. If you have a large bankroll, you can start your sequence with high numbers and should you manage to finish it, you will make decent profit. Bear in mind that the higher the numbers in your starting sequence, the higher the bets will be.

4. The D'Alembert system

Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert was a French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist. He came up with a system for playing roulette that is pretty easy to learn and put into practice.

The D'Alembert system is a progression strategy just like Martingale, but with one major defining difference: the progression is not as aggressive as Martingale and slower increases in bet value, resulting in longer game play and potential profits.

How does The D'Alembert betting system work?

The system is designed to work for bets that have a chance of winning close to 50% each time. These are called ‘even’ bets and include Red/Black, Even/Odd, and 1-18/19-36. The theory is that those bets will eventually even out and you will win at a higher bet stake than when you lost.

You start by choosing a base unit (bet size). This should never be more than 5% of your bankroll, but research shows that 0,50% to 2% is the best option if you don’t want to bust out quickly.

Say you choose $5 as your base unit, you will now bet $5 on an even number bet. If you lose, your next bet will increase by 1 base unit to $10. If you lose again, the next bet will be $15. If you win, you will decrease your next bet by $5 to $10 and so it goes on and on.

You must, as a rule of this system, always increase and decrease by 1 base unit only. You should not change this unit while playing.

As you can see, it is very simple and easily used. You can also see that if you win the same number of bets as you lose, you should come out ahead with profit.

Does the The D'Alembert betting system work?

Without a doubt, you can make money using this system; however the chance of a long losing streak could see you end up with no bank roll in a very short period of time or hitting table limits.

Here is an example:

  • Stake 5 and lose - 5 down
  • Stake 10 and lose - 15 down
  • Stake 15 and lose - 30 down
  • Stake 20 and lose - 50 down
  • Stake 25 and lose - 75 down
  • Stake 30 and lose - 105 down

This is after only 6 losing hands in a row. If you play roulette, then you will know that getting 6 losing hands in a row is not uncommon. Now, imagine 10 or more losing hands in a row! As with most systems, a long losing streak will inevitably wipe out your bankroll and any winnings you may have made. If you have made a small profit, take your money and run.

You can make changes to the strategy before you start your sequence. This means you can bet 2 units for example to increase your chances of recovering your losses when you win. You can also decide that you will not increase your bets by more than say, 7 units. Once you reach 7 units of increase, you simply start over.

5. The Fibonacci Strategy

Leondardo Fibonacci was an Italian mathematician who created the Finonacci Sequence. A tiling with squares whose side lengths are successive Fibonacci numbers

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are the numbers in the following integer sequence, called the Fibonacci sequence, and characterized by the fact that every number after the first two is the sum of the two preceding ones:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233 and so forth

Often, especially in modern usage, the sequence is extended by one more initial term:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233 and so forth

By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are either 1 and 1, or 0 and 1, depending on the chosen starting point of the sequence, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.

The sequence is virtually endless. For the purpose of betting on roulette, there is no need to start at 1. You can start with whatever bet you like, as long as you follow the logic of the sequence. Although starting with the lowest possible bet is recommended when testing out strategies like this one.

How does the Fibonacci betting system work?

Before you begin the sequence, you need to identify your standard betting unit. This could be a single chip of any denomination, be it $1, $5, $20 etc. For this kind of system, a smaller amount ($10 or less) tends to work best.

It can only be used on even money bets. On a roulette table, these are Red/Black, Odd/Even, 1 to 18 and 19 to 36.

You start by betting one unit on your even bet of choice. Then, you will move onto the next number in the Fibonacci sequence after each loss, and move back two numbers after each win.

Below is an example of how Fibonacci betting works. You bet in sequence until you get a win:

  • You Bet €1 and lose
  • You Bet €1 and lose
  • You Bet €2 and lose
  • You Bet €3 and lose
  • You Bet €5 and lose
  • You Bet €8 and lose
  • You Bet €13 and lose
  • You Bet €21 and lose
  • You Bet €34 and win

Once you win, you go back two places and then bet that value. In this case, the amount is €13. You then follow the sequence until you get to the start of the progression (sequence) once more. Here is a detailed example:

  • You Bet €1 and lose
  • You Bet €1 and lose
  • You Bet €2 and lose
  • You Bet €3 and lose
  • You Bet €5 and lose
  • You Bet €8 and lose
  • You Bet €13 and lose
  • You Bet €21 and lose
  • You Bet €34 and win
  • You Bet €13 and lose
  • You Bet €21 and win
  • You Bet €8 and win
  • You Bet €3 and lose
  • You Bet €5 and win
  • You Bet €2 and lose
  • You Bet €3 and lose
  • You Bet €5 and win
  • You Bet €2 and win
  • You Bet €1 and win

The nice thing about this system is that you risk much less than with Martingale. Looking at the example above, losing 8 bets in a row meant your highest bet was €21. If you were playing Martingale and lost 8 bets in a row, your 8th bet would have been €256!

The Fibonacci system is medium risk and if played properly and a set budget could result in low to medium income wins.

We need to stress once more that no betting system or strategy is guaranteed to win. We have mentioned the gambler’s phallacy before whereby gamblers believe that the next bet must result in a win because all the previous hands were lost. This is not true as you could have an infinite number of losses in a row as each spin is 50/50.

So, before starting, make sure you understand the system and that you have a bankroll you can afford to lose. Keep your sequence and don’t skip steps. Best of luck!

6. The James Bond Strategy

Ian Fleming devised the James Bond strategy by saying that by betting £20, you could win the price of a good meal.

In Ian Fleming’s books, James Bond, the MI6 super-spy, was a gambler. He played Poker and Roulette.

The James Bond Strategy is a flat betting system, meaning you bet the same each hand. If you have money, you can use a progressive betting strategy by increasing your bets each hand.

How does the James Bond Roulette Strategy work?

For every spin, James Bond would place the following bets:

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

If you know a roulette table, you will see that he has covered 25 bets (numbers) with 12 bets (numbers) not covered.

The possible outcome of such a bet is:

  • If the ball hits 19-36, you win a total of £8
  • If the ball lands on 13-18, you win a total of £10
  • If the ball hits the 0, you win £16
  • If the ball lands on 1-12, you lose £20

This looks like a winning system, right? No, it’s not, because if the ball lands on 1-12, you lose your entire bet. Even though you have a lot of numbers covered, the house still has a higher edge by the numbers that are open.

If you had to go 10 hands in a row where the ball lands on numbers 1-12, you will have lost £240.

What about increasing bets?

You can double your bet after each hand, but you would need to hit a winning hand early on or face considerable losses.

The James Bond strategy is high risk because of the number of open numbers. And, as with any system, you cannot win if the house has an edge.