The game of roulette is known worldwide as one of the most popular and exciting forms of gambling. While millions of people play it, few understand the math behind it or the implications of that math.
The sheer truth is that, like most gambling games, roulette is a game that favors the casino. Most gamblers have theories about the wheels they play on being rigged, but in most cases, they are far from the truth.
The reason most people lose in roulette is the fact that each roulette game out there comes with an inherent house edge, which is bigger than that of games like blackjack or craps.
So can you still win in roulette?
Although you can't beat the house in the long run, you can improve your winning chances on any given session. In this guide, I will go over all the different roulette tips and strategies you need to know to you approach the game the right way and give yourself the best shot at winning.
Keep in mind that the house edge will get you over the long run, and you will likely lose more money in your life than you will win, but this does not mean you can't book some amazing winning sessions.
What’s even more, I will teach you a way to play roulette in some fun and exciting ways that will cost you the minimum and give you a real chance at some meaningful wins.
Roulette Betting Explained
If you want to learn how to win at roulette, you will need to understand how the game works and what betting options are available to you in the first place.
The one thing to always keep in mind is that the house edge does not change in roulette, regardless of the bet you are making.
A classic European Roulette game features a 2.7% house edge, which extends to all the bets on the table, with no discrimination.
This, of course, is the theoretical and long-term edge that the house has over you. With a little luck, the edge can be annulled, and a player can turn the odds in their favor and have a big winning session.
So, let's talk about some of the basic betting options you have in roulette, their payouts, and the potential they have to make you a winner.
Placed by putting chips on the outer parts of the roulette betting table, outside bets are some of the easiest to win.
Outside bets come with low payouts but a high hit frequency, as they cover lots of different numbers on the roulette wheel.
These are the most popular outside bets:
- Red or Black: The player bets whether the ball will land in a black or red socket. The winning bets are paid at even money. The zero slot is a losing one for both the red and the black bet.
- Odd or Even: The player bets whether the ball will land in odd or even numbers. The winning bets are paid at even money. Zero is not considered an odd or an even number.
- High or Low: The player bets whether the ball will land in a low or high number. Numbers between 1 and 18 fall into the low category, while those between 19 and 36 are in the high category. The Zero does not count for either. Payouts are at even money.
- Dozens: There are three dozens of numbers on the roulette on the wheel. This bet covers 12 of those 36 numbers. Once again, the Zero is excluded. The winning bets are paid at 2:1.
- Columns: Similar to the dozens bet, this bet includes 12 numbers in total. However, the player is betting on one row of the numbers on the table. Payouts are at 2:1. An example of a column is 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35.
As you can see, outside bets are not too difficult to hit as they include many different numbers at a time. For that reason, the payouts on these bets are relatively low.
Many popular roulette strategies revolve around making outside bets and increasing or decreasing your wager depending on the outcome of the spin.
The main problem with outside bets is that they can be tedious at times and simply aren't as exciting as the inside bets. If you are more of a thrill-seeker, let's look into the inside betting options.
Unlike the outside bets covering a whole range of numbers and offering small payouts, inside bets can be incredibly lucrative when you have a hot streak.
An inside bet can cover anywhere between one and six numbers in total and can offer a payout as large as 35:1. This means you could turn a small bet into a huge profit if you get lucky.
Many players also combine inside bets to create certain sectors, which resemble outside bets in some ways. However, in this case, the player can have different payouts for different numbers.
Here are the most common inside betting options:
- Straight: A straight bet is a bet that covers just one number. The player can bet up to the table maximum on that number and get paid 35:1 on that bet if the number does land. This is the most profitable roulette bet.
- Split: A split bet covers two numbers that are adjacent on the roulette table. The bet pays 17:1 if either of the two numbers lands.
- Street: This type of bet covers three numbers that are vertically adjacent on the roulette table. This bet pays 11:1 if one of the three numbers you bet on is the lucky winner.
- Square: This bet covers four numbers on the roulette table, which are adjacent to each other in a square. An example would be 1, 2, 4, 5. This bet pays 8:1 if one of the four numbers wins.
As you can see, the payouts on these bets are much higher, but so is the risk you take by placing them. When forming an inside betting roulette strategy, players must be very careful with their bankroll.
The great appeal of inside bets is their high payout and the fact you can bet small and still get rewarded with plenty of big wins. Just be careful not to make your bets too big and lose too much before your numbers land.
Choosing the Best Roulette Strategy
Now that we know how to bet in roulette and what options we have, it’s time to talk about forming a roulette strategy that is best for you.
There is no definitive reason to call one strategy the best roulette strategy.
Each strategy has its merits, and whether you are betting on one number or nearly all of them, the house edge always remains 2.7% on every dollar you bet.
This means that the definitive choice of a good strategy for each player should depend on their preferences, their risk aversion, and other personal factors.
One of the key things to take into consideration is certainly the bankroll you are playing with. The bigger your bankroll, the more options you have in terms of a strategy.
So before we talk about specific strategies, let’s talk about organizing your bankroll to do well in roulette without risking it all too fast.
Bankroll in Roulette
Bankroll is the term we use for the money you use to play your game of choice with. You can have a fixed bankroll for the game, which is advisable, or simply play on occasion with money that is not specified for this purpose.
The reason I say having a separate gambling bankroll is a good idea is because gambling can be tricky, and betting your everyday expenses’ money, whether you play Texas Hold’em or roulette, can quickly turn into a disaster.
Instead, you should determine how much money you are willing to lose in a certain week or month without feeling too bad about it and try playing with that money only.
Now that you know your bankroll, you should size up your bets in comparison to it. Remember that the more numbers you are betting on, the bigger portion of your bankroll you can afford to bet at once.
However, your roulette betting strategy should ensure that you are never betting more than 5% of your current bankroll on a single spin, as even outside bets can sometimes get tricky to hit.
If you are betting on a single number, it is not advisable to bet more than 2% of your bankroll at any one time, and even this can be risky. You should find your perfect bet somewhere in the middle as you experiment with bet sizes and different betting options.
Popular Roulette Strategies
I have talked about the overall roulette betting options and the odds you can expect, as well as the way you should set up and manage your bankroll for this popular gambling game.
Now, we can move on and talk about some specific roulette strategies that are often used by players around the world.
Some of these strategies have certain flows in them, which I will also explain. Others are very hazardous and may require a big bankroll, which I will also note.
You can pick any roulette strategy you prefer to use and approach the game in a way you like more. Each of these has its strengths and weaknesses, so the final choice will certainly be yours.
1. Martingale Strategy Roulette Tips
Of all the roulette strategies out there, The Martingale system is one of the most commonly used around the world.
This strategy does not apply only to roulette but to other forms of gambling as well. The strategy can be used even in blackjack, for example, because it is, in fact, a betting strategy, not a game-specific one.
The Martingale strategy revolves around the bet size. The way it works is that you should bet on an even-money wagers such as red/black or odd/even.
You can choose any minimum bet, and this initial bet will determine how much you are winning on subsequent spins.
If you start out by betting $1 per spin, you will need to double that if you end up losing. If you bet on red and the first number comes out black, you will need to bet $2 on the next spin. If the number is black again, you will bet $4 on the next one.
The progression continues until you finally hit a red number. Of course, we have all seen plenty of the same color numbers pop up in a row in the past, so this strategy can require a hefty bankroll at times.
The downside of the Martingale is the fact that if you miss a number of spins, you could be betting thousands just to win a single dollar. What’s even more, all casinos have a betting limit, significantly limiting how far you can push the Martingale.
2. The Reverse Martingale Strategy
As the very name suggests, this roulette strategy is quite the opposite of the classic Martingale system. But let's explain this in a bit more detail.
While you double your bets upon losing in the classic Martingale, in the Reverse Martingale, you will double your bet when you win while reverting to the start of the sequence whenever you lose.
This approach is a lot less prone to variance, as you never have to bet a large sum out of your own pocket. You are always betting big with the wins.
However, that also means you will have to figure out when to stop by yourself. Is a single double up enough? Do you want seven double-ups? It's all up to you!
The Reverse Martingale has a huge advantage for players who don’t think betting a thousand bucks to win one dollar is a good idea, so if you fall into this category, give it a shot!
3. The Fibonacci Roulette Strategy
Unlike the Martingale, which forces you to double your bet every time you lose, the Fibonacci has an advantage that this roulette strategy lets you win more when you are on a winning streak.
Instead of doubling the bets, you will be using a mathematical progression called the Fibonacci sequence. This sequence starts with the number one, which is repeated once. After that, the two numbers are added to create the next number in the sequence.
The Fibonacci sequence looks like this: 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89 – 144 – 233 – 377 – 610…
Of course, you also need to know how to apply the sequence. Once you hit a winning spin, you should progress to the next number of betting units in the sequence. If you lose, you go back to the start of the sequence.
This roulette strategy is also used on even money bets like red/black or odd/even, but it never requires the player to risk too much of their own bankroll.
Instead, the Fibonacci roulette strategy relies on getting lucky and hitting a solid winning streak, upon which the player either quits or goes back to the start of the sequence. When to stop is totally up to you with this betting system.
4. The Steady Betting Strategy
When learning how to win at roulette, players often encounter the problem of being too greedy. If they miss a few spins, they tend to increase their bets by a lot, hoping to finally hit a winning spin.
Many successful players prefer to use a more steady roulette strategy, repeating the same bet whether winning or losing, and increasing slightly when on a winning streak.
This way, you are never risking too much of your bankroll on a particular spin, and you still have a solid chance to hit a nice winning streak and take home some solid profits.
Of course, if you are a thrill-seeker, the steady strategy won't really work for you, and you will be better off with a more aggressive approach.
5. The Double or Nothing Strategy
A strategy often used by players who chase sectors of the roulette such as the Zero Game is quite a bit more hazardous and also more lucrative when it works.
The way it works is that a player will select a sector of the wheel that consists of no more than 7 or 8 numbers. The player bets on all the numbers in that sector.
Once the ball does land in the lucky sector, you use all your winnings from that spin to bet on the same sector again, this time a lot more heavily.
This strategy lets you turn a very small initial investment into a massive win if you can catch three or more subsequent hits into a small sector of the wheel.
If you have ever played roulette, you have surely seen the ball land in the Zero Game or another sector several times in a row, and you can appreciate the high winning potential of this strategy.
Pick Your Roulette Strategy
I have given you plenty of roulette tips and strategies in this guide, which may end up helping you make better decisions at the table in the long run.
Of course, this does not mean you will win every time if you apply these roulette tips because it simply isn't possible to beat wheel over the long run.
Yet, with any of the strategies I showed you here, any given session can be a winning one. With some luck, you can have some great winning sessions and greatly reduce the amount you lose in the bad ones.
I advise that you pick your roulette strategy based on your own style of gambling. If you are more risk-averse, pick something like the Fibonacci or the Reverse Martingale. If you enjoy the thrill of risking it all, the Double or Nothing Strategy will work well for you.
In either case, make sure you gamble responsibly, always be mindful of your bankroll, and don’t let roulette, slots, or other casino games take over other aspects of your life.
Roulette Strategy FAQs
If you’ve read this entire guide but you’re still unclear about some roulette tips presented here or need further clarification, check out these short questions and answers that sum up the whole thing.
How to calculate roulette odds?
The odds in roulette are always calculated based on the real probability of your bet winning, with one number left for the house. If you bet on a single number, you will be paid 35:1, while the real chance of winning the bet is 36:1.
What is the best roulette strategy?
There is no single best roulette strategy to speak of. Each strategy I described in this guide has its merits and downsides. I highly recommend picking a strategy that fits your personal gambling style in some way, especially in terms of risk aversion.
Can you consistently win in roulette?
The honest answer to this question is no. No player can always win in roulette, regardless of the strategy employed. You can use my roulette tips to increase your chances of winning on the night, but in the long run, the house always maintains an edge.
Can a roulette betting system improve your odds?
No matter which roulette betting strategy you use, the final house edge will always remain the same, depending on the type of roulette game you are playing. However, you can make your chances a bit better on the night by sticking to one of the tried roulette strategies.
How big is the house edge in roulette?
The house edge depends on the type of roulette you are playing. In European Roulette, the house edge is always 2.7%. American Roulette has the house edge of 5.4%. In French Roulette, the edge is 1.35% if you are playing even money bets such as red/black.
Can your strategy influence your long-term results?
There is no way to diminish the house edge in the game of roulette. The house will always maintain its 2.7% edge in classic roulette, and over the long run, everyone's results should even out. It's all about how much you bet and how much fun you can have with it.
What number hits most often in roulette?
There is no answer to this question. Over the long run, provided that the wheel you are playing on is straight and the ball is balanced, each number will land the exact same number of times.
What is the safest bet in roulette?
While there are no safe bets, the most reasonable bets are those that offer even money payouts. If you bet on red, black, odd, even, high, or low, you will be paid just under 50% of the time. However, these are the long-term odds, and in the short run, anything can happen.
Can you bet on both colors or all numbers in roulette?
You can make as many different bets as you wish. If you bet on both colors, you lose if the ball lands in Zero while winning nothing if it lands in any other number. If you bet the same amount on all the numbers, you are losing 2.7% of your entire bet each time.