As with many online casino games, roulette features very little strategy beyond pure chance. The spinning wheel has no memory. In fact, there is just as much chance that two identical numbers will come up on consecutive spins as two different number. However, players have developed some strategies, mostly having to do with even money bets, that may result in winnings. Many are risky at best and have no guarantee of working every time.
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Roulette Playing Strategies
The Martingale is a rather risky but very simple system of even money betting, usually on red and black. Essentially, the player chooses a color and places their initial minimum outside bet on that color. After the first spin, they double their bet if they lost. If they win the bet, they restart the system with the original minimum bet. For example, the Martingale player might begin by betting $5 on black and lose. They would then bet $10 on black. Even if the second bet was a loss, a third bet win would cover both the first and second losses as well as earns a $5 profit.
Although this system sometimes works, there are many factors to consider:
Table Maximum: Many roulette tables carry an outside bet maximum that can interfere with the Martingale system. With the original example bet of $5, the eighth bet would exceed the maximum and cause player to no longer be able to double their bet.
Table Memory: There is no table memory. You can never actually predict what sequence of outside bets will occur. About once every 121 rounds, a streak of more than seven losses in a row will statistically occur. If these streaks occur more often than once every 121 rounds, which they very well can, you could lose your entire bankroll in a short time due to the betting maximum.
Expense: The Martingale system relies on the player having enough money to wager, and possibly lose, to continue the system effectively. When the maximum is not hit, there is technically no limit to the amount of times the ball will land on red instead of black. You could potentially have to place wagers of thousands of dollars to make up your original small bet. If you run out of money or hit the maximum, you cannot continue the system and have lost your entire bankroll.
The Grand Martingale operates in the same way as the Martingale but with even higher stakes, to the point where it is very risky, perhaps even too risky to serve as a valuable betting system. Not only does the player double their original even money bet, they add another unit. For example, a original bet loss of $5 then means that the player must bet $15 on the next round. All additions are made using the original betting unit, however. So, the next bet would be $35, followed by $75, etc.
While the Grand Martingale has the potential to work many times, it suffers the same problems as the Martingale, only amplified. After only six losses, you will hit the example table maximum of $500, nowhere near enough to cover the inevitable streak that will come with an extended play session.
Basic Strategies and Payouts
The best strategies are formulated from knowing the payouts and making smart bets on both inside bets and outside bets. The payout for any individual number bet made on the inside is 35:1. However, with the addition of both 0 and 00 on American wheels, the actual odds of that number being the result are 37:1, or the house edge.
Most roulette experts suggest making larger outside bets and smaller inside bets. You should also remember that the minimum and maximum bets differ on inside and outside bets. A minimum inside bet of $5 means that your minimum total bet on the inside must add up to $5, or any combination of $1 bets, for example. However, a minimum outside bet of $5 cannot be distributed over any number of different bets. For example, you would have to bet $5 on black to meet the minimum, not $3 on black and $2 on odd numbers.