Posted on Jan 11, 2018
Roulette, for many, represents the purity of gambling. Unlike other games where different levels of skill get employed to create differing odds of a win versus a loss, Roulette exists as a game of pure, or nearly pure, chance.
The mechanical nature of roulette, in that its main component is the wheel, makes it perfect for online gambling. Online roulette loses on the negatives of a real-world game.
Becoming proficient at making money from online roulette gambling then becomes about meta-strategy and not technique. Anyone with some dedication can learn to do well, or well enough. Knowing the strategies of the past will enable you to develop your own meta-strategy and find the kind of entertainment in roulette that you desire.
One of the key strategies for past winning players of roulette was to determine and take advantage of flaws in the wheel. This was the strategy of Joseph Jagger, the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo. It was also used by the Garcia-Pelayo family.
A lot of research has gone into shaping and refining of the roulette wheel over time.
The important difference that online roulette brings to the world is a total lack of possible wear and tear which will warp or shape a wheel. The wheel is digital and can't be changed.
At one point in time, seed numbers and random number generators were primitive and patterns could be detected. Today, changes and advances in code make these possibilities, well, not worth betting on.
Like real-world roulette, the heels come in two varieties. The European wheel has a single green zero. The American wheel features a green zero and a second green double zero, hence its nickname of double roulette.
Since wheel errors don't and can't exist in online roulette, strategies have to center on numbers and probability. Playing the meta, a phrase used commonly in esports to indicate "the game about the game" becomes a necessary element of playing online roulette effectively.
Essentially, the better gambler becomes the one able to better think of the overall picture, not the individual spins. This isn't unlike the number and stats playing of modern baseballs so-called 'money ball' phenomenon.
The roulette meta-game falls into two strategy types: betting strategies and playing strategies.
The purpose of a betting strategy is to take advantage of the ironclad probabilities of results in online roulette and form a strategy that ends in a profit. These strategies are not full-proof, they can't be, otherwise, it wouldn't be called gambling. However, these strategies do take advantage of the larger meta of the numbers game to provide a way to play which results in more fun, and more often, profit.
Each of the following tricks provides a different window into how the meta is formed, and how to manipulate it. Knowing about each strategy, and trying each out will help you develop your own most comfortable strategy.
The go-to for most gamblers, the idea behind the Martingale strategy revolves around a 50/50 concept of wins to losses. In roulette, this comes down to betting red/black, even/odd or 1-18/19-36. Each time a spin results in a loss, the bet is doubled (usually starting from 1). This ensures that no matter how many times you lose, when you win, you will get back everything risked so far plus the initial bet, which will put you ever so slightly ahead.
Losing track of how much doubling has occurred and adding an incorrect amount, not having enough on-hand to cover another doubling, and not resetting back to 1 on a win, are all possible problems with this strategy.
Ultimately, this is a good starter strategy that will help you understand how a meta numbers game works. The overall pattern has better odds than any given spin. The House doesn't win every spin, but it wins over time by having an advantage.
Essentially, the longer you play, the better your odds become, though they will never reach a 1/1 parity. This is gambling, after all.
The concept of the Paroli system works opposite of the Martingale, which is why it is sometimes called the Reverse Martingale. Instead of doubling after a loss, maintain a set amount and double after a win.
This strategy relies on a logic that for every win, the doubling reflects a bet with your winnings, not your losses. So each win risks only the win itself, leaving your initial bet intact.
On a win the bet is doubled, this is called a progression. On a loss, the bet is reduced to your starting amount. Streaks can easily lead to profit, but caution must be taken.
In practice, this strategy has several weaknesses. The most obvious comes from whatever losses occur before a win. Sticking to a number for the success to be complete and reset back to an initial amount is also crucial.
To counter the losses accumulated before a progression begins, it is advised to capitalize on casino freebies. This works especially well in online roulette, where many sites have a sign-up bonus that can be put towards this initial deficit.
This strategy builds on the concept of the Martingale but changes how the number progressions occur. Again, bests occur on the even strats, red/black, odd/even, etc.
There are two key differences, the first involves the progression of bets. Instead of doubling, the previous bet is added to the next bet. So a bet of 1 would add to the previous bet (zero) for 1. Then the next would be 1+1 for 2, 1+2 for 3, and on with increases reaching as high as 610 in only 14 steps.
When you win a spin, you go down two steps in the stake. When you reach a profit number (as set by you) then the sequence starts from your initial bet amount.
This online roulette strategy has some of the same flaws and bonuses of the previous two. Keeping track of initial losses before winning remains important, as is not going too deep in a sequence because of the all-or-nothing risk.
Another modification of the Martingale, d'Alembert relies on even betting. The key difference comes from the bet progression. Under this strategy, the bet after a loss only increases by one each time.
A win decreases the bet by 1, a loss increases by 1. This plays a very slow numbers game which allows for a lot of play time but restricts profit because wins/losses need to be close together for it to work.
As mentioned, online roulette sites have sign-up bonuses which can ease a player into the strategy. Free practice rooms also allow a player to see how this kind of number strategy can work before putting it into practice.
The most complex of the strategies, Labouchere has a higher risk to reward structure. Here the player chooses the exact numbers of their betting line. Instead of a direct or measured increase as seen in the other strategies, the numbers come directly from the player.
Betting increases after each loss and resets after each win. You gain control of the numbers, which can give a greater sense of accomplishment and can lead to fewer won spins covering more lost spins.
Because of the added complexity of the betting line you create, this strategy is better used in online roulette, where you can keep a note on your line and your position in that line.
While betting strategies attempt to capitalize on the idea of a more or less even number of wins and losses from the unchanging probability of roulette, playing strategies work to increase odds of a number happening.
As mentioned before, the probability doesn't change, and online roulette negates any amount of wheel warping. However, humans are pattern seeking animals, and patterns may yet still be seen.
The individual odds of a number coming up each individual spin remain perfectly the same in online roulette. However, set theory lends the idea that a specific pattern has an increase of odds. While the individual probability of the ball landing on zero each spin is 0.053 times, the odds that it will land on zero two spins in a row becomes higher.
Playing a predict the number strategy involves understanding the key difference between individual and series spin probabilities.
Like traditional roulette, online roulette has odds. This changes aspects of the meta-game. A bet on red or black pays 2 to 1 and features a slightly less than 50/50 chance (because of the zero or double zero). An individual number pays 35 to 1 with a roughly 37 to 1 against the chance of being selected.
Understanding what each number or combination of numbers pays out gives an opportunity for bigger individual spin winnings. Note that each of the betting strategies works only on even bets.
Playing the odds should only be incorporated into number prediction and only really works well when individual versus series probability is well understood.
If you are ready to get started, we have a curated list of the best online roulette sites to choose from.
We also have guides dedicated to exploring more information about online roulette, the history of roulette, and topics of interest to roulette players.