Intuitively, roulette is a game of pure chance. In essence, a roulette wheel is a fancy die. That doesn’t mean that players can’t use a gambling strategy. Good roulette players (they exist) can identify a winning pattern and exploit the peculiarities of the statistics that drive the game. This doesn’t mean you lower the house edge. The house always wins in the end, you just make sure the end is there on your terms, not the casino’s. The below betting strategies are a great way to make more of your roulette game – and your bankroll.
The Martingale Strategy
A Martingale roulette strategy is based on a very simple principle: if you keep doubling your bet after every loss, you gain a net win. As long as you keep winning, reset to your base bet and pocket the wins.
In this simplest idea, a base bet of $1 with two games, one loss and a win, will gain a $1 net win: after the first loss, the second bet is $2, which means a gross $4 win (and $3 in bets). Extending that example by one more game (with a loss at the second and win at the third), you’d have a gross $8 win and a net $1 win.
That $1 net win reveals one of the downsides of the Martingale; after five rounds without a win, you’d have to bet $16 for a $1 net win (with $35 total invested). Mathematically, the Martingale is foolproof. The reason the Martingale is not an investment strategy, is that there are limits to your bankroll (with a $1,000 bankroll, you could survive only nine straight losses) and to the bets allowed at a table.
The Fibonacci Strategy
The Fibonacci roulette strategy attempts to tackle the $1 net win problem. Instead of a progressive bet growth, it uses the famous Fibonacci system. This system is a mathematical sequence that’s found all over nature. It’s best known as a visual in the shape of a growing shell, but in essence the sequence is quite simple.
To determine your next bet, you add the last two bets. If you start at $1, your next bet would be $1 again, after which you raise it to $2. Adding these together makes a $3 bet for the fourth round, followed by $5, $8, and $13, and $21 – the eighth round has a total bet investment of $53. In comparison, the eighth round in Martingale would mean a $64 bet, at which point $63 had already been bet ($127 in total bets). Winning that eighth bet means a net profit of $5 in the Fibonacci system, after which the win sequence follows the same pattern.
The Fibonacci system has a slower betting progression than the Martingale roulette strategy and solves the problem of small net wins. At the same time, it suffers from the same problems: you’ll run into table or bankroll limits soon enough, and never beat the house edge.
The Reverse Martingale Strategy
The Reverse Martingale strategy has the same principle as the Martingale, but instead of doubling after a loss, you double after a win. This strategy means you’re not trying to recoup your losses, but bank when a winning streak appears. At the same time, it keeps your bankroll from dipping dramatically, since a loss means you reset to your base bet. To make the Reverse Martingale Strategy work, you pick how big of a winning streak you’re willing to go for. Going for a winning streak of four means your win in the end is $16, after which you reset your base bet. The Reverse Martingale roulette strategy thus gives you the chance to win higher, while not investing into recovering your losses. This, too, is no guarantee for wins, as a losing streak might negate any losses.
A betting strategy could keep your losses lower than the lack of a strategy, but in the end, the house always wins. Furthermore, every strategy assumes you can raise your bets without limit, but the reverse is true. If your own bankroll doesn’t limit you, the casino most definitely will. Whichever strategy you choose, make sure to responsibly try out new ways to bet.