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Roulette Betting Strategies

Learn what are the most popular roulette betting strategies including the Martingale betting system, Labouchère system and d’Alembert system. A person who never played live roulette can never know that gushy feeling you get when you have just bet all your chips and worldly possessions on a single spin of the roulette. A smart player will tell you to bet on what your heart tells you. But a really smart player will open up their strategy guides, odd manuals and probability charts, and start working with a pocket calculator.

Needless to say, a well thought out strategy sure sounds like a much safer bet than pushing the odds in favour of supernatural premonitions. When I play for big money, I always remember to check the good old strategy book, before putting anything too big at the table. In this guide, we are going to discuss some popular roulette strategies that are sure to help you get ahead.

Martingale Betting System

Martingale Betting SystemThe Martingale system offers gambles a quick and easy way to beat the game, or people think so anyway. When we take a closer look at the odds themselves, it is clear that the risk far out-weights the merit (*we will be going over that in a minute). The system itself is pretty straight-forward; a player betting on even money bets will double his wager after a loss. Most commonly, people prefer to play on reds/blacks, although all bets are acceptable, as long as they pay 1:1.

I will give an example of how this works: I sit at any roulette table and put $5 on black to win. If I lose the spin I would then double my bet to $10. Should I lose the $10, I would double to $20, then to $40, $80, $160 etc. Eventually, I am hoping that the ball will land on black and I would double my last bet. If I lost 6 times on a $5 bet, that adds up to $315 that I invested in this strategy.

If I win the $160 bet, that will raise me to $320, which is a $5 profit overall. Let’s not forget that every roulette table has a maximum betting limit. Should I lose more than 6 times ($160, $320, $640, $1280…) the wagers become so big, the table will stop accepting them at one point? So I have just invested $1280 in the hopes that I would win only $5? Not the best strategy if you are not a High Roller (and the table permits it).

The Martingale betting system is great at recouping losses, but it is not without pitfalls. Having to double your bet after every loss is quite taxing on your bankroll. A string of unlucky spins can bankrupt you if you are not careful. Therefore, this betting strategy is recommended for those who have substantial funds to wager. If you are a mid-roller or a casual player, it is better to try out a more conservative approach.

Labouchère system

Labouchère systemCompared to the Martingale system, the Labouchère system is considered to have a much more subtle strategy. The betting starts with the player conjuring a number. This is what he is hoping to bring home from the casino. He must then write a list of positive numbers, whose sum total equals that of the aforementioned end numbers, e.g. 1-1-1-2-2-2. At the start of each spin, the player will bet the sum total of the first and last number, on the list. If the spin favours the player, he would then strike the two numbers off the list.

If however the player loses, the amount wagered is added to the back of the sequence. This will go on until all the numbers have been crossed out from the list, or more likely – when the player runs out of money.

Let’s take the Labouchere system and run a simulation with 10 spins. For the purposes of this test, we will be using the following starting sequence: 1-1-1-1-2-2-2

SpinSequenceBet SizeOutcomePayoutNet Balance

The Labouchere betting strategy is quite aggressive and it aims at providing a profit. As such, it requires many wagers on your part, with some greater than others. This means that you will need a substantial bankroll to achieve a positive outcome or to keep your bets low. What’s great about the Labouchere is that it has clear goals in mind. If you manage to pull off a successful sequence, you will always come out ahead. There is a big emphasis on that ‘if’, however.

d’Alembert system

d'Alembert systemPlayers looking for a clever way to beat the odds should look at the d’Alembert system which is referred to as a negative progression system. Basically, a player will increase their bet when they lose, and decrease it after a win. The bet size is changed in increments, which we also call units. A unit is typically worth the original bet amount.

The aim of the system is to get smaller, but more consistent wins, and not chase loses like some other systems would have you do. We ran a simulation of 10 spins while using the d’Alembert system, which you can find in the table below.

SpinBet SizeOutcomePayoutNet Balance

The d’Alembert system is different from others in the sense that it has no clear goal. You play until you are satisfied with the winnings or have no more money to stake. It is considered better than other systems since it decreases your wager while you are in the green and does not allow you to become overcome with greed.

What’s more, the d’Alembert does not multiply your wager as with other strategies. Instead, it increases it gradually. This allows you to have a good idea of where you will be after the following few spins. You only run the risk of exceeding the betting limits if your starting bet is high. For casual players and mid-rollers, this will hardly even be an issue.

Fibonacci Betting System

Fibonacci Betting SystemThe Fibonacci betting system is inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. It is a mathematical sequence of numbers, where each number is made from the combined sum of the two previous numbers. It starts off quite slow but when it gets rolling, it quickly spirals into large digits. A similar approach can be adopted when placing roulette bets.

The way it works is quite simple, though it will require some focus on your part. You place a bet and if it wins, you keep playing as usual. If you lose, you keep it the same for one more spin. If the second one also loses, then you increase the size of your third bet by combining the previous two. You follow this logic until you get a winning spin, at which point you revert back to the original amount.

For reference, we have laid out a simulation of 10 spins in the table below.

SpinBet SizeOutcomePayoutNet Balance

As you can see, it does not produce much in the way of profit. However, it will help you mitigate losses. As long as you have money to meet the necessary increase, you can do quite alright with the Fibonacci system. Naturally, you will have to take note of the betting limits and your personal finances when using this system. However, seeing as how it is not as aggressive as the Martingale, we believe that it is ideal for all types of players.

Paroli Betting System

Paroli Betting SystemThe Paroli betting system is a positive progression, where you increase the size of your bet after every win. Unlike the Fibonacci, which is designed to recoup losses, the Paroli aims to make you a profit.

Utilizing the Paroli system is not difficult at all. After a winning spin, you double the size of your bet. If it wins again, you double it one more time. However, if you lose, then you reset your bet back to its original size. There is one peculiarity that you have to consider. The Paroli system dictates that after three subsequent wins, you go back to the original size of the wager. This way you do not get greedy and reckless.

For your convenience, we have run a simulation of the Paroli system using 10 spins.

SpinBet SizeOutcomePayoutNet Balance

As you can see, even in the event of a loss, you will only be risking the original amount of your first bet. With the Paroli system, you only stand to lose the default bet amount, which is ideal for conservative players.

The one pitfall of the system is that it depends on a winning streak to make a substantial profit. What’s more, if the streak is interrupted on the third bet, you come out with nothing to show for the previous two spins. However, it will keep your head above water until fortune smiles at you.

The Paroli system works well with casual players and mid-rollers. If your original bet is high, to begin with, you may end up exceeding the betting limits of the table, which renders the whole thing useless. Therefore, you need to consider how the progression might affect your experience.

Oscar’s Grind Betting System

Oscar’s Grind Betting SystemOscar’s Grind is one of the more intricate betting systems out there. It is a positive progression and has you increase your bet amount after a win. However, unlike other systems, it also requires you to eat any losses until you reach your objective.

At its core, the Oscar’s Grind aims to achieve a profit of at least 1 unit. A unit refers to the original bet amount. For instance, if a single unit is $10, then two units will be $20, and so on. You place your bet and if the spin wins, you have reached your goal and can start over. However, if the spin losses, then you employ the strategy.

According to the rules of the Oscar’s Grind, you keep the size of your bet the same until you score a win. After a winning spin, you increase your bet by 1 unit and keep going. Once again, the idea is to gain 1 unit of profit or more. Until this goal is achieved, you will increase the size of your bet by 1 unit after every winning spin up to a maximum of 4 units. The limit is there so that you do not stake too much after a series of bad spins.

In the table below, we present a simulation of 10 spins using the Oscar’s Grind. For the purposes of the simulation, a unit will be worth $10.

SpinBet SizeOutcomePayoutNet Balance

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