Red or black, odd or even? These are the questions roulette players have been asking themselves for more than 200 years – since the game was first invented in France. Based completely on chance, it’s popular with gamblers because there are several ways to bet – and all bets are made against the house. As well as the even return bets like red or black, odd or even, there’s the long shots like betting on a certain number or blocks of numbers. It means that in addition to the party animals betting on their favourite numbers and making a lot of noise, the roulette table also attracts shrewd gamblers who use a strategy to try and turn a profit. These strategies have been developed over hundreds of years, with varying degrees of success.
Those that are new to the game are able to rely on 888casino; they have published a brilliant guide featuring simple steps, the easy steps ensure beginners are left in the perfect position to pick their favourite strategy, the guide is written by Frank Scoblete, the world-famous gambling author, and it clears any doubts on how to play roulette. We’ve profiled a few of the most famous and useful, so you can give them a go next time you play, instead of betting 17 black, like every other person in the casino.
Demonstrating how the Martingale Strategy works
The martingale method is probably the most common roulette strategy out there – you may have even done it without realising if you’ve played roulette before. Essentially, the strategy revolves around placing a bet on the roughly even returns, (red or black, odd or even numbers). Say you bet £5 on black, and if black wins, then great. If red comes up however, you bet double you’re original amount, to cover off you last loss. This may seem like a very easy way to make money, but there are a couple of issues that come into play.
Imagine you’ve lost not once in a row, where you’re down £5, but you’ve actually lost 5 times in a row. To dig yourself out of the losing streak, you’ll need to have doubled 5 times, which means you’ll actually we wagering £160 to get your measly fiver back. If you lost ten times in a row, which is entirely possible, then you’re into dangerous territory and possibly close to the table limit, or running out of money. This one is best played on low bet tables, otherwise you could be facing big losses even just after a few double ups. The other factor is the zeroes. Land on one of these, and your whole strategy is ruined. Even worse if you’re playing on an American table, which has two zeroes!
The D’Alambert Strategy
Back in the 17th century, mathematicians were getting to grips with the laws of physics. A French gentleman called Jean le Rond D’Alambert concluded that “the sum of the external forces acting on a body and the inertial forces are a system in equilibrium” – giving birth to the D’Alambert Principle.
This principle was soon applied to the roulette wheel, and the D’Alambert Strategy has survived to the present day. Essentially, players choose a starting bet and like the martingale, increase or decrease for each win. For example, if a player bets £5 on black and wins, they reduce their bet by £1 to £4. If they continue to win, the amount drops until profit is reached, but with any loss, the bet decreases. This is a much slower way of playing, and the disadvantage is that your profit is exactly the number of winnings spins. D’Alambert is good, but not totally infallible – you’ll need to win more than you lose, but the upside is that it takes a long time to make a loss compared to other systems.
The different levels of Oscar’s Grind
If you thought D’Alambert was slow, then Oscar’s Grind takes it to the next level. Supposedly named after a craps player who used the system to his advantage, Oscar’s Grind is another even, outside bet option that relies on keeping the bet exactly the same if a loss is incurred, but increasing it by one if there is a win. The key element however is that this system is only designed to win one chip at a time, keeping losses very low and allowing for a small profit over a an extended period of time.
Oscar’s Grind may seem like a fool-proof way of winning, but the system doesn’t factor in the house edge, so even after many hours of play, you might still be down. It is, however, a good way to take away a little bit of profit if you’ve got time to spare, but you’ll need to avoid getting carried away and upping your bets if you find yourself on a winning streak.
Henry du Pré Labouchere was a nineteenth century English diplomat and politician and it is to him that the Labouchère betting system is attributed – although the basis of the system was invented by the 18th century French philosopher. Also known as Labby, the system relies on a series of negative progression of bets that ultimately lead to a profit. The difference is that this progression can be as long as the player likes, with different betting values depending on the how much the player wants to wager. For example, a 1-2-2-3-1 system would cover off losses, and add a small profit if there are enough wins in the series.
Labouchere is a very popular method as it allows the progression to be controlled, unlike martingale which can get out of hand quickly and Oscar’s Grind, which takes much longer to reach the same profit. It’s also a little bit more complicated than the others, requiring more concentration. There’s also the risk of the betting pattern getting too big for the table limit, making it impossible to recover a potentially big losses, so caution needs to be taken with this one.
Understanding the Fibonacci sequence
Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci is credited with identifying this fairly simple progression that is based on adding the two previous numbers in the sequence to create the next one, like this:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, etc.
It’s used exclusively on even-money bets which have roughly a 50% chance of winning. This sequence is applied to the size of the wager, progressing through the sequence on losing bets, but returning two positions in the sequence with winning bets. As soon as a profit of zero is reached, then the wager resets to the first number again and the sequence is repeated.
Many people swear by Fibonacci, because mathematically, it makes a lot of sense in terms of growth and progression. However, the progression can get out of control for multiple losses and as with any negative progression strategy can soon be reached. This strategy is a good one if you’ve got limited time in the casino, but you won’t be hitting super-high profits without a few hours working on this one.
This is one of the easier systems in the world of roulette. It’s a positive progressive betting system, and doesn’t require much mathematical strategy in place, which helps less experienced players. After every win the bet placed on the subsequent spin should be increased. But at your first loss, you revert back to your original starting bet. All you need to work out for the Parlay strategy is the amount you want to spend and the amount you want to win. You don’t even need to stick to even money bets, and you can win bigger in shorter amounts of time, because you can bet on 35/1 odds.
Kavouras is an “ingeniously chaotic” two-part strategy, and one of the most modern on the list, invented in 2010. It’s designed to cover 20 different numbers using different alternatives. With a Kavouras, you need to have one unit in the corner covering the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, two units should the numbers 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 in a double street bet. Finally, one unit should be placed on each of the following five splits: 8/11, 13/14, 15/18, 17/20, 27/30.
This one is one of the most entertaining strategies, and also means that more than half of the numbers on the table are being covered – 20 out of 37. A winning round on average is set to occur more often – but even with Kavouras, you can’t change the house edge. You change the amount you bet and how to manage it, but never actually changes the odds.
These strategies will all get you going so that won’t see your funds wiped out within 5 minutes of being at the roulette table. However, no strategy in the world is infallible, and over time you’ll end up losing money, no matter which way you look at it. If you don’t hit the table limit, then you could run out of funds chasing a 9-loss streak using Martingale, or a rogue zero or double zero could spoil your pain-staking Oscar’s Grind session.
With the right amount of time spent playing and pre-defined criteria for success, you can reach a cut-off point that will leave you in profit using each of these techniques. Just remember to avoid gambler’s fallacy and concentrate – if you forget your previous bet or don’t know your sequence inside-out, your whole system can soon collapse. So get online, get your system running and take some money off those fat cat casino bosses!