As one of the quintessential casino table games, roulette is a firm fixture in every land-based and live casino in the world. Its simplistic and quickfire nature have made it a player favourite for decades, giving rise to modern adaptations such as Lightning Roulette with boosted multipliers for massive win potential.
Of course, with so many players all vying to come away from the roulette table in profit, various playing strategies have emerged over the years. However, being a fixed odds game with the inclusion of a house edge – represented by the green zero segment on the wheel – there is no easy way to guarantee winning spins.
Even so, if you’re looking for the best roulette strategy online, it can help to first evaluate some of the most popular methods others have tried over time.
One of the more famous playing methods is known as the Martingale strategy which works as follows: playing on ’50:50’ betting options such as black/red or odd/even, the gambler will choose one option and double their bet after any losing bet. As soon as this method (eventually) wins, the returns will cover all previous losses and award a profit equal to the original stake.
In many ‘phases’ of roulette results, the Martingale strategy can provide a small profit if you’re disciplined enough to cash out your winnings early. However, over the long term, it’s almost inevitable that you will encounter an unfavourable set of results sooner or later. In addition, the house edge also tips the balance against you.
For example, an initial bet of €5 on black numbers would mean a run of six reds in a row would set you back €315 (5 + 10 + 20 + 40 + 80 + 160), thus requiring a €320 stake to cover these losses and make a €5 profit. At this point your confidence in the strategy will most likely have dwindled completely – and with no guarantee of the next result being black either – your balance can quickly be decimated if the ball doesn’t spin your way again. Is it worth the risk for such a small profit?
Covering Most of the Wheel
More cautious players will edge towards covering the majority of the roulette wheel when placing their bets. As a simple example, this could be placing one chip on the 1st Twelve section (numbers 1-12) and one identical chip on 2nd Twelve (13-26). This has now covered 64% of all possibilities, increasing your chances of making a one chip profit.
Taking this further, some players try out betting on a majority of single numbers across the table. This vastly increases your chances of winning, albeit a minimum profit. An example could be betting €1 each on 35 straight-up numbers. With a payout of 36x in a standard game of roulette, this would award a €1 profit for every successful spin.
However, with 37 numbers on the wheel, the 94.59% chance of winning can easily be offset by a losing spin. In other words, you would need to achieve thirty five wins in a row to recoup just one loss.
Some roulette players try and gauge where the ball will land on the wheel as opposed to blindly punting on a colour or number. This is when ‘section bets’ come in handy, where your chips are placed on a portion of the roulette wheel itself as opposed to the chronological table numbers. Named after French terms, they are referred to as Voisins du Zero, Jeu Zero, Tiers and Orphelins, whilst Neighbour bets can also be placed.
It's thought that some live dealers will carry out ‘signature spins’ as their shift progresses – essentially meaning they will subconsciously spin the wheel and ball at the same velocity over a particular run of games. Players thus have a much better idea where the ball is likely to land on the wheel itself, if not on an exact number, but certainly in the corresponding section either side.
Although this seems like a good ploy, live dealers are strictly instructed to spin the wheel and the ball separately at different speeds on every spin. Combined with the fact the ball can bounce out of its landing place before nestling into a segment, this makes it very hard to predict where the roulette ball will eventually land – even with the error margins that section bets provide.
Safe Wins Followed By Long-Shot Bets
The above strategies can give you an increased chance of winning relatively small amounts over short-term play. But as many players will allude to, a rotten run of luck can still see your balance wiped out despite playing it safe. Therefore, an effective exit strategy is required to leave in profit on a consistent basis.
One alternative idea is to take any profit won using your selected roulette strategy and effectively see it as a ‘free’ punt on a high odds bet. For example, after picking up a €5 win via the Martingale strategy, you could then place a €0.50 bet on 10 straight-up numbers. Win here, and your additional profit would be €18.
If this ‘bonus’ bet loses, simply go back to one of the safer strategies until a small profit is won again, and then repeat the above process. By trying this method on XXXtreme Lightning Roulette, you could potentially pick up multiplier wins of 2,000x if the lightning strikes in your favour!
Are Roulette Strategies Worth It?
Roulette strategies can be successful in the short-term, allowing you to pick up modest wins if you maintain discipline. These winnings can either be cashed out early or used to place ‘freebie’ bets at higher odds. However, be wary that the house edge tips the balance against players who spend an excessive time at the table, even on the most seemingly sure-fire strategies.
Despite this, a good tip would be to practise your own personal strategy on an animated 2D roulette table which permits small stakes and chance to play at your own leisure. In the live arena, using the ‘bet selector’ tool is another good tactic – allowing you to save specific bets and place them with 1-click.