Roulette is a beautiful game. Elegant and lovely. The poster child of the elegant casino, it is so much more Monaco than it is Vegas. All the other casino games have dealers—even Craps, which doesn’t even have cards—but Roulette has Croupiers. Everything about Roulette is special. The spinning wheel the bouncing ball and the dizzying numbers—the excitement is palpable at the roulette table. The draw is easy to understand.
What isn’t so easy to understand is what the best way to play roulette might be. It is a game after all. And games must have systems, right? In this case you would be very wrong. Roulette is a game of pure chance. You are at the mercy of odds and statistics. And I’ll let you in on a secret. If you play to beat the game with a system, the odds are not great for you.
It’s those pesky 0 and 00s. They sit there innocently, and skew the odds irretrievably to give the casino as light but significant edge on every spin that simply can’t be beat in the long run. For this reason, and it’s best to get it out of the way now rather than later, there is no such thing as a winning strategy for roulette. It is mathematically impossible.
To understand why, you have to break a common misconception regarding probability. The idea that a number is closer to being due with every successive spin is understandably widespread. This is not how probability works. If your odds are 1/36 (they’re not, but let’s use this number for the sake of simplicity) at the very first spin of the night, the second spin does not give you a 1/35. This would imply that after the 36th spin the odds of hitting your number approach infinity to your benefit. And experience shows you that this is not how it works.
Yet we adhere to this fallacy. The way odds work is that each spin as the same odds as the previous spin. Your odds remain locked at 1/36 until the end of time. Once you’ve wrapped your head around this fact, you can accept the fact that the outcome is completely random in each instance. A spin will have no effect on a future spin. This is just how it works.
Some people understand this, yet adhere to various methods they believe will improve their chances of winning big. A popular method is one called the Martingale system. It’s popular because it actually makes sense. And it does not fly in the face of probability theory. In fact, it is very much grounded in reality. That’s where the trap lies. I’ll explain. The Martingale System postulates that if you lose a bet, you should double the amount you wager on the next spin. This covers your previous loss and gives you a fresh chance to win big. Throw in the fact that mathematically it is impossible to lose forever (which is true—also a function of probability theory), and you have a foolproof system. As long as your bankroll allows it, that is. You see, it gets very expensive very, very quickly if you hit a losing streak. Each loss requires you to exponentially increase your bets.
There is an old legend in India that speaks of the inventor of the game of chess. He showed the game to the king, who loved it so much that he offered the inventor anything he wanted with no limit. The inventor, a clever mathematician said that he wanted one grain of wheat on the first square, two on the second, four on the third, and doubling with each square until all 64 squares were filled. The king thought this was quite reasonable so he granted the request. He didn’t realize that by the 64th square there was not enough wheat in the continent to pay the inventor, who by default took over the kingdom. By the 64th square, the number is a staggering 18,446,744,073,709,551,615. This number is so big that the human mind cannot grasp its meaning. Yet, when first presented with the problem, it seems unfathomable that it should get so big so quickly.
I’m illustrating this point to show that exponential bets are a losing proposition. It quickly gets to the point where even the richest man would balk at a subsequent bet. It is, however, a moot point. You will never get to that point with the Martingale System. Roulette tables, you see, have maximum betting limits. They change from table to table, but they all have one. And once you’ve hit the limit, you can never recoup your losses. In short the Martingale System, which looks great on paper, does not work. It is a losing proposition from whichever angle you look at it.
Now that we’ve gotten the Martingale system out of the way, is there anything out there that does work? Yes. In fact there is one thing. It is very subtle. There are two versions of Roulette. The American and European. And although they look the same at first glance, there is one thing that makes all the difference. Remember those pesky 0s? While American Roulette has two of them, its European counterpart has only one. This reduces the house edge significantly.
The best online casinos offer both versions. And I highly recommend playing the European variety, as you will see significantly more winning bets. Online casinos also offer much (and I really do mean a lot) better percentages than their brick and mortar counterparts. This is because they don’t have the high overhead to make up, and this, in a way, is another winning strategy for roulette players. Take advantage of the best and most reputable online casinos and the increased payouts they offer. Top-tier brands such as EuroPalace Casino, are safe, honest, and fair.
No matter what you do when playing Roulette, you are just playing the odds. It is a game of chance, and an exciting one at that. The online casinos offer better percentages, and the European version, so before booking a trip to Monaco, try your luck online first.