Note in the title of this article that I put the word best in quotes (“best”) because despite my use of the word not one of these systems of play yields the player an advantage over the house. That’s the truth and smart roulette players are fully aware of the fact that other than playing a biased wheel (something almost impossible to find nowadays with our much more sophisticated wheels), betting strategies are the be-all and end-all of play.
The underlying math of the game just doesn’t give us a betting method that can overcome the edge but I will give you some methods that can reduce the hit on your bankroll. Essentially these all fall into the category of “play fewer decisions and enjoy them as much or more than all those decisions of the past.” (Well, something like that.)
Still, the eight methods I will outline here have been used for a long time by roulette players. Roulette betting method #1 is slightly different as in no way, shape or form can I recommend it because of its ultimate destructive properties but it is probably the most common betting method casino gamblers use (to their dismay).
#1 – THE MARTINGALE
You might not know the name of this one but I am guessing that many of you have played this or some form of this especially when you started your casino gambling career
The Martingale method is a double your bet after a loss strategy. So if you lose your first bet (say five units), you then bet 10 units. Win that you make up for the five unit loss and you are now ahead five units.
This might sound good but a moderate losing streak of between seven to nine losses in a row will clobber you since you are doubling your bet after every loss: 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, 320, 640, 1280. Think of it, you are betting 1280 units to win? Just five!
In the first week (or so) of my gambling career I played the Martingale and did just fine for two days and then…bam!
#2 – THE LABOUCHERE
You take a row of numbers, say 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 with each number representing betting units; the lowest being 10 units for our example. You add the first and last number which is 60 units. With each loss you add the bet to the end of the line so now the number line is 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60. If you win the next bet (10+60) for 70 units you are ahead 10 units.
You now subtract the 10 and the 60. If you lose that bet, you add a 70 to the end of the number string and try again.
Every time you win a bet, the first and last numbers are dropped. If you cancel all the numbers, you have won for that sequence. If you run out of money then…well you know what that means.
The Labouchere method is similar to the Martingale but it moves along in a seemingly better fashion and that’s why many roulette players use it.
#3 – THE D’ALEMBERT
The D’Alembert method is also known as the Gambler’s Fallacy because its basis is an incorrect idea – that the universe evens things out. Sometimes this is thought of as the maturity of chances.
If the James Bond’s number 17 came up a lot in the last 100 spins then it is going to slow down so stop betting it because the universe wants the other numbers to catch up. I wish that were true. All studies show that it is an idea that sounds correct, feels correct and — is wrong.
#4 – THE FIBONACCI
Fibonacci is a number system that seems to be found throughout nature and many gamblers use it as a betting system. This is the Fibonacci sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144… it goes on and on until well past your death.
You see the pattern, correct? If not look carefully: 1+1 =2; 1+2 = 3; 2+3 = 5; 3+5 = 8. The numbers are combinations of the two that came before.
So now you use this as a betting barometer: You bet 10 units. If you lose you bet another 10 units. If you lose you bet 10 units + 10 units for 20 units — and up you go if you keep losing.
#5 – THE PAROLI
Many of you have probably played this system but you used the word “parley” to describe it. Paroli is an increase your bet as you win method of play. You win a 10 unit bet and the next bet is 20 units. You win that bet and the next bet can be 40 units.
You can stop increasing your bet at any time or just increase with smaller units but up you go with the hope that your winning streak keeps going. You can be an aggressive “parolee” or a moderate one but no matter, up you go!
#6 – THE CHAOS
This system could be based on those dinosaurs running amok in Jurassic Park because chaos, the inability to accurately predict events will then cause events, such as dinosaurs devouring you, to occur.
I know it does sound a little nutty. But chaos is actually a branch of scientific study.
Now the roulette “chaosticians” say you must not think about what you are about to bet. Just jump into the game and throw bets all over the layout in no particular order or amount. I think you can also call this system “I am being eaten by a damn dinosaur!”
#7 – THE GRAND MARTINGALE
Simple logic here: If the Martingale is a horrible bet then is the Grand Martingale better? Yes! Just kidding. No, it isn’t. Here you increase your bet not by doubling after a loss but by tripling after a loss. This system should also be called “take my money, please.”
#8 – A TRULY GOOD ONE
All right I saved the best betting system for last but I have to tell you that you won’t find this option at most roulette games. That’s sad because it really helps the savvy player hang in the game.
On the even-money bets of red/black, odd/even, and high/low some casinos will only take half your bet on these should the 0 or 00 hits. (There are two types of roulette games, with wheels having a double-zero and wheels with only a single-zero — if possible only play the single-zero.)