Casino Gambling Guide

Roulette strategy

On this page we will discuss roulette strategy. Some people believe you can always break even at roulette by always betting even money, then doubling down after every loss and return to the lowest bet after a win. This is called the Martingale system. However, in practice this is not possible because every roulette table has a maximum imposed on the bet size. After a couple of sequential losses it is no longer possible to double down, and you will lose. In fact never believe anyone who claims having invented a winning roulette system. As with all games of chance, whether you win or lose doesn't depend on the system your using, but on luck and common sense.

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Roulette strategy detailed

Below you will find a few common sense strategy tips you can use to optimize your roulette play.

Each spin is independent

The outcome of a spin is not determined by prior spins. Each spin is an independent event of chance. For example, after seven successive blacks, the chance of getting a red on the next spin is still as likely as getting a black. You should not base your strategy on the false assumption that a particular outcome is 'due' to happen.

European roulette pays more than American roulette

The American roulette wheel has 38 numbers, including the numbers 1 to 36, a 0 ('zero') and a 00 ('double zero'). The European roulette wheel has 37 numbers, including the numbers 1 to 36 and a 0 ('zero'). In both games the house still pays 35 to 1 on a straight (one number) bet. This means European roulette offers better odds than American roulette. The house edge on all bets (except the five-number line bet) in American roulette is 5.26%, compared to 2.63% in European roulette. If you are planning to play roulette, always play single-zero European roulette, when offered a chance. For example, Microgaming casinos offer single-zero roulette.

Avoid the five-number line bet

The worst bet you can make in roulette is the five-number line bet. With this bet you are betting on 0 ('zero'), 00 ('double zero'), 1, 2, and 3. The five-number line bet pays 6 to 1, which is equivalent to a 7.29% house edge. This compares to a 5.26% house edge on all other bets. So, never ever place the five-number line bet.

The surrender option favors the player

Normally an even-money bet (high-low bet, black-red bet, odd-even bet) pays 1 to 1 when you win and nothing when you lose. Sometimes a casino offers the option to surrender, which means that if you lose an even-money bet to a 0 ('zero') or 00 ('double zero'), you are offered an extra chance on the same bet. If you win the second bet you get to take your original bet back. The house edge on these bets is 2.63% for American roulette and 1.35% for European roulette. Some Cryptologic casinos offer the option to surrender.

Summary of roulette bets and their associated house edge

Roulette bets House edge
European roulette even-money bet with surrender 1.35%
American roulette even-money bet with surrender 2.63%
American roulette five-number line bet 7.29%
European roulette all other bets 2.70%
American roulette all other bets 5.26%


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