Best Roulette Strategy to Help You Win Online
Roulette strategy can help you manage your bankroll when playing at an online casino. However, they cannot help you win. They can only help mitigate the house edge as best as possible.
Nevertheless, they can be good to know. This guide will explain what each system entails and help you choose an approach that suits your risk tolerance and playing style.
The basics of roulette strategy
Online roulette is not a game of skill. However, you can improve your chances of winning by choosing the best type of roulette game and selecting the best wagering options. You also need to know how to play roulette, of course, but that’s not what we’re discussing here.
Choose the roulette variant with the lowest house edge
There are three main roulette variants: American, European, and French. An American roulette wheel has 38 pockets: the numbers 1-36, a single zero, and a double zero. A bet on an individual number pays 35:1, but you have only a 1 in 38 chance of success. In other words, American wheels have a 5.26% house advantage.
By contrast, a European roulette wheel only has a single zero. So, you have a 1 in 37 chance of success on a single number bet. The single zero cuts the house edge to 2.7% – nearly half the American wheel.
French roulette also has a single zero only. However, it features an additional rule named la partage, which earns you a 50% rebate if the ball lands on that single zero. This rule brings the house edge down to 1.35%. As such, you should always choose French roulette if it is available. If not, European roulette is superior to American.
Please note – some casinos offer a Triple Zero roulette game, which features a single, double, and triple zero. This game has a house edge of 7.69% – worse than some slot games! So, avoid this game at all costs.
Familiarize yourself with the betting options
You have a broad range of betting options when playing roulette. These are some of the most common ones and their odds.
- Individual number (35:1)
- Split bet (17:1): covering two numbers positioned next to one another on the table.
- Street (11:1): covering three numbers clustered together on the board.
- Corner (8:1): laying chips on the corners of four numbers grouped together.
- Column (2:1): bet on the ball landing on one of 12 numbers in a column of the board.
- Thirds (2:1): bet on the numbers 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36.
- Red/Black (1:1): bet on the ball landing on a red or black number.
- High/Low (1:1): bet on 1-17 or 18-36.
Manage your bankroll sensibly
Roulette betting systems are designed to help you manage your bankroll. You can start by selecting a percentage of your budget to serve as your base unit. The percentage you choose will depend on how aggressive you would like to be.
A range of percentages for these bets is between 1% and 5%. So, the risk-averse can bet in 1% increments, while the more risk-tolerant can bet as much as 5% of their bankroll on each wager. Obviously, you can fall anywhere in this range that you like.
Test out systems in demo mode
It is helpful to play in demo mode while testing bet types and strategies. The best online casinos allow you to play games for fun, using virtual coins, while you familiarize yourself with the gameplay. You can take advantage of that option by testing out some of the systems detailed below without risking any of your own money. If you find one that you like, you can switch to real money.
The most popular roulette system
There are lots of roulette strategies, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of popularity: the Martingale. It is very easy to follow. You simply double your bet after each loss. If you win, start again by betting a single unit.
This is a negative progression strategy, which is designed to aggressively chase down losses and grind out a series of small wins. The idea is to wipe out all previous losses with a single win. Like all positive or negative progression systems, it can be used on bets that pay 1:1. When it comes to roulette, those bets are red/black, odd/even, or high/low.
Here is an example of the Martingale System in action:
- You start by betting $20, and you place a bet on red.
- If you lose, wager $40 on the next spin.
- Should you lose again, bet $80.
- When you finally win, go back to betting $20 again.
In theory, the Martingale will always work. However, in practice, it only guarantees success if you have unlimited funds, infinite time, and no table limits. In the real world, you will run out of money or come up against the table limits, at which point the Martingale falls apart. If you want to try it out, you will need a large bankroll and a table with very broad limits. It might also be sensible to start out with a very small bet.
Other popular roulette systems
Most other roulette systems fall into two categories. There are negative progression systems, such as the D’Alembert, Fibonacci, or Labouchere. They are similar to the Martingale, as they chase losses, but many do so less aggressively. You can also opt for positive progression systems, such as the Paroli, 1-3-2-6, Reverse Martingale, or Oscar’s Grind, which aim to capitalize upon winning streaks. There are also some systems that do not apply to 1:1 bets, such as the Andrucci and Quadrant, described below.
The D’Alembert System can be used on red/black or high/low bets on a roulette wheel. It requires you to increase your bet size by one unit after each loss and decrease it by one unit after a win.
The idea is to be more aggressive after a loss and ease off after a win. This may suit players who like the concept of chasing losses but find the Martingale System too bold.
Fibonacci was an Italian mathematician who found fame in the Republic of Pisa during the Middle Ages. He is renowned for his eponymous sequence, in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones: 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21-34-55-89-144, and so on.
Some roulette players use this sequence to determine their bet sizes. Once again, this approach is only for 1:1 bets on the roulette wheel: red/black, odd/even, or high/low. The idea is to start out by betting a single unit and then moving one step forward in the sequence and two back after a loss. This negative progression system can quickly grow very aggressive, as you can end up betting 144 units if you go on a losing streak.
The Paroli is a positive progression strategy. Unlike the Martingale and the D’Alembert, it does not chase losses. Instead, the idea is to capitalize upon winning streaks. You simply bet one unit and then double your bet size after a win.
However, if you win three straight bets, you begin again by wagering just a single unit. For that reason, the Paroli is not a particularly risky approach. If you want a bolder positive progression strategy, you can consider the Reverse Martingale, which doubles your bet amount after each win ad infinitum, but you need to be prepared to quit when ahead if you use that approach.
The Labouchere is another negative progression strategy, which can be applied to red/black or high/low bets. You begin by deciding the amount you would like to win, and you then divide it into a sequence of your choosing.
For example, you might aim for a $200 profit and divide it up as follows: 30-20-50-50-40-10.
You would then start out by wagering the sum of the first and last numbers. In this example, that would be $40. If you win, cross them out. Then, repeat the process by adding the first and last numbers together and wagering the sum total.
If you lose, add the losing bet amount to the end of the sequence, such as 30-20-50-50-40-10-40. In that case, your next wager would be $70. Keep going until you have crossed all the numbers out and achieved your desired level of profit, or you give up.
The Andrucci is a roulette strategy that takes inspiration from chaos theory. It is a high-risk approach, which does not add a great deal of rigor to your play. You begin by placing between 30 and 40 bets on red/black, odd/even, or high/low.
Make a note of the numbers that appear most frequently during this time. Choose one of those numbers and bet on it for around 30-40 spins. That’s it. This is a very simple approach, but it tries to capitalize on “hot” numbers in a game of chance, despite the results being totally random.
This strategy is designed to capitalize upon slight imperfections in a physical roulette wheel. Over time, a wheel may suffer from wear and tear, or it may be positioned at the slightest angle at a brick-and-mortar casino. This can lead to wheel bias, meaning that some portions of the wheel pay out more than others.
The idea is to divide the wheel into four quadrants and observe which of them benefits from a bias created by a defect. When you do so, you can cover several different numbers within that quadrant. You might cover all nine, or you may choose just to bet on five or six of them.
Of course, this strategy will not work when playing an online roulette game powered by a random number generator, as there are no imperfections in a virtual wheel. You could try it out on a live dealer roulette game, but it is highly unlikely that there would be any defects in one of the wheels at a modern live dealer studio. This approach is best followed at brick-and-mortar casinos that feature old equipment. There are a few examples of players becoming rich by exploiting biased wheels in the history books, but it is difficult to find such stories nowadays.
Comparing the different systems
This table highlights some of the key features of the seven popular roulette systems discussed above. We have discussed the major pros and cons of each approach, which should help you determine which one (if any) suits your risk tolerance. Remember that you can experiment with a few of them in demo mode before playing for real money.
|System||Strategy Type||Risk Level||Bankroll Needed||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Martingale||Negative progression||High||Large||Chases losses aggressively and seeks to grind out small wins||Requires a large bankroll and broad table limits|
|D'Alembert||Negative progression||Medium||Average||Chases losses and aims for small wins||Does not capitalize upon winning streaks|
|Fibonacci||Negative progression||High||Large||Tries to erase losses and grind out wins||You will need to place very large wagers after a lengthy losing streak|
|Paroli||Positive progression||Low||Modest||Capitalizes on winning streaks, less risky than the Reverse Martingale||Does not chase losses|
|Labouchere||Negative progression||Medium||Modest||Aims to earn the player a predefined profit||Does not chase losses and can quickly grow confusing|
|Andrucci||Chaos theory||High||Large||Can lead to large payouts if you are lucky||Often results in long losing streaks|
|Quadrant||Wheel bias theory||Medium||Average||Aims to exploit imperfections in a physical roulette wheel||Not suitable for RNG-powered online roulette games|
Roulette strategy FAQ
Definitely not. You could bet on every potential outcome before spinning the wheel, but that would always result in an overall loss due to the game’s payout rates. If you place red/black or high/low bets, you can only hope to win more than half the time during a session.
Roulette is a game of pure chance, so there is no way to guarantee consistent success. The game comes with an inherent house edge, so your chances of success on 1:1 bets are 49.33% when playing French roulette, 48.65% when playing European roulette, and 47.37% in American roulette.
No roulette strategies guarantee success, as it is a game of chance. In theory, the Martingale system will always wipe out all previous losses after you eventually win, but it falls apart if you exhaust your bankroll or run up against table limits. The best roulette strategies simply help you manage your bankroll and add a degree of rigor to your play.
A single number bet pays 35:1 when playing roulette, so laying your chips on an individual number can potentially deliver large wins. However, you only have a 1 in 36 chance of the ball landing on your chosen number when playing European or French roulette, and it’s a 1 in 37 chance in American roulette, so this is a risky approach.
The Martingale System would only guarantee success if you had unbounded wealth, no time limits, and no table limits at a hypothetical casino. In real life, that is not an option for regular players. In theory, it will eventually succeed, but monetary and time constraints prevent it from doing so in practice.
Yes, there are free apps that walk you through the basics of roulette play. You can also play roulette at a real money casino app in demo mode while learning the ropes, or you can download a social casino app and play for fun while familiarizing yourself with the game.
There is no way to guarantee success when playing roulette, regardless of whether you use an app to learn how to play. However, an app can explain which betting options result in more regular wins, such as choosing side bets like red/black instead of individual number bets.