Your Guide to Roulette Betting Systems
Whether you are a beginner or professional roulette player, chances are you want the same thing, and that’s to win! Once you acknowledge that roulette is a game of chance, your goal becomes a little more complicated. How can you expect to win in the long run when the house has a significant advantage? Fortunately, there are numerous roulette betting systems that aim to overcome the casino’s mathematical edge. If you’re hoping to give the casino a run for its money, roulette betting systems are worth exploring. Just make sure you understand they have limitations. Even so, they can add structure to your gameplay. Keep reading as we explore the most popular systems today.
The Martingale Betting System
The Martingale system isn’t just a preferred roulette betting strategy. It’s also the most common betting system for every game of chance. Many players use some form of the Martingale system without even knowing it since it involves raising the stakes to recover your losses. In fact, the Martingale method requires you to double your bet when you lose. The thinking behind this method is that you’ll be able to recover all your previous losses when you do finally win. There is obviously a flaw in this thinking, but we’ll get to that later.
Like all roulette betting systems, the Martingale strategy works best if you place even money bets. That means you’ll need to restrict yourself to wagering on even, odd, red, black, low, or high. When you begin a betting session using the Martingale system, it’s a good idea to bet the table minimum. If you start out betting £2 and lose, you’ll need to bet £4 the next time. If you lose again, you’ll need to wager £8 on the next spin. If the losing continues the Martingale systems will require you to wager £16, £32, £64, £128, £256, £512, and £1024 on the tenth spin. Whenever you win, even if it takes ten attempts, you’ll be up £2. You’ll also want to return to betting the minimum stake after each win.
As you might be able to guess, this system has a fundamental flaw called the table maximum. There are no guarantees that you’ll be able to win within 10 tries. In fact, if the table maximum were £1000 in the example above, you would be down £1022 after nine bets.
Like most betting systems, the Martingale system will backfire if you hit the table limit during a lengthy losing streak.
The Fibonacci Roulette System
If you’ve studied mathematics at any length, you might have encountered the Fibonacci sequence. Without getting too technical, a Fibonacci sequence is just a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two numbers that precede it in the sequence. Take the sequence 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, and so on as an example.
Since gambling is a numbers game, it was only a matter of time before the Fibonacci roulette system was born. The system is fairly simple too. In this example, we’re going to assume that the table minimum is £1, but if it isn’t you can simply use a proportional system where 1 counts as £0.50, £5, or otherwise.
When using this wagering system, you’ll begin by betting the first number in the sequence above not counting the zero, which is £1. If you lose a second time in a row, you’ll need to wager the second number in the sequence, which is also £1. If you continue to lose, you’ll need to bet £2, £3, £5, £8, £13, £21, and so on for each subsequent loss. The system is more interesting when you win since you won’t return to the beginning. Instead, you need to go back two steps. If you win a £21 bet then your next bet should be £8. If you lose that £8 bet, your next wager will need to be £13.
There are some important exceptions to these rules. If you win while betting £1, you can stay right where you are in the sequence and place your next bet. Also, once you are up for a playing session, you can return to the start of the sequence. Given the complexity of the system, you might find you need to keep notes while you play.
The Labouchere Method
The Labouchere betting system goes by several names including the split Martingale or cancellation system. Before you begin using this system, you’ll need to decide how much you want to win. Even though you might be tempted to say ten million pounds, you’ll want to be realistic as it takes money to make money and this method is hardly fool proof.
Let’s imagine that your goal is to win £10. Before you bet, you’ll need to break that up into 10 £1 units, which you’ll want to write down on a piece of paper. Now would be a good time to have a pen or pencil handy.
Before placing your first bet, your paper should read 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1. The Labouchere system requires you to wager the sum of the number on the right and number on the left on each bet, though there are some stipulations. First, this string of numbers will change as you play. Second, if there is a number on the left but no number on the right then bet the left number.
Using the string of numbers above, your first bet should be £2. If you lose, you’ll need to add your losing bet to the string of numbers, which would now be 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2, making your next bet 1+2 or £3. If you win the first bet, you would cross the first and last number off your list making the new number 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1. After winning, your next bet would be £2. The goal is to keep repeating these steps until you cross all the numbers off your list, which means you’ve reached your goal.
Paroli Roulette Betting
The Paroli system is a lot like the Martingale method we discussed earlier, except you increase your bets when you win. The goal is to maximize your gains whenever you have a winning streak. Before you start, you’ll need to decide what your base stake will be. Let’s use £1 for simplicity. Using the Paroli system, you’ll want to raise your stake by the base amount after every consecutive win. If you lose, you’ll need to return to betting the base amount.
For example, if you win your first £1 bet, then your next bet would be £2. If you win again, your next bet would be £3. If you win again, then bet £4 and so forth. Yet if you lose, at any point, you’ll return to betting a £1.
The goal here is to minimize the damage of losing streaks while racking up cash when the game is going your way. The obvious flaw here is that there are no guarantees that you’ll go on a winning streak.
Grand Martingale Betting
You can find twists on all the betting systems we’ve discussed, especially the widely popular yet fundamentally flawed Martingale method. The Grand Martingale system is particularly popular. Just to refresh your memory, the original Martingale system requires you to double your bet whenever you lose. While that’s all well and good, the returns can be disappointing.
In our earlier example, a player would win just £2 on a whopping £1024 wager during the tenth spin using the Martingale system. Even though that’s better than losing another £1024, most people expect a bigger reward for enduring those heart palpitations. The Grand Martingale system counteracts this by adding a little extra whenever you double up. You are free to bet any amount that suits you, as long as you double it and then some, should you lose again. Of course, this system is even more flawed than the original Martingale system since you’ll still run into the same table limits, but won’t have the benefit of being forced to play with discipline.
Beware of the Gambler’s Fallacy
No matter what roulette system you use, it’s essential that you understand the gambler's fallacy. Despite what your instincts might tell you, roulette is a game of chance. Every spin is independent and unrelated to what happened on previous spins. Players who fall for the gambler’s fallacy mistakenly believe that independent events balance each other out before their eyes. You shouldn’t assume that the roulette ball is due to land on red just because 22 of the last 30 numbers were black. Even when the games are fair, the odds are only true over the long term. Not only is there lots of variance over the short term, but the wheel has no memory and is oblivious to previous events.
Popular Betting Systems at a Glance
- Martingale - This betting system requires you to double your bet after every loss.
- Fibonacci - Based on the famous mathematical sequence of the same name, you’ll need to increase your stakes in accordance with a formula when you lose.
- Labouchere - You’ll need to decide how much you want to win before you can begin using this cancellation betting system.
- Paroli - Also described as a reverse Martingale, you’ll increase your bets when you win using this system.
- Grand Martingale - A twist on the famous Martingale system, this version yields a bigger profit when you eventually win.
Frequently Asked Questions About Roulette Systems
What are some popular roulette systems?
The Martingale, Labouchere, Andruchi, Fibonacci, Paroli, D’Alembert, and Grand Martingale are the most popular roulette betting systems in the United Kingdom.
How do roulette systems work?
Each roulette system has its own approach to betting. In general, a roulette system will tell you how much to bet on each spin. If you use the popular Martingale strategy, you will need to double your bet after each loss. The goal is to recover your previous losses with your next win. You can learn about the most popular systems by reading our guide above. Keep in mind that most roulette systems require you to place even money bets.
Is it possible to master a roulette system?
It’s quite easy to master a roulette system. If you can read instructions and follow directions, you shouldn’t have any trouble. Of course, it’s always a good idea to try out a system for the first time using the many free games that are available online. We do recommend you stick with the system you choose at least for the duration of your playing session.
Can I benefit from learning a roulette system?
You can benefit from learning a roulette system, but it’s important to understand that no roulette system is fool proof. While adopting a betting system will bring more discipline to your game, the house always has edge in roulette.