While the results of a roulette spin are always random, there are several strategies that can be used to increase your odds of winning (or not losing very much).
This page is your guide to the best and most effective roulette strategies. No strategy is guaranteed to grow your bankroll, but these tips and tricks will give you the best chance of succeeding at roulette, one of the best online casino games out there.
These strategies can be used at your favorite retail casino or at your preferred legal online casino, most of which offer several different roulette games.
Best Online Roulette Strategies
|Strategy||Likelihood of a Big Loss||Likelihood of a Big Win|
|Reverse La Bouchere||Medium||High|
Our table shows the most common roulette strategies and their likelihood of a big win or loss. This is different from the likelihood of overall success, as we will discuss below.
Remember that there are many different ways to play roulette. No roulette strategy guarantees success, but many of these systems can increase your chances of walking away from the table with some extra chips in your pocket.
The Martingale Roulette System
The Martingale roulette strategy originated from necessity. How could a roulette player guarantee their investment would end up winning no matter what happened to the market? Simple – you double your lost bets until you hit a win.
Yet, anyone who applies this strategy successfully must have an infinite bankroll. Theoretically, it’s perfect. In actual fact, it’s very, very flawed.
Due to the mathematical success variant, the Martingale strategy forced casinos to employ maximum limits to stop this system ever being put into practice. If stakes were unlimited, you’d most likely run out of money eventually.
For example, if you bet $5 on red/black, double the bet each time and lose 13 bets in a row (it happens more than you think) you’d need $40,960 to cover the next bet.
Reverse Martingale Roulette System
This is a positive version of the Martingale system. In this strategy, you double your bets after each win and stop betting after each loss. Equally risky in the long term, the trick with the reverse Martingale is that you need to know when to walk away. If you double your wins, it won’t go on forever, so bail out while you’re still ahead.
D’Alembert Roulette System
Named after Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert, a French gentleman who wrongly believed that the more a coin flipped to ‘heads’ the more likely it would land on ‘tails’ thereafter, the D’Alembert roulette system dictates you start with an even bet (on odds for example), staking $5.
If you win that game, you keep the stake the same for the next game, but if you lose, you have to increase the bet by the same $5 amount.
So, if you lose that $5 bet on the first round of roulette, then you would have to stake $10. If you then lost that bet, you would have to bet $15, the original stake being the concurrent unit.
On the flip side, when you win, you decrease your bet by one unit. In this example, it’s $5, but you never go lower than one single $5 bet. In theory, you would win about the same amount of stake money as you lose.
Like the regular Martingale system, this system needs to be managed carefully to ensure that when you come up short on a roll, you aren’t bankroll committed.
Reverse D’Alembert Roulette System
The Reverse D’Alembert system uses even money bets like red/black, high/low and odd/even. Similar to the Martingale system, you bet a stake and double your bet in each game you win and halve your bet if you lose.
So, a bet of $20 that won dictates a stake of $40 with a win and a stake of $10 with a loss. Very simple, but also very risky.
Fibonacci Roulette System
The Fibonacci roulette system is a very simple way to apply one of the most stunning mathematical formulas. Looking at the Nautilus-shaped diagram, you can see a natural symmetry in practice. In roulette system terms, it works like this:
When you start using the Fibonacci System, you start on the second “1” to the right side of the middle.
You then place a $1 (or 1 unit, depending on your bankroll) bet. If that bet loses, you move one place further (counter-clockwise) on the curve in this example, to the number ‘2’). If the bet wins, you move two places back (clockwise). In this case, you would have now successfully completed the sequence.
How much of your bankroll you bet each time will be the sum of the two numbers to the left in the sequence:
- If you get to 2, you bet $2 (1 + 1)
- If you get to 21, you bet $21 (8 + 13)
- If you get to 377, you bet $377 (144 + 233)
Your goal is to keep moving clockwise until you get to the first number – the first ‘1’ in the diagram. There is a possibility to earn $1 on the series and start a new series – starting from the second number from the left once again. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is complicated.
La Bouchere System
Like the Martingale system above, the La Bouchere system suggests you’ll bet even money outside bets like red/black or high/low. However, the Labouchere system roulette requires you to jot down sequences of numbers to utilize it.
For example, if you were trying to win $20, you would divide that amount into five segments and write them down. These segments could be:
3 4 6 4 3
You would then take the first and last number in that sequence, add them together, and bet the total amount. In this case, the total bet amount would be $6, and as such, you’d bet $6 on Even. Should you win the bet, you then cancel the first and last numbers on your list, leaving you with:
4 6 4
Then repeat the scenario on the next spin, again adding the first and last numbers. 4 + 4 gives 8, so you’d bet $8 on Odd. Should that win, you have a 6 left on your list, staking this on an outside 50:50 bet accordingly, such as High or Low.
There is a possibility to win that bet too, and in that case, you’ve covered all the numbers in your sequence and have completed the system. Your winnings should amount to $20, assuming you’ve made no inside bets.
Reverse La Bouchere System
As with other famous systems, this is not a case of aiming for wins, as in the original La Bouchere system, but mitigating losses.
If we use the same numbers as above from your notepad (that is 3 4 6 4 3), the first and last numbers determine the bet size. The initial bet would amount to $6, but you only add the 6 to the end of the sequence if the bet wins. If it loses, you subtract the first and last numbers meaning –
- The sequence would become 3 4 6 4 3 6 if you won
- The sequence would become 4 6 4 if you lost
When every number has been erased, you’ve lost and have to start again with a new set of numbers. You need to stop when you’ve won a predetermined amount.
American writer Allan Wilson coined the phrase ‘Oscar’s Grind’ after meeting a roulette player whose system relied on roulette bets never getting too big – he simply grinds out a small win every day. Again it’s an even money, outside bets system that applies to European roulette (just 0 instead of 0 and 00) for the beneficial player edge against the house.
To play the Oscar’s Grind system, you bet with $1 but then don’t increase your stake until you see a loss and subsequently increase your bet to $2. Your bets should stay at $2 until you’re in net earnings at which point the bet should go back to $1. If there has been a series of losses, then it would increase to $3.
You could earn $1 after each run of bets – and that’s it. It’s not glamorous, but it is solid, and many players swear by this ‘safe and solid’ system to manage a gentle yet positive uplift in their bankroll. In practice, an Oscar’s Grind game starting with a $100 bankroll would look something like this:
- Bet $1 and win: You are up $1 and keep wagering $1. This string wins so we start a new string from scratch
- Bet $1 and lose: You keep wagering $1 until you see a win; then the bet is raised to $2
If you see a string of losses and then a $1 win unit, the bet is raised to $2, then another win at $2, but the string is still in negative equity, so the next bet should go up to $3.
If you lose all your $100 bankroll, that’s it. Game over. If things go well (and remember, this is a grinding strategy) your string ends at +$1. If you choose to start a new string at + $1, then that’s your call…
As with other simple systems mentioned above, the Paroli System relies on placing outside even money bets. The system is very simple to employ and is a useful bankroll management system that can help exploit positive runs in luck while mitigating negative runs.
To understand and then utilize the system, assume you have a $200 bankroll with $5 as your standard bet per game.
If the first bet loses, then maintain the same stake for the next game. If you win that bet, then double the stake to $10. In effect, when you lose, go back to your original bet amount. When you win, you should double your bet.
At this point, the Paroli System differs from others: if you win three bets in a row, immediately go back down to your original $5 stake.
The Paroli System is based on likelihood. This system bails you out of a winning run before you lose your earnings.
European Vs American Roulette
One thing to look for when picking a roulette game is European vs. American roulette. If European roulette is available, play it. The difference may seem insignificant, but it puts the odds in your favor.
European roulette has one (1) zero (0) at the end of the table. American roulette has two (2) zeroes (0 and 00) at the end of the table. Some games even have three (3) zeroes (0, 00, and 000).
As you are likely aware, red/black, odd/even, any of the numbers, and most other roulette betting options do not include the zeroes. This is how the house makes its money. So if there is only one zero (0), the player has a slightly better chance to win.
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Final Thoughts on Roulette Strategies
Now that you’ve read about several different strategies and watched some helpful videos, you might be wondering which roulette strategy to pick. There is no right or wrong answer to this question.
There are no strategies that can guarantee you win. If someone says they have a guaranteed winning strategy, they aren’t telling you the truth. All these strategies have the potential to be successful, but they each come with a different level of risk.
We encourage you to watch the above short videos to better understand all the different strategies. There might be one that matches your level of knowledge about the game and risk tolerance.
Roulette not having a “best” strategy is a bit different from other games such as Blackjack and Craps, where you can influence your chance of winning through your selections and decision-making.
While you might not be able to influence the spin of a roulette wheel, with these strategies, you can limit your downside and hopefully have a successful trip to the casino.