Roulette Strategy – Strategy For Playing Roulette

When you think of roulette, strategy may not be the first factor that comes to mind. Yes, roulette is a game that’s almost entirely based on luck; you can’t do anything to control the ball or the wheel, and you can’t change the payouts or odds of hitting a winning number.

But despite this, there are a few steps you can take to help minimize the advantage that the house holds during a roulette game. We’ve outlined some of the best roulette strategies below.

Finding the Right Roulette Game

One of the most important roulette strategies is choosing the best roulette game available to you. Generally, most roulette games can be divided into two categories: American and European roulette.

American roulette games usually feature two zeroes on the wheel, and have the highest house edge of any roulette game. Most bets on the American roulette table have a house edge of 5.26%.

Some American roulette wheels (particularly in high-stakes brick-and-mortar casinos) also have only a single zero; while these are sometimes referred to as “European” wheels, they do not use the other rules that truly make a game a European roulette game. However, they do have a much lower house edge than double-zero games at 2.70%.

True European roulette games offer the best odds of all. By combining the single-zero wheel with favorable en prison rules (which we’ll talk more about below), these games include bets with house edges that are as low as 1.35%.

One word about online roulette strategy here: some online casinos offer other special forms of roulette with unique rules and different wheels. While the odds and house edge will vary from game to game, it’s usually true that these games carry bigger advantages for the casino than European roulette.

Making the Right Bets

Another critical component in roulette strategy is making the bets with the best odds for the player. One of the most interesting aspects to roulette is that almost all of the bets at the roulette table feature the same exactly house edge; essentially, all bets pay fairly for a wheel with 36 spaces, and the zero (or zeroes) provide the house edge.

But there are a few bets that do offered different odds. For instance, in American roulette, you’ll want to avoid the “top line” or “first five” bet – the one that covers the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 as a group. This bet has a higher house edge of 7.89%.

In better news for players, the en prison rule means that some bets at European roulette tables offer better odds than others. The en prison rule is applies to even money bets, and allows players to recoup some of their losses if the ball lands on zero.

When this occurs, one of a number of different results can occur. In some games, the player simply automatically gets back half of their bet. In other cases, the bet may be held over for the next spin; if the player wins on the next spin, then they will have their bet returned to them. These bets have the best odds of any roulette wager.

Roulette Systems

Another form of roulette strategy is the usage of roulette systems. A roulette system is a method of structuring your bets that attempts to show a profit by taking advantage of patterns or streaks.

Roulette systems can’t change the house edge or make you a long-term winner at roulette, but they can affect the size and frequency of your wins and losses. For instance, some roulette systems are designed to give you many small wins in exchange for the occasional very large loss. Others use complex math to avoid exposure to heavy losses.

For more information on roulette systems, check out our pages on specific roulette systems like the Martingale and the d’Alembert.