How to Beat Roulette: Rules, Options and Tactics

In simple terms, roulette is a game about predictions. Accurately judging where a small ball will fall on a numbered wheel may be a simple premise, but it has made roulette a game that’s perked up many parties and evenings over the last few hundred years.

One of the reasons for roulette’s popularity over the years is the range of possible betting options. Although you can take a risk and bet on straight numbers, the board has been designed to cater to punters of all persuasions. Not only that, but thanks to the construction of the betting board, roulette is open to a number of interesting strategies.

However, before you start spinning – whether it’s online or in the casinos of Las Vegas –  it’s important to have a basic understanding of roulette’s rules. Indeed, you wouldn’t sit down in a restaurant without knowing the different styles of food they serve. Having an insight into the basics is necessary in all spheres of life, including in the roulette world.

The Rules of Roulette

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Within the outside section of the betting board you’ll find black/red, odd/even and 1-18 and 19-36. Under the rules of roulette, the probability is equally split between each of these options or, in other words, each bet has a 50/50 chance of being right. Although the presence of the zero on a roulette board means the actual odds are slightly less than 50%, the general assumption is that betting on red, for example, offers you a 50/50 chance of winning. As a result of these odds, payouts for these bets are even money or 1:1.

Within the inner-outside section you’ll find the dozen bets. These options basically allow you to cover 33% of the board with a single wager. Accordingly, a winning wager on a dozen is worth 2:1, which would mean a $10 winning bet would return you $20 in profit + your $10 bet.

Within the main section of a roulette board you’re able to bet on any single number or variety of numbers either by splitting (two numbers – 17:1), quartering (four numbers – 8:1) or making line bets (three numbers – 11:1). Each option has a different payout with the most risky being single numbers which offer the best return of all: 35:1

Choosing the Best Roulette Board

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Once you’ve mastered the basics of roulette, your next job is to choose the appropriate board. Inside an online casino you’ll find two main types of roulette boards: single zero and double zero. Although virtually identical on the surface, roulette aficionados will know that there are some subtle differences underneath.

Traditionally, roulette with a single zero is known as European Roulette. Many players consider these games to be more favourable as they contain a total of 37 numbers (0-36). In contrast, double zero, or American Roulette has an extra number (00) which means there are 38 numbers to choose from. Although the addition of a single number might seem inconsequential to novices, it can actually have an impact on your chances of success.

The reason for this becomes obvious when you consider that the maximum return on a single number bet in each type of roulette is 35:1. When you take this payout and then factor in the number of betting options on the board, you find that single zero games (37 numbers) have a house edge of 2.7%, while double zero games (38 numbers) have a 5.26% house edge. Therefore, from a strategy perspective, single zero roulette games should always be your setup of choice.

Roulette Betting Strategies

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Although it’s impossible to influence the spin of a roulette wheel during your sessions, there are some tactics you can implement in order to boost your chances of success. Although they won’t guarantee you a winning session every time you play, they will increase your expectation by a significant margin.

Positive or Negative: In the roulette betting world you can guide your bets in a more professional way by using one of two systems: positive progression system (you increase your bet size following a winning spin) or a negative progression system (you increase your bet size following a losing spin).

Each of these methods is designed to help you earn the most when you’re winning and drop the least when you’re losing, and the one you choose will often be a matter of personal circumstances. If your bankroll is limited then a positive progression system is recommended. If you have a larger bankroll, then the negative system can yield the best results.

There are NO Patterns! One of the biggest misconceptions in roulette is that there are patterns. Known as the gambler’s fallacy, this way of thinking basically pushes people to think that if something happens “a lot”, then it is less likely to happen in the future.  When you’re playing online roulette, all the action is controlled by a random number generator which means everything is 100% random and there are no patterns – each number has an equal chance of rolling in on every spin. The same can be said for live roulette in a casino; just because the ball has landed on red 10 times in a row, it doesn’t mean that it’s “due” to hit black. Every spin is independent and random, regardless of what has happened previously.

Look After Your Bankroll: Money is a tool in the casino world and you need to look after this tool by not risking more than you can afford to lose. A bankroll is an amount of money that you can comfortably lose. For example, if your roulette bankroll is $1,000, you need to look after it by following some simple guidelines. After setting aside $1,000 to play with, you then need to break it down into increments. In general, you shouldn’t ever risk more than 5% of your bankroll in a single session, which would mean in this situation you should be risking no more than $50 per game.

It’s a Long Run: The final thing you need to remember when you’re playing roulette is that it isn’t about short-term wins. Gambling is a numbers game and your goal as a player is to ensure you always make the best (+EV) move. During your roulette career you’re going to have ups and downs (known technically as variance), but as long as you make the most profitable move in every situation then this won’t matter.

Don’t let your losses blind you and always stick to the fundamentals of the game, and you’ll find that roulette can be an extremely exciting proposition

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