Roulette is one of the most popular table games due to the simplicity and excitement associated with its gameplay. It can be a great party game, a chance to let loose and make some decisions with limited information, and a way to increase the tension. But is it possible to strategically play roulette?
Roulette comes in many variants – including European, French and American-rules roulette. The American rules are statistically more difficult for players as there are two green slots, so the house odds are slightly higher. For a red/black split, American roulette offers odds of around 47.4%, while European roulette offers odds of around 48.6%. Each style of gameplay therefore lends itself to a different style of roulette strategy. Moreover, when you play roulette online you can engage with several live versions of the game too. These include the standard variant, spread bet roulette, football-themed live roulette, and Age of Gods live roulette. The addition of a real croupier engaging with the classic game adds an element of tension and excitement to it.
Because of this, you’d assume that roulette has no clear cut way to think strategically and that it is a game reliant on chance. That is only partly true. While there is no strategy for anticipating what might come next, there is a strategy for placing bets, which can help recoup losses and ensure you have the best chance of maximizing your roll.
The strategy comes from a system also used in trading and stocks: the Martingale strategy. The Martingale strategy involves choosing an even money bet (such as red/black, odd/even, numbers 1-18 or 19-36), which have the best odds for winning and a fairly low payout. You start with a small bet and then keep betting this amount until you lose. Upon losing, you double your bet. As probability stands and provided you have enough of a roll to keep this going until it falls in your favor, you might recoup any losses you’ve made up until this point.
While this strategy does have its flaws, it does highlight one other aspect of roulette strategy. You won’t be able to guess where the ball will fall next, but you should be able to know when to abandon your plan. Often with roulette, strategies fail because the player doesn’t stick to the plan and misses one of the bets of the Martingale system. Your fortitude in roulette is as important as any poker strategy is for poker.
Few people actually realize that there is as much logical thinking and strategy that goes into being good at roulette as there is in poker. Both games benefit from the “know when to fold them” approach that lets you save the remainder of your roll if success is unlikely. While roulette does rely more on chance where poker relies almost exclusively on the skillset of you and your opponents, both games can actually have some logic applied to them. Ultimately, roulette success comes down to the ability to take risks and make decisions where you don’t fully know all the information. This can be developed through practice.