Are betting strategies in roulette effective? Firstly, lets look at the history of the game which has some considerable bearing on the answer to that question.
Roulette is a game that dates back to 1655. It was created by Blaise Pascal and means ‘small wheel’ in French. To begin with it was only played in monasteries for entertainment but was soon adopted by French casinos where it soon caught on as a popular game of chance. There are many legends about roulette, the most widely quoted one being that if you add up all the numbers on a roulette wheel you get the number 666 – the sign of the beast. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the game was played in America and they introduced a slightly different version. So does it make a difference to the players which one they play? You bet it does!
Now back to the betting strategies and what to do. Firstly, the two variations of roulette. European is the most popular one, mainly due to it’s lower house edge at 2.63%. The other, more modern variation, is American roulette which has an extra slot numbered 00. It was introduced by the US casino owners who liked the profit generated by the original version, but wanted to increase their return, and by adding the 00 they lifted the house edge to 5.26%. So the first way to improve your chances of winning at roulette is to simply avoid American Roulette tables like the plague!
Now lets looks at the actual bets and odds (all figures are for European Roulette). A Straight Up bet (betting on just 1 number) offers a 35-to-1 payout but the actual odds of the ball landing on the number you pick are 1 in 37. The gap is where the casino makes it’s profit. Whilst a return of 35/1 looks good on paper it is a risky bet to place so use it sparingly. Other bets are available and they range from betting on two numbers (called a Split Bet) to betting on red/black, even/odd or low/high and these last three options offer the shortest odds of Evens (1-to-1). So if you concentrate on these three, along with Column Bets (covering 12 numbers) or Dozen Bets (also 12 numbers but in different blocks) you will be increasing your chances of getting a return. This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the longer-odds bets though, just adopt a strategy that will see you get a small return often, rather than a big return but infrequently. The latter route is sure to send you broke!
One thing to remember with roulette is that it is a random game. Therefore the results of one spin have no bearing on future spins. Just because the last 5 spins have landed Red, doesn’t change the odds of the next one being Red too. The roulette wheel has no memory!
If you place most of your bets on the short-odds ones, with just a small percentage of your cash on the long odds bets, you will see a steady return, but not much of a profit. You do need to mix in a few of the Straight Up, Split and Street (3 numbers) bets to try and get a profit boost, but not too many. And remember, only play on tables with one 0 – avoid the 00 at all costs! So there are betting strategies in roulette that work, just remember to use them next time you play at a casino.