Novice and experienced roulette enthusiasts alike tend to look for betting systems to refine their playing style, wanting some sort of framework to follow, rather than simply going for a haphazard approach. Makes sense (or does it?).
The problem is that most people don’t understand systems properly. Or they overestimate their value. This can lead to your bankroll disappearing a lot faster than you’d think. Professionals don’t operate like that. In this guide, we’ll take you through the most popular progressive and non-progressive betting systems in online roulette.
One thing to note before we proceed: this guide is purely informational, designed to show you an unadulterated explanation of roulette betting systems. There’s no intentional bias for one system or the next. No promotional material, no underhand steering towards a particular system, only the good stuff.
The key thing to remember is that guides are just that, guides. It’s all about doing it in the trenches. Look for resources like arabianbetting, which review the best online roulette casinos and can recommend reliable options that come with free-to-play mode. This gives you an opportunity to test which system works best for you (or doesn’t!). You should also make use of the glossary of roulette terminology they include at the bottom of this page. It means you won’t torch through your bankroll before you properly understand how things work in the roulette world.
The Martingale System (Progressive)
The Martingale is undoubtedly the most famous roulette strategy out there. It’s not limited to roulette, as it’s a money management strategy that can actually be applied to any gambling game out there.
In the most simple terms, the Martingale is essentially doubling your bet after you’ve lost. Let’s say you bet $1 on black. You lose. You bet $2 on your next bet, doubling your last. You continue to double until you win, effectively covering all previous losses with your final success. You then start again with your initial $1 bet.
Fibonacci Roulette System (Progressive)
You may have heard of Fibonacci outside of gambling applications. This is because it’s a mathematical sequence, which gamblers have adapted to use in casinos. Its most popular usage is in roulette.
It’s similar to the Martingale system in that it’s a progressive system, but instead of simply doubling after losing, you follow the Fibonacci sequence. The same applies when you win, decreasing your bet according to the numbering sequence.
The system is considered a little bit ‘safer’ than Martingale, as the betting amount exists within the sequence, rather than doubling on each bet. Martingale can increase to sweat-inducing figures relatively quickly, which is why some prefer the Fibonacci method.
The Labouchere is also known as the Split-Martingale or Cancellation System. It’s very similar to the Martingale, as you can probably guess. There are some key differences, however.
Your first step is to decide how much you want to win. This is a set amount you can’t change, so think carefully. Emotions will have to be ignored once you get started. You then break up that amount into smaller chunks, which determine the size of each of your bets.
Example: you want to win $10. That can be broken down into the following sequence: 1-2-1-1-2-1-2.
You then add the numbers on either end, in this case, $1 and $2. That determines your total bet ($3). If you lose, the 3 is added to the number sequence: 1-2-1-1-2-1-2-3. Your next bet, therefore, is $4.
If you win, the last number (2) is crossed off. Continue doing that until nothing is left (and you hit your target).
James Bond Method (Non-progressive)
Who hasn’t had the fantasy of strutting into a casino, James Bond-style? Black tie. Shaken, not stirred. Beautiful companion at your side. Oozing confidence as you place those chips on Red. While this system won’t give you that Sean Connery charm, you can at least bet like the legendary British spy.
The system is non-progressive, essentially using a flat strategy to bet. The advantage is that your losses are limited, there’s very little chance you’ll blow through your bankroll in a matter of minutes. This is how it works:
For numbesr 19-36, you put a $14 bet. For 13-18, you place a fiver ($5). Fancy a punt on 0? That’s $1, nothing more. You can of course bet a multiple of each of these figures, they just need to remain equal across the board. For example, if you bet $2 on 0, then that means 19-36 is $28.
The All-In Betting Strategy (Non-progressive)
The simplest strategy for roulette out there, bar none. If you’re feeling lucky or don’t want to bother with complicated systems, why not go all-in with your first bet? If you look at the house edge, long-term players are designed to lose (especially if you’re a novice).
However, by going all-in, you stay as close as you can to that 50/50 mark. The key thing is to walk away if you win. Continue playing, and you’ll probably lose. Especially if you go all-in with your next bet!
There’s No Single ‘Right’ Strategy
Ultimately, there’s not a single strategy that provides a dead cert guarantee. That’s just not how it works. Especially if you are keen on returning your losses. There are just too many variables involved to give you a one-size-fit-all system, or the ‘holy grail’ most novices spend a fortune trying to find (before realizing it doesn’t exist).
Casinos thrive on an individual’s greed, on their mental fragility, and the temptation to chase losses. You also have to consider that the casino has an in-built advantage, designed to give them the mathematical edge.
Remember: the games are fair, but the system is kind of mathematically rigged.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t win or refine your strategy. We’ve previously covered five roulette systems that are worth considering (and that do work!), for instance. And if you follow these tips from a professional player, you’ll realize there are ways to minimize and even overcome the house edge for consistent winnings.
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