Guide To Roulette Gambling Systems

Betting System

The roulette table has long been a favourite casino destination for seasoned gamblers and newbies alike. What could be simpler than picking an outcome in advance and seeing whether a ball on a spinning wheel subsequently agrees with your selection? Red and black wins are even money, and there are plenty of numbers and combinations of numbers to bet on. What's not to love amidst such simplicity?

An exciting consequence of the game's simplicity are the potential for applying gambling systems to it, and there's been no lack of innovation in that area through the years. And while the house holds a mathematical edge on all bets, that edge can be small enough that a solid system can work satisfying profits in the short run, at least so long as you don't get too greedy.

Either way, playing a roulette system is arguably more fun than a willy-nilly approach. You'll feel the sense that you're bringing all your mental powers to bear, that you're on a mission, that you're matching wits with the unseen forces of chance and fate. Why treat the little wheel like a boring lottery ticket when you can approach it like a general orchestrating a great battle plan?

The Martingale System

The Martingale is the simplest system of all for roulette betting. It's based upon the idea that a larger winning bet can both cover a previous losing bet and win some. Here's how it works.

Choose a bet with the lowest house edge, which could be either betting red or betting black. Each is equally mathematically sound, so you may as well go with the colour that generally feels luckiest for you. Or if you don't feel like choosing at all, flip a coin and let that outcome determine the colour.

Next, bet the table minimum on that colour. Note that you can bet more if you like, but starting low is advised because of how the system unfolds.

If that bet wins, rejoice and bet it again. If it loses, double that bet on the same colour. That's all there is to it!

What happens along the way?

Bets that win obviously win even money on your flat bet. But bets that lose lead to a subsequent bet that covers the losses of previous losing bets and wins even money for your initial bet.

For example, let's assume the table minimum is $5 and you're betting red. If the first bet wins, you're up $5. If the second bet wins, you're up $10. And so on.

But if you lose a table minimum flat bet, your next bet is $10. If that wins, you win $10, which covers the initial $5 loss on the previous bet and wins you $5 even money beyond the loss recovery amount.

What happens if you keep losing? Well, you keep doubling until you either win, or run out of money to make another doubled bet.

Betting System - Martingale

But don't underestimate the power of doubling. Starting with a $5 bet, a double progression looks like this:

5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, ...

As you can see, five consecutive losses leads you to betting $160 to cover $155 in losses (5 + 10 + 20 + 40 + 80 = 155), plus $5. It's as though the previous five bets didn't even happen, and you're back to betting $5.

And that's the magic of the Martingale. Although consecutive losses can and will happen, eventually you'll win, and that win recoups all the losses and lands you the initial even money flat bet to boot.

It's very important, however, that you understand how much bankroll you'll need to stick with the system. As you can see, it takes $315 of bankroll to sustain five consecutive losses and then make the $160 bet that rights your ship. And you'll need even more nerve if that $160 loses, because now you're out $315 and faced with placing a $320 bet to land on your feet. That means needing $635 in bankroll to weather a six consecutive loss storm.

Surely, it would be nice to win nothing but one table minimum flat bet after another. But that's obviously unlikely. But it's also not nearly as exciting as holding fast to your system and watching bets that are deeper in the successive doubling progression win. And you're there both to win and to enjoy yourself, right?

And here's where the absence of greed can really pay off. If you can find satisfaction in a small win, say enough to cover dinner, then so long as you don't hit a long streak of losses, you will win. Say you're happy with a $30 win overall. That's just six wins. Even if you encounter losses along the way, the Martingale system recovers them, so that six wins is ultimately six genuine wins. Do that every time you play, and you're not only racking up comps, but you're literally winning $30 every time you play.

The Anti-Martingale System

The Anti-Martingale system also leverages the power of doubling, but in a sort of inside-out way. Rather than doubling on losses, the Anti-Martingale has you doubling on wins. The net effect is to maximize your take on consecutive wins, while sustaining minor casualties on losses.

Let's say you begin your session with the unfortunate circumstances of five consecutive losses. You'll have lost just $25 if you're betting a $5 table minimum. But if you hit a winning streak, it'll take just three consecutive wins to recover that $25 and win and be up $10 (5 + 10 + 20 - 25 = 10).

And from there each successive win becomes extremely lucrative. Two more wins is another $120 (40 + 80), so now you're up $130. And if you can hang in there for a sixth consecutive win, it's another $160, meaning you're now up a staggering $290!

Whereas the Martingale system counts on the fact that you'll eventually win even after successive losses, the Anti-Martingale emphasizes the certainty of consecutive wins somewhere along the line. From there's is up to you how much you want to win by getting out with an actual win before an inevitable loss occurs.

The Labouchere System

Another fun system is the Labouchere. It's a way of exchanging a few larger losses for a lot of smaller wins. But unlike the Martingale or Anti-Martingale, the Labouchere system requires more bookkeeping, enough that you'll need paper and pen unless you have an accountant's mind. But you've already learned that when it comes to gambling fun, the experience you get is proportional to the effort you put in, right? Here's how it goes.

  1. Betting System - LabouchereWrite down a set of ones next to each other (10 in this example): 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1. Each number is a placeholder for a unit of betting. The goal is to cross off all the numbers, at which point you'll have won as many bets as there were ones in the sequence at the start.
  2. Each time you bet, it should be an amount that is the sum of the leftmost and rightmost numbers. If only one number remains, bet that.
  3. If that bet wins, cross both numbers off the list. Otherwise, write the amount you lost on the rightmost end of the list.
  4. Your next step depends upon your bankroll. If it's enough to bet the sum of the new leftmost and rightmost numbers, do so. Otherwise, compromise with either of the following approaches depending on your bankroll:
    • If your bankroll can afford it, bet the leftmost number. If it wins, cross it off. If it loses, add the loss to the leftmost end of the list.
    • Otherwise, bet the remainder of your bankroll. If that wins, subtract that winning from the leftmost number. If it loses, your session ends.
  5. Repeat the previous steps until you win by crossing all the numbers off the list, or you exhaust the bankroll you were willing to risk.

Note that you're removing two numbers from the list for each win, but adding only one for each loss. Unless you're incredibly unlucky, you need only a little over half as many wins as losses to complete the crossing off process, which means you've won.

The Red (or Black) System

This system goes by several names, but the details are the same.

  1. Decide on which colour to stick with and a starting minimum unit of betting.
  2. Keep betting that amount so long as you win.
  3. If you lose twice in a row, change your bet amount by adding another minimum bet unit to it. If you started with $5, now you're betting $10 each time.
  4. Continue betting at the new level on until one of these two events occurs:
    • If you win twice in a row, lower your bet by your minimum bet unit.
    • If you lose twice in a row, increase your bet by your minimum bet unit.
  5. Stay course until you're satisfied with your win.

The way the Red System plays out is that unless you're at an extremely bad table, raising bets on consecutive losses means wins recover those losses, while wins are, of course, wins. On a table where wins and losses happen either roughly equally or there are more wins, both wins and losses are working for you.