All right, now you know all the possible bets and you know how to make them at the table. So, the next question is “How do you win?” and the answer to that is very simple – You have to get lucky! And that’s the ONLY way you can win at roulette. As you found out earlier, every bet, except for the 5-number bet, which I’m sure you’ll never make, has a house edge of?…that’s right…5.26%. So, feel free to put your chips all over the table and then just hope that you’re lucky enough to have one of your numbers come up. You see, it just doesn’t matter what you do because you’ll always have that same house edge of 5.26% working against you on every bet you make.
Now, you may have heard of a system for roulette where you should place your bets only on the numbers that are evenly spaced out around the wheel. For example, if you wanted to play only four numbers, you could bet on 1,2,31 and 32 because when you looked at a roulette wheel, you would notice that if you divided it into four equal parts, you would have a number that appears in each of the four sections. So, is this a good system? Well, actually it’s no better and no worse than any other roulette system. The fact is that it’s purely a matter of chance where the ball happens to land and it makes no difference whether the numbers you choose are right next to each other or evenly spaced out on the wheel. Each number has an equal chance to occur on every spin of the wheel and the house edge always remains at 5.26%.
You can probably tell that I wouldn’t recommend roulette as a good game to play because there are other casino games that offer much better odds, but if you really insist on playing the game I have three good suggestions for you.
1 – Go to Atlantic City! In Atlantic City if you make an even-money outside bet, like red or black, odd or even, 1 through 18 or 19 through 36 and if 0 or 00 come up, the state gaming regulations allow the casino to take only half of your bet. Because you only lose half of your bet this also lowers the casino edge on these outside bets in half to 2.63%. This rule is only in effect for even-money bets so keep in mind that on all other bets the house edge still remains at that very high 5.26%.
The second suggestion I have for you also involves some travel and here it is: Go to Europe! The game of roulette began in Europe and many casinos over there use a single-zero wheel which makes it a much better game because the house edge on a single-zero roulette wheel is only 2.70%. To make it even better, they have a rule called “en prison” which is similar to the Atlantic City casino rule. If you make an even-money outside bet and the ball lands on 0 you don’t lose right away. Instead, your bet is “imprisoned” and you have to let it ride on the next spin. Then, if your bet wins, you can remove it from the table. Because of this rule, the casino edge on this bet is cut in half to 1.35% which makes it one of the best bets in the casino and almost four times better than the same bet when it’s made on a standard double-zero roulette wheel in the United States.
Now, if you’re not into traveling and you don’t think you can make it to Atlantic City or Europe, then you’ll just have to settle for suggestion 3 which is: Win quickly! Naturally, this is easier said than done, but in reality, if you want to win at roulette the best suggestion I can give you is that you try to win quickly and then walk away from the table because the longer you continue to bet the longer that big 5.26% house edge will keep eating away at your bankroll. One major principle of gambling is that in order to win you must only play the games that have the lowest casino edge and, unfortunately, roulette is not one of them.
Before closing out this look at roulette, let’s take a minute to examine one of the most famous betting systems of all time and the one that many people frequently like to use on roulette. It’s called the Martingale system and it is basically a simple system of doubling your bet whenever you lose. The theory behind it is that sooner or later you’ll have to win and thus, you will always come out ahead. As an example, let’s say you’re playing roulette and you bet $1 on red, if you lose you double your next bet to $2 and if you lose that then you double your next bet to $4 and if you lose that you double your next bet to $8 and so forth until you eventually win. Now, when you finally do win you will end up with a profit equal to your original bet, which in this case is $1. If you started the same system with a $5 bet, you would have to bet $10 after your first loss, $20 after your second loss and so forth, but whenever you won you would end up with a $5 profit.
In theory, this sounds like a good idea but in reality it’s a terrible system because eventually you will be forced to risk a great amount of money for a very small profit. Let’s face it, even if you only wanted to make a $1 profit on each spin of the wheel, sooner or later you will hit a major losing streak where you will have to bet an awful lot of money just to make that $1 profit. For example, if you go eight spins without a winner, you would have to bet $256 on the next spin and if that lost then you’d have to bet $512. Would you really want to risk that kind of money just to make $1? I don’t think so. You may think that the odds are highly unlikely that you would lose that many bets in a row, but eventually it will happen and when it does you will suffer some astronomical losses. One other problem with this system is that eventually you won’t be able to double your bet because you will have reached the casino maximum, which in most casinos is $500 on roulette. Just keep in mind that the Martingale system works best when it’s played for fun on paper and not for real money in a casino. If it was truly a winning system it would have bankrupted the world’s casinos years ago.