The D’Alembert system is not nearly as well known as its more popular cousin the Martingale system. Even if you’re a veteran of Australian casinos, you may not have run into this one, or at least not heard the name thrown around in the same way the Martingale is. However, it’s a pretty simple way to manage your money in a roulette game, and while it can’t turn you into a winner at the roulette wheel overnight, it’s a fun way to sometimes score big wins when a losing streak suddenly turns into a winning run.
Like in the Martingale, you’ll begin the D’Alembert system by making a bet of a single unit – the table minimum or any other small amount works just fine. As in many roulette betting systems, you’ll also have to stick with even money bets here, so pick one that you like: odd or even, black or red, whatever you feel lucky with.
The D’Alembert system works by having you increase your bet after losses, and reduce your wagers after you. At the start, you’ll be making your minimum bet, so if you win, you’ll just stay right where you are. However, if you should lose, you’ll add another “unit” to your next bet. A unit is defined as the small amount you starting betting with on your first spin, so if your first bet was $10, that’s your unit size.
If you lose, your next bet will move up to a cost of $20. That’s the same thing that would happen in the Martingale – but here’s where things start to diverge from that system. Should you lose again, the D’Alembert won’t have you doubling your bet again; instead, you’ll just add yet another unit, meaning your next bet will be for $30.
Similarly, a win isn’t treated the same way as it is in the Martingale, either. If you win that $30 bet, you won’t drop back down to the $10 level. Instead, you’ll only need to remove one unit from your next bet. In our example, you’d now be betting $20 on your next spin.
As you can see, the D’Alembert is essentially a moderated version of the Martingale system. Instead of the extreme changes in bet size you’ll see in the Martingale, your bet sizes will slowly change. If you go on a winning streak, you’ll eventually see your bet fall back down to the single unit level; however, losing streaks will slowly see your bets rise to higher and higher amounts.
One common variation on the D’Alembert sets a ceiling on how much you’re willing to bet on any single bet. For instance, you may place a ceiling at five units, thus making sure you never get into a situation where you’re making bets you’re not comfortable with. This may make it more difficult to win your money back after a bad losing streak, but it’s still preferable to making gigantic wagers for many players.
When compared to the Martingale system, the D’Alembert has the advantage of avoiding having to make any absolutely enormous bets in an attempt to win back your losses. The Martingale is fun when you’re slowly building a profit, but having to make a bet of 32 or 64 units after a short string of losses can be more terrifying than fun.
On the other hand, the Martingale does at least usually give you a way to try to win back your losses. After a long losing streak, it may simply be unrealistic to get back to even with the D’Alembert, since you won’t be increasing your bets in a way that will guarantee you a profit by winning your next bet. It’s true that in the pure D’Alembert, however, any time you make it back to the single unit bet size, you’ll have made a profit (how big will depend on how large your bets got before you starting winning).
Finally, it’s important to tell you that like other betting systems, the D’Alembert will not allow you to beat the casino at roulette in the long run. These systems are designed to give you ways to spend your money at the table in ways that are more entertaining to you, or that structure your wins and losses in a way you like.
The D’Alembert system is actually named after a French mathematician who – while a brilliant man who contributed greatly to many fields – had the incorrect notion that a coin that flipped heads several times in a row was more likely to then come up on tails. Since we’ve already explained before how that notion is simply untrue, this system isn’t going to show you a profit in the long run. On the other hand, it can be a great alternative to the wild swings of the Martingale system for those who enjoy using betting systems when they play roulette.