Roulette strategy, whether found on the Internet, in gambling advice books, or passed by word-of-mouth, is often misleading or completely inaccurate. Winning strategies for betting on games of chance should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. Wins and losses in roulette depend on the random motion of a ball inside a wheel divided into numbered slots. Like other luck-based games (pokies being the most commonplace) skill doesn’t affect a roulette player’s chances.
Strategy does have a place in wagers on The Devil’s Wheel. Tips for winning more when betting on this centuries-old table game exist; the trick to separating fact from fiction is to use common sense. An understanding of table rules combined with knowledge about why some strategies don’t work will help players win more often.
The easiest way for bettors to win more when the croupier spins the wheel is to learn how to choose games that make their bankroll last longer.
The worst set of game rules in terms of player odds is found on American (also known as double-zero) roulette. On a standard American wheel, the house’s edge is 5.26%, except for one wager (called the Five Numbers bet) that gives the house an even bigger edge of 7.89%. French and Euro tables by comparison offer the casino a 2.7% advantage on most bets. A smaller advantage for the house means more time at the table for bettors.
This advice seems simple – players that want to stretch their bankroll should stick to wagers that have the biggest chance of paying off. Even-money wagers, like bets on red/black or odd/even, pay the bettor 1:1 in exchange for odds of 47-48% depending on the table rules. The smaller return on the bet is a result of higher odds of winning.
Not joining a rewards club or other loyalty program is the simplest mistake made by casino customers. Even if a player sticks to penny-ante pokies or small-limit table games, most betting venues will offer some kind of freebie to their club members. Every free cocktail, reduced-price meal, and room upgrade shaves a small amount of the casino’s advantage. Make the house pay for your business and you reduce how much they profit from your bets.
Most bad advice passed off as a winning tactic comes from a misunderstanding about how games of chance work. When casinos started displaying lists of recent winning numbers (on a handful of luck-based games) this single misconception was reinforced. Bad logic is responsible for many can’t-lose strategies on a variety of games of chance; pokies and roulette are two of the most common games vulnerable to bad advice. Any strategy built around past game results and their impact on future outcomes is flawed. Identifying this advice means thinking about the logic strategy is built on compared to the way a game works.
Casino customers may look at a list of the last twenty winning bets and attempt to find a pattern. Basic psychology tells us that our brains are hardwired to look for patterns; this is both a survival skill and a driving force behind human evolution. The search for patterns where none exist is also responsible for bad advice and gambling strategy.
Gamblers can avoid the pitfalls of most bad advice by remembering that previous outcomes have no impact on the future. A pokie is just as likely to pay out a big jackpot whether it produced that result on the last spin or hasn’t paid out a big prize in a week. This fact has to do with the way modern pokies are designed and basic gambling math.
The simplest way to debunk the idea of a roulette wheel having a memory is to think of the odds behind a coin flip. Each time a coin is flipped there is a fifty percent chance of either side of the coin landing face up. If a coin flip produces one result ten times in a row, that result still has a fifty percent chance of appearing on each flip in the future. The same is true for the numbered slots on a spinning wheel – the game has no memory and cannot alter its motion to produce or avoid a specific outcome.
The variety of strategies based on the misconception described above is surprising. Plenty of game advice exists suggesting that varying the size of wagers will help players win. Whether the strategy says a bettor should double winning wagers or cut them in half, two obvious logical flaws should come to mind. The first is the game memory concept described above. The second flaw involves minimum and maximum wager sizes.
The idea that doubling certain bets protects players from losses assumes a table without bet size restrictions. Even if gambling at a high roller table or a pokie that accepts large bets, eventually the bettor will reach a point where he’s not able to double up. A related issue is the size of a player’s bankroll; without an infinite amount of cash to bet it isn’t possible to continually increase a wager’s size.
Not all bad strategy advice is based on false assumptions about a game’s memory. Attempts to beat the casino using coins on a string or other cheats may have worked in the days when mechanical pokies were vulnerable to player interference – modern designs and floor monitoring by staff make these tactics obsolete.
Smart gamblers look into the logic behind any winning tips they read. Instead of buying into can’t-lose strategy that actually reduces a player’s profit, consider the three winning tips above. A few minutes of looking into the logic behind a strategy can protect a player’s bankroll and helps them enjoy casino entertainment more.