Roulette is doubtless one of the most iconic casino games out there. Even outside of casino culture bounds, it is a stand-in for the ultimate test of luck. An accurate, although morbid, example is Russian roulette, wherein you load one bullet into a six-chamber revolver and pull the trigger. Like in that game, roulette seems to have the same idea. Does one have the courage to challenge the odds? But ultimately, the odds in roulette does not favor the player by default. In this article, we will try to find the answer to a simple question: can you beat roulette? Moreover, if you can, what is the optimal way to do it? 

The Rules of Roulette

The fact that roulette is simple and easy to learn goes a long way in its popularity. But nevertheless, it is important to look at the fundamentals of a game. In the case of roulette, a ball moves on a rotating wheel track. The croupier sets the wheel and ball in motion. On the other hand, the player’s task is only to bet on where the ball will land when the wheel stops. The demarcations on the wheel itself ranges from numbers 1 to 36. There is an equal distribution of even and odd numbers in this range. Furthermore, there is also an equal distribution of ‘red’ and ‘black’ chambers within this numeric range. Additionally, there are two ‘green’ chambers: ‘0’ and ’00’. 

How Do You Profit?

There are numerous ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ bets in roulette. You can fit any bet into one of two categories. There are bets with high payouts but low chances of rolling (singles and splits). On the other hand, there are bets with comparatively better chances, but much lower payouts (evens, odds). If you know a thing or two about how a casino operates, you will notice a good pattern on the payout table. That is, both categories of bets have about the same long-term risk factor. A casino always designs its payout in a certain way so as to make sure they don’t lose money over time. Thus, there is a low 1 to 1 payout on evens/odds. The 35 to 1 payout on a 0 seems lucrative. But remember that your chances of rolling it successfully is only 1 in 36, in theory.  

Evens and odds (pair au impair), red and black (rouge au noir), or low and high (manque au passe) – all have equal odds, the highest in the game. A prominent standout in a roulette wheel, of course, is the green chambers. ‘0’ and ‘00’ give the casino a considerable house edge, because without them, the like of evens/odds would be a break-even proposition. European/French roulette, on the other hand, has only one green chamber (0). This alone halves its house edge – from 5.26% to 2.7%. So always play European if you have the choice. 

Why Go For Smaller Bets?

As we mentioned previously, the expected value of all the bets in roulette are the same. Nevertheless, you should always open with smaller bets. The reason is quite simple. Since you are betting in more bite-sized amounts, you can be very flexible about how much you can bet and when you can fold. In turn, this flexibility allows you to put a betting strategy into practice. Let us take this opportunity to segue into the concept of a betting strategy. 

How Can A Betting Strategy Help?

The biggest breadwinner in a game of luck such as roulette is your bankroll management. But first things first, there are no ‘hot streaks’ or ‘cold streaks’. If you get unlucky five times in a row, a pattern seems to emerge. But that does not mean this pattern will continue. In roulette, it is only natural to lose roughly half the time. And that means you also lose just as much. This is the necessity of a bankroll management strategy. It is a simple mathematical schematic which you can rely on to adjust your bets. Let’s take a look at two of the biggest such systems. 

Firstly, the martingale system is all about doubling down on your wagers until you get a win. Let’s say you stake 100 INR in a round. If you lose, you go up to 200 INR on the next round. If you keep losing, you keep staking 400, 800, 1600, and so on. The idea is that once you win, you will win enough to cover your losses. At that point, you will reset. The D’Alembert system is roughly the same. If you lose, you increase your wager. If you win, you decrease your wager. 

However, said systems do not really work in reality. Firstly, to do either of these you would need a potentially infinite bankroll. Moreover, note that the expected value of a bet even in European roulette is -0.027 INR on a 1 INR bet. So no matter what, you will lose money in the long run if you go by pure mathematics. In practice, therefore, you just lean more on your immediate luck. This means there is no way to certainly ‘beat’ roulette. You cannot win all of them. The best you can do is improve your chances of getting away with a profit when the time is right.

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