If you’ve been searching for the best roulette strategy online, you almost certainly came across many websites that claim that their strategies are a surefire way to make money online. However, these strategies really don’t work. If you keep using them on a long term basis, you will almost certainly lose your entire bankroll.
I use the term "scam roulette strategies" to describe these strategies. In fact, I’ve dedicated an entire article to scam roulette strategies. Read it to find out which strategies I’m talking and why they don’t work. Everything in that article is supported by simulations.
The strategies in this article are not like that. I am not saying they will help you turn roulette into a cash machine. That’s not possible, because the casino always has a statistical advantage over you when playing roulette. You statistically lose money with every bet you make, which is why any attempt to systematically win on roulette is impossible, with the exception of some of the cases described in my how to beat roulette article.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your best to play roulette effectively, have a realistic chance to win money and enjoy the game at the same time. Keep reading this article and discover the strategies I consider the best.
Keep reading this article and learn:
- Why can higher volatility help you win more?
- What is the best strategy for players that want to have fun?
- What is the best strategy for players that want to win big?
- And can you have both at the same time?
This is what I'll go through:
- Why volatility matters in roulette
- Introduction to my roulette strategies (with links to more information)
- Conclusions and recommendations
Before we get to the strategies themselves, there is one thing I’d like to point out. If you’ve read some of the other articles on this website, you know that I stress the importance of volatility (also known as variance) a lot. The game of roulette is quite simple and allows for a nice demonstration of why volatility matters.
I’ll, of course, start by explaining what volatility (variance) is. This concept is used to describe how often you tend to win in a game of chance and how big the individual wins are. You can read more about it in my article on RTP and variance, but generally it goes something like this:
- High volatility means that you will not win very often, but the individual wins will be larger to compensate for it.
- Low volatility means the opposite. You will win quite often, but the individual wins will generally stay small.
- Medium volatility is somewhere in between.
The most volatile bet you can place on roulette is a bet on a single number (Straight up). It has a payout ratio of 36-times your bet and you statistically win one of each 37 spins (on a single-zero roulette wheel). I must point out that this is not that volatile. Slots, for example, can get much more volatile than that. However, in terms of roulette, this can be considered "high volatility", or at least the highest you can get in a single spin.
Now, for low volatility, the least volatile "standard" bets are the so-called even chance bets that pay 2-times your bet and you have a chance of 18:37 to win. These are the bets on red/black, even/odd, high/low. Technically, you can get less volatile by covering a substantial part of roulette table layout by chips, but let’s stick with this bet as an example for low volatility.
Comparison of high and low volatility bets in roulette
As you might know, the expected return to player (RTP) of any roulette bet is the same. The RTP of American roulette is 94.74% and the RTP of European roulette is 97.3%. That means that you statistically get the same percentage of your money back, regardless of which type of bet you place.
I must add that all bets actually aren’t the same. In American roulette, there is a bet called "Top line" that has an RTP of only 92.1 %. However, I chose to ignore that to make it a bit simpler. You wouldn’t be placing any chips on that bet anyways. If you want to know more about various bets, read my article about roulette rules, odds, bets and payouts.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should just placing any bet, because volatility really does matter. Let me explain…
You must remember that the RTP of roulette is always less than 100%, which means that you are always statistically losing your money. If you place bets with low volatility, your results will stay close to the expected outcome, which is negative for you. However, when you place highly volatile bets, you have a higher chance to deviate from the negative expected results and actually end up winning some money, even though you are statistically still expected to lose.
That might still be a bit difficult to grasp, but I hope the charts below will help you understand why high volatility is generally better for the player.
As you can see, all five players placing low volatility bets stayed close to their starting bankroll and the expected negative return. Only one of them managed to end up winning some money and four of them with around 80% to 90% of the initial bankroll.
For players placing high volatility bets, the results were much more interesting. Yes, one of them lost everything in 136 spins and another came very close to going bankrupt, but one player was pretty much break-even and two managed to win nice amounts. This demonstrates that in order to have a chance to win big, you pretty much need to increase the volatility.
I hope these charts, together with what I’ve written above, will make It clear why the best strategies in terms of expected value are generally the ones that consist in placing bets with higher volatility.
Now, let’s get to the strategies themselves.
There are many different ways to play roulette, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at these two examples:
- You can go to a roulette table with $100 and keep betting $1 on black. You can spend hours playing like this, but you will definitely not win any substantial amount of money and you are very likely to end up losing at least a part of your bankroll. And because your bets are so small, the game will most likely not be very thrilling for you.
- Or you can take the entire $100 and place it on a number. You have a chance to win $3600, but you are most likely to lose everything basically instantly. This strategy is very thrilling and has a very high expected value, but it’s very volatile and the play time is very short.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Each player has different preferences. Some want to win a lot of money, some want to enjoy a thrilling game and some just want to spend some time playing roulette. That’s why my strategies are about finding a balance between these factors:
- Expected value (Strategy RTP, Return to Player)
- Chance to win big
- Play time
I’ll present you some of the best roulette strategies I could come up with or find. You can select the one that’s best for you based on your preferences.
However, keep in mind that these strategies are not miracle workers. They will not make you win every time. They just help you enjoy the game of roulette, while maximizing those of the aforementioned factors that you prioritize. I want to make that completely clear before I get to the strategies themselves.
Note: I will get into statistical details for each of the strategies I will talk about, but I know that some just don’t care about this topic to such degree. That’s why I will only list all of the strategies with basic information about them in this article and link to individual articles with details and simulations. If you want, you can just read the basics and skip the rest, but if you are interested in this topic, you will most likely enjoy discovering the details as well.
These are the strategies I will go through:
- Constant bet strategy #constant-bet-basics
- Constant proportion strategy #constant-proportion-basics
- All-in strategy #all-in-basics
- Reverse Martingale strategy #reverse-martingale-basics
Basics of the Constant bet roulette strategy
Now, the Constant bet roulette strategy is not very special. In fact, it’s the "strategy" used by a majority of roulette players, most often without even knowing about it. As its name suggests, this strategy is about placing the same bet all the time. It’s about constantly betting a constant amount of money. Hence the name…
I decided to include this strategy as the "standard" way to play roulette, mostly so that I have something to compare the rest of the strategies to. That, however, doesn’t mean that it’s completely bad. It all depends on what kind of bets you place, how big (or small) the bets are, how long you want to play and/or how much money you want to win.
A player walks into a casino with $100 in his pocket and sits down at a roulette table. The minimum bet is $10 and he starts betting $10 on black every single round. He wants to have fun playing roulette for an hour or double his bankroll and leave with his profit. This is a great example of the Constant bet strategy in use.
Based on your answers to those questions, the Constant bet roulette strategy might be the best or the worst for you. It all depends on what you want to achieve:
- Do you want to spend an hour playing roulette and have a reasonable chance to end up with more money that you started with? The Constant bet strategy might be good for you.
- Do you want to double your bankroll? That can also be achieved using the Constant bet strategy.
- Do you want to win big? You might somehow manage to do it with this strategy, but there are better options for you.
These is just the basic information. I go into much deeper details in the separate article about the Constant bet strategy. Feel free to click the link to go to that article, but I advise you to read the basics of other strategies I mention here, so that you have a full picture before getting to specifics. I will link to the separate articles later on as well.
Basics of the Constant proportion roulette strategy
The Constant proportion strategy is very similar to the aforementioned Constant bet strategy, but instead of placing bets of a constant value, your bet size is always equal to a certain percentage of your bankroll.
Let’s take a look at an example to make things clearer. Let’s say a player has a $100 bankroll and wants to place 10% of it on Color in each game round. In the first round, he places a bet of $10 (10% of $100) and wins. His new bankroll is $110, so in the next round he wagers $11 (10% of $110). He continues like this until he wins a satisfying amount, loses everything or simply choses to stop playing.
As I already mentioned, this strategy is very similar to the Constant bet strategy, but it has one extra element to it. If you keep winning, your bets will increase, which makes it easier to win big. On the other hand, if you keep losing, your bets will decrease, which means you will lose at a slower pace. This self-regulating mechanism makes the Constant proportion strategy a bit more interesting than the Constant bet strategy, at least in my opinion.
More information about the Constant proportion strategy, as well as its simulations that show how it performs in real-life scenarios, can be found in the separate article about the Constant proportion strategy.
Basics of the All-in roulette strategy
As you can probably tell from the name of this roulette strategy, it’s about going all in. It’s extremely volatile, which means that you have a great chance to lose your entire bankroll in just one game round. However, at the same time it retains the highest expected value of all strategies in this article, and possibly the highest roulette expected value you can ever achieve with any given bankroll and amount you want to win.
How does this strategy work? Basically, you wager your entire bankroll in a single game round at least once, or multiple times if needed. The specific bets should depend on how much money you start with and how much money you want to end up with. Here are some examples:
- If you have $100 and want to end up with at least $1,000, you should place your $100 on a row (3 numbers). If you win, you will have $1,200 and you can happily stop playing.
- If you have $100 and want to end up with at least $3,000, you should simply make a $100 bet on a random roulette number. If you win, you will have $3,600, making your goal a reality.
- If you have $100 and want to have at least $10,000, one bet will not be enough for you. However, what you can do, is to start with the same bet as in the example #2, but then place another bet of $3,600 on a column or a dozen if the first bet is successful. If you win both bets, you will end up with $10,800 and you can happily stop playing.
Of course, this strategy also has a major drawback apart from its extremely high volatility. The play time for this strategy is virtually non-existent. You will most likely only play one spin or a couple more if you are lucky (and your target win is really courageous), which is why this strategy is not the right one for players that want to enjoy the game of roulette for a bit longer while they "go through" their bankroll.
Just as for all of my strategies, I’ve written a separate article about the All-in roulette strategy, which contains all statistical details needed to understand it properly.
Basics of the Reverse Martingale roulette strategy
The Reverse Martingale strategy is very interesting for many reasons. It gives you a really fair chance to hit a big win, while also enjoying the game for a reasonable amount of time that’s also relatively easy-to-predict. I think this strategy is a great fit for many people, as it can offer a nice balance between nice expected value, chance to win big, thrill and play time.
You might have heard about a very well-known strategy called Martingale, which consists in placing one of the even chance bets doubling the wagered amount every time you lose. However, that doesn’t really work. You can read more information about this strategy and take a look at the simulations that prove it in my article about scam roulette strategies.
So, the Martingale strategy consists in increasing your bet size when you lose. The Reverse Martingale strategy is the opposite. You increase your bet every time you WIN. That lets you transform a random series of lucky spins into huge possible wins.
I’ll use an example to show you how this strategy works. Imagine a player with a $100 bankroll that starts by betting $1 on any number on the roulette table layout.
- If he loses, he bets $1 again.
- If he wins, he takes the amount he won ($36) and wagers it again by placing a $36 bet on a random number.
- If he wins the $36 bet, he happily collects his money ($1,296) and leaves the table, or keeps betting again with $1 to have a chance to win once again. If he loses, he goes back to the step $1 and continues from there.
The player from the example above has only two possible outcomes:
- He either loses his $100 and leaves the table,
- or he manages to win two bets in a row, collects his win of $1,296 and also gets to keep the portion of his bankroll he hasn’t wagered yet, or he can choose to continue, "play through" the remaining portion of his bankroll and possibly win another $1,296.
Of course, the outcome of the strategy differs a lot, depending on the percentage of your bankroll you want to wager as your initial bet and the satisfying win that you aim for. I get into everything in the separate article about the Reverse Martingale strategy. Read it and find out why I think this strategy really is the best way to play roulette.
Find out more about my strategies
As I promised, here are the links to the separate articles about all four strategies:
In each of those articles, you can find detailed explanation of the strategies, as well as simulations and calculations that clearly show how they behave in real-life situations. If you want to know everything about my strategies, I suggest you read the articles linked above, or at least those in which you are interested.
As I already mentioned, there isn’t a strategy that’s suitable for everybody. Each player prefers something else and every roulette strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. Now, I could just tell you to read the individual articles to learn more, but I will try to sum things up and put together some recommendations, because I know that not everybody wants to get into specifics.
So, here are my conclusions:
- The Constant bet strategy can be used everywhere and is very flexible and extremely easy to use, but doesn’t allow for really big wins. If you want to have a chance to win big, you also increase the chances of running out of money prematurely.
- The Constant proportion strategy is a bit more balanced thanks to its self-regulating mechanism of changing bet sizes, but it’s a bit more difficult to use, because you have to calculate the proper bet size in each game round. However, after some time, it should be easy enough to do it pretty much automatically.
- The All-in strategy has a potential to deliver huge wins, but is extremely risky, overly volatile and you are very likely to just play one or two spins, so its play time is not ideal to say the least.
- The Reverse Martingale strategy is the best in my opinion. It has a predictable play time, offers a fair chance to win really big and has great expected value. However, it’s not suitable for live play in most cases, because the basic bet has to be small (unless you have a really big budget), which is a problem because of land based casinos’ bet size limits.
Whatever you end up choosing, always keep in mind that roulette is a game with negative expected value for the players, which means you will always lose money in the long run. My strategies are not a miracle way to make the house edge go away, but they are trying to minimize its effect on your bankroll.
If you find some of the strategies particularly interesting, be sure to read its dedicated article and get to know it really well before actually trying it. And if you decide to give it a try in a real casino, good luck at the tables!