Roulette Odds and Betting Systems

A Complete Guide to Roulette Odds and Expert Roulette Betting Systems

Roulette is not only one of the oldest casino games in the world but one of the most diverse. Unlike slots or scratchcards where you only have one move to make, roulette contains a wealth of options. From inside bets and their generous payouts to lower-risk outside wagers, there’s something for everyone at the roulette table.

Thanks to its in-game dynamics, roulette lends itself to tactics and strategies. Indeed, if you scroll back through history, mathematicians and gamblers have long tried to find ways of beating the game. Naturally, as is often the case, the house will also have a slight edge. However, if you know how to spread your bets, manage your money and make logical moves, there’s a chance you can get more from the game.

Now, we’re not saying you’re going to win every time if you use the right roulette betting systems. However, you may be able to perform better than the average player. What’s more, if you understand roulette odds and their impact on your results, you stand a better chance of staying active for longer and, in turn, getting more enjoyment. In this guide, we’ll explain what a roulette system is, run through some of the common strategies players use and dispel a few myths.

In essence, we’ve outlined the fundamentals of the game and how popular roulette betting strategies look to exploit them. What we’ve not done, however, is say that anything is certain when you play. Yes, we might be able to tell you what the best roulette bets are according to the pros. But, that doesn’t mean they’re actually “the best”. What’s more, it doesn’t mean you can use the information in this guide to create a roulette winning system that’s 100% fool proof.

Basically, we want you to use this as a way of understanding the mechanics of roulette and the possible ways you can set your bets. As long as you use it to augment your own knowledge of the game and not as a definitive set of rules on how to beat roulette, you’ll hopefully find what we have to say illuminating and enlightening. So, without further ado, here’s a look at online roulette casino betting systems and all they have to offer.

Roulette Betting Systems

What Are Roulette Betting Systems?

Roulette betting is all about variety. Because you can speculate on a range of options, each with varying degrees of risk, there’s a lot more flexibility than there is in other casino games. In line with this, those with an affinity for numbers and betting have developed ways to bet in a more effective way. These roulette systems have since been touted as a way to improve your potential win rate.

As we’ve said, that may or may not be possible. However, what a logical roulette betting system can do is provide a guide for your bets. In other words, it gives you a framework to work within, rather than placing bets randomly. What’s more, each system is based on solid mathematical principles. By taking the roulette wheel odds and combining them with probabilities, bet sizing and potential returns, the people behind these strategies have created something that’s theoretically sound.

However, as is often the case in life, theory and reality don’t always mirror each other. Put simply, the best roulette system may work on paper but it may not deliver the expected results in reality. This could be for a number of reasons, but it’s a harsh reality many players fail to acknowledge. Therefore, while it’s possible to say a roulette betting system such as Martingale works in theory, that doesn’t mean it will be successful in practice.

This disparity between theory and reality is what really underpins the value of a roulette betting system. If you can learn the theory, it will enrich your understanding of the game and, potentially, give you a new way to make bets. However, you also need to understand that, because things are different in reality, a single way of working may not always be successful.

What is a Gambler’s Fallacy?

People that fall for the gambler’s fallacy typically say something like: “The number 27 has hit three times in a row, there’s no way it can come in again.” For those who don’t understand the odds on roulette or how the game works, this make seem like a fair statement to make. Unfortunately, it’s wrong.

Each spin of a roulette wheel is what’s known in mathematics as an independent event. In other words, the previous spin does not influence the current one. The counter to this would be if you dealt cards to someone from a single deck. In this instance, each hand is dependent on the other because you’re removing options from the deck with every deal you make. Therefore, if something is a dependent event, you can say that XX is more likely to happen because of YY.

The same isn’t true for roulette. Because the wheel has no memory of what just happened, it’s possible for the same number to strike 20 times in a row. Is it likely? Not very. Is it possible? Absolutely.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter how many results you write down or patterns you look for, there aren’t any. Your chances of winning roulette spins is the same each round, regardless of the numbers that came before. Fortunately, the best roulette betting systems don’t focus on specific roulette wheel numbers and, therefore, won’t cause you to fall into the gambler’s fallacy trap.

What Are Sleeping Numbers in Roulette?

A prime example of the gambler’s fallacy in action is sleeping numbers. Due to a misunderstanding of the game or pure superstition, some players believe that numbers are more likely to appear when they’ve been dormant for a while. If you play online roulette, you’ll be able to see which numbers are hot and which are cold.

If a number is cold, i.e. it hasn’t appeared for a while, it’s said to be sleeping and, therefore, worth betting on. Having just explained how roulette spins work and why they’re independent events, you should be able to see why sleeping numbers aren’t something you need to worry about. 

Are Classic Roulette Betting Systems Different than Live Roulette Betting Systems?

Any roulette betting system can be applied to any game or medium. Games inside a live venue operate in the same way as those inside an online casino. Moreover, virtual roulette tables are no different from live or live dealer online tables when you strip everything back. So, you can apply any roulette system to any game you like.

Progressive Roulette Systems

What is a Progressive Roulette System?

Arguably the most popular type of roulette betting system, progressive strategies require you to increase your bet after the outcome of a spin. Depending on the framework you follow, you’ll either up the ante after a loss or a win. To explain the progressive roulette system in more detail, here are some of the leading theoretical betting models:

The Martingale Roulette System

The most famous roulette betting method, Martingale is a classic negative progression system. In simple terms, you double your stake each time you lose. For example, if you bet one unit and lose, you bet two on the next spin. If you lose again, you stake four units on the third spin and so on.

Once you win, you can return to your initial bet size. The theory here is that you’ll always make a one-unit profit when you win if you’re making even bets with a 2:1 payout. On paper, the Martingale roulette betting system is flawless. As long as you stand to make a 2:1 profit, you’ll be up in the end. However, as we’ve said, theory and reality don’t always match up.

The major down fall of the Martingale system is that betting limits can cut your efforts short. The system assumes you can continue doubling your bet until you win. That’s not the case in real life. If you hit a table’s maximum limit and still haven’t won, the system falls apart. So, while this is a great system on paper, it doesn’t necessarily work in practice.

Paroli (Parlay)

The parlay roulette betting system is basically Martingale in reverse. Instead of increasing your bet each time you lose, you do it when you win. Basically, you have to parlay your winnings until you either stop or lose.

For example, if you stake £5 and win £15, you’d put the full £15 on the next spin. This allows you to win a large amount of money from a small starting stake. To put it another way, you’re only ever risking your initial bet because everything else is profit you never had.

The downfall of this system is that there isn’t an end point. Therefore, you need to be an experienced player to know when to take your profit. The other problem is that you’re still risking your money. Even if it is profit and cash you didn’t have when you started, winnings are yours to keep. So you need to overcome this mental hurdle if you’re going to use the parlay roulette system.

D’Alembert

Devised by Jean le Rond d’Alembert, this strategy requires you to adjust your roulette bets when you win and lose. As said by the man himself, you need to increase your bet size by one unit following a loss and decrease it by one unit following a win. The reason for constantly switching bet sizes is to reduce the risk of you hitting the table limit and maxing out.

The strength of this method over other progressive roulette betting strategies is that you don’t need a huge bankroll. Martingale could be described as an all-or-nothing system. D’Alembert is much more incremental. However, even though the dynamics are slightly different, you can still run into the issue of bet sizing. A run of four or more losses could see you wagering more than you’d like.

Labouchere

One of the more complex roulette betting strategies, Labouchere works on the premise that two events that have an equal chance of happening may display a certain pattern. So, let’s say you win five coin flips, the chances are your opponent will also win five. That may not happen in the short term. However, if the odds are 50/50, this dynamic should play out in the long run.

The Labouchere roulette system operates on this premise. To use it, you’ll need to define how much you want to win and then write it out in a linear way. For example, if you want to win six units, you’d write the following: I I I I I I. To work out your bet size, you take the digits at both ends and add them together. In this instance, you’re opening bet would be two units.

If you win, you cross off the numbers and repeat. If you lose, you add the bet size (i.e. two in this example) to the end of the line. That means you next bet would be 2 + 1 = 3. You continue this pattern until you’ve crossed off all the digits. This is a great system if the chances of you winning and losing are equal. However, it is fairly time consuming and not one that most novices will want to use.  

Fibonacci

Described by some as the safest roulette technique, the Fibonacci System is based on solid fundamentals. In mathematics, Fibonacci numbers are sequences where the next number always equals the sum of the previous two e.g. 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 etc. As a roulette player, the theory suggests you can follow this never-ending sequence when you make 50/50 bets.

So you start by betting one unit. If you win, you restart the sequence. If you lose, you move to the next number and so on. Eventually, when you hit a win, you should make a profit. This system is similar to Martingale but it’s a lot less volatile. In other words, your bet sizing doesn’t have to rise as dramatically and losing streaks won’t become too costly too quickly.

Oscar’s Grind

Also known as Hoyle's Press, the Oscar’s Grind Roulette System is used for 50/50 propositions at the table such as red/black and odd/even. The fundamentals of this roulette betting system are fairly simple. Basically, you’re aiming to make a net profit equal to your starting stake. For example, if you bet one unit on red and win, you’ll have made a net profit of one unit. At this point, you go back to the start of the sequence.

If you lose, you stick at the same bet size until you win. The logic follows that you’ll eventually hit a sequence of wins (with increasing bet sizes) that allow you to make a net profit equal to your starting stake. The benefit of this system is that it doesn’t become extremely costly in a short space of time. However, the downside, as its name suggests, is that it can be a grind. 

Non-progressive Systems

What is a Non-Progressive Roulette System?

As you’d expect, non-progressive roulette systems don’t require you to increase or decrease your bet. In general, you can maintain the same wager throughout your time at the table. However, due to the flexibility of non-progressive roulette betting systems, you can alter your sizing at will. To show you what we mean, here are some of the most popular non-progressive systems:

Reverse-Martingale (Anti-Martingale) System

The Reverse-Martingale System is, as we’ve described, the Paroli system. Basically, instead of doubling your bet when you lose, you up it when you win. Like the Martingale Roulette Betting System, this strategy works in theory but it can be extremely expensive to manage at the tables.

Kavouras System

Perhaps the most flexible and free-flowing roulette casino betting system, Kavouras operates on a few simple principles. Firstly, you need to cover a large variety of numbers (typically 20). Secondly, you should scatter the bets in a random fashion. Finally, you can vary the bet size between numbers.

The theory suggests that spreading your risk by covering 20 numbers will reduce the variance inherent in roulette. The important point to consider here is that your smallest possible win must cover your total stake. This takes a bit of planning, but it’s not impossible to work out. The benefit of the Kavouras Roulette System is that it’s flexible. The downside is that there isn’t really any formula to follow.

Black and Red System

Maybe one of the safest and smartest roulette betting systems, Black and Red requires you to pick a colour and continue to bet on it until you lose twice in a row. At this point, you need to double your bet until you win twice in a row. Once you’ve won, you can reset your bet. The beauty of this system is that it’s virtually a 50/50 wager.

This means you have a decent chance of winning each time the roulette wheel spins. Moreover, because the roulette odds are almost 50/50, the chances of hitting a long losing streak are lower than they would be if you’re betting on single numbers.

In terms of hidden dangers, this system is fairly tame when you compare it to one such as the Martingale simply because you probably won't stake large sums of money in a short space of time. Naturally, this doesn't mean you're guaranteed to win but it is a more affordable strategy than most. 

The 3/2 Betting System

If you want to cover 26 numbers with just two bets, this roulette system is perfect. By betting money on either red or black and one of three columns, you’ll have a fairly low risk way to speculate on a lot of numbers.

The secret to this roulette strategy is to size your bets using a 3/2 ratio with the larger of the two being placed on the colour. For example, if you bet £15 on black, you need to stake £10 on a column. If one of your 26 numbers come in, you’ll make a profit. Of course, like any roulette betting system, the hidden danger is that nothing is ever certain. Therefore, you can't simply assume that you're going to make a profit just because you've covered 26 numbers.

James Bond Roulette strategy

It might be a simple roulette system but the James Bond method can be expensive and is more of a novelty. To start, you’ll need 200 units of currency. From there, you bet £140 on high numbers (19-36), £50 on six numbers between 13 and 18 and you put £10 on zero.

If your high number bet wins, you’ll make a profit of 80 units. If 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 or 18 comes in, you’ll make a 100-unit profit. Finally, if zero strikes, you’ll make a 160-unit profit. The upside to this betting method is that you cover a lot of number with a single spin.

However, danger here is that if you plug the James Bond Roulette System into a progressive strategy, it gets expensive. Because you have to double your initial bet after a loss, you’d need to stake 400 units, then 800 and so on.

Playing the Numbers

For those who don’t care for fancy betting strategies and systems, simply playing the numbers can be profitable. Of course, you can’t guarantee anything when the roulette wheel is in motion. However, with numbers offering a 35:1 return on your investment, there’s nothing wrong with picking your favourites or those you feel might roll in.

What’s great about playing the numbers is that you’ll almost always make a profit if you make a correct pick. Indeed, unless you bet on every single number, winning spins will earn you a return on your investment.  Of course, the danger is that there's no real method behind your bets and that could lead to your staking more than you can afford to lose. 

Are Roulette Betting Strategies Safe?

We've talked about the best roulette betting systems and their relative strengths and weaknesses, but what about safety? Can you use these tactics in a live and online setting without putting yourself at risk? Well, as we've said already, nothing is ever guaranteed in the gaming world. Therefore, it's fair to say that you're never make a "safe" bet, whichever method your employ. 

However, safety doesn't just mean financial. In a world filled with rules and regulations, players are often concerned about their own safety i.e. are they doing something illegal. Despite what you might assume or what someone may tell you, no roulette betting system is illegal. Each strategy is nothing more than a way of thinking about the game and how to size your bets. 

This is no different from someone getting a tip about a horse and using it to bet on a race. Therefore, when it comes to thinking about your safety, you don't need to worry. As long as you don't try to break the rules in other ways, you can use a roulette betting system live or online and you won't have any problems. 

Types of Roulette Systems: Inside and Outside Betting Systems

We’ve talked a lot about the different types of roulette system out there but we’ve not said much about how to categorise them. Yes, there are progressive and non-progressive strategies. However, there are also inside and outside options.

Even if you discard the methods suggested in this piece, you’ll know that every roulette board features inside and outside bets. The former are located on the inner part of the board and are depicted by numbers. The latter are on the outside and are general categories.

In the sections below, we’ll show you where the top roulette betting methods fall in terms of being inside or outside. However, from a general perspective, inside bets are higher risk but offer better returns. Outside bets are comparatively lower risk wagers but aren’t quite as lucrative. To give you some more perspective on this, here's a brief overview of some popular betting tactics:

Roulette Inside Bet Systems

· Six-Pence System - The basic premise of this system is that you cover six numbers/group of numbers with the intention of breaking even with five of the bets and making a profit if you hit the sixth.

· Green Black Attack - The aim is here is to take advantage of the fact there are eight black numbers in the middle column. As well as betting on the middle column, you bet on black and make three split bets on zero. By doing this, you've covered black and green (zero), meaning there are only 12 numbers that won't earn you a win. 

· Pivot - This strategy is based on the idea of hot numbers. When you see a number come in back to back, you must then bet on it for the next 35 spins. 

· Law of the Third - After waiting for nine different numbers to appear, bet on those nine numbers for the next three spins. The idea here is two thirds of the wheel will strike at a consistent rate. 

Roulette Outside Bet Systems

Outside roulette betting systems we've already discussed, include:

  • Martingale
  • Grand and Anti-Martingale
  • D’Alembert
  • Fibonacci
  • Oscar’s Grind
  • Labouchere
  • Reverse Labouchere

In addition to the above, you could also try:

  • Column King - This system requires you to bet on a column. If you don't win, you repeat the same bet on the same column. If you win, you'll make a profit. If you lose again, you have to up your bet for the next round.
  • Wells Pendulum - The theory here is that 50/50 bets occur at an identical frequency and that no one category (e.g. red/black, high/low etc) will occur ten times more than another. Based on this, you start with 145 betting units and stake ten on a 50/50 option. If you lose, you reduce your next bet by one unit. If you win, you increase it by one unit. You end your session if your stake reaches 0 or 20.
  • Guetting - Invented by Charles Guetting, this tactic works on the basis that you increase your bet by one unit following two consecutive wins. Your wagers should be made on 50/50 options and it's advised to start with two units. After two consecutive wins, go to three units, then to six and so on. 

Inside Bets or Outside Bets System – Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing whether to stay inside or go to the outside will all depend on your tolerance. If you’re risk-averse, have smaller bankroll or simply prefer to use a more conservative strategy, outside bets are perfect. In comparative terms, these are low-risk options that have the potential to provide a steady stream of wins.

In contrast, if you’re all about adrenaline rushes and big wins, stick to the inside of the roulette board. Because single-number wins and splits provide the best payouts, those with the capital to cover the swings favour these bets. However, you have to be willing to take the ups and downs because the chances of hitting a single number versus a category such as red/black are a lot lower.

The final option is to use a combination of both. In fact, this is the reason roulette is such a popular game. Because you can place a variety of bets, you don’t have to stand fully in one camp. By mixing up inside and outside bets, you can get the best of both worlds and, if luck is on your side, scoop some cash.

Roulette Systems Tips & Tricks

Choosing the right roulette betting system comes down to personal preference. However, it’s also worth considering the table dynamics. Every roulette variant is slightly different in terms of odds and betting options. We’ll cover roulette odds and payouts in the final section of this guide. For now, it’s important to note that every table has a minimum and maximum bet.

You’ll need to know this because they’ll determine whether the game is suitable. For example, you wouldn’t choose a game where the minimum bet is £10 if you only have £50 to spend. Beyond knowing whether or not the stakes suit your budget, the betting options can also affect your strategy. We’ve already discussed the Martingale system and its limitations and this is where they’d show up.

For instance, you may lose six spins in a row. Because of your starting bet, the system dictates that you now need to wager £250. As well as being a fairly sizeable sum of money, you realise that the maximum bet per spin is £200. Therefore, you can’t implement the strategy. In turn, this means you can’t put the theory into practice.

Therefore, you need to select games that fit with your intended strategy. If you’re planning to use a progressive method where the bets can escalate quickly, you need a table with bigger betting limits. In tandem with using the game type to guide your betting strategy and vice versa, you should also consider the house edge. This is something we’ll explain in the final section of this roulette betting guide.

Roulette Systems You Should Avoid

In reality, the worst roulette betting system is the one that forces you to play in a way that feels uncomfortable. If we accept that no system is guaranteed to help you win, then it’s possible to say any strategy that fits with your style of play is one you should choose. Of course, you’re free to abandon all systems and bet however you like. However, if you want to bring some structure to your game, the main choice you have to make is progressive vs. non-progressive. Do you want to alter your bet size constantly or do you prefer to stick to one amount?

As a general guide, progressive betting systems tend to favour those with bigger bankrolls. If we take the Martingale roulette system as an example, the stakes can increase dramatically after a few losses. Therefore, unless you’ve got plenty of cash to play with, this strategy may not be effective or, indeed, possible. In contrast, if you prefer to have more control and flexibility, we’d suggest a non-progressive method. Because you can stick at one bet size, you can tailor it to suit your needs. In other words, if you’re a low-stakes player, you can continue to play for low stakes.

By following this rule, you stand a better chance of not going broke because you chose the wrong system. However, a final word of warning. If anyone tells you that a certain way of playing will guarantee you a win, ignore them. Roulette is a random game and no betting strategy can change that. Anyone that tells you otherwise is either naïve or trying to scam you.

Roulette Odds & Payouts

Before you go off and test out your favourite roulette betting system, we need to talk about odds vs. payouts. Because roulette is a casino game, the true odds and the returns you’ll receive will differ. For example, roulette odds on a European table are based on 37 numbers. However, the maximum return you’ll receive is 35:1. This slight difference in the odds and payout are what give the house an advantage.

But, just as you can make informed choices at the table, you can also alter your chances of a potential payout by selecting the type of game you want to play. For example, in a standard version of European roulette, the house edge is 2.59%. However, if you play American roulette, the house edge increases to 5.26%. This is because there are 38 numbers in play but the top payout remains static at 35:1.

By understanding roulette odds, you can work out which games have the best expected value. Of course, we know that anything can happen on a single spin. However, in the gaming world, you should always be thinking about how well you could do in the long run. Based on that, have a look below at potential rate rates for the top online roulette games here at Paddy Power.

Roulette Odds and RTP

Before we let you race off and try out some roulette systems for yourself, check out the list below. This list shows you the theoretical return percentages (RTP) you can expect when you play the top online roulette games here at Paddy Power.

·               Live Roulette: 97.30%

·               Lightning Roulette: 97.30%

·               Premium Pro Roulette: 97.30%

·               Paddy Power Live Roulette: 97.30%

·               NewAR Roulette - Usual Bets: 97.30%/Special Bets: 94.60%

·               Roulette Pro: 97.30%

·               Roulette Deluxe: 97.30%

·               Diamond Bet Roulette: 92.11%-95.39%

·               Roulette Pro: 97.30%

·               Premium French Roulette: 97.30%

·               Premium American Roulette: 94.74%

·               Dragon Jackpot Roulette: 96.02%-97.30%

·               3D Roulette: 97.30%

·               European Roulette: 97.30%

·               Spread-Bet Roulette: 97.30%

·               Frankie Dettori's Jackpot Roulette: 94.72-94.74%

·               French Roulette: 97.30%

·               Classic Roulette: 97.30%

·               Age of the Gods Roulette: 94.74%-95.73%

·               Penny Roulette: 97.30%

Play Roulette Online for Real Money on Paddy Power Games

So, there you have it, that’s just about all you need to know about roulette odds, roulette betting strategies and everything in between. Again, we’ll remind you that anything described as a guaranteed roulette winning system should be ignored. Even with all the logic and theory in the world, nothing is certain in the casino world. Because our games are 100% random, you can never predict with any confidence which numbers are going to drop.

However, if you choose to use a roulette system listed in this guide, they can help bring some structure to your bets. Of course, some of you will want a certain amount of freedom when you play roulette online. Others will want a bit of direction. Our job is to give you options. If you can take the information given, blend it with your own playing preferences and have some fun, you’ll find that live and online roulette can be extremely enjoyable and potentially profitable.  

Are you new to the online gambling world? Learn how to play roulette step-by-step with our guide for beginners.