Online roulette has one of the biggest elements of luck compared to other online casino games, so unless you have a solid betting strategy, it can be easy to hit a bad streak. Luckily, there are some really basic strategies out there that can make your game stronger while not taking any of the fun or excitement out of each wheel spin.
Know your odds
If you are unsure about how to play roulette at a casino, always remember that your odds (and the house edge) are going to be different depending on whether you’re playing American or European roulette. The main difference between these roulette casino games is that there are only 37 numbers on the wheel in the European version, compared to 38 on American roulette wheels. The American version has two extra green pockets for a single zero (0) and double zero (00), while the European version has only one green pocket for a single zero (0). This might not seem like a massive difference at first glance, but let’s take a look at what the odds are like for both (with implied probability in parentheses).
|Bet||American roulette||European roulette|
|Even-money bet||116 (46.37%)||106 (48.6%)|
|Column bet||217 (31.58%)||209 (32.4%)|
|Dozen bet||217 (31.58%)||209 (32.4%)|
|Straight-up bet||3,702 (2.63%)||3,604 (2.7%)|
|Split bet||1,801 (5.26%)||1,715 (5.51%)|
|Street bet||1,167 (7.89%)||1,133 (8.11%)|
|Corner bet||850 (10.53%)||825 (10.81%)|
|Double street bet||533 (15.79%)||517 (16.22%)|
|Top-line bet||660 (13.16%)||n/a|
As you might be able to tell from the table above, playing European roulette will bump up your odds to win slightly. On top of those figures, American roulette’s house edge stands at 1,801 (5.26%), while it’s only 3,604 (2.7%) for European roulette.
While this is important to consider when forming a solid betting strategy, you don’t need to memorize this odds table – it just helps to develop more sensible and successful betting strategies.
Some simple strategies for online roulette
Let’s just get one important piece of information out of the way: casinos, both land-based and online, are in the business of making money, not giving it away. While you may have a sound strategy for whatever game you play, there is always a house edge, whether that’s for online slots, casino table games, live dealer games, or anything else in between.
That being said, there are some fairly basic strategies for betting in roulette games that can help you minimize your losses, effectively making your game stronger. Whether you’re new to online roulette or you’re a veteran of online table games, there is a strategy that suits your playing style – you just need to find it.
Let’s take a look at some of the best and most popular betting strategies for playing roulette online, starting with one that’s perfect for new players.
The Martingale strategy
The Martingale strategy is so popular with new players because it requires no math and is very easy to remember – perfect for someone who doesn’t want to sweat every bet and just wants to have a bit of responsible fun.
The key to this strategy is to focus on making even-money outside bets, such as low/high, red/black, or odds/evens bets. The idea is that we’re playing with bets that have a higher chance of actually winning, even though these types of bets typically have the lowest payouts.
The concept of the Martingale is simple: double your bet each time you lose, and keep doubling until you win. This way, when a win does eventually come in, it is so big compared to previous bets that it will completely recover your losses. Keep in mind that while the Martingale is quite straightforward, it can be quite risky. Assuming you don’t hit a win early enough into your session, you could risk not being able to double your next bet, and therefore will not be able to recover your losses – that’s why bankroll management is so important!
There is also a “reverse Martingale,” which has you doubling your bet after each win instead of each loss, also focusing on even bets for the highest chance of hitting wins.
The d’Alembert strategy
The d’Alembert strategy is a bit of a weird one. It is considered a safer betting strategy for online roulette games, but it is based on a theory established by Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert that is – simply – wrong. His thinking is that if a coin flip lands on “heads,” then it is more likely that the next flip will be “tails.” Now, anyone who knows some basic probability will know that this is simply not true; but still, this betting strategy works for some people.
To begin with this strategy, simply decide on the lowest-value bet you’re willing to make. There is no wrong amount to bet here, but keep in mind that you may need to make several such bets at once, so a lower value is ideal for keeping your bankroll alive for as long as possible.
Just like the previous roulette strategy, you’ll be making even bets with the d’Alembert, and if a bet wins, then the next spin will have the same-sized bet. If the second spin is also a win, then the bet is halved for the third spin. If the first spin is a loss, then you keep to the strategy and make the second bet the same again, but if spin two is also a loss, then you double the bet for the third spin.
While this strategy is fairly low-risk, hitting a long losing streak could mean you’ll go bust quite quickly, so it’s also important to know when to quit.
The Fibonacci strategy
If you are going to take your online gambling seriously, eventually, you will come face to face with some math. With the Fibonacci strategy, at least the math is already done for you, and all you need to do is have the sequence written down somewhere if you have trouble remembering it. The sequence is: 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89 – 144 – 233 – 377 – 610 – 987.
Don’t let the numbers scare you off: this is actually quite a simple strategy and can be used with any bet size to start. Let’s say, for example, you start with a $1 bet and then move through the sequence with each new bet, increasing the size of your bets as the sequence progresses (if your bet was larger than $1, just keep the same ratio as you follow the sequence). Once you’ve hit a win, move two steps back in the sequence, and repeat the process.
The aim of this strategy is if you’re getting lucky, to work your way back to the beginning of the sequence through a streak of wins. While riding the Fibonacci spiral can be a great strategy, a losing streak at the higher end of the sequence – particularly with a larger initial bet size – can mean devastating losses.
The Paroli strategy
The Paroli system has two fundamental purposes: To generate small, consistent wins and to avoid the risk of big losses. It’s what is known as a positive betting system. The Paroli strategy is over 100 years old. Victor Bethell is the brains behind this operation, and it was first used in the early 1900s in Monte Carlo. It takes its name from the Latin term “par,” which means “one that is equal.”
The Paroli strategy encourages you to place flat bets until you hit a winning streak, and you’ll then double the size of your bets after each consecutive win. For example, if you place one unit on red and you win, you’ll then place two units down; if you win that one, you’ll place four units down, and so on. This continues until you lose or hit three wins in a row.
The one thing about this system that is great for those learning how to play roulette is that there is little mathematics required, and you’ll either get a substantial win or a negligible loss. It’s a relatively low-risk betting system that doesn’t use much of your starting funds.
As with all of our betting strategies, it’s important that you understand that it is not a guaranteed way to win and that there will be some losses along the way.
General betting strategies to keep in mind
No matter what kind of casino game you play, there are a couple of important general strategies to keep in mind. Whether you’re just learning how to play roulette, or you’re an old pro, keep the following strategies in mind to ensure the best betting experience possible:
- Don’t get carried away: Whenever you play games at an online casino or a land-based casino, it’s essential that you never lose more than you can afford to. Create a loss limit for yourself, and once you’ve hit that mark, you simply stop playing.
- Learn the game: It’s in your best interest (and those playing with you) if you take the time to understand more about a game before playing it. Do your research, learn the lingo and then play a couple of online demos before you put your money down.
- Manage your bankroll: Resist the temptation to put all your money down in one go in order to win big. Try spreading your bankroll out with smaller bets and consistent wins.
Try out your new strategies at BetMGM
Now that you’re armed with some solid betting strategies to give you a bit of an edge on the house, why not visit an online casino and put your newfound arsenal of skills to the test with us at BetMGM?
Register with us to get access to some of the best online roulette games for both American and European roulette! Be sure to check out our casino slot games, as well as our live casino table games like roulette, poker, blackjack, and more, for an immersive experience that brings the atmosphere and buzz of a real casino to the comfort of your home.