Ever since the game was introduced in the 18th Century, people have been trying to use different betting strategies to turn the odds of American Roulette in their favor – all for naught, of course. The odds in roulette don’t change for anybody. The only ways to beat the game (if you can get away with it) are to find a casino with a biased wheel, or use tracking technology to predict where the ball’s going to land. Neither method is recommended, unless you work for the Mission: Impossible team.
But people still use these betting strategies. They are useful in a way; they stretch out your betting pattern into a certain number of units, and make progressively larger bets when you lose. Here are some of the more famous strategies people have come up with over the years to beat American Roulette.
The godfather of all these systems was born in France at roughly the same time the roulette wheels started spinning. It’s cunning in its simplicity: Stick with the even-money bets (Red/Black, Odd/Even, High/Low), and double your bet every time you lose. The idea is that you’ll win all your money back eventually, but a losing streak could potentially drain your bankroll first.
Also known as a split martingale, the Labouchère is also meant for even-money bets. Write a series of numbers down that represent how much you’ll bet, and each time you win, scratch the first and the last number off the list. When you lose, add a number. You’re taking away twice as many numbers when you win, so you’ll complete the entire line eventually, right? Again, the danger of this is that if you play long enough, you could be out of money before you’re out of numbers.
Here’s one more crack at those even-money bets, named after French mathematician Jean le Rond d’Alembert (1717-1783). Start with a bet size of one unit. Every time you win, subtract one unit to your bet size. Every time you lose, add one unit. This is one of the slower progressions you can use when you play American Roulette, but it still can’t beat the laws of math.