Roulette Strategy

As with any game of chance with fixed odds, you won’t find any genuine strategies for decreasing the house edge or increasing your odds of winning. With that said, there still are several methods available to help you lower the house edge to its lowest possible point, while also avoiding the so-called sucker bets.

The first thing you need to know about roulette is that American roulette is played with both a 0 and a 00 space and offers a house edge of 5.26 percent. That equates to double the house edge offered by European roulette tables, which only contain a single 0 space. So your best bet is to play roulette on a European style wheel.

Crossing the pond to play in Europe may not be a possibility, but fortunately for savvy gamblers looking to get a leg up, you can find single zero roulette tables sprinkled throughout Las Vegas – if you know where to look. The Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mirage, Rio, Wynn, and Mandalay Bay casinos all offer European roulette, but you may have to play at $25 minimum bet tables to enjoy the additional odds in your favor.

Most online casinos also offer single zero roulette wheels.

By diligently searching for single-zero European roulette tables, you can easily add a few percentage points of probability to your side.

When playing the American version of roulette with both a single zero and double zero, one bet to avoid at all costs is known as the basket bet. This wager entails betting on 00, 0, 1, 2, and 3 simultaneously, but rather than the standard 5.26 percent house edge, you’ll be facing a 7.89 percent disadvantage.

Studying the payouts associated with the various inside and outside bets is always a good idea before playing. The table below provides full information for a game of American double zero roulette:

Bet                                  Payout            Win Probability         House Edge

Red                                  1:1                    47.37%                        5.26%

Black                               1:1                    47.37%                        5.26%

Odd                                 1:1                    47.37%                        5.26%

Even                                1:1                    47.37%                        5.26%

1 to 18                             1:1                    47.37%                        5.26%

19 to 36                           1:1                    47.37%                        5.26%

1 to 12                             2:1                    31.58%                        5.26%

13 to 24                           2:1                    31.58%                        5.26%

25 to 36                           2:1                    31.58%                        5.26%

Six line                            5:1                   15.79%                        5.26%

First five                          6:1                   13.16%                        7.89%

Corner                             8:1                   10.53%                        5.26%

Street (3 numbers)         11:1                  7.89%                          5.26%

Split (2 numbers)           17:1                 5.26%                          5.26%

Any one number           35:1                  2.63%                          5.26%

Keeping this payout table in mind is very important, because many casinos spread video roulette games with slightly altered payouts in an attempt to increase their house edge.

For example, a roulette table that pays out at 34:1 for a single correct number, rather than 35:1, increases the house edge from 5.26 percent to 7.89 percent. When they drop the payout to 33:1, the house edge goes up to 10.53 percent, and so on.

If you encounter a video roulette table paying anything less than 35:1 for a single correct number, avoid it all costs and seek out the standard 35:1 payout instead. Over the long run, you’ll save a significant amount and increase your overall expected return.

Finally, you may hear people whispering about their special system for choosing the right roulette numbers at the right times, but the best strategy is to ignore this talk. Math and the nature of randomization dictate that every spin of the wheel will be unique, so no such winning systems exist.

To this end, always ignore the board tracking previous spins of the wheel, because the casino only includes this to help perpetuate the gambler’s fallacy. Even if the ball has landed on red for 20 consecutive spins, the odds of it landing on red again are always the same, as every spin is independent from the next.