Anyone who has ever had the chance to play roulette will know by now that roulette is purely a game of chance. There is no skill involved in the game at all. Although there are a number of different options for betting on roulette, the average payout is the same no matter what option you choose. However, there are a number of roulette betting strategies that people have employed over the years.
The most widely employed roulette betting strategies are variations on the Martingale betting strategy. In basic terms this strategy involves making even money bets and doubling your bet each time you lose. This way the next time you win you’ll recover all your losses and make a profit equal to the original bet. While you can make a short term profit, this system can only result in loss in the long term. After only five consecutive losses your bet would have to be 36 times your original bet. Lose again and it would be 72 times. As you can see you can quickly end up in deep water. Also the potential winnings are not high in this system. For instance, if your original bet was £10 and you lose five times in a row you’d have to bet £360 on the sixth spin of the wheel. If you win you’ve only made £10 profit. If you lose then you’ll have to bet £720 on the next spin and you’d still only make £10.
Another method, described by an editor of the New York Times, Andres Martinez, is to divide your bankroll in to 35 piles. Then make a ‘straight up’ bet on the same number 35 consecutive times. If your number hits then you win back your original bankroll. If your number doesn’t come up then too bad. It can take a long time to spin the wheel 35 times and this method can be a lot of fun. You might get some odd looks at first but it won’t be long before other players are putting bets on your number. The cheer that will go up if the number hits will raise the roof. Unfortunately there is only about a 60% chance of any one particular number coming up in 35 spins of the roulette wheel. It’s a good way to have fun but a bad way to win money.
Albert Einstein apparently said, “You can’t beat a roulette table unless you steal money from it.” However, there have been a handful of roulette players throughout history that have beaten the game with a system that works regularly. The systems that they used are based on the fact that roulette tables are not perfect and minor deviations in the angle it tilts or if it becomes slightly unbalanced can effect where the ball lands. This means that on certain roulette tables the ball is slightly more likely to land in come pockets than others. If you can work out which numbers these are then you might have a slight edge. Unfortunately most casinos have wised up to this and re-balance their wheels frequently.
Perhaps the first person to do this successfully was an Englishman called Joseph Jagger who hired six people to secretly monitor the roulette wheels at the Beaux-Arts in Monte Carlo in 1873. They watched for about two years and discovered that one of the tables showed a clear bias in that some of the numbers came up more frequently than the rest. Jagger placed his bets accordingly and allegedly won US$300,000 in three days.
The casino tried to throw him by relocating the wheels, but when Jagger noticed that a telltale scratch on his favoured roulette wheel was not present on the table that now occupied its place he sought it out. He found it and began winning again. In the end the casino resorted to dismantling the wheels and rebuilding them every day. By this time Jagger had won an absolute fortune and left Monte Carlo for good. The story goes that Jagger invested his winnings in property and died a very wealthy man.