I thought this might be an informative topic to blog about. Many people think there is some strategy out there that can beat the system. It is true for something like blackjack where you can count cards to gain an edge, but that is different because each time the cards are dealt, you know a little extra information about what cards are still in the deck as you count the cards that are used up. This of course become obsolete online because the computer reshuffles the whole deck in a few seconds.
For roulette at land based casinos and online though, each spin has no memory or information of the previous spin. Basically every number on the wheel has an equal chance of being hit by the ball. Normally you would think that if you bet red or black, you would eventually break even because there are an equal number of black and red (50/50 odds) right? Well the thing that trumps all the strategies and betting systems is the green slot which holds a single zero “0”. Even though there is an equal number of each color or equal number of even and odd numbers, your odds are diminished because of this green slot.
Basically this is where the casino makes their money, it is essentially a house number but you can still bet on it. Your odds would normally be 50/50 if you bet on black and red. Over the long term though, every once in awhile, the ball will land in the green slot and everyone betting on black or red loses no matter what. In fact, this slot gives the casino a 2.70% house edge or profit margin on a European and French roulette wheel. On the American roulette wheel, there are TWO green slots with a double zero “00” in the other slot. This means the casino has more green slots in the mix and the ball lands on green more often. In this case, the house has a 5.26% edge over the players, meaning more profits over a shorter time. In fact, the strategy is to never play on an American roulette table, there are utterly no advantages! If you read my page explaining the history of roulette, this table was created way back during the United States gold rush of the 1800’s when casinos got greedy and wanted more money.
Also, the casinos pay out less than true odds so even if there was no green slots and there was a 50/50 absolute chance of landing on red and black, the casino would pay out odds less than 50:50 because they are a business for profit. Betting strategies do make the game more interesting and can sometimes help. For instance, a very rich person could benefit from the Martingale system as long as they didn’t have a astoundingly massive losing streak… Other systems manage your risk and your bankroll essentially but they do not turn roulette into a personal ATM.
Although, biased wheel computer software can really work, yet this is illegal in casinos of course and you can get in trouble if you get caught. It takes a lot of spins for the computer simulation software to select which numbers come up more often from a flaw in the engineering of the wheel. Joesph Jaggers did this in the 1800’s and won a ton of money in Monte Carlo because he was the first to discover a horrendously flawed wheel that let him win over a quarter million francs. This is pretty much the only way you could really win at roulette in the long run, unless of course you collaborate with the dealers and what not.