Roulette Betting Systems and Strategies
A betting system is a type of pattern that players use to increase their winnings or make a profit. There are all sorts of roulette betting systems which are also used in bet management in other casino games. Although, these systems don't really improve your odds or anything, but they give you a pattern to go by and many of the common systems are just variations of a few major ones. A few major ones are known as the Martingale, Paroli, Parlay, Labouchere, d'Alembert and the 1-3-2-6 betting systems. All of these can be applied in roulette.
A major fact needs to be stated. Any type of positive or negative progression betting style will not change the mathematical odds of the game itself. Some systems may work better than others depending on betting limits at the table or whether you are a conservative or aggressive player. Although, these betting systems won't decrease your odds of winning either.
This type of system is based on common sense. d'Alembert assumes that that more often you win, your chances of winning again will decrease. So the goal is to decrease your bet after each win. At the same time, the system says that when you start to lose more often, your chances of a rebound are greater and you should increase your chip wager for the next spin of the wheel. Although these "chances" of winning and losing don't exist because each and every spin is independent of the previous spins. Theoretically, the wheel can keep landing on red or black indefinitely, but realistically this is improbable. You just have to pay attention to any winning and losing streaks and then apply the d'Alembert strategy accordingly.
This is probably the most famous betting system used in roulette. It is a well known, but risky strategy that usually requires a large bankroll and high table betting limits. The basic idea behind the Martingale is to bet some minimum or small bet. When you win, you just keep making that same wager over and over again. If you lose, then you must double the size of your bet to make up for that loss, plus make a profit. This guarantees that you will make money on roulette games.
The obvious problem happens when you begin to lose a long streak of bets. For instance, if you bet $1 and lose, the next bet is $2. If you lose again, the bet goes to $4 and then to $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $256, $512, $1024. In about 10 consecutive losses in a row, your $1 bet becomes over a thousand dollars. Indeed it is rare for the ball in the roulette wheel to land on the same color ten times in a row, but not as rare as you may think. This has personally happened to me a few times while playing roulette for free. Luckily this wasn't real money that I was playing with!
The Martingale betting system is known as a negative progression system where you increase your bets while losing. It has been known that players have lost millions of dollars due to massive losing streaks while betting on the same color. The actual odds are nearly the same as flipping a coin to see if it lands on heads or tails. Now imagine the coin landing on tails 10 or 20 times in a row. This is the same as the red and black bet, or the odd and even bet. The only difference is the house owns the green zero slot so there is a small house edge so the odds are not quite 50/50. This green slot ensures that you lose on all bets unless you specifically bet on zero.
The Martingale roulette system relies on not having long streaks. If the streaks are small and spotty, then this is ideal for you. If you had an infinite bankroll, then you could never lose, only if the there was no betting limit. Players have actually won big with this method too and that's why it is so popular. The casinos know this and they have set up maximum bet limits on the roulette table. For instance, this could be $500 or $1000. So after 10 losses in a row, this will interfere with the strategy as you could no longer double your $1000 bet and you would begin to lose. Without the table limits, people could easily win a lot of money very often.
So the benefits of the Martingale is not losing often and always making some profit after losses. The big drawback here is if you do run into a huge losing streak, you could potentially lose your whole bankroll. Not just any bankroll, but the very large one you started with. In return, you are making only a small profit with each win.
Labouchere Cancellation System
The Labouchere is a type of cancellation system. This system works by first writing down a set of numbers. You then uses these numbers as "unit" or chips that you would use. A unit could mean a $1 chip, or a $100 chip, depending on what type of bet denomination you would like to wager. These numbers then add up and this sum will be the goal for the betting cycle. For example, you can have a series such as 1, 2, 3, 4 and this would add up to 10. So if you are betting with one dollar chips, your table goal would be $10. Labouchere, then says that you add up the two numbers on the ends of the series, which in this case would be 1 plus 4 or a $5 bet.
When you win the $5 bet, you cross off these end numbers and continue on with the cycle. In this case, the next bet would be 2 plus 3 or $5 again. If you win this, your total profit is $10, which was your goal and the session cycle is complete and you write down another series of numbers to try out.
If you lose on any bet, then you write down this bet number at the end of the chain of numbers and continue. For example, if you lost your $5 bet with the series of 1, 2, 3, 4, then this series would become 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and your next bet would be $6. When playing roulette, this strategy is much safer than the Martingale because you are not doubling your bet after each round. Basically you would be adding one unit (or whatever your series of numbers says) to each bet after a loss. It would then take a long time to reach the betting limit of the table. This is a slightly negative progressive system.
Another benefit of the cancellation system is the fact that you can set a fixed goal of say a few hundred or thousand dollars and keep track of it all night long. It works great when you have some winning figure that you would be satisfied with and then being able to walk away from roulette when you meet this figure.