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Roulette Strategies

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Finding good roulette strategies online is like trying to find a good buffet in Vegas, there are plenty of options, but most of them have a strange smell. A stink in fact, the kind of stink that makes you feel as though, if you were to take advantage of the good buffet, or described roulette strategies, you may end up sick, or broke, or both.

My goal here is to describe to you not only why most of those roulette strategies are bogus, but also to show you how you can see the good in them, and learn to ignore the bad (hey kinda like a buffet again! Avoid the fish, go for the chicken). So in this smorgasbord of online strategies, how are you to differentiate? How are you to find the value? Starting with logic is always a good idea, and there is a very logical way to look at the game of roulette. Roulette has what is known as a 'static house edge', meaning the house advantage on each and every bet available at the table never changes. In fact, the remarkable thing about roulette is, the house edge is exactly the same for every bet and combination of bets! A game like craps has a static house edge for each bet too, but each of the bets has its own value, and they are all different. With this in mind roulette strategies have some work cut out for them, how are they supposed to improve your game at all?

The house edge for American (double zero) roulette is 5.26%. This stands for all bets except the five number bet, which has a slightly higher house edge at 7%. This number is static and unchangeable unless the rules of the game are changed. No combination of bets or hedges will reduce this number. This knowledge is essential for anyone wishing to differentiate between good roulette strategies and bad roulette strategies. Simply put, bad roulette strategies are any ones that claim to lower the house edge, or to make the game beatable, or consistently produces profit, or allow you to win consistently. All of these notions are against the rules of the house edge. Any person who tries to convince you to play roulette as a business instead of a game, any person who tells you to take it seriously and be studious about it to increase your odds, is probably in the business of making money of off unsuspecting gamblers like us.

The smartest roulette strategies are ones which allow you to keep good track of your money (money management skills really), don't let you aggregate your bets together (which would be silly anyway because one spin on the wheel does not affect the next), and doesn't let you build up a great amount of loss while chasing a big win.

The rules to look for

Some player advantages in roulette are conceded by the casino, just never to the point where the player gets the edge. As you already know by now, roulette has a static house edge. In a standard game of American roulette the edge is 5.26% against you, which isn't very friendly. I've often written that the only good roulette strategies are the ones which suggest finding a game with different rules, and here I'm going to describe what those rules so you can look for them.

European Roulette

European roulette is often called single zero roulette, and sometimes called French roulette. The difference is fairly obvious if you step up to a table, because the wheel itself is different. No longer do you have two green eyes staring at you, the double zero pocket is gone! Single zero roulette only has one green monster, and this effectively cuts the house edge down to 2.7%. Finding a single zero roulette wheel in Vegas can be an exercise in frustration, but finding one at an online casino isn't very tough to do.

En Prison

En Prison is a rule that you may find at some European roulette tables, but most likely only in Europe itself. There are supposedly a couple of online casinos which offer single zero roulette and the En Prison rule, but I'm not sure if they truly cut their odds in accordance with the rules, or end up compensating for the difference somehow. En prison is basically a rule that only applies to your outside even money bets, and only comes into effect when a zero is hit. Say you played ten bucks on black, and zero was hit. If En Prison is in effect, your bet will not be swept away as it would at a regular roulette game. The bet is said to remain 'in prison' (yes, that's what En Prison means) and is left on the table for its outcome to be determined on the next spin. If on the next spin the bet looses, it is swept away. If the bet wins it is returned to you with no extra winnings. Different tables have different rules for if a second zero is spun, so you'll have to check with the house on that one. If the bet remains in prison on a second 0 pocket, we can calculate the house edge to be somewhere around 1.35% - far superior to any roulette strategies you could come up with to help you out at an American roulette table.


Surrender is a rare rule that is not unlike En Prison. Again it only applies to outside even money bets, and it has to do with a zero hitting. If a zero hits and surrender is in effect, half of your even money bets will be returned to you. Surrender is most often found in Atlantic City casinos, and usually only on American roulette tables. If you can find it, the rule cuts the house edge down significantly to somewhere in the region of 2.63%.

So good roulette strategies are ones that incorporate good money management skills, lots of attention to how much you're spending, and seeking out rules which are advantageous to the player. For strategies that tell you exactly what to play and how to play it, you should be looking for systems.