An innocent enough game, roulette’s history is nevertheless one of experimentation and mad science. The wheel was originally conceived in France as a means to create an unlimited power source, an enterprise that went about as well as you’d expect. Imagine trying to power a water wheel without the one thing you need to keep it moving – water – and you have a rough idea of what inventor Blaise Pascal was trying to achieve.
More recently, roulette has become the plaything of strategists and armchair mathematicians. The game is based on rigid probabilities, which means that the likelihood of every event can be calculated. This has given rise to the belief that certain ways of betting will allow the player to beat the house. Of course, as a game of chance, this isn’t true. Roulette systems do have their uses though, just like the basic strategy does in blackjack.
Let’s introduce a few at Mr Green Casino.
Usually recommended for beginners, the Martingale is arguably more suited to those with large bankrolls, also known as high-rollers. The basic premise of the Martingale strategy is that you double your wager on a loss. Then, if you win, you return it to its original size. In an ideal world, the Martingale allows players to recoup their losses quickly. Unfortunately, several losses in a row will increase the stakes.
You’ll soon learn that many strategies are just variations on a theme. The Paroli is just the Martingale strategy in reverse. You’ll be doubling your bet on a win this time. The Paroli is designed to make the most of wins while they keep coming but, like the strategy it’s based upon, losing streaks can quickly exhaust your bankroll. Adding to the similarities with the Martingale, Paroli is easy to deploy in all roulette types, including live roulette.
Another system with French connections, the d’Alembert strategy was created by an 18th-century mathematician called Jean le Rond d’Alembert. This is a fairly gentle way of playing roulette that requires the player to first identify one bet unit, e.g. $1. You’ll need to increase your stake by one unit on a win and reduce it by one unit on a loss. The fact that D’Alembert believed in the gambler’s fallacy in a coin toss is evident in this theory.
Tier et Tout (Part and Whole in English) is a strategy that has the lofty goal of letting you play with the casino’s money. In truth, it actually refers to your own winnings. Split your stake into one-third and two-thirds. This could be $5 and $10 from a $15 purse. Bet the first third and then the second, with the goal of winning at least once in those two turns. Tier et Tout offers potential profit but, again, is sensitive to losing streaks.
Staying with the theme set by the previous strategy – increasing complexity – the Labouchere system begins with a goal, specifically, how much you want to win. Let’s say it’s $10. Next, break down your target number into smaller ones that add up to it. This might be 3 + 1 + 2 + 4 = $10. You’re going to make your wagers with the two outermost numbers. The rest is just a process of adding numbers on a loss and removing them on a win.
It might sound like a condiment but the Hollandish is actually a popular Martingale variant that’s accepting of a few losses. To use this system, you’ll need to place three wagers per round on even money bets, like red/black. The idea is that you need to win at least two of the three wagers. If you lose, increase your bet by two units (e.g. $3 > $5). On a win, just revert back to your original wager.
Similar to Paroli, which is derived from Martingale, Oscar’s Grind is a fresh outlook on roulette strategies. This strategy wants to take advantage of consecutive wins but, of course, these aren’t guaranteed. With Oscar’s Grind, the player increases their wager on a win on the condition that they’re not in profit. They don’t need to do anything on a loss. As a bit of trivia, this system is known as the Pluscoup Progression in continental Europe.
A rather more adventurous roulette strategy than the ones above, the Kavouras bet dispenses with subtlety in favor of big wins. The player needs a large enough bankroll to repeatedly cover lots of potential outcomes though, which makes it less accessible to low-rollers. It is a type of spread betting, a strategy familiar to those who often place sports bets and another way of wagering on several possibilities.
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