How to Beat the House Edge at Roulette


Roulette is one of the most iconic casino games around, but it can also be one of the most difficult to master. The game consists of a wheel with divisions that alternate between red and black and have a green 0 on the American version of the game, and a betting table (or felt) with a number of different wagering options.

Players place coloured chips on the betting table in order to bet on specific numbers. There are a wide variety of possible bets, but they all fall into two categories – inside and outside bets. Inside bets are placed on individual pockets while outside bets are made on groupings of pockets based on their position on the table. Each of these bet types has a different probability of winning and offers different payout odds.

While many players believe that a roulette strategy can improve their chances of winning, the truth is that the game relies solely on chance. Unless the table is rigged, it’s impossible to predict where the ball will land and therefore, any strategy will only take you so far. The most important thing is to play within your bankroll and only wager what you can afford to lose.

Roulette has a house edge which is built into the game. This means that every spin has a different chance of winning or losing, but the house always wins in the long run. The only way to overcome this is to use a betting system that minimizes your losses while increasing your wins. The D’Alembert approach, for instance, sees you remove a unit of your bet each time you win and add one each time you lose, with the goal of reaching your desired win amount.

The Martingale is another popular roulette strategy that sees you double your bet after each loss, so that you eventually break even. It’s easy to follow and works well, but it’s not a risk-free strategy and can lead to huge bets that quickly drain your bankroll. A more manageable variation is the Labouchere system which lets you set a target win amount and then vary your bet size based on your current winnings or losses.

In addition to the house edge, there are a few other things to keep in mind when playing roulette. It’s crucial to remember that losing is part of the game, and that you shouldn’t take it personally. This will help you enjoy the game more and keep your bankroll healthy.

Frank Scoblete is a New York-based author who has spent his life in the world of casinos and gambling, beginning his career in the ’60s getting an education and later working as a theatre director and educator. He has authored more than 35 books and is a casino expert with extensive experience in the industry. He has a particular love for slots and writes extensively on online casino gaming. He lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.