Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
Roulette isn’t exactly a game of deep strategy, but that doesn’t mean you have to go in blind without any plan of action whatsoever. Depending on what you want to get out of your time playing roulette, you may want to structure your bets in a certain way or change the way you manage your money. There are also a few tips that really can help you save some cash in the long run by avoiding sucker bets or tables that give you inferior odds. Before you play your next spin, make sure to check out our roulette tips below.
Play European Roulette
While most people think roulette is the same no matter where you go, this isn’t the case. Depending on what part of the world you’re in, you may be more accustomed to American roulette — the version with two zeroes on the wheel — or the single-zero version known as European roulette. Both games offer the same payouts, but there’s one less spot on the European roulette wheel, meaning the odds are slightly better for the player.
When you’re playing at a live casino, you’re pretty much stuck with what they’re willing to offer you. But at online casinos, you’ll have the option to pick between both kinds of roulette. Without a doubt, the better option for players is European roulette, as the house edge is reduced by nearly half when compared to the American version. In fact, there’s really no reason to play American roulette if you have the choice of playing either game.
Ask About the Rules
Most rules in roulette are uniform no matter where you play, but some European roulette games are even better than a typical single-zero game. Find out if your roulette game offers “en prison” rules. These rules make the odds on even money bets (like odd/even or red/black) even better by making your bet “imprisoned” rather than lost if the result of a spin is a zero. Now, if the next spin would have won for your bet, you’ll get your money back rather than losing it. If en prison rules are available to you, take full advantage by putting most of your money on these even money bets.
Don’t Play the “First Five” Bet
If you do choose to play American roulette, there is a bet you’ll want to avoid. This bet covers the “first five” numbers: 0-00-1-2-3. Unlike every other bet on the roulette table, this bet doesn’t pay out the fair odds before you account for the zeroes (in fact, it wouldn’t be practical to do so, since 36 doesn’t divide evenly into five). Instead, it pays out at 6-1, which gives the bet a house edge of 7.89% — far higher than the 5.26% the casino has on all the other bets in American roulette.
Don’t Pay for Systems
In the online world, there are hundreds of people peddling systems that promise to help you beat roulette. Unfortunately, the truth is that the house has the advantage on every single bet you make on the roulette wheel, so no amount of confusing math or fancy progressions of bets can turn those edges into an advantage for the player. Worst still, many of these systems – which often use pseudo-scientific jargon to sound convincing – are sold to unsuspecting gamblers who believe they’re just a few good tips from beating the house. Don’t be one of them – avoid paying for roulette systems for any reason.
Do Play Systems that Fit Your Goals
If systems can’t make you a winner, why would we recommend that you play systems at all? The reason is that while a system can’t change how much you’ll win or lose in the long run, it can change the way you get to those numbers. For instance, let’s say that you want to win a small amount most of the time you play in the casino and you’re willing to give up the occasional big loss in return. In that case, the Martingale system — which has you double your bet after every loss — is the perfect system for you.
Alternately, many players find that they’d like to shoot for a big goal even if they’ll usually come up short. The easiest way to accomplish this is to play a parlay system, in which you let your wins ride again and again until you either lose or hit your predetermined goal. With dozens of different systems out there, there’s almost certain to be one that will help you get what you want from the roulette table.
Take Advantage of Roulette Bonuses
When you sign up for an account at an online casino, be sure to check if they offer any special roulette bonuses. These bonus offers can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars to new players, and are designed specifically for those who want to spend time at the roulette tables. If your casino of choice doesn’t have a specific roulette bonus, you may also be able to play roulette as part of the general welcome bonus or some kind of “table games” bonus. Always check the terms and conditions of your bonus offers to ensure that the bets you’re making are allowed while clearing a bonus or promotion.
Manage Your Money Carefully
One of the most important things you can do at the roulette table is to make bets that are appropriate for the size of your bankroll. While it may be fun to feel like a high-roller, it’s not a good idea to be making large bets if you don’t have the funds to support that. For instance, if you deposit $100 and that’s all you want to play with, making $25 bets is not a great idea: you’ll need to get very lucky on your first two spins to avoid going broke. Instead, limit your bets to just a couple dollars at a time, and you’ll be able to play roulette for many hours even if lady luck isn’t on your side.
Even Money Bets
If you want to play conservatively, stick to bets which have odds as close to the payout as possible. These are known as ‘even money bets’ and are the ‘safest’ wagers to place in roulette; such bets are the evens and odds, low numbers (1-18) and high numbers (19-36), red and black. While they only pay out at 1:1 (double our money), they offer nearly even odds, so they are ideal for those wishing to play relatively safe. They are as close to a 50/50 bet as we will get in a casino.