When I was asked to write an article on "roulette tips", I knew I was in trouble. Roulette is such a simple game to play that there really are no tips which will help you win. The ball is going to drop into one of the slots and nobody, be it the rawest novice or the most grizzled of casino veterans, can predict which slot it will be.
Then I realized that the one mistake I can help you avoid is the one which most people make -- they bet the wrong way on what are almost 50/50 chances. (I say "almost" because zero and double zero tip the odds in the casino's favor.) There is a common belief that when betting black/red, high/low, or even/odd, you will always win if you double up any losing bet.
Casinos love this belief! If they could, they would have it tattooed on the foreheads of every person who walks into the place. The reason? It is the surest way to lose a lot of money in a short period of time.
It is built on the premise that, eventually, you have to win at least once. After all, what are the chances that the ball will hit a red number the next ten times in a row? Well, that is not the right question. The right question is what are the chances that the ball will hit a red number on the very next roll -- no matter what it did in the past. The ball, you see, has no memory. What went before has no impact on what will come next.
Over the course of a long period the ball will, indeed, hit red as often as it hits black but this says nothing about short runs. In fact, it is also certain that there will be times during the night when red will be hit a number of times in a row and the same is true for black (and high,low,even and odd). If you could magically know in advance when this will happen you would be guaranteed to walk out of the casino a very wealthy person. Still, if you keep in mind the fact that these streaks are sure to come about at some time, you can avoid losing a lot and have a good chance of winning.
Let's take a look at three players. Their names are Loser, Cautious, and Winner. By coincidence, their names match their betting methods.
Loser believes that if he keeps doubling his losses, eventually he will win.
His first bet is $2. He loses, so he bets $4. He loses again, so he bets $8. The next time it is $16, then $32, $64, $128, $256, $512, and eventually $1,014. Of course, he can only do this if the casino allows him to bet that much, but let's say it does. In ten bets, he will have lost $1,524. What would Loser have gotten if any one of these bets had won? A total of $2. That's right, even if that last $1,014 bet had been a winner, Loser would only have been up $2. Yes, most of the time he will eventually get that $2 but, all too often he will hit either the casino's maximum or his own financial limits before he wins. Besides, who is willing to gamble $1,524 in the hopes of winning $2?
Cautious plays it differently. He makes the same bet (let's say $2) on each spin of the wheel. He will win many times and lose many times. Over a long enough period, if the casino has double zeros, out of every 38 times he plays he will win 18 times and lose 20 times. That means he will be down $4 for every 38 bets. It is not a fortune, and he is much better off than Loser was, but he is still going to lose money.
Winner is the only one who has even a chance of taking home some of the casino's cash (over a long enough period). Winner not only ignores the "double when you lose" system but actually increases his bets when he wins. Winner is depending on having some long losing streaks and some long winning streaks and hoping they will balance out.
Let's say that Winner is betting on red. Winner bets $2 the first time and as long as he does not win, he follows Cautious' lead and continues to bet $2. If he loses 10 times in a row, he will have lost only $20 -- a lot less than Loser's $1524.
Each time that red hits, Winner increases his bet by $2.
If red hits on Winner's second bet ($4) he is up $6. If it does not, he is down $2.
If red hits on Winner's third bet ($6), he is up $12. If it does not, he is even.
If red hits on Winner's fourth bet ($8) he is up $20. If it does not, he is ahead $4.
If red hits on Winner's fifth bet ($10), he is up $30. If it does not, he is ahead $10.
If red hits on Winner's sixth bet ($12), he is up $42. If not, he is ahead $18.
If red hits on Winner's seventh bet ($14), he is up $56. If not, he is ahead $28.
If red hits on Winner's eighth bet ($16), he is up $72. If not, he is ahead $40.
If red hits on Winner's ninth bet ($18), he is up $90. If not, he is ahead $54.
If red hits on Winner's tenth bet ($20), he is up $110. If not, he is ahead $70.
No matter when Winner stops betting, as long as he has won at least three times in a row, he will finish that streak ahead. The longer he continues to win, the more he will win on each spin. This, of course, does not guarantee that Winner will walk out of the casino ahead. There may not be enough streaks, or long enough streaks, for that to happen -- but he has a much better shot at it than does either Loser or Cautious.