All South African players are looking for an edge, a little something that will give them an advantage over the online casino on route to taking home a win. No one likes to lose, especially when losing means more than just a bruised ego, but also a little less in your pocket. Therefore, everyone is on the lookout for a trump card, something that will get them further ahead in their game of choice.
There is no doubt that roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Some say that blackjack holds the number one spot, but while it’s a terrific game, it doesn’t have the elegance and tradition that roulette brings to the table. Pun intended.
It’s a social game that is easy to grasp, where the wheel and the little white ball add a whole other level of drama. Thus, due to its presence and popularity, it has been the subject of strenuous analysis. There are many documented instances of people trying to cheat at the game or predict its spin. However, honest gamblers try to implement a strategy that will assist in shifting the long-term odds in their favor.
It’s important to note that there’s a reason why casinos are a thriving business. They will not host a game that players can easily beat. The house aims to continuously come ahead in the long-run and turn a profit, which is why they always have the edge. Yet, when it comes to roulette, thanks to the element of chance that’s in play, a few methods exist that can help a player.
Let’s be clear there is no sure-fire way to win. Still, armed with guiding principles, your chances improve, then spinning the wheel without them at online casinos that accept players from South Africa.
Types of Online Roulette Strategies
The best way to generalize betting strategies is to separate them into two groups, those that use bet progression after each round, and those where the bet size stays the same or non-progressive systems. All these strategies work best on games that accept bets where the odds are 50/50, like roulette’s red or black bets.
Progressive strategies are a mainstay in gambling. They’ve been around for a long time thanks to their simplicity and the delusion that they guarantee a profit if you can bankroll your way to one. While they may work in the short-term, they don’t do anything to influence your chances in the long-haul, and they can land you in a financial hole if lady luck turns her back.
The basic concept is that you adjust your bet size based on the result of the previous spin. A positive progression is when you increase your bet size when you win, but decrease it when you lose. A negative progression is a reverse. You increase your bet size following a losing bet and lower it after a winning one.
The thinking behind positive progression is that the system will assist you in maximizing profits once you hit a hot streak, but it will keep your losses down when you’re losing. While with negative progression, the mindset is that you’ll get a win eventually, and when that time comes, it will be at much higher stakes, recouping your losses, and leaving you in profit.
Veterans believe that South African players should avoid progressive strategies as they are dangerous. Nonetheless, there are opposing views, who think that in moderation, they can be beneficial. Some even have faith in them, that they are the way to success in roulette. However, always remember that discipline and self-control is of paramount importance, especially when using a negative progression strategy.
The Martingale Strategy
Martingale is likely the most popular roulette strategy in the world. It may be the most widely-used betting strategy, in general. Legend is that it was named after an 18th century London casino owner by the name of John Henry Martindale, who had a habit of encouraging his patrons to double their bets after each loss. A century later, the system rose to prominence thanks to gambler Charles Wells, known under the moniker The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo. He contributed his string of legendary wins to the strategy.
The Martingale is a simple progressive strategy. It works by having the player double his bet after every loss and resetting to his original bet size after each win. For example, if you bet R10 and win, your next wager will again be R10. However, if you lose, your next bet will be R20. The pattern goes on until you win. When you do, you go back to betting R10. In essence, you can reclaim your previous losses, if you have enough money to keep going.
There are drawbacks. Roulette tables have bet limits, and you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot raise your bet. Depending on the variation of the game you’re playing, a wager on red or black may not have 50/50 odds due to zero and double zero pockets. If the ball lands on either of those, you lose all outside bets.
There’s also a variation called The Grand Martingale. Here, you not only double your bet after a loss, but you also must increase it by one betting unit, whose size you decide. For example, if you bet R100 and lose, your next bet should be, let’s say R210, and so on.
The D’Alembert Strategy
Developed in the 18th century, by French renaissance man Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert, the D’Almbert system is the second most popular roulette strategy trailing behind only the Martingale, of which it’s a variation. We aptly call Jean-Baptiste a renaissance man because he was a mathematician, a physicist, musical theorist, and philosopher. However, some argue against his title of mathematician, as he is famous for arguing that the probability of a coin landing heads increases every time that it comes up as tails. A notion that gave birth the strategy that bears his name, which is also more-or-less, the Gambler’s Fallacy.
The D’Alembert strategy is unit-based. Meaning, if we place an initial R10 bet, that is our base unit. If we’re out of luck at the moment, and lose that bet, then we’ll have to bet R20 on our following bet. If we lose that one, we’ll have to increase our bet size by one unit to R30 on the following one, and so on.
If you’re wondering what happens when you win? Well, in that case, you decrease your bet size by one unit. Let’s say you win with a bet of R50. That means that you’ll have to go down to R40 on your following wager.
The problem here is that every spin of the wheel is an independent event. In reality, there is no causal relationship between any spin. If you bet ten times in a row on black and lose, the eleventh time the wheel spins, the chances are still 50/50 that it will land on black. They will not get better.
The Labouchere Strategy
Invented by a 19th century British aristocrat by the name of Henry Labouchere, this strategy works on a similar principle to the Martingale. It is another negative progression system, with the distinction that it doesn’t try to recoup all of the player’s losses with one win, but aims to do the same over multiple ones. Known also as the Split Martingale, American Progression, and the Cancellation System. Though it shares characteristics with the Martingale, it is more complicated to implement.
Again, this strategy works with even bets. Before starting, jot down how much you are willing the risk, and the betting limits at your chosen roulette table. For illustration purposes, let’s say your budget is R100, and you’re going to play at a table with a R10 bet minimum. Then, write ten ones in a row. These represent your betting units. One unit equals a bet of R10.
When you sit down to play, your bet should be the sum of the first and last numbers in your sequence. Since you start with ten ones, it will be two betting units, or R20. If you win the bet, you cross off the first and last numbers, meaning you’re down to eight units. So, your next wager will be the first and last number of your now eight number sequence, which is again two ones, two betting units of R10. However, if you lose, you’ll have to add the number of units lost to the end of the sequence. Let’s say you won your first bet but lost the second one. Your third bet will be the sum of the first and last numbers in your sequence, or one plus two, which is R30.
The goal is to keep playing in an attempt to cross off all the numbers in your sequence. Once you do that, you should double your initial investment, or in our case, land a profit of R100.
The Fibonacci Strategy
Most people have likely heard of the Fibonacci sequence, it is one of the most popular formulas in mathematics, and it is present in art and design in the form of the golden ratio. Each number in the sequence is the sum of the two numbers that precede it, and somehow when you create a Fibonacci spiral on top of rectangles that follow this pattern, you get a visually pleasing ratio present in nature.
While some think that Italian mathematician, Leonardo Fibonacci, invented the sequence, there’s historical evidence that points to Ancient Sanskrit texts that used the Hindu-Arabic numeral system first. These predate Leonardo Fibonacci by centuries.
To incorporate it at roulette, you first have to figure out how much you’re willing to bet. If you play at a table with a R10 bet minimum, we’ll say that R10 will represent one betting unit in the Fibonacci sequence. Remember, each number is the sum of the two that precede it. The most common example of this sequence is 1,1,2,3,5, and so on.
You start at the beginning of the sequence and bet R5. If you lose, you bet another betting unit (R5), seeing as one is the next number in the sequence. If you lose that bet as well, you bet the next number, which is two, or two betting units (R10). You continue doing this until you win. When you do, you go back to the beginning of the sequence, and start again with one betting unit or R5, and follow the same pattern.
The Paroli Strategy
Paroli is a positive betting progression, which gets its name from the Latin par, meaning “one that is equal.” It has a long history with roots dating back to 16th century Italy, where gamblers employed it with success at the card game Basset, also known as barbacole and hocca. A game favored by high society. Today, everyone is using the strategy on games that feature even odds bets, including South African players that enjoy roulette, but also games such as craps, Pai Gow poker, Sic Bo, and with some tweaks, even at blackjack. You can also find its principles in the book Monte Carlo Anecdotes from 1910, and you can find the strategy under the name Reverse Martingale in some places.
The Paroli strategy is another unit-based system. Let’s say that we sit at a roulette table with a R10 bet minimum, to make even odds. The table minimum will represent one of our betting units. So, one unit equals R10. Don’t worry if this seems small. It is for your safety. If you get on a roll, the bet size increase.
According to this strategy, when you win, your next bet should be two units, or in our case, R20. If you lose a R10 bet, then you’ll have to make other R10 bets until you win, once you do, you can move to make a two-unit bet (R20). If you manage to win twice in a row, on the next spin, you must increase your wager to three units (R30). Whenever you lose, you must revert to your default bet of one unit.
The most common Paroli progression calls for a three-bet sequence. Meaning you will have to start over, following three wins in a row. If you land a winning three-bet chain, you’ll have a total of seven units, or R70, from your original R10 investment. If you would have lost those three bets, you’d only be down R30. The problem here is that the strategy only generates short-term profits, and the payout ratio doesn’t satisfy many player’s appetites. If the latter concerns you, you can stretch the sequence to five or seven winning bets. You’ll end up risking more, but if you’re on a roll, you’ll allow yourself to use your hot streak and walk away with a decent chunk of change.
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