Betting Odds for Roulette

Roulette School

Since the 18th century when the modern roulette game first emerged in France people have tried to come up with a system that will be able to predict the outcome of roulette and help them break the casino with a big winning session.

Before we go into what roulette betting systems are out there, let us quote Albert Einstein, one of the smartest people to ever grace this earth, which said to anyone trying to beat the roulette table that “No one can possibly win at roulette unless he steals money from the table while the croupier isn't looking”

Roulette is a game of Negative Expectation

One of the reasons that many experts claim that roulette betting systems do not work is that roulette is designed as a negative expectation game which means it is designed as a game that over time will always cause the casino to come up trumps.

From a purely mathematical viewpoint it makes no difference how much you bet or the way that you bet or for how long you will bet; the overall outcome of the game will have a negative expectation. For the hundreds of years roulette has been played all over the world, no one has managed to produce a betting system that can be proven to work overtime as evidenced by the casino industry standing strong and continuing to collect big profits.

Gambler’s Fallacy

The main reason why betting systems fall short of guaranteeing beating the roulette wheel is that numbers have no memory. Each spin of the roulette wheel is independent and was not affected by previous spins and has no effect on subsequent spins.

People who believe that previous results have any kind of bearing on future results suffer from what is commonly referred to as “Gambler’s Fallacy”. This makes them believe that the game is prone to some predictions although it was designed to profit the house and is based completely on independent trials.

Gambler’s fallacy is explained best via an example: let us imagine we are tossing a coin to determine whether it will land on Heads or Tails. After 30 flips of the coin we got 6 times Heads and 24 times Tails. What is the probability of getting Heads on the 31st coin flip? The odds are exactly the same as on the first flip and are expressed mathematically as p = ½.

Betting Systems

Gamblers using roulette betting systems believe that betting in a particular pattern will help them lower the house edge and beat the casino after a long series of spins. There are many different betting systems and they include progressive and regression systems. The three most famous betting systems are Martingale system, which instructs a bettor to increase their bets after every loss in order to eventually be able to cover their losses. Labouchère system that uses predetermined numbers drawn in a sequence that guides the level of betting, and D'Alembert system that defines money for betting in unites and instructs adding one unit after each loss and deducting one unit after each win.

Overall no trials that were made on any of these systems have managed to prove they can improve the expected win ratio. The house edge does not change no matter what roulette betting strategy you apply. For European roulette there is always an expected loss of 19/37 and in American roulette the expected loss is always 10/19.

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