What Are Roulette Betting Systems and Do They Work?

Roulette is one of the most popular casino and online casino games. It is a game of chance and one that is simple to learn and easy to play. Players spread their bets in the hope that their number will drop in. Yet some players have elaborate methods when it comes to how they bet on roulette.


This article explores roulette betting systems and whether they can be useful.


Understanding roulette

Before you think about what betting systems to implement, it’s important to understand how roulette works in terms of odds and betting.


At the start of each round, you’ll have the option to bet on a single number, multiple numbers, or outside the board bets like odd or even, red or black, and so on.


The dealer, or electronic software if you are playing online, will then spin the ball around the wheel and wherever it lands is the winning number.


Roulette is essentially a game of chance. Players have no control over where the ball will actually land. However, that hasn’t stopped people from attempting to gain more control using betting systems.


What are roulette betting systems?

Roulette betting systems are attempts by players to find out what the best roulette betting sequences are. A system can sometimes focus on which numbers to choose, but more often it’s about how much you bet and how your bet amount changes as you play. Some of the most popular betting systems are martingale, Fibonacci, and D’Alembert, which we will review below.



The Martingale system is by far the most well known roulette betting system. Like many systems, it is progressive, meaning bets scale depending whether you win or lose.


The Martingale system says that you should start off by choosing your betting unit, say $1. The system works best if you bet on even money bets like black or red, odd or even.


You then double the bet amount every time you lose. When you win a bet, the cycle restarts from the beginning with you again placing a single unit.


This means wins are small (one unit) and downswings can be big, such as if you lose many bets in a row and keep doubling. You need a large bankroll to facilitate the Martingale system.



The Fibonacci system is quite similar to Martingale in that you increase the bet after every loss. This time though, instead of doubling, you follow the famous sequence of numbers known to be the maths behind nature and the universe.


That sequence is: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, and so on.



For every win, the system suggests moving a number up in that sequence. For every loss, you move two numbers back.


This is actually less risky than the Martingale because bets increase gradually and only with wins. Losing bets tends to stay small and only become dramatic if you’ve already won several spins in a row.



This is another progressive system and is again less risky than the Martingale. In the case of the D’Alembert system, you simply increase the betting unit by one after every loss and decrease it by one unit after every win.


So, if you start with $1 bets, this becomes $2, then $3, then $4 with successive losses, reducing for wins.


This is slow and steady, much less extreme, and can be used at small stakes as it will be very unlikely you’ll ever reach the table betting limits.


Recording numbers

This is not so much a set system, but it’s an approach you will often see. Players will sit down with a notepad and record number sequences in the hope that they can predict upcoming numbers.


They may look for “hot” numbers and place bets on those. Or, conversely, they may avoid “hot” numbers in the belief that other numbers are due to come up.


In online or live casino roulette, recording these numbers is even easier as they will be up on the screen. This doesn’t mean, however, that doing so will change the outcome.


Do betting systems change your odds?

On a European roulette wheel, the odds of hitting a single number 36-1 and the payouts on that bet are 35-1. This gives the house a small yet significant edge of 2.7%.


Similarly, betting on an even money bet like red or black, which many of these betting approaches recommend, pays out 1-1, but actually has a 48.65% chance of occurring, thanks to the green zero.


Employing these betting doesn’t change those odds. Each spin of the wheel is independent of the last spin and so you cannot predict the sequence, nor does changing your bet change anything. If you lose 10 times, that doesn’t mean you are “due a win”.


What roulette betting systems can do, is offer you an enjoyable way to approach the game that is based on your style. If you’re high risk, then Martingale might be appealing. If you like the slow and steady approach, D’Alembert is for you.


Playing within your limits is what’s most important. Make small spread bets based on amounts you can afford to lose. This is really the key to enjoying the game and finding an approach that works for you.