Is Fewer Or Many Numbers The Best Online Roulette Strategy?

Source: Atlantic City Weekly

Novice players of online roulette in Canada, and/or those who play very infrequently, are often very curious about roulette playing strategies. Indeed many are anxious to learn the ‘secrets’ or magical strategies which, once learned, can turn an average and relatively inexperienced player into a skilled and perpetually lucky player of online roulette games.

But with a little more experience, most players soon realise there really is no magic formula which will guarantee that you consistently win a game of chance. Nevertheless, those who thoroughly understand the rules of the game and develop a grasp of some of the basic principles of roulette should do better if they then follow a strategy which meets their needs. In Canada, as elsewhere, it is the random player who places bets on a whim after each spin who has most to lose – in every sense.

Online roulette and the house edge

Like all online casino games, online roulette has a ‘house edge’. In other words, each time the roulette wheel spins the casino holds a slight statistical advantage over every player. This house advantage varies between different casino games.

For roulette, the house edge can be calculated as follows: First of all, notice that if the 0 and 00 slots were removed from the wheel, then a roulette game would appear completely fair to the player, because all 36 slots would have an equal chance of a winning payout. So the house edge would be 0.00%.

But the addition of the 0 and 00 wheel slots, which do not payout when they come up, create a house edge of 2/38, (= 5.26%) for American games, and an edge of 1/37 (2.70%) for the single-zero European game.

Online roulette strategies

The two betting strategies which are arguably the most commonly used by players are the Martingale Strategy and the Paroli Strategy. The Martingale is often described as a negative strategy because its aim is to recover a losing position. On the other hand, the Paroli can be described as a positive system because it attempts to allow the player to benefit from a winning start.

Following the Martingale system, a player will double his stake if he should lose on the initial spin. The thinking here is that a win will happen eventually. So if a £5 bet which loses is followed by a £10 bet which wins, the player has recouped his £5 loss and won back his original £5 stake.

Applying the Paroli system to an initial win, a player will then increase (double) the stake after every win. So if a £5 bet wins, the player bets £10; and if that wins again, he bets £20. Then, the wise player begins a new sequence, keeping the wins and using his original £5 stake to start off a new sequence.

Mathematicians will notice that these strategies are in fact very similar. The main difference is that with an extended Martingale sequence of doubling to recoup mounting losses the strain on the player’s bankroll can soon become quite significant.

Advantages and disadvantages of betting few numbers

Betting on a few numbers means up to 18, but in practice most players will bet on 5 or less. In these circumstances, you may have to wait quite some time before your numbers come up. But when that moment arrives you will then usually go through a short winning streak before the losses return.

The result is often infrequent, but fairly high payouts along with losing periods. For the player, this has been likened to a roller-coaster ride with brief highs and deep lows which are all part of the ongoing experience. Consequently, the effect on your bankroll will be somewhat similar, with periods of fluctuating fortunes.

As one expert put it: Don’t expect to be lucky often. But when you are lucky, there’s a good chance of significant wins.

Advantages and disadvantages of betting many numbers

Betting on many numbers means more than 18, but many experienced players tend to bet on 20 or 24. With this scenario you are likely to win more often, but the way the table is set out means your winning amounts will tend to be much smaller in comparison. So as a strategy this mostly avoids having too many losing streaks, but you will have to face the fact that, in general, you won’t expect to get many big wins.

Which online roulette betting system should I choose?

The strategy you choose depends to a great extent on your own expectations: whether you are happy to wait around for a bigger win, or whether you prefer to accept smaller wins just as long as you achieve some success.

Experts suggest that the fewer numbers approach works best when applied selectively whenever certain numbers appear to be particularly ‘hot’. And the many numbers approach works better if you prefer not to wait for lucky streaks to come along and are content with what might be considered average wins.

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