We received a few letters asking about basic game-playing for roulette:
Question: What’s a quick, simple strategy for playing roulette?
Guru: The easiest way to play roulette is to ignore the 38 numbers (1 through 36, plus 0 and 00) and to play the outside propositions.
These include: odd-or-even, high-or-low, red-or-black; they all payoff at even money.
The next line of propositions are 2-to-1 bets, which divide the betting board into groups of three, with the object for you is to select the proper segment.
All of these bets are fine and good, and you can have a lot of fun playing this way. However, if you want to take a bit more risk and try to hit one of the numbers (and its 35-to-1 payoff), here is what I like to do.
I divide the wheel into six segments of consecutive numbers, ignoring the 0 and 00. (If you play at a "single 0" table, all the better). Thus, all I’m trying to do is have the ball land in a one of six, larger pieces of pie, instead of a single number.
Here’s how the numbers are printed on the wheel (ignoring the zeros):
I bet the first group of numbers for $1 each for up to six spins or until I win. Then I start the sequence all over again, either betting on the same group, or switching to another group that I think may be hot. (Some casinos list the most recent winning numbers, so read it and see what’s hot).
If I win on the first spin, I collect a net winnings of $29 ($35 in winnings, minus my $6 wager).
If I win on the second spin, I win $23 ($35 - $12).
If I win on the third spin, I win $17 ($35 - $18).
On the fourth spin, I win $11 ($35 - $24).
And if it takes five spins, I win $5 ($35 - $30).
Should I need a sixth spin to finally hit, I only lose $1 ($35 - $36), as the probability of my winning averages out at this point. I ignore the zeros and give the house those ”” that’s where they make their money.
Using this method usually gives me a small win, or minimizes my losses if I play for an hour or so.
It’s not the world’s greatest system, but it will keep you in play and make the game exciting and enjoyable.