Roulette Basic Strategy

Nearly every game in the casino, if not all of them, has a basic betting system or a basic betting strategy that will help you make informed decisions when playing the game. For example, blackjack’s basic betting/playing strategy involves the player know when the optimum time to hit or stand is. This maximizes the player’s chances of beating the dealer and giving them as much of a chance against the house edge as possible.

In craps, basic strategy involves making the bet which is the least risky – the pass line bet – as it reduces the house’s edge to a fraction of that should you decide to play on more exotic bets.
Roulette does not have a basic strategy that equals that or blackjack, simply because the player has no control over the outcome of a bet, as they do in blackjack, but there is still a basic strategy for playing roulette that can help novice roulette players reduce the house’s edge as much as possible.
The first thing to remember in basic roulette strategy is that you want to reduce the house’s edge as much as possible. To do this, you must stay away from double zero roulette tables. If you are playing online roulette, this is easy to do, as most online casinos give you the option of playing American Roulette, European Roulette, or any number of variable games.

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Always stick to single zero tables. Why? Because the house edge is slightly less on a single zero table than on an American double zero table. It is easy to understand why. When you bet on a number, let’s say number 1, on a single zero table, you have 36 numbers going against you (2-36 and single zero), giving you a 36-1 chance of your number coming up. However, when you bet on number 1 an American roulette table with the double zero, you have 37 numbers going against you (2-36, single zero and double zero), which gives you a 37-1 chance of your number coming up. But both bets pay out the same odds of 35-1. In short, you would be crazy to play an American Roulette table with a double zero if you had the option to play on a European Roulette table with a single zero only.

So the basic strategy for playing roulette is simply to maximize your chances against the house.

However, there is also a basic strategy you can employ once you decide to play at the European Roulette table. There is nothing complicated about this method, nothing you have to really remember, which is why it is the ‘basic’ roulette strategy.

On any roulette table, there are two different kinds of bets that pay 2-1. You have the Dozens and you have the Columns. The Dozens are the first 12, second 12 and third 12 numbers on the table. The Columns are the first column of numbers, the second column of numbers and the third column of numbers on the inside of the roulette table. This basic strategy can be employed when betting on either of these selections.

First of all, organize your bankroll – how much you want to wager in this betting session. This should not be a life-altering sum of money; just as much as you are comfortable losing should things not work out as planned. I like taking a round figure of $1,000 to the table, as this makes bankroll management easier (bankroll management is also an important part of any basic strategy for betting). You should then split your bankroll up into units, with one unit being one hundredth of your bankroll. In our case, one unit has the value of $10. It is important to work out how much a unit is so you can keep your betting steady, as you will always be betting in units as opposed to random amounts.

Now that your bankroll has been identified, decide which of the 2-1 bets you want to bet on – Columns or Dozens. For this example, we will bet the Dozens, but it does not matter which you go for.

The idea of this roulette basic strategy is to attempt to minimize your losses. So, place a bet of 1 unit on the first dozen (1-12) and 1 unit on the second dozen (13-24). So, if the ball lands on any number between 1 and 24, you win, and you make a profit of 1 unit, since the bet pays 2-1. If, however, the ball lands on a number between 25-36, or 0 (remember, never play on double zero to minimize your chances of beating the house), you lose. You can switch it around, betting on first dozen and third dozen, or second dozen and third dozen, as long as you keep your two bets on.

This is far from a guarantee of winning. In fact, over a long period of time, your bankroll will start to whittle away due to the edge the house has. But you can gain short-term profits using this basic roulette strategy, as long as you do not deviate from it. What you must remember is that any betting system or strategy which claims to guarantee you a win at the game of roulette is not telling you the truth. Betting systems as designed to make primarily to make your session more interesting, and give you short-term gains, but you cannot eliminate the house edge by using them – it is why casinos put the house edge in. As long as you remember that, you can take this basic strategy and tinker with it to create a betting strategy for roulette of your own. » For Dummies » Roulette Basic Strategy
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