Anyone who has gone into a casino in the real, physical world can empathise with the all too familiar sight. The player who stands at the table, either in quiet confidence or shouting from the rooftops that they’re going to win big, because they have a ‘system’ that’s guaranteed. Online, it’s no different and this is no more true than at the roulette table. Players will line up in droves to claim their free bonus or matched betting gift, and either read up on tried and tested strategies, or work on one they’ve had up their sleeves for a while, and go straight to playing some hardcore roulette online. The results are mixed at best. Before long, that £40 free bonus has dried up, and the player is digging in to their wallet to reclaim their lost funds, relying all the time on that all important ‘winning roulette strategy’. For those who play more seriously, there is a higher chance of success, but in all honesty, if strategies are a player’s ‘thing’, roulette is probably not the best game to be playing.

The best strategy, if it can be considered a thing, is to scrap all ideas of ‘playing the house at their own game’ and just get to grips with the way the game works as well as the odds of winning. It’s a little known fact that, of all the casino games available, the roulette system is well and truly stacked against the player. Look at it this way. There are 36 numbers plus a ‘0’ and ’00’ on some boards. That’s a 37 to 1 chance that a player will get that exact number, and when they do, the average payout is 35 to 1. There are literally no strategies that can help improve the chances of winning big, as it’s a simple case of letting the ball land where it wants to each time. There are actually other ways to greatly improve the odds of winning a smaller payout. Forget ’17 black’ or ’23 red’ or whatever favourite anyone has previously had. These are nothing more than a fun way to play. Looking at the outside tablet bets, simply placing a bet on red or black is right up there with the smaller odds, literally a 2:1 chance that a player will win their bet back. Instead of a 35 to 1 payout, this method simply ensures that the winner receives back double their stake, with the chances of a win being just over 17 times higher than betting on a specific number. For any small time player, or even seasoned gamer, this is the most basic of roulette tips but is a common sense policy.

Knowing the way that the roulette rules work is also an advantage in that a player will actually know firstly what they are betting on, but secondly what their chances are of walking away with more money than they arrived with. Forgetting the golden rule of no bets being allowed once the table starts spinning, there are a number of ‘side bets’ that are allowed depending on the rules of the casino.

For instance, a ‘corner bet’ with a chip placed over four numbers has an odds of 8:1 if a number turns up. Much like the ‘red and black’ variant, the ‘low and high’ bet simply asks the player to bet on whether the number will be in the bottom or top half of the numbers with a 2:1 payout. Developing on that, a player can bet on a low, middle or high dozen, which is self explanatory, but pays slightly higher than a 2:1 odds.

Like any casino game, the more complex it is, the more strategies and ways people claim to have found to beat the house. But roulette is painfully simple to play and is down purely to chance. There’s no way to influence the outcome and this is why many roulette tables will be crowded with older players, low stakes gamblers and newbies, all keen to get into a real casino game with their limited experience and low tolerance for risk and drama. The key trick to remember with roulette is not to try and have any strategy at all. Know the odds of each type of bet and the player will know exactly how likely they are to win, and where to look at placing bets.