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Roulette Betting Systems

Roulette Betting Systems: Do They Really Work?

Roulette is a game of chance. There is no way to predict where the roulette ball will land. Nevertheless, there are those who claim that, by adjusting your roulette bet amounts, you can control your overall results and ensure that you win more money than you lose. None of these systems has been scientifically proven, but they are worth learning about and they could enhance your online roulette playing experience.

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The Martingale Roulette Betting System

The Martingale roulette betting system is used for even-money bets such as red or black, odd or even, or high or low. It doesn't matter which bet you pick, as long as you pick one even-money roulette bet and stick with it.

Under the Martingale system, you start with a certain bet amount. Every time you lose, you double your bet; every time you win, you go back to your original bet.

The theory behind the Martingale is that you cannot lose every spin of the roulette wheel. Sooner or later, you are bound to win. And when you do win, you will recoup all of your losses and make a small profit. Then you start a new series, which is also bound to end in a profit. And so on, with every Martingale series yielding a profit.

Let us now look at how the Martingale system works in practice for real roulette gamblers. Suppose you are betting $10 on roulette. If you win your first spin, you win $10. If you lose your first spin but win your second spin, you will lose $10, double your bet, and then win $20, for a net profit of $10. Now suppose you are really unlucky and lose four spins in a row before finally winning on your fifth spin. You will lose $150 (10+20+40+80) and then win $160, again gaining a net profit of $10, and then start a new Martingale series with a $10 bet.  
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So the Martingale system appears foolproof: no matter how many times you lose, you are sure to eventually win at roulette sometime, and that win will recoup all your losses plus gain a profit. At that point, you start a new Martingale series, leading to another inevitable profit.

The Flaw in the Martingale

The flaw in the Martingale system is that, in the real world of casino gambling, you cannot double your bet indefinitely. Whether you play roulette online or on land, the fact is that every roulette table has a betting limit, and every roulette player has a personal bankroll limit. Doubling your bet after every loss means that, sooner or later, you will hit a really bad losing streak and dig yourself into a hole that you cannot get out of.

Suppose you lose six roulette spins in a row. It might sound unlikely, but it happens. If you play roulette regularly, there is a good chance that it will happen to you sometime. So now you have lost $630 (10+20+40+80+160+320). Now, according to Martingale, you should double your bet to $640. But your roulette game might have a betting limit of $500. Or a $640 bet might just be too rich for your personal bankroll. So now there is really nothing to do but quit while you are $630 behind. Many real-money gamblers who believed in the infallibility of Martingale have been burned in this way.

The Dopey Experiment in Roulette Gambling

The Dopey Experiment was described by Andres Martinez, a lawyer and Wall Street Journal Reporter, in his wonderful book "24/7: Living It Up and Doubling Down in the New Las Vegas." Unlike most roulette betting systems, the Dopey Experiment does not promise to make you rich or even to come out ahead. It is simply a way to have fun gambling real money at the roulette table.

With the Dopey Experiment, you take your roulette bankroll and divide it into 35 equal units. You then pick one roulette number (Mr. Martinez picked his wife's birthday — 22), and bet one unit on that number for 35 consecutive spins of the roulette wheel. If you win during that time (and there is a better-than-60 percent chance that you will), you continue playing, still betting one unit on your particular number, but with the satisfaction of knowing that you are gambling with the casino's money and not your own.

If you lose all 35 spins — well, that's life. The main idea is that you have had a good long run at the roulette table and hopefully had some fun while you were doing it.

The Dopey Experiment doesn't really sound that dopey at all. It sounds like a fun way to enjoy playing roulette within responsible limits. And it sounds like it could be as much fun running a Dopey Experiment in an online roulette casino as it was for Andres Martinez in the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas. It definitely could be worth a try.

Find a Roulette Betting System that Feels Right

In the end, every roulette player must find a betting system that he feels comfortable with. The Martingale sounds good in theory but could lead to disaster. The Dopey Experiment is fun, but the self-imposed limit of 35 spins could cut the fun short before you're ready to quit. Your own personal betting system could be as simple as keeping your bets at a constant level on every spin, or as unscientific as increasing your bet when you feel a lucky vibe in the air.

The important thing is to find a betting system that feels right to you. And always remember to bet within your means. Betting the rent money is definitely a roulette betting system to avoid. So find your system, bet responsibly, and have fun at the roulette tables.

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