How to Beat the House Edge at Roulette


Roulette has offered glamour and mystery to casino-goers since the 17th century. Its rules are simple enough for a quick spin, but it provides a surprising level of depth for serious betters who apply the right strategy.

The roulette wheel consists of a solid wooden disk slightly convex in shape, with a metal plate around its rim. Thirty-six compartments, painted alternately red and black, are numbered nonconsecutively from 1 to 36. On European wheels, a 37th compartment painted green, carries the sign 0; on American wheels two additional green compartments, carry the signs 0 and 00. A croupier (or dealer) spins the wheel in one direction while pushing a small ball in another, rolling it around a tilted circular track that runs around the outside of the wheel. The ball lands in a slot corresponding to the number, section or color that players have placed bets on.

Whether they’re betting on red or black, high or low, odd or even or the columns and thirds, bettors will win if their number comes up. But bettors also lose if the ball lands in the zero or double zero. Because of this, the house always wins these bets.

In order to minimize losses and maximize winnings, players should try to make their bets as evenly as possible across the table. This will increase the likelihood of hitting a winning bet and decrease the chances of losing multiple times in a row. It will also help them avoid making costly mistakes.

While there is no such thing as a foolproof system for beating the game of roulette, some bettors have devised methods that can lower the house edge to less than 2.7 percent. This can be accomplished by predicting which numbers will hit and betting opposite those numbers. Then the player can take advantage of the vig (vigorish) offered on these bets. It is important to note that the house edge can vary widely depending on the type of roulette wheel in use and how well it is maintained. This is why some players prefer to play in land-based casinos where there is a greater variety of wheels and maintenance standards are higher. However, these methods can be extremely difficult to master. Moreover, most land-based casinos do not allow bettors to place bets prior to the dealer calling “No more bets!”. In addition, most gamblers are not willing to risk their money on a system that might be rigged by a cheating competitor or the house. Consequently, these methods are only suitable for experienced players with large bankrolls.