Roulette Strategy Guide for All Game Variations
With so many variations of roulette out there, it can be tricky to know how to adjust to each one. Here we want to clarify any misconceptions players have because of these differences and show how to figure out and play the best roulette strategies for every variation out there.
The Best Roulette Strategy Available For Every Style
For the longest time, we really only had two major roulette styles available online: single-zero and double-zero. Players knew to stick with single-zero games because the payouts were better despite having virtually identical gameplay, and that was about the extent of basic roulette strategy.
However, over the years, more variations of the game have popped up. This has complicated the search for the best overall strategies.
The problem with this whole situation is pretty straightforward. Every single time a new game comes out, it makes it more difficult to have easy, unifying strategies for players. Since that’s one of the things we really like to offer players who love these games, we wanted to help. This is how we’ve arrived here at this comprehensive guide to roulette no matter the style.
In the following, we’re going to break down these strategies in a few different ways. Primarily, we’re going to focus on giving you an overall breakdown of how to think about roulette first. Additionally, we’re going to look at a few different style variations and how you can adjust to them specifically. The idea here is to give you both generalized advice for the genre and specific advice for atypical game mechanics.
As a result, you’ll be prepared and know what to think about no matter which style of roulette you enjoy. Overall, we believe this is the best way to approach strategy with a game that has rapidly expanded its available rule sets like roulette has.
Quick and Easy Strategy for Roulette: Basic Principles
We want to get into the specific games as quickly as possible, so our advice here about generalized approaches will be fairly short. However, it’s all still very effective. Each point that we look at here will be something that can seriously help your roulette understanding. Additionally, they all apply in some form or fashion to the specific atypical titles and rule sets that we look at further down.
Calculating Roulette Payouts Mentally
One issue with roulette is that figuring out the payouts can be tricky since there are so many bets to remember. With standard games and rule sets, this can actually be done mentally with just a few basic steps.
- Start with the number of non-zero spots on the wheel.
- Divide that number by the number of spots that win for your selected wager.
- Subtract one from the value found in step 2. That’s your payout rate.
It may seem weird that such a complicated thing can be solved so quickly, but that’s the case here. Let’s look at a quick example.
Suppose you want to figure out the payout for a double street wager in a typical single-zero roulette game. You start with the number of non-zero spots, which is 36. You divide that by 6 since that’s the number of spots that win for a double street wager. The result is 6, and you subtract 1 from that to get a payout rate of 5x or 5:1. That’s all there is to it.
The Issue of Volatility
We cover the topic of volatility and bet sizing in a lot of depth in our Roulette Bankroll Management Guide. However, the basic idea is as follows:
In most standard roulette styles, most or all of the wagers have the same payout rate. However, the different types of wagers will have different levels of volatility, which necessitates a betting adjustment.
Consider a simple example of a straight up wager compared to a bet on red in American Roulette. They both have the same exact payout rate. However, the straight up wager has a much higher volatility than the even money bet on red. As a result, you should tend to use a significantly smaller bet size on the straight up wager.
Accounting for Atypical Game Mechanics
For the most part, every single non-standard variation of roulette will have a game mechanic that adjusts some payouts in one way or the other. From a strategic standpoint, your job is to figure out if these mechanics increase or decrease your chances of winning.
If you do this, it’ll allow you to figure out exactly what you’re getting from these changes. However, once you know what you’re getting, you can decide if it’s worth it for you as an individual.
For example, some games will add chances for bigger jackpot payouts. In exchange for that, the payout rate will sometimes be slightly lower. While this is obviously worse in the very, very long run, many players think it’s fine. Their justification is that they get more entertainment from the excitement of having chances to win such large prizes.
In this sense, certain details of roulette strategy are a matter of taste. That means you’ll have to make decisions about certain aspects of atypical mechanics on your own.
Non-standard Mechanics: Strategy for Special Roulette Games
While we are seeing an expansion of the number of roulette games available, they mostly include changes in only a few different areas. If you understand how these changes work individually, you can understand their strategic implications in a variety of games. As such, we think it’s much easier and more efficient to learn the mechanics. This is better than trying to learn the best bets for every one of the dozens of different table types.
En Prison and La Partage
It seems appropriate to start with what many consider to be the original deviations in standard roulette rules. Found in French Roulette primarily, the En Prison and La Partage rules are effectively the same in terms of the effects on your bottom line. However, they work a little differently from a functional standpoint.
Both of these are rule adjustments for even money wagers only:
- En Prison – If you lose via zero, then you can leave your bet on the game board for a chance to win it back if you win on the next spin.
- La Partage – If you lose via zero, then only half of your wager is lost, and the other half is returned to you.
Many players prefer the La Partage variation since it’s visually simpler and has a lower volatility. However, they both have the same effect on your strategies: They both drastically decrease the house advantage for the even money wagers.
Random Payout Modifiers
In variations that are particularly popular in live dealer scenarios, some games offer random bonus payouts on certain roulette wagers. These are almost always on the straight-up wagers as a whole. While each top live dealer provider will have their own slight variations on this, the overall ideas are the same:
- On straight up wagers, you’re given a slightly lower base payout than usual.
- To make up for this, you have a random chance to be given a much higher payout.
- The overall payout rate in the long run is usually slightly lower than usual.
While the payout rate is generally a little lower, there’s more to the story. As we gave in an example up above, many players are fine with this trade-off because of the excitement involved.
This means from a pure mathematical standpoint that these aren’t wagers you should normally take. However, if you’re willing to give up that small percentage of an edge to the house in exchange for the higher degree of action, then you’re also not unreasonable in making that decision for yourself.
Double Ball Variations
Double Ball Roulette strategy is a topic that we don’t see discussed very often. However, it probably has more to do with the game not being as popular in the modern live dealer format. In any case, strategy in Double Ball Roulette also runs into the problem that the game doesn’t have a single standardized rule set. As such, strategy has to be discussed in more generalized terms.
With that said, you can still adjust to the double ball style with a few key pieces of information:
- In virtually all double ball variations, you have to get both balls to win for payouts on outside wagers. This means their volatility shoots up quite a bit.
- Inside wagers usually pay a normal amount for one ball to hit and double the amount if both balls hit. Additionally, this actually decreases the volatility a bit while the base payouts are the same or similar to typical styles.
Since so many players are unfamiliar with the double ball style, and since it has so many different variations of payouts without any standardized rule set, it’s the perfect environment to pull players into trap bets with super high house edges.
A Rude Awakening: Trap Bets in Roulette
For example, we covered the version of Double Ball Roulette from Felt Gaming. What we found was that several of the wagers had house advantage levels of more than 10 percent. Even the outside wagers based on the even money bets from usual variations had a massive 10.2 percent house edge.
Several of the bets in that game had a house advantage of over 14 percent even. The point here is that non-standard rule variations can be a strategic nightmare if you’re unfamiliar with their implications. As a result, you should beware in the case of the double ball format in particular.
All of roulette strategy for every single game and variation out there comes down to basic principles. We looked at the most important of these basic principles here. However, we also looked at some issues from specific newer variations and what players need to look out for.
No matter which style you’re playing, there will always be a best available strategy. Armed with the information we’ve given you here, it should be easier to find what that strategy is, even if you’re facing a game you’ve never seen or experienced before in the roulette sub-genre.