How to Win at Roulette (for Real)
You can find plenty of blog posts about how it’s impossible to win at roulette.
This post is different.
I explain below a theoretically sound way of getting an edge at roulette by taking advantage of dealer signatures.
This strategy might be impractical, but it is possible. It’s also interesting to write (and hopefully read) about.
Understanding the House Edge
If you want to get an edge over the casino at roulette, you first need to understand how and why the casino has an edge over you.
The math works about the same for every bet at a roulette table. I’ll discuss the math behind the single bet to illustrate the edge, though.
An American roulette wheel has 38 numbers on it: 0, 00, and 1-36 inclusive.
You can bet that the ball will land on any of those individual numbers. If you win this bet, you get paid off at 35 to 1.
The odds of winning, though, are 37 to 1.
You have 37 ways to lose and only 1 way to win.
You can calculate the average amount lost per bet by looking at a theoretically perfect set of results with $100 bets.
In other words, you bet $100 38 times, and you get 1 of each result on the wheel each time. (This never happens in actual practice, but this is how you do the math.)
This means you’ll lose $100 37 times, for a total loss of $3700.
You’ll also win $3500 once, for a total win of $3500.
$3700 – $3500 = $200
$200 averaged out over 38 bets is $5.26 per bet.
Thus, we say that the house edge for the game is 5.26%.
You’re mathematically expected to lose 5.26% of every bet you place.
Over a long enough period of time, you’ll eventually see results that resemble this number.
But we’re talking about thousands of spins before we’re relatively sure that we’ll see results similar to what we theoretically expect.
Changing the Odds at Roulette
Now suppose you could increase your odds of winning by just a little bit. In other words, you obviously can’t guess the right number every time. You’d have to be a psychic to do that.
But what if you could guess right slightly more often?
Could you get an edge over the house?
The math says you can guess right once out of every 38 spins.
But if you could guess right once out of every 37 spins, every 36 spins, or every 35 spins, the numbers would change.
Doing the same math as earlier: