The Paroli System

The Paroli Roulette System Strategy

This is a positive progression system that uses even-money bets which give the best odds. Many consider it to be the 'Anti-Martingale,' because it requires you to double the bet on a win instead of a loss. However, unlike the Martingale, the Paroli has a built-in failsafe to limit losses.

This popular system is easy to learn and can be applied to any game of chance that allows even-money bets including: Sic Bo, Baccarat, Roulette and Craps.

Origins of the Paroli System

There's a lot of controversy surrounding the origins of this particular system. The most popular belief is that the French inventor of roulette, Blaise Pascal, also created the Paroli. The word itself is French in origin. It is possible that this system is as old as roulette itself.

How to Use This System

The Paroli is a modified, positive progression system. In other words, it requires you to increase your bet after a win and decrease it after a loss. The modification requires you to reset the bet after a fixed number of wins. It is incredibly easy to use. Just follow these steps:

  • Choose a base bet, and place units in that amount on an even-chance bet.
  • On a win, double the base bet.
  • On a loss, or after 3 consecutive wins, return to the base bet.

"Seasoned gamblers recommend choosing a base bet of less than 5% of your total loss limit when using the Paroli system."

Best Bets for the Paroli

The Paroli relies on even-chance bets such as black/red, high/low and even/odd. Each boasts an almost 50% chance to win with a payout of 1/1. While these give the best odds of any roulette bet option, the trade-off is that the payout is the lowest.

The Paroli in Action

You want to try your luck with the Paroli at the table, so you choose an initial bet of C$5 which is 5% of your C$100 loss limit. You place a C$5 unit on red and watch the wheel spin.

  • The wheel turns, and the ball eventually lands on 26 black. This results in a C$5 loss. So, you place another C$5 chip on red and hope for the best.
  • This time, the ball lands on 5 red for a payout of C$5 allowing you to break even. Since this round resulted in a win, you place 2 chips on red for a total bet of C$10 going into the next spin.
  • The ball selects 19 red for another win. This gives you a C$10 net profit. So, you double your bet once more placing C$20 on red.
  • Your luck holds as the ball selects 25 red. The C$20 payout boosts your net profit to C$30. As this is the third consecutive win, you start over with a C$5 bet on red.
  • The wheel spins and 24 black is selected for a loss of C$5, lowering your net profit to C$25. You decide that a profit of 5x the starting bet is enough for now, so you end the session before any further losses steal your winnings.

This scenario depicts an ideal set of circumstances with a winning streak of 3 that supports 2 losses. It shows how resetting your bet back to the initial bet can protect your winnings. The main risk of doubling each bet after a win is that the next loss could eliminate all prior winnings.

This system's overall success is dependent on winning streaks of 3. If the loss had occurred after the second win, the net would have been -C$10 instead of C$30.

This System's Logic

The Paroli tries to maximize the profit potential of small winning streaks by doubling the base bet 3 consecutive times. When it's successful, it can build up to 7x the base bet worth of profit.

Eliminating numbers after each loss prevents you from losing more than the sum total of your initial series of numbers. Instead of basing the series on intended profit, you can use your loss limit to determine those numbers.

Reducing the bet back to its base after 3 wins may reduce the win potential of longer winning streaks, however, it protects your total profit in the event the fourth spin is a loss. A 3 round winning streak followed by 1 loss leaves you with 6x the initial bet.

Pros Cons
Easy to use and doesn't require having to write anything down. Only works under ideal circumstances.
Minimal risk of hitting table limits or losing large sums of money. Can't survive long losing streaks.
Maximizes the profit potential for winning streaks of 3. Success or failure is dependent on consistently getting winning streaks of 3.

The Parlay Variation

This variation follows the Paroli steps almost exactly. The only exception is that it has players choose a profit goal and continue to double the bet each consecutive win. The only time you are required to return to the base bet is on a loss. Let's see how this plays out with a profit goal of C$175.

Round Bet Win/ Lose Net Profit
1 C$5 Win C$5
2 C$10 Win C$15
3 C$20 Win C$35
4 C$40 Win C$75
5 C$80 Win C$155
6 C$160 Lose -C$5

The higher the profit goal, the more likely the profit potential will be wasted. This is a riskier version, but the reward is potentially greater too. If the profit goal had been C$150, then this scenario would have awarded 31x the starting bet.

Does This System Really Work?

Yes, but only during a session that produces recurring winning streaks of 3. Let's have a look at how this plays out with a few different scenarios.

The first is an extended session that begins with a losing streak of 4 followed by a winning streak of 3.

Round Bet Win/ Lose Net Profit
1 C$5 Lose -C$5
2 C$5 Lose -C$10
3 C$5 Lose -C$15
4 C$5 Lose -C$20
5 C$5 Win -C$15
6 C$10 Win -C$5
7 C$20 Win C$15

Even after more losses than wins, the Paroli awards 3x the base bet. In fact, a winning streak of 3 can support a losing streak of up to 7 rounds.

The next session produces 5 wins and 4 losses, however, it doesn't turn a profit.

Round Bet Win/ Lose Net Profit
1 C$5 Win C$5
2 C$10 Lose -C$5
3 C$5 Win C$0
4 C$10 Lose -C$10
5 C$5 Win -C$5
6 C$10 Lose -C$15
7 C$5 Win -C$10
8 C$10 Lose C$0
9 C$20 Lose -C$20

Notice how the system isn't able to gain any traction without 3 consecutive wins? It steadily loses even when there are more wins than losses.

The last example is a mixture of the previous two sessions. Let's see how a winning streak of 3 supports an irregular pattern of wins and losses.

Round Bet Win/ Lose Net Profit
1 C$5 Win C$5
2 C$10 Win C$15
3 C$20 Lose -C$5
4 C$5 Lose -C$10
5 C$5 Win -C$5
6 C$10 Win C$5
7 C$20 Lose -C$15
8 C$5 Win -C$10
9 C$10 Win C$0
10 C$20 Win C$20

This session ended with a profit of 4x the base bet despite multiple sequences of 2 wins followed by a loss. It is only able to recover due to a winning streak of 3 at the end despite a ratio of 7 wins to 3 losses.

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Responsible Gambling

  • When using any positive progression system, choose a starting bet of less than 5% of your personal loss limit.
  • Systems that rely on even-chance bets can only award relatively small payouts. Don't expect to win huge sums by using the Paroli at the roulette table.
  • Your experience playing with any roulette system can vary greatly from session to session. This is due to short-term variances of winning or losing streaks which are unpredictable.
  • Quit while you're ahead!

Is This the Method for You?

The Paroli would make a good fit if you prefer using an uncomplicated system that allows you to maximize the profit potential of short winning streaks. Keep in mind that, roulette systems don't do well long term. For best results, keep your sessions short, and walk away when you gain a profit.