A Guide to the Best Roulette Strategy

Playing online roulette at the top internet casinos is one of the most thrilling activities that Canadian gamblers can enjoy. On this page, we'll examine some of the various betting systems for roulette, look at different bets and their odds, show the differences between roulette variants you'll find online in 2024 and spell out the house edge you'll be up against. Then, once you find your new favourite strategy, perfect it by practicing roulette for free so you can win more when you play roulette for real money!

Free Roulette 'Cheat Sheet' Chart

Free Online Roulette Chart

Check out our 100% free roulette chart! This roulette cheat sheet explains bets, payouts and odds for both American and European roulette tables. Print it out or save it to your phone to help plan your strategy to win.

We also have a PDF version of the cheat sheet - Download PDF.

Using this chart you can practice your favourite roulette strategy. Start with free roulette and once you've mastered your system, you can play roulette for real money.

The "Best" Betting Systems for Roulette

When planning out your strategy for roulette, you may find it useful to have a look at some of the more popular systems for reference. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and can be adapted to your goals. With luck and skillful application, any of these systems may turn a profit.

Popular Betting Systems

Most of the popular systems listed here rely on either negative or positive bet progression patterns. The rest use stable bet amounts combined with math and physics to maximize potential odds each spin.

Negative progression systems require players to increase the bet on a loss and decrease it on a win.

Have a look at some of the most well-known negative progression systems.

Negative Progression Systems
Martingale Perhaps the most commonly known negative progression system, the Martingale strategy doubles bets after each loss until there is a win. This is to cover previous losses and gain a small profit on the next winning spin.
D'Alembert This system is as old as the game itself and instructs players to increase the bet by 1 unit on a loss or decrease it by 1 unit on a win.
Fibonacci Created by an Italian mathematician, this system uses a sequence of numbers, originally intended to predict the exponential growth of rabbits, to determine the next bet.
Labouchere Made popular by an 18th-century British politician, this system bases bet progression on a series of numbers that, when added together, equal your personal profit goal. The series grows with each loss and shrinks with each win.

Positive bet progression systems require the opposite. The bet must be decreased on a loss and increased on a win to build the profit potential of winning streaks.

Positive Progression Systems
1-3-2-6 This system moves forward along the number series, 1-3-2-6, on a win to determine the next bet. Each loss resets the bet back to the beginning of the series.
Contra D'Alembert This Reverse d'Alembert system instructs players to add 1 unit to the total bet on a win or take away 1 unit on a loss.
Reverse Labouchere This system uses a player created number series to select bets. The series grows with each win and shrinks with each loss.
Paroli Rumored to have been created by the inventor of roulette, this system doubles the base bet after each win 3 consecutive times. On a loss, it resets back to the initial bet.

These popular systems offer a creative perspective on combining bets and playing lucky numbers.

Other Popular Systems
Andrucci This system was invented in modern times and is based on the Chaos theory. It requires players to observe the table for a while and record numbers that are 'hot.' Then, place bets on 'lucky' numbers.
3/2 The 3/2 system combines a bet on Red/Black with a bet on Columns to cover 70% of the numbers each spin.

Strategy or System?

What is the difference between a strategy and a system? Nothing. These words are interchangeable for each other. There is really no 'system' to beat roulette every single time you play. The word 'system' is meant to be a synonym for 'strategy' which implies evaluation of the available bets, odds and short-term occurrence of winning/losing streaks to profit.

When choosing a strategy/system, keep in mind that roulette odds are based on hypothetical, long-term sessions where each number on the roulette wheel is eventually selected an equal number of times.

Experienced gamblers know that sessions played in real life certainly don't always play out as the odds predict they should. There are short-term variances in number selection with some numbers favored over others ensuring that no mathematical system designed to beat hypothetical odds is ever guaranteed to win.

"While strategies are designed to profit by making use of theoretical odds, real-life gameplay is unpredictable. Understanding betting systems and betting options can assist in your approach to shifts in the game."

Best of a Great Bunch

Each system has the potential to play out successfully under the right set of circumstances. Determining which one to use during real life gameplay requires understanding the advantages and disadvantages each offers.

Negative bet progression systems run the risk of hitting table limits or your personal limits quickly, but offer the advantage of profiting even when there are more losses than wins. All use even-money bets making the potential payouts very low. Some are riskier than others.

  • The Martingale comes with the highest risk, as the bet progression can reach C$1000 in just 7 spins with an initial bet of C$10. While it can recover all previous losses with a single win, it's also an expensive method that can only produce 1x/base bet profit. If you hit the table limit or break your bankroll before getting a win, then it will fail.
  • The d'Alembert has a much slower bet progression adding only 1 unit after each loss. However, the trade-off is that you need multiple wins to recover from losses.
  • The Fibonacci and Labouchere also have slower bet progressions. Both carry the risk of hitting the table limit and not getting enough wins to recover losses.

Positive progression systems may fail to profit at all without multiple consecutive wins each session. Most can't survive when a session begins with a losing streak. However, raising the bet after each win also raises the potential payout for winning streaks which is something negative systems can't do.

  • The 1-3-2-6 can profit from winning streaks of 2 or 4 producing 2x or 12x the base bet respectively. However, when it hits a pattern of 1 loss to 1 win, it steadily loses double the base bet
  • The Reverse Labouchere requires a discerning eye. It can succeed when the session begins with a winning streak and ends after the first loss.
  • The Paroli doesn't profit unless you get a winning streak of 3 during your session. However, it builds enough profit to cover up to 7 losses.
  • The Contra d'Alembert fares about the same as its negative progression counterpart when a session begins with 4 losses followed by 3 wins. However, the difference in the expense of the bet progression is significant.

The remaining systems offer a stable bet progression pattern. You must place the same wager each round in hopes that it wins. As with any roulette system, these can fail under longer losing streaks or bad luck.

  • The '3/2 System' covers 70% of the majority numbers on the wheel with 2 bets. While this sounds impressive, keep in mind that these bets can be expensive. Each round will cost you 5x whatever unit you choose. The use of outside bets means payouts will be low, and only 4 of the numbers can potentially award payouts for both bets.
  • The Andrucci system is based on the Chaos theory and is not proven to actually improve your odds of betting on a lucky number. The payout potential is high at 35/1.

Understanding Roulette Rules and Odds

Before taking a strategy for a spin, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of the game. This will help you to effectively apply your strategy as winning and losing patterns emerge.

It is also important to consider the different variants of roulette before choosing where to try out your strategy. Some offer better odds depending on the number of zeros on the wheel. To improve your chances to win as much as possible, learn which tables are best, which bets are best, and why house edge is a necessary evil.

Knowing the Most Favorable Variants

The first thing smart roulette players in Canada should look for are online casinos offering European Roulette games.

Why? Because European Roulette tables feature only one zero as opposed to two in American Roulette games. Despite the American version providing a lot more action with that double zero, they also double the house edge, thus making them far less favorable to gamblers. European Roulette has a house edge of around 2.7% as opposed to 5.25% for the American variant.

The French roulette variation has special rules for even-money bets that further reduces the house edge to 1.35%. When possible, play at European tables with 'En Prison' or 'La Partage' rules.

Additional Online Roulette Options

Multi-Ball Roulette gives you 3x the chance to win due to using three balls on a single wheel each spin. It also sees your bets spread across up to eight tables. Premier Diamond Roulette features the option to save favourite layouts offering online players in Canada even more convenience. Finally, Spingo - offered at some of the larger Canadian online casino websites - is a crazy mash-up of Lotto and Roulette.

Playing the Outside Bets

While inside bets have the most potential to yield the biggest scores, they also have the longest odds. Experienced Canadian roulette players, with an eye on the long game, generally stick to European tables and wager on the outside bets.

Outside bets include Columns or Dozens which pay 2/1 and give a 31% chance to win. Or, even-money bets such as Red/Black, Even/Odd, and Low 18/High 18 which pay 1/1 and give a 47% chance to win. Most of the popular roulette systems only use the latter.

Playing the Inside Bet

If you're going to play inside bets to chase a big pot, remember that you don't have to bet on just one number per spin. You can place bets on multiple numbers simultaneously, or even make split bets where one chip is placed between two numbers. While it'll not be as favorable as playing outside bets, hitting the insides can result in some juicy, irregular wins paying out up to 35/1.

What is the House Edge?

As already mentioned, the house edge varies between American, European and French variations of roulette due to the addition of the extra zeros and special rules for even-money bets. Even online casinos have costs to cover to remain open. Unfortunately, house edge is a necessary component in every game of chance.

So, how does the house edge work? Well, let's say you're playing American Roulette and you bet C$10 on 36 red. The true odds of your number coming up is 38/1. However, the casino will only pay you 35/1 on your money - in this example, C$360 (C$350 plus your C$10 back). The percentage difference the casino holds onto is the house edge.

Applying Roulette Systems to the Table

When using a strategy at the roulette table, keep in mind that it is best to keep your sessions short and quit while you're ahead for best results! Nothing is guaranteed to work, because each session tends to play out differently from the last. If you go into each session with a flexible mindset, you can adapt your strategy as the game shifts for optimum success.

We recommend playing at a roulette table that offers the most favorable house edge. European with French rules is the ideal choice.

The more you practice the strategies, the more confident you'll become about what works for you.These useful videos explain visually how the systems work and how to play them.

Remember, whether you win or lose, roulette is all about thrilling entertainment. Even if your strategy doesn't go to plan, so long as you're having fun, you are a successful player!