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Winning At Roulette

While no one can offer you a surefire, win no matter what way of winning at roulette constantly, one of the keys to achieving this is in understanding the mathematics of roulette. Winning at roulette can be unraveled a bit by first reveal the secrets of the 'house edge'.

The true mathematics of roulette is that unfortunately, even when the casinos seem to lose, they are actually winning even then. Picture a simple $1 bet on the roulette table, on and individual number. The chance of hitting that number on an American roulette wheel is 1 in 38, or you could express it as 37 to 1 odds. But if you were to win that bet, you would only be paid 35 to 1. When really, you deserve to be paid at 37 to 1.

So theoretically, after 38 spins, you'd have won on a number only once, but note also that you would have lost two full dollars on this win. Where did the two dollars come from? Two dollars is 5.26% of $38. 5.26% is the house's edge on American roulette.

When we say the house edge of American roulette is 5.26% we mean that, over the long run, the casino will take in 5.26% of whatever is played through the table. You can work that number out intuitively as we did above, or you can work it out with the mathematical formula for expectancy.

Expectancy is a number that represents the percentage of your wager you expect to win or lose for a given bet. If the bet is a 'positive expectation' one, the expectancy will be a positive number, and you should expect to make money from the game. If the bet is a 'negative expectation' bet, as almost every casino bet is, you should expect to lose money from the game.

Expectancy = [odds of winning X money won] + [odds of losing X money lost]

For example, let's run through the single dollar bet example from above.

Expectancy = [1/38 X 35] + [37/38 X -1]
= [0.921] + [-0.9736]
= -0.526
or a 5.26% negative expectation

This is the same as saying that this roulette bet has a house edge of 5.26%. The strange thing about roulette is that every bet has a house edge of 5.26%, on an American wheel. To illustrate this, let's look at a more complicated bet. If we put $10 down on red, $10 down on the number 8, and $10 on the third column, what would the house edge be?

E = {[18/38 X $10] + [20/38 X -$10]} and {[1/38 X $350] + [37/38 X -$10]} and {[12/38 X $20] + [26/38 X -$10]}

E = [47.368 + (-52.631)] and [9.210 + (-9.7368)] and [6.3157 + (-6.8421)]
= -5.263 and -5.268 and -5.264

Notice how you can't escape the house edge of 5.26% - each and every bet works out to it. The combination of bets also has an edge of -5.26, which we can see logically. 5.26% of each bet, combined, would work out to be 5.26% of the total bet.

So what really is the trick to winning at roulette? We suggest that you try to hedge your bets. So for example, lets say you were betting on black, you could hedge that bet a little by betting on the third column. The third column has 8 reds and only 4 blacks, so a bet there covers almost half of the red numbers. Almost half of the red numbers covered, and all of the black numbers covered gives you pretty good coverage.

Yes, in the end though each bet still has a 5.26% house edge, but you're still in with better chances at winning at roulette if you play this way. Try it out for yourself with our free game and see how it goes for you.

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