If you’re just starting out with roulette (or any other gambling game, for that matter), you’ve probably found that your losses far outweigh your winnings. Don’t worry – that’s normal. It takes time and practice. Thankfully, there are ways to improve your roulette strategy. The first step is to get rid of the mistakes that are prevalent among new players – many of which probably apply to you as well.
Let’s not beat around the bush anymore, though. It’s time to dive into the top rookie mistakes in roulette.
1. Thinking Some Results are ‘Due’
Let’s start with the big one – arguably the most important thing to remember while playing roulette.
First of all, we should keep in mind that the results of every round are completely random. You have no way of directly influencing the outcome, so that much is a given.
More importantly, however, you need to keep in mind that the probability of winning is the same in every spin. Every number has a roughly 2.7% chance to win in every round. The results of previous (or future) rounds are completely irrelevant. Just because you’ve won a few games or lost a few spins does not in any way change future outcomes.
It may seem obvious, but we’ve found that players forget this fact all the time. They get hung onto “hot” or “cold” numbers or think that they’re due for a win because they’ve lost multiple bets in a row. There is simply no truth to any of that.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with going after “hot” or “cold” numbers. Technically speaking picking any number is fine – none of them ever have an advantage of any kind. That’s just it, though – you need to keep in mind that picking these hot/cold numbers does not benefit you in any way.
2. Not Understanding Betting Value, RTP, or Statistics in Roulette
There’s a lot more to gambling than just picking what to bet on. In fact, it takes a lot of math if you want to really get good at it. However, this guide is mostly intended for beginners, so we’ll keep things simple.
One of the most important concepts of all betting is expected value. Essentially, it boils down to the ratio of risk vs. reward. For a bet to be considered “worth it”, it’s not just about its probability of winning or the payout you would receive. It’s about the relationship between these two. This term is crucial because it describes RTP, house edge, and a lot of other things you need to know about betting. If you want to know more, we highly recommend that you check out our guide to expected value in online gambling.
Thankfully, RTP in roulette is quite straightforward – every bet is identical in that regard. Depending on the type of wheel you’re playing at, it’s usually set at 97.3% for European roulette or 94.74% for American.
Every bet in roulette has identical RTP, just like every number has the same chance of winning. That’s just how the game was designed. If you want to know more about RTP in roulette, make sure to read our strategy guide.
However, it was also designed so that the house always has an advantage. In practice, this means you’ll almost always lose money in the long run. That’s just the nature of gambling – the statistics are against you, and it’s not a reliable way of earning cash.
3. Playing at the Wrong Tables
Even though most bets in roulette are equal in terms of RTP, we can’t say the same for all tables. In short, you want to pick the right ones.
By now we hope everyone knows that American roulette should be avoided like the plague. It is strictly worse than the European variant – always, in all cases, and with no redeeming qualities. We’ve written about why European roulette is better in the past, and we feel like the topic is done to death.
In short, the house edge in American roulette is double that of its European counterpart. A difference of 2.7% may not seem like much, but trust us – it adds up over time. To illustrate, you’ll lose twice as much money playing American roulette in the long run. Don’t do it. Ever.
However, did you know that there’s an even better version of roulette out there? It’s called French roulette, and it can bring down the house edge to just 1.35% in specific cases. You can read more about French roulette and why it’s so good here. Better yet, if you want to try out a French wheel right now, you can check out Evolution’s French Roulette Gold.
4. Not Knowing How All the Bets Work
You probably read this one and thought – “But all bets work the same. You bet on a number, and win if the ball lands on it. Right?”
Yes and no. First of all, yes, it’s crucial to understand the basic wagers, what they cover, and how they work in general. If you still need some help with that we highly recommend this complete breakdown of every available bet in roulette.
However, these basic wagers are not all that’s available. Are you familiar with, say, Neighbors bets? Do you know how Voisins du Zero works, or how to make a Tiers du Cylindre bet? No? Well, you may want to find out because they can seriously expand your options while playing the game.
You can find several additional betting options by accessing the so-called “racetrack view.” It’s an alternative betting table that expands the game in new ways. Almost every self-respecting live casino roulette game allows you to do so.
Interested? Check out our guide to sector bets and learn how to take your roulette game up a notch.