Roulette is a classic casino game that looks very simple but has fascinated players for centuries. One of the most commonly asked questions is which color comes up most often and whether this information can be used to help you to win more.
Let’s take a look at the different factors involved that might come up when you are enjoying time playing roulette.
The Basic Gameplay
As you probably know, a roulette wheel has 36 numbered pockets, with 18 of them being red and another 18 black. In addition, European rules use a single zero pocket and American games have two zero pockets, whose presence means that the chances of winning on red or black aren’t exactly 50%.
The payout on either of the colors is the same, at 1 to 1, so there is a small house edge because the ball will sometimes land on zero rather than on red or black. A bet on either color has a house edge of 2.70% in European games and 5.26% in American versions. So we can see right away that the extra zero in American games makes a substantial difference.
In theory, you should see black and red numbers come up the same number of times. To get the exact figure for this we subtract the house edge from 100%, giving up 97.3% for European games and 94.74% for the American version. This is the return to player (RTP).
Since both colors have 18 pockets, we can then divide that number by two. So, you should win 48.65% of the time with either black or red in European roulette. If you play the American version, this lowers to 47.37%.
The Effect of Playing More Games
Let’s imagine that you play a single spin of roulette and put your stake on black. We’ve already seen that the chances of winning are close to 50%, but there is no way of knowing where the ball will land on any given spin. Therefore, the figures we’ve looked at aren’t really all that helpful.
But what if you play a total of ten spins with the same bet in place? You’re unlikely to see an even split of the colors, but it should now be a little clearer that they have a similar chance of winning. However, there is a chance that one color comes up something like seven or eight times out of ten.
Play a hundred games and you’ll be closer to the numbers we looked at earlier. Once we get to huge numbers like a million spins, the RTP mentioned above should be an accurate reflection of what happens. This is due to something called the law of large numbers, which tells us that the more you repeat an action like spinning a roulette wheel, the closer your results will be to the average.
This is how casinos work out the RTP on games. They simulate thousands or millions of spins to get an accurate picture of what will happen overall when all of their players take part in games. For this reason, they can be confident that the house edge they work out is accurate over the long term.
What Strategy Should You Use?
All of this leads us to the crucial question of how to use this information to place the bets with the best chance of success. As you might have guessed by now, there is no guaranteed way of winning at roulette, but we can use the numbers covered here to try a few theories.
For example, what if you decide to put your stake on a single spin and then walk away regardless of whether you win or lose? There is simply no way of knowing what will happen. Even if you watch a series of games to see where the ball lands, this can’t be used as a way of working out the result of the following game.
What if you take the opposite approach and play a large number of games? As we’ve seen, this should lead to the house edge increasingly coming into play, meaning that you’ll be looking at a small loss if you keep on playing for long enough.
Progressive systems are commonly used for red or black bets in roulette. This is because they offer the chance to fight back against the house edge by lowering or increasing your stake depending upon the results. These strategies, such as D’Alembert and Martingale, tell you exactly how many units to wager after each win or loss.
While progressive strategies all look similar at first, the truth is that they all have important differences. For instance, the Fibonacci sequence could work best on high-limit tables while D’Alembert keeps the risk level low.
Now that you understand the basics, you just need to look for a way of playing that suits you and that takes into account the issues we’ve looked at here.