Roulette: System failure

I don’t believe you can beat roulette with a betting system. Let’s get that out right now. It’s been proven time and again (with countless tests of up to 10,000 spins) that everything works out to be equal whether you’re using a system or making random bets on the wheel each time. There are plenty, however, who would disagree.

And there are more yet who will agree you can’t beat the game, but you can beat the wheel. Don’t ask. This makes absolutely no sense to me because the wheel itself is the game. That’s all there is. It’s like saying you can’t beat the slot machine but you can beat the lever.

I’m never surprised, though, to see dozens of “helpful” posters on message boards throw out pieces of advice that include a demand, a requirement, to implementing a good betting system if you’re going to make a profit at the game. It’s just so untrue.

You want a good roulette system? Bring lots of money, be prepared to be patient and wait out your numbers. When they hit, be prepared to walk away. If you call backing yourself and self-control a betting system, then I stand corrected. I just call them common sense.

It’s only natural that players will look for a crack in the seams of a game played exclusively against the house – or a 100% game of chance. Look, you can’t beat poker (although you CAN beat the players). You can, however, gain advantages in blackjack – another game played entirely against the dealer. But there’s a human element and reduction of randomization to take into account there. The only human element to roulette is the belief that you can pick up patterns in the roller. I haven’t really done enough research to comment on that in detail yet.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of money to be made in roulette, and while it’s not my game (my order is poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, vodka, slots), I fully understand the draw and the risk/return sexiness. I’ve seen guys down on their luck throw $500 on black, hit it and be on top of the world the rest of the day. I’ve also seen a guy lose $1,200 in seven minutes. In both cases, I was watching from the sidelines, something I’m fond of doing after a two-hour or more poker session.

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