Roulette Money Management

You’ve been playing for an hour. To say that things have not gone according to plan is an understatement. You are well down and annoyingly the system that your friend recommended seems to have failed. One big high stakes bet and I will win it all back you think for the 5th round in a row. You’ve already eaten through the weekly shopping budget and now its getting desperate. You raise your bet and put all your chips on the table…

The Golden Rule

This scene depicts the frightening trap that casino game players can get themselves into if they are not vigilant with their money management. The principle mistake that the player is making here, is that they are choosing to raise their bets due to the fact that they have lost money and want to win it back. In doing so, they are breaking the golden principle of roulette money management: Play higher amounts when you are winning and lower amounts when you are losing.

Although this rule may cut against your competitive instincts it is vital for healthy casino game play. This golden rule will help you to avoid falling into an irrational, self-destructive mind set that can kill your enjoyment of the game … We will come back to the golden rule shortly, but lets start from the beginning: How to prepare for a session at the casino.

Start with a Money Management System

Before you enter into any casino game you should have a long-term money management system in place, also make sure you check out reviews of the casinos at portals like this one here. This system integrates your casino expenses into your every day expenses and helps to protect you against significant losses. Calculate how much you need to spend each week on essentials – food, travel, rent, savings etc. and mark this as untouchable. Whatever the circumstance, you should never take money from this essentials budget for your casino budget. Set this rule for yourself, stay committed to it and you eliminate the possibility that you will make irrational choices in casino from the outset.

From the money that is left over, decide how much you would like to use at the casino this week, or month, and break this down into parts. If you play regularly, designate an amount for each day that you will play. On a single trip to the casino you shouldn’t take any more than ¼ of your overall casino budget with you. In other words, leave most of it behind.

At the table

Rules are important because they exist independently of your play and never change in spite of your form. You will need to have rules during play as well as in the lead up to the game as you are most vulnerable to emotions during play. The key rule at the table is that you should never bet more than 1/10th of your budget in a single round of roulette. So, to prepare for this, divide your daily casino budget by 10 before you start playing. This number is the maximum amount you can bet in one play.

Of course, successful roulette play is about varying the amounts that you bet on particular numbers across rounds. This means it is important to have some flexibility in your budget. So, therefore you should set the 1/10 as your maximum bet and vary your bets below this amount. Don’t waver from your 1/10th commitment at any point or you may become tempted to take other, more significant liberties with your funds. By breaking your budget down into smaller chunks, you teach yourself to play conservatively by default. Conservative players are always more likely to win than those who take big risks.

When you’re in black

If you’re in profit for the day, you can do one of three things: cash in your chips and add them to your budget for another day at the casino, cash them in and add them to your savings or play them to exploit your good form on the day. Obviously the first two of these are the safest options because you never know when your luck might turn, but they can all be done without too much danger. The most important element is that you treat the profit independently of your other budgets and make your decision with conviction.

The third option brings us back to the first part of the golden rule – Play larger amounts when you are winning. Use your profit to increase your bets but never dig into your budgets that have not been allocated for the day. Despite the fact that you are increasing your bets, you should still never go over your 1/10th rule. After you have made some profit at the tables you need to recalculate the 1/10th at the casino. This higher amount then becomes the maximum bet. This is how you raise your game when you are on top in a structured way.


If you are using a roulette system, prepare for your days play by splitting your budget into the number of parts required. For instance, if you were to use Labouchere, where you risk a finite amount in each round, you’ will want to give yourself two or three rounds of play to execute all the set elements of the play. If you win at any point in the 3 rounds, wait until after you have executed the three parts of the system before playing the winnings in the next set of 3. This way you will not interfere with the system. Being strategic about when and where you will play your winnings is the key to successful money management and healthy gambling.

The casino’s edge

Casinos make money because they have a statistical edge over the players. Despite little wins and losses here and there, the casino will always make a profit in the long run over the total number of games. However, casinos wouldn’t make nearly as much money if players did one simple thing – maximised their wins.

Most players get drawn into the mentality that they need to win back their losses by increasing their bets when they are down, but this is a huge mistake. The casino’s edge is not going to suddenly disappear if you start throwing larger amounts of money at the table. In fact your chances of making a profit fall dramatically when you do this. Instead, you should stay disciplined and tactical. Box cleverly and know that you could fight your way out of the corner with vigilance and patience.  In casino gaming pure, cold logic and patience are always going to win over emotion.

Record keeping

The best roulette players keep some form of diary. In this ‘casino diary’, they record all the details about how much they bet, on which numbers and at which point in the session. Reflecting upon which process worked and which didn’t can help you to shape your preferred game play style. Writing a reflection about your play will also encourage you to stay faithful to your money management rules. The diary will stand as a record of the times when you might have unintentionally broken your rules and as a platform for you to set strategies and targets.

Remember: Exploit the winners, dump the losers, stay faithful to your money management and protect your bankroll.

Live Dealer: Live Dealer VS Virtual Casino?

This will be your last play of the evening you think as you place your chips on numbers 5 and 10. You glance across the table to the roulette dealer and to the small metal ball, which she holds between the nimble fingers of her right hand. Two wins in 6 rounds means that you are up this evening. Pleasingly, your cautious strategy seems to have worked, you think as the dealer motions that she is about to cast the ball onto the track. Inhaling deeply, you try to steady your quickening heartbeat and focus in on the roulette wheel…

 This is the high stakes bet you had been hoping to play. You’ve ground your way up to it. There’s no turning back…

The roulette wheel whirs into action as the dealer spins it with her left hand. Then, with a skillful flick of her left she casts the silver ball into the track and the game is in play. Your heart begins to thud as events unfolds…

There is nothing quite like the drama and excitement of casino gaming. The combination of thrilling game play, high stakes, game strategy, expert dealing, and beautiful craftsmanship of the wooden roulette wheels and game tables make for a unique experience, which is very difficult to replicate in any other setting. Virtual online casino games with their random number generators can provide the game element, but they struggle to capture the full casino experience. Perhaps then Live Dealer games streamed to your computer are the answer? Lets have a look at some of the issues with both online formats:

The social exchanges between the player, their opponents and the dealer are a vital part of the game experience, as are the cards, table and other physical components of the game. These features are absent when you play with random number generators. The game can feel a little soulless when you know that ultimately you are playing with an algorithm hidden behind a computer graphic display.

Unfortunately, without any distractions there is a tendency for gamers to fill the void by focusing more heavily on the money making. This can lead to them feeling empty and frustrated after a losing game. In a casino, the money makes the game thrilling, but there are other aspects of the environment that contribute towards your experience which are independent of the money.

Perhaps the biggest problem with random number generators of all is that players can never be certain that they are fair. When you have lost 10 games in a row that little voice of doubt begins to ask the question: ‘Is this game rigged?’

All casino games are designed to have a house edge, which makes the casino profitable over the long term. The problem with RNG software though is that you just can’t judge how unbalanced the edge is. The software companies state that they use classic casino odds in their random number generators but how can the player prove that this is true? In live casinos on the other hand, you can be sure that the results are not predetermined. Those 52 cards that you can see in the dealer’s hand contain 52 different variables, period.

Live dealer games, the latest generation of online casino games can counteract many of the problems that we have described above, simply because you play at a real game table with a real, professional dealer.

In recent years live dealer games have become very popular, for example most of the casinos listed on portals such as offer a live dealer version or roulette, blackjack and baccarat.

There is no place for random number generators in these types of games as they are directed by skillful dealers, who work the game from their plush dark wood card dealer tables or glittering golden-topped roulette wheels. Although this doesn’t quite replicate the full casino experience it does manage to capture more of the magic than RNG’s.

An advantage that RNG websites currently have over Live dealer websites is that play is never interrupted by freeze frames. Live dealer games require faster Internet to maintain consistent video coverage. However, Internet technology is improving rapidly and the servers that broadcast the Live feed to your home are continually better equipped to provide seamless video coverage. We can only expect this problem to diminish further in the future.

In sum, RNG and Live Dealer games provide different services. RNG games are currently slightly more accessible than Live Dealer games but for an exciting online casino experience they don’t measure up to Live Dealer’s.

Roulette Glossary and Slang Terms

We have combined a roulette glossary of common and uncommon terms and slang used when playing roulette! enjoy! So whether you are a beginner or roulette veteran you can always refer to this list if you are unsure about something, enjoy!

A Cheval – See Split Bet

American Wheel/Table – A roulette wheel that has two zeros – the ‘0’ and the ’00’, or Double Zero. European and French tables only have one zero, meaning that American wheels come with a higher house edge. Neither do you get additional rules like La Partage and En Prison. These mean that American Wheels carry the largest house edge – 5.26%, rather than 2.7% on European Wheels, and 1.4% on French Wheels. Players should steer clear of American Wheels, given the chance

Backtrack – Also called the Ball Track. This is the outer part of the wheel, and is the area where the ball is spun

Ball Track – See Backtrack

Blacks (Noirs) – Chips with a denomination of $100

California Roulette – A variation that uses cards rather than slots to pick numbers. The rule change allows this version to get round strict anti-gambling laws

Call Bets – See French Bets

Column Bet (Colonne in French) – Also called a Twelve Number Bet. As you stand in front of a roulette table, you’ll see there are three horizontal columns of numbers running along the table. To the left will be the Zero (or Zeroes), while to the right you’ll see three ‘2 to 1’ or blank squares. The three ‘2 to 1’ squares are used for ‘Column Bets’. Place a chip by the appropriate column, and you’ll get a 2 to 1 payout if the ball lands on any of the numbers in the horizontal column. A Column Bet will win 32.4% of the time on a European table, and 31.6% of the time on an American table. Note that a Column Bet uses the three horizontal columns that run along the top of the table. This is different to a Dozen Bet, where although the odds of winning and payouts are identical, the actual numbers wagered on will be different

Corner Bet – Also called a Square Bet or Quarter Bet. Any wager on four numbers at a time

Crossroader – A cheat. This dates from the days of the Wild West, when ‘Crossroaders’ would travel from saloon to saloon, cheating the regulars out of their money before moving swiftly on

Dealer Bias – See Dealer Signature

Dealer Signature (DS) – This works on the theory that some dealers will repeatedly spin the roulette wheel in the same way. This may come from huge experience, or it may be the result of fatigue or boredom on the part of the dealer. By noting where the ball starts, and where it finally lands, the predictable spin should allow you to work out with greater accuracy where the ball will end up. Very few dealers will exhibit the consistency necessary if this method is to make a real difference, but there will be exceptions, should players look hard enough. The key is finding dealers who are spinning the same number of revolutions again and again. Also see Visual Ballistics

Dozen Bet (Douzaine in French) – Wagering on 12 numbers at once. You can bet on the 1st 12 (1-12), the 2nd 12 (13-24), or the 3rd 12 (25-36). A Dozen Bet will win 32.4% of the time on a European table, and 31.6% of the time on an American table. They pay out at 2 to 1 in all cases. Note that Dozen Bets are different to Column Bets, where although the odds of winning and payouts are identical, the actual numbers wagered on will be different

Eagle Slot – A wide slot that sat alongside the two Zero squares on early American Wheels, and which served the same purpose. It gave the house a fairly extreme edge – particularly given that these early tables only went up to 28 numbers, rather than the 36 of modern versions. Eagle Slot tables are now valuable collectors’ items

En Plein – See Straight Up

En Prison – When even-money bets are played, if the ball lands on a zero, your losing stake has a marker placed over it – effectively putting it ‘in prison’. The same amount is then wagered again next time, giving you a second chance to win. If you win the next bet, you effectively get your original stake back – you aren’t offered any further winnings on this stake. If you lose again, you have only lost the stake that, technically, you had lost on the previous spin. Like La Partage, this reduces the house edge, although many players prefer La Partage

European Wheel/Table – A roulette wheel that has only a single zero. You may get extra rules like En Prison and La Partage, although these will sometimes be found on French Wheels only. The latter also often come with a Racetrack, and specialist bets, like Voisins du Zero, Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins. European Wheels, then, will often be much simpler than French Wheels. However, the exact rules will vary, and many casinos (online in particular) mix up elements of the two on their European tables. Assuming a single zero but no En Prison/La Partage rules, the house edge on a European Wheel will be 2.7%. (La Partage/En Prison would reduce this to 1.4%)

Even-Money Bet – Any bet where the amount you stand to win or lose will be identical to the stake you’re putting down. These include Odd/Even, Red/Black, and 1-18/19-36 bets. Theoretically, you have a 50% chance of winning or losing at these bets. In reality, the presence of one or two zero squares means these aren’t quite 50/50 propositions. They do pay even money though

Forcing a Bias – A method of cheating that involves manipulating the roulette wheel in order to create predictable results that can then be exploited for profit. See Lead Bottom

Francois Blanc – An early pioneer of roulette. Along with his brother, he helped run the Monte Carlo casino, turning it into the gambling centre of the world. He reputedly sold his soul to the devil in return for being granted success in the casino industry..

French Bets – Sometimes called ‘Call Bets’. The term refers to those bets that tend to be specific to French Wheels. They generally involve covering lots of numbers with a single bet. Voisins du Zero, Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins are the most common French Bets

French Wheel/Table – A roulette wheel that has only a single zero, and extra bets like Voisins du Zero, Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins. A Racetrack will usually be offered to make this bets easier to play. You’ll also find French Wheels supporting the La Partage/En Prison rules. These different features give French tables the lowest house edge of all – just 1.4%. At many casinos, the difference between French wheels and European wheels isn’t as marked as it might be. See also American Wheel and European Wheel

Fret – These are the tiny walls that separate the Pockets. Also see Pocket Defect

Greens – Chips with a denomination of $25

High Bet – Also called a Passe Bet. An even-money bet placed on the numbers 19-36

Impair – French for ‘Odd’. If you’re betting on Odd numbers at a French table, you’ll be placing your chips on Impair

Inside Bet – The basic layout of the roulette table features a main grid of numbers (going from 1-36), with various other bets (Even, Odd, Red, Black etc.) scattered around. An Inside Bet is any wager that involves placing a bet on the main grid of numbers. Betting on ‘1’, for example, would be an Inside Bet, as would a bet placed on the intersection of the lines between 1, 2, 4 and 5. Corners and Streets are also Inside Bets. See also Outside Bet

La Partage – This means ‘The Divide’. When even-money bets are played, if the ball lands on a zero, half of your stake is automatically returned to you. This cuts the house edge to just 1.4%. See also En Prison

Lead Bottom – The ball will bounce around from pocket to pocket before finally coming to a rest. This bouncing is down to the springy wood used to line the pockets. However, devices can be used to stop or influence the bouncing. The most popular will be Lead Bottoms, which are placed inside a wooden pocket. Effective lead bottoms won’t be noticed by the croupier unless he or she inspects them. They will, though, take the bounce out of the ball, creating predictable results that can then be exploited by unscrupulous players

Line Bet – Also called Six Number Bet or (in France) a Sixain. This effectively amounts to backing two neighbouring Street Bets. Imagine you had a Street Bet on the 1-3 column, but wanted to take in 4-6 as well. You would still place your chip on the intersecting line at the bottom of the ‘1’ square. But rather than placing your chip in the middle of the line, you’d move it to where the ‘1’ and the ‘4’ join up. This would allow you to back all six of the numbers covered by the 1-3 and 4-6 columns. The payout is 5 to 1

Low Bet – Also called a Manque Bet. An even-money bet placed on the numbers 1-18

Manque Bet – See Low Bet

Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, The – A popular music-hall song, this is actually based on the legend of Joseph Jagger (a distant relative of the Rolling Stone, Mick) in the 19th century. Jagger believed roulette wheels would have natural biases which would make certain numbers more likely to come up than others. He hired six clerks and got them to stand in the middle of the casino, writing down which numbers came up. Jagger then looked through all of these notes, and identified tables that seemed to exhibit distinct biases. Using this information, he placed some sizeable bets, and made a very handsome amount of money

Martingale or Martingales – A progressive betting system where you place a chip on a 50/50 bet (such as Odd/Even or Red/Black). If the bet loses, you double your stake, and you keep doubling it with every loss. As soon as you win, the sequence ends, and you will have made back all of your losses, along with a profit equal to the stake you originally put down. The problem is that long losing runs can wipe out your bank, or push you beyond the bet limits on your table. In the long-run, Martingales is a losing system. In the short-term, though, it often appears to work

Neighbours of Zero – See Voisins du Zero

Nickels – See Reds

Noirs – See Blacks

Orphans – See Orphelins

Orphelins –  This means ‘Orphans’. On a French wheel, this term refers to those numbers not covered by the Voisins du Zero or Tiers du Cylindre sequences. Hence, the numbers are left by themselves. There are eight such numbers – 9, 31, 14, 20 and 1 on one side of the table, and 17, 34 and 6 on the other. An Orphelins bet means betting on all eight of these numbers. You win with this sequence 24.3% of the time

Outside Bet – The basic layout of the roulette table features a main grid of numbers (going from 1-36), with various other bets (Even, Odd, Red, Black etc.) scattered around. Any bet that doesn’t involve placing a chip within the main grid (in other words, on specific numbers) would count as an Outside Bet. Examples of Outside Bets include Even/Odd, Red/Black, and 1 to 18/19 to 36. Dozens are also Outside Bets

Pair – French for ‘Even’. If you’re betting on Even numbers at a French table, you’ll be placing your chips on Pair

Parley – Doubling a bet after a win

Partage – See La Partage

Passe Bet – See High Bet

Pocket – These are the small numbered wooden compartments into which the ball will bounce. Each pocket is separated from the two adjacent compartments by tiny walls known as Frets. Also see Pocket Defect

Pocket Defect – Balls are supposed to randomly bounce around on the wheel before coming to rest in a Pocket. However, wear and tear or a manufacturing defect can create a table where the randomness of the bounces is interrupted. Where it hits the part of the wheel containing the defect, the ball will be repeatedly deflected into a certain pocket or group of pockets. This clearly overrides the house edge and, if not corrected, can produce significant profits for a shrewd player

Prison – See En Prison

Progressive Betting System – A system where you vary the amounts staked in reaction to winning or losing. Martingale is the best-known, with other including d’Alembert, Labouchere, and Fibonacci

Quarter Bet – See Corner Bet

Racetrack – An oval-shaped section that sits to the side of the main area on a roulette wheel. These are designed to make it easy to play ‘French Bets’ or ‘Call Bets’, such as Voisins du Zero, Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins

Reds (Rouges) – Also called Nickels. Chips with a denomination of $5

Revolutions – The number of times a wheel turns round before the ball starts to drop towards the pockets

Sixain – See Line Bet

Six Number Bet – See Line Bet

Split Bet – Called A Cheval in French. Betting on two numbers at the same time

Square Bet – See Corner Bet

Straight Up – Also called En Plein. The most straightforward bet you can place. Simply put the chip on the centre of a square. If the ball lands on that number, you win. With a single number, you have a 2.7% chance of winning with a European wheel, and a 2.63% chance with an American version

Street Bet – Also called a Trio Bet, Triple, or Transversale. As you stand in front of the table, you’ll see that the main number grid is split into 12 vertical columns of three numbers. (1-3, 4-6, 7-9 etc.) If you place a chip in the middle of the intersecting line at the bottom of one of these sets, you’ll make money should the ball land on any of those three numbers. If you wanted to back numbers 1-3, for instance, you could just place the chip in the middle of the line at the bottom of the square marked ‘1’. A Street Bet will win 8.1% of the time on a European table, and 7.9% of the time on an American table. The payout is 11 to 1

Thirds of the Wheel – See Tiers du Cylindre

Tiers du Cylindre – This means ‘Thirds of the Wheel’. On a French wheel, this term refers to those numbers stretching from 33 through to 27, or a third of the table. A Tiers du Cylindre bet means betting on all of the numbers in this sequence. You win with this set 32.4% of the time

Transversale – See Street Bet

Trio Bet or Triple Bet – See Street Bet

Twelve Number Bet – See Column Bet

Visual Ballistics (VB) – This concept says that by noting where a ball starts off, and where it finishes, you can predict what number it’s likely to land on. Some wheels are more consistent than others. For the starting position, you want to begin at the point where the ball starts to drop down to the pockets. You will then probably have a limited amount of time in which to place bets. Also see Dealer Signature

Voisins du Zero – This means ‘Neighbours of Zero’. On a French wheel, this term encompasses the 17 different numbers that make up the section of the wheel that stretches from 22 through to 25. The Zero falls in the middle of this group. Hence, the numbers around it are its ‘neighbours’. Betting Voisins du Zero means betting on all 17 of these numbers (including the Zero). You win with this sequence 45.9% of the time

Roulette Literature – Five of the Best Books To Help You Up Your Game

Success in roulette may be governed by the house edge more than in many other casino games, but there’s no reason why you can’t set out to be the very best player regardless. Read these books, and you’ll know how to make your bankroll stretch further and longer, as well as having a more relaxed and enjoyable time behind the wheel. And, with plenty of work, you may even turn some of these strategies into gold-dust.

5. Norman Leigh – Thirteen Against the Bank: The True Story of How a Roulette Team Broke The Bank

13 against the bank book front cover Kicking off at number 5 we have Norman Leigh’s ” Thirteen Against The Bank”.But before you get serious about beating roulette, just take some time to stroll around a casino and breathe in its ambience. Then pick up Norman Leigh’s fascinating account of gamblers and see how the professionals live. You won’t want to risk your money with the flawed system used by the book’s ‘heroes’, but as a way of capturing the mindset of the gambler, it’s a brilliant read, and one that’ll leave you lusting after a life behind the spinning wheel. We recommend you check out Thirteen Against The Bank before you waste your money on a book that will not help you out!


4. Norman Squire – How to Win at Roulette

how to win at rouletteHaving soaked up the atmosphere, you’ll now probably be rather intrigued by the concept of betting systems. This 1968 classic isn’t very easy to find, but it was essentially the book that introduced progressive betting systems to a whole generation of roulette players. Indeed, as an advanced introduction to the game, it would make a very good purchase. It starts with the ins and outs of the different tables types (American, French etc.) before going on to lay down the essentials on Martingale, Labouchere, Alembert, Paroli, and other gambling systems. Admittedly, these progressive systems won’t make you a winning player in the long-term, but studying them will teach you a great deal about the mechanics of roulette. And Squire happens to be one of the best tutors out there.

3. Catalin Barboianu – Roulette Odds and Profits: The Mathematics of Complex Bets

get the edge at rouletteOnce you’ve outgrown the idea of progressive betting systems, you may want to spend more time exploring the precise mathematics and probabilities that underpin the roulette table. Romanian mathematician Barboianu doesn’t have the surest grip of the English language, but he still manages to make this a lucid and information-packed introduction to the arcane world of betting maths. He does far more than just give you a few simple formulas, and instead explains what you’re looking for, and why. Indeed, it’s one of the best introductions to gambling probabilities that we’ve found – although his more general guide, ‘Understanding and Calculating the Odds’, is also an excellent work.

2. John Patrick – Money Management for Gamblers: How to Maximize your Gambling Profits

John Patrickmoney management book coverYou’ll need a strong tome on how to manage your money – in roulette, more than any other casino game, keeping hold of your bankroll is the key to long-term pleasure. Gamblers may not have anything as authoritative as the financial market trader’s favourite, Mark Douglas’ ‘Trading In The Zone’, but John Patrick’s worthy book is a good substitute. It teaches you how to correctly divide up your pot, and how to keep your cool when the numbers aren’t coming in. A number of different casino games are covered, but a lot of the text can be applied to roulette, and the first and last sections alone are worth many times the price. Assuming, that is, you can put a price on the value of preserving your bankroll.

1. Christopher Pawlicki – Get the Edge at Roulette

get the edge at rouletteSo you’ve got money management sorted, you’ve mastered the probabilities, and you’ve discounted progressive betting systems. So just how are you meant to win on this game?? Well, beating the house edge isn’t easy, but if any book can guide you to the improbable, it’s Pawlicki’s brilliant work. He takes you through the physical construction of the tables, showing the best ways of spotting a table with a bias, or picking out a dealer with a predictable spin. Any sensible discussion of systems that can beat the house edge have to revolve around these ideas, and Pawlicki shows you how to make the most of them. This isn’t a get-rich-quick book.

You’ll need to put in hours and hours of practice before you have any chance at all of being able to try out these concepts. But with Pawlicki’s superb book, you might just hold the keys to the kingdom.

A Guide To Breaking The Bank – Legendary Gamblers

We have all heard crazy stories about certain individuals breaking the bank and winning a fortune at casinos! Quite a few people have tried to do this several times and have failed miserably, even magicians like Derren Brown went through a hell of a lot of training in order to predict the course of the roulette wheel and failed! So how did the likes of Archie Karras do this? is luck? is it skill? is it balls of steel? or all the above? Read our article below about famous gamblers that made a fortune, broke the bank and built a legacy!

Nick the Greek

Arguably the biggest legend in gambling, Nicholas Dandolos (Nick the Greek) deserves every inch of his golden reputation. Nobody bet more over a longer period than the Greek, and it’s rumoured he managed to send over $500 million in the direction of the casinos over the course of a long and eventful career at the tables.

Born into a wealthy merchant family, his eyes were turned at the age of 18, when he left sleepy Crete for America in 1911. The trip was designed to add character before he came back to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Unfortunately for the family business, one trip to the racetrack was enough to hook Dandolos, and he was intoxicated by the thrill of the pursuit for wins. Combining his sharp mind for figures and angles with a substantial weekly allowance, he quickly amassed a pot of $500,000 – a very significant sum for the time.

Nick The GreekAbandoning the skill-based world of horse racing in favour of the pure adrenaline rush of craps and poker, the Greek was soon to learn that gambling wasn’t as easy as it looked, and he was swiftly separated from his $500,000 bank. Unperturbed, he spent a long period studying these games and honing his skills, and went on to (in his words) master both. One poker game saw him turn $20K into $550K, and he had winning sums trickling in on such a regular basis that even a $1.6 million loss made seemingly little impression.
Having accumulated a sizeable fortune, he went to Las Vegas in pursuit of some of the biggest names on the strip, extracting eye-watering sums from most of them in fiercely-fought head-to-heads. Even the Greek, though, could meet his match. His showdown with fellow legend Johnny Moss became arguably the most famous session in Vegas history. The encounter saw the two lock horns day after day for over five months before the Greek, $2 million down, shook hands with his opponent and left. Supposedly it was this game that inspired the creation of the World Series of Poker.

He would be immortalised in print, when journalist Richard Donovan wrote a now-classic profile of him for Collier’s Magazine. Branded the ‘King of All Gamblers’ by the piece, the Greek now became a household name. But like most gamblers, his success wouldn’t last to the end, and he died, supposedly broke, on Christmas Day in 1966. Nonetheless, given just how many years he gambled for (he was 83 at the time of his death), his tenure was a truly remarkable one. Fittingly, he was buried in Las Vegas – in a coffin made from solid gold.

Archie Karas

archiekImpressive though the Greek was, he arguably isn’t even the biggest gambler from his own country – that accolade may well rest with Archie Karas. Unlike the Geek’s smooth and urbane arrival in America, Karas’ visit came through a very different route – he worked a series of menial jobs aboard ships before absconding while his final cruiser was docked in Oregon. Alone (he had run away from his family after his builder father threw a shovel at him during a disagreement!), with virtually no English, and even less money, he did at least have something to fall back on – a hard youth spent hustling and gambling. He made his way to Los Angeles, where he quickly became an accomplished pool player. Combining these skills with his childhood experiences, he made a very good living hustling, winning chunky sums from unsuspecting customers. He was quick to translate these skills to the poker tables, and here he found almost unlimited pools of money waiting for him to dip into. Throughout his twenties, he built up and then lost seven-figure pots on countless occasions. One particularly painful night saw him lose his entire $2 million fortune in one go. Rather than give up there and then, he decided the way to fight this was to head out to Las Vegas in search of bigger prey.

Even at this early point, in 1992, he had something of a reputation, and on his first appearance in a Vegas poker-room, a fellow punter (familiar with his skills) was happy to lend him a $10K stake – in return for half of the profits. The deal worked brilliantly, with Karas trebling the amount in one high-octane session. In less than a year he had turned this pot into over $7 million. Unwilling to stop there, he embarked on his most audacious challenge yet, stacking up $5 million at his table, and offering to play against anyone willing to take him on. Many of the world’s best poker players (including the now-legendary Doyle Brunson) answered the call, but Karas’s no-fear approach saw him conquer them again and again. In the space of one week, he defeated the renowned duo of Stu Ungar and Chip Reese over a long sequence of games, taking a sweet $1.7 million in the process. Strangely, Reese remained on relatively good terms with his victor, and was even happy to loan him $2 million when Karas blew over $11 million at craps.

At his peak, Karas apparently had $40 million under his belt. However, he was never one to quit when he was ahead. His total disregard for money had allowed him to come back from massive failures time and time again – always betting large sums with undiminished enthusiasm. But, as his reputation hit its heights, he found it harder and harder to find people to play at poker. More and more he turned his fire upon craps and baccarat, where the house edge combined with his inability to manage his losses wreaked havoc upon his bankroll. By 1995, he had lost everything. While he’s had sporadic success since, Karas has never put together enough of a run to place him at the head of the crowd again, and it looks as though his career may end in something of a whimper after his 2013 arrest for marking cards – if convicted, he faces a significant term behind bars. However the story closes, the middle was as juicy as any under the Vegas sun, though, and Karas’ place in gambling immortality seems assured.

Akio Kashiwagi

The person who gambled the most in a single night is Japanese property magnate Akio Kashiwagi, who pumped in $20 million over a single hour while playing baccarat. His biggest win, scored at a Darwin casino, amounted to almost $19 million, a huge sum that would establish him as a major name in casino circles.

Akio-KashiwagiKashoggi started out from humble beginnings, but always had his eyes on the stars – literally, as it turns out, as he got his break while working as a guide on Mount Fuji. The imminent completion of the Fuji Subaru Highway (a major project that led halfway up the mountain) would send local property prices soaring (some sources suggested seven-figure growth) over the next few years, and the shrewd Kashiwagi was in the position to schmooze some very wealthy property investors. Persuading some of them to back him to the tune of $600, he bought and sold his way to a colossal fortune, often using hyper-aggressive tactics to force house-owners to sell up. He added to the pot with a money-borrowing business, and would allegedly make himself very difficult to locate on the due date, allowing him to take control of numerous properties after non-payment.

In 1990, he made his entrance as a big casino player thanks to that $19 million win, and he followed up the publicity by accepting Donald Trump’s offer to stay at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards, he added to his growing reputation by winning a further $6 million in just a few hours. Over the next few months, he became a familiar face in many of the biggest casinos, bringing bags stuffed with millions of dollars, and dominating the baccarat tables with long intense two-day sessions. However, it was his famed longevity that would finally prove his undoing.

Donald Trump wanted his money back, and he recruited a crack team to ensure that Kashiwagi would lose and lose badly. Later that year, Trump’s gambling crew embroiled Kashiwagi in a sapping six-day marathon. Supposedly down $9.4 million after eventually storming out, exhausted and defeated, Kashiwagi multiplied his losses with another lengthy off-tilt session in Europe. His problems were only exacerbated by the crash in the Japanese property market (prices would fall by almost 80% overall). Supposedly owing huge sums, he retired to his home (the opulent and extravagantly decorated ‘Kashiwagi’s Castle’) to lick his wounds. It was there that Kashiwagi’s creditors seem to have caught up with him, and he was murdered after being stabbed multiple times with a samurai sword. His possessions were left untouched, so it seems probable that this was a professional execution. We’re unlikely to ever know whether it was his gambling or his property portfolio (or perhaps something else) that resulted in the hit. As with many of these gamblers, though, the truth seems clear: Win big or lose big – in the land of casino games, there is no middle ground.

Kerry Packer

Many of the biggest casino players (the ‘whales’ – clients who frequently win or lose millions in one night) aren’t there because they’re the best gamblers, but simply because they have the most money. Big names include the Sultan of Brunei and the controversial arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi. The biggest whale of the lot, however, was the Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer.

kerryTaking over the well-stocked business portfolio started by his father and grandfather, Packer turned these substantial holdings into one of the most influential empires in the world. His ownership of the Australian Consolidated Press gave him significant say in the running of the country, but it was his position as head of the Nine Network that gave him the most success – and his biggest single triumph, when in 1987 he sold the company for A$1.05 billion, only to buy it back in 1990 for a substantially reduced A$250 million when its new owner fell on hard times. However, it’s Packer’s gambling that we’re really interested in. And the numbers are eye-watering indeed. His gargantuan wins and losses came at Las Vegas, where he both won $33 million and lost $28 million in separate sessions. Packer was regularly staking for high sums, though, and a number of trips to the UK’s biggest blackjack events saw him net substantial amounts – sometimes in excess of £7 million.

In truth, Packer’s gambling figures are less impressive given that his personal wealth was in the billions – even $30 million is fairly small change to such a person. Nonetheless, if you’re comparing billionaire blackjack players, Kerry Packer stands as a true casino colossus.

Choosing The Right Roulette Bonus

Internet gambling is something of a cut-throat world, with huge numbers of online casinos trying to lure you through their doors. For many sites, the preferred bait has been a big fat juicy bonus that convinces you to deposit your hard earned cash with them. Of course, the free riches rarely stack up, and casinos have a nasty habit of extracting considerably more from you than your deposit. However, assuming you want to gamble, and go into these offers with your eyes wide open, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get at least some benefit from them – even if that only amounts to a few minutes of free play-time.

Roll Out the Welcome Bonuses

These bonuses are typically aimed at new players. And most of them work in a very similar way to one another. The idea is that you deposit some cash, and the casino increases your funds with a bonus that relates in some way to the size of your deposit. 100% bonuses are common. In that case, a £100 deposit would give you an actual balance of £200. Unfortunately, the extra £100 will be locked up, and you won’t have the luxury of simply withdrawing it.

Instead, the casino will demand that you bet (or ‘rollover’, as it’s termed) a particular sum of money before the £100 can be unlocked. Common offers will insist that you bet 25x or 30x your deposit and bonus. In the example above, the £100 deposit and £100 bonus would amount to a total rollover of £5,000 (25x £200) or £6,000 (30x £200). If you lose money, it’ll come first of all from that £100 locked bonus fund. If, having bet £5,000 (on a 25x bonus), you’re left with an account worth more than the original £100, you’re free to withdraw the remainder. As a general rule, though, you will have lost that money long before you have satisfied the stiff wagering requirements.

The problem is that the house edge is almost impossible to defeat. Roulette is pleasingly simple to play, but you do have to put up with a not insignificant house edge: 2.7% if you’re playing a European-style table, and a mighty 5.26% if you’re sitting at an American-style table – those which have not one but two green squares, one of them a double-zero. Play a few hands, and you’ll barely notice that edge. But if you’re needing to turn over large sums with a significant number of spins, the house edge will gradually whittle your money to nothing.

Should you need to wager a significant amount of money, like £5,000, you need to try and do it with as few bets as possible. Place £50 on each spin, and you’ll need to go through this process 100 times in total – that’s a sufficiently long sequence to allow the house edge to work its magic. On the other hand, place just five massive £1,000 bets, and the edge will have little time in which to work. The downside is that you could easily lose several bets in a row, and so see your entire £5,000 sum go down the pan. In truth, casinos are playing on this, knowing that a gambler chasing a £100 bonus is unlikely to have several thousand spare to try and avoid that house edge.

Edges and Even Bigger Edges

The casinos will also try and sway you away from certain games (essentially those with low house edges), and persuade you to spend your money on other, more lucrative titles instead. In the casino games hierarchy, roulette sits somewhere in the middle. It’s a fairly straightforward game to play, so while the 2.7%-5.26% edge seems sizeable, few punters will be paying more than that. Other titles, like blackjack, on the other hand, have far more variable house edges that depend more on the skill level of the player. Having said that, there are games with higher house edges, and casino owners would rather you played those instead. Keno and the slots, for instance, can see the house edge going as high as 20-25%. Roulette bring in a fraction of those returns, and so casinos will often insist that only a limited percentage of the wagering requirements can be satisfied using our beloved spinning wheel – say, 25 to 50%. This generally isn’t as low as on smaller-edge titles, like baccarat and blackjack. Nonetheless, it can make it difficult for roulette players to meet the requirements.

There is a solution, though. Many sites are trying to attract new users to their Live Dealer games – as opposed to the Random Number Generator (RNG) titles that proliferate. As such, the low contributions are often waived if you play the Live Dealer versions., for instance, will let you play live roulette, and the amounts bet contribute 100% to the wagering requirements. Admittedly, you can’t turn off the bells and whistles and increase the speed of the game, as you can with RNGs. But the number of bets needed will often be low enough that you can satsify the requirements with a solid night spent playing the Live Dealer. And you will be able to take advantage of roulette’s comparatively low edge, and easy gameplay.

Keep Rollovers Low

You also need to consider how large the rollover is. The more spins are needed, the greater the effect the house edge will exert, so look for as low a requirement as possible. Some sites give you a lower multiplier if you deposit more money. On Betfair Casino for example, a 25x bonus is awarded if you deposit between £35 and £499. But if you deposit £1,000, the multiplier falls to a far more achievable 15x. Other options will be a ‘sticky’ bonus, where you can’t withdraw the bonus itself, but can withdraw any winnings earned with that bonus. The rollover requirements tend to be lower for sticky offers.

Loyalty Schemes

Some sites prefer to offer a loyalty scheme instead. These award you points when you play games, and the points can then be turned into real cash. So, for instance, lets you convert every 1000 points into 10 free casino chips. Some companies offer a ladder scheme, giving you access to better deals as your rank goes up. Intercasino runs a scheme where you start at Bronze, and move through the rankings to the mysterious Platinum level. Members of the scheme are entitled to regular bonuses on Mondays and Wednesdays, and higher ranks give access to additional features, such as invites to tournaments and events.

E-Wallet Payments

If you use a favoured money-deposit option, you may get bonuses for that, too., for instance, is paying an extra 15% on any deposits when specific e-Wallet accounts (Skrill/Moneybookers) are used. The rollover requirement is a mere 12x.

Are Bonuses Worth It?

The house edge does make it hard to realise any genuine profits with such offers. But the money is free, and if you’re looking for a site to gamble with, you migh as well find the ones that offer the juiciest deals i.e metro casino, even if you probably won’t see a penny of profit from the deals. Sites with loyalty schemes are particularly interesting, as their regular bonuses and offerings mean you have many opportunities to make something from one of the deals.

Top 20 Tips For Winning at Roulette

Cutting the House Edge

1. Unlike a highly skilled game like blackjack, there’s not that much you can really do to change the odds in roulette. By far the biggest advantage you can give yourself is to opt for a European- or French-style table. These will have one green zero square alongside the 36 red/black squares. It’s the presence of the green square that gives the casino its in-built advantage – in this case, 2.7%. However, American-style tables add a second green square (the double zero), and that bumps the house edge up to 5.26%. That’s a very significant gap, so if you don’t want to lose your money more quickly, stick to European/French tables with a single green square.

2. There are a variety of bets available in roulette, but most of these offer very similar payouts. In terms of overall success, there’s no mathematical reason to do anything other than play the simple ’50/50′ bets like red/black, odd/even etc. The only exception is the American bet known as the ‘basket’ – letting you bet on both zeros, plus squares 1 to 3. Avoid this at all costs, as it’ll give a 7.89% edge to the house.

3. French-style tables offer the best methods of cutting the house edge. The La Partage rule is very useful. If you’re playing an outside bet (red/black, odd/even etc.), and the ball lands on the green zero, La Partage lets you get half of your stake back.

4. Another great little feature of French tables is the En Prison rule, which follows on from the above, and lets you leave your stake on the board for another spin. If you have both La Partage and En Prison, the 2.7% edge becomes a mere 1.35%. That’s the lowest edge you’ll find in roulette, so look for French-style tables when you can.

Betting Systems

5. Roulette’s simple style of play and significant number of ’50/50′ bets has made it fertile territory for betting systems. These tend to be ‘progressive’, with the players varying the bet size rather than playing the same amount spin after spin. The problem is that many of these tend to be okay until the player hits a ‘bad run’. Unfortunately, these runs aren’t as unlikely as they may seem. Even on a genuine 50/50 system, you’re going to see a run of seven losses once in 128, and a run of 10 losses once in 1024. So if you play for over 1,000 spins, you’re likely to see some very bad ‘luck’. Progressive systems generally can’t cope with these runs, which is why the majority of them have a tendency to blow up eventually.

6. The Martingale system, whereby you double your bet after each loss until you have won, is the most popular system of all. Avoid this, though, as it’ll only work in the long-term if you have unlimited betting capital, plus the ability to circumvent the table limits. Otherwise, you will hit a bad run where you end up having to bet more than your entire bank. If you implement a ‘reset’ (so that you drop back to betting one unit after hitting a certain numbers of successive losses), you’ll simply find that you’re not making enough on your winning runs to compensate you for the losses you’ll be sucking up when you press the reset button. Don’t pay any attention to those who claim the Martingale system works. It doesn’t, and you’ll only lose money on it if you use it for an extended period.

7. Are there any systems that do work? Labouchere has you writing out sequences of numbers, and calculating bet sizes by adding together the first and last numbers on the list – if the bet wins, you cross off those two numbers, and carry on playing until all of the numbers have been crossed off. This system is fun to play (it was favoured by Ian Fleming, amongst others), but can still see you getting into loops where the bet sizes get too large. It isn’t as extreme as the Martingale system, but it still doesn’t work. Other systems, like Oscar’s Grind and Fibonacci, also fail to work. The D’Alembert system has some validity, but even this can’t negate the house advantage.

8. It’s harsh to say, but the best way to play seems to be with a flat betting system. That means you play the same amount time after time. That way, your only foe will be the house edge. Essentially, the ‘edge’ is the entrance fee you pay the casino for the enjoyment of playing their game. Using flat betting, though, you’ll never find yourself sweating because the bet size is too large for you. And you’ll never have to risk your entire bank on one spin.

Online Options

rouletteatgala19. If you’re playing online, you might want to opt for the Live Dealer games rather than RNG (Random Number Generator) versions. Live Dealer makes the experience more spectacular, by letting you see live video of the dealer and the wheel. You can sometimes interact with other players at the table, too. More importantly, Live Dealer games are more reliable and harder for companies to cheat on, particularly if multiple players or casino sites are involved – these games are often implemented by third parties, so you may find the same feed being used for several different casino sites at once. You may also be able to detect problems or inconsistencies affecting the table, as the Live Dealer will be using genuine equipment.

10. RNGs do allow you to play games more quickly, though, as you can turn off the animations and sounds. If you want to get through a large number of spins in a short space of time, the RNG should be your choice. You may also be offered more options and varieties of game with RNGs.

11. Try multiplayer roulette for a more interactive and enjoyable session. You may also be able to watch the other players and pick up some hints and tips from them.

Table Bias

12. You may not be able to beat the maths, but you might be able to beat the craftmanship of a roulette wheel. Some wheels will start to develop a bias towards specific numbers or a certain section of the wheel – resulting in some numbers coming up more frequently than they should. Joseph Jagger famously ‘broke the bank at Monte Carlo’ by hiring a number of clerks to record the numbers on various tables, and then using the information to tell which tables had a bias. Such a bias will usually be attributable to wear and tear, or perhaps to loose frets (frets being the walls that separate the compartments on a wheel). The ball should bounce randomly off the frets, but if the frets are loose, they may instead deflect the ball into a particular number on a very regular basis.

13. Also look out for wheels that haven’t been seated properly. This will result in a wobbly rotor, causing the wheel to display a bias towards a section of numbers. This poor reseating can occur after something as routine as cleaning. It can often be detected by looking at how the light reflects off the wheel – the light will show certain impurities and defects when the wheel isn’t properly seated.

14. Dealer bias (or Dealer Signature or DS) is another way of predicting which balls will come up. Select dealers will have a remarkably consistent spinning action, creating very similar results every time they spin the wheel. In these cases, the ball will end up a reasonably fixed distance away from where it started. The dealers must have an extremely consistent action for this method of prediction to be successful. Nonetheless, there is something in it if the dealer is chosen carefully. A consistent action is particularly common when a dealer is exhausted.

15. The final prediction method uses Visual Ballistics (VB). This works on the basis that where the ball lands isn’t really that random at all. They key is noting where the ball is at the point that it drops down, and then noting where it ends up afterwards. Many wheels will, theoretically, show some sort of consistency. Oxford don Doyne Farmer has claimed to have used an early computer to predict the winning numbers with decent rates of accuracy, and, more recently, smartphones have been used to perform similar feats. Nobody argues that this method can turn up 100% success rates, but since there’s only a 2.7% edge to defeat on a European table, you do only need a small tilt of the odds in your favour in order to have an advantage.


poundsuk16. Money management is the key to minimising losses in roulette. Make sure you’re never under too much pressure by never betting more than 5% of your bank on one spin. Indeed, 2% gives you even more security, and ensures you won’t be throwing away chips blindly in order to chase a loss you couldn’t afford to make.

17. Keep only a portion of your money on the table at any one time. That way, if you need to replenish your funds, you’ll have a minute or two in which to think and clear your head before carrying on. In those situations, it’s often a good idea to pause for a bit and take a rest.

18. If you’re having a good night, don’t be afraid to take half of your money off the table. If you can get yourself into the position where the worst that can happen is that you end the night breaking even, then you’re doing well.

19. Take rests frequently, even if you’re winning. Keeping your mindset right is crucial to controlling your emotions. The second you’re feeling slightly bored or frustrated, take a break.

20. Don’t play when you’re ill or stressed about something outside the casino. The roulette table is not the place to be when you have difficult decisions to make.

Top 30 Interesting Facts About Roulette

Here are our top 30 interesting facts about roulette! If we have missed an interesting fact out of this list please leave your comment below, enjoy!

1. The name ‘roulette’ derives from ‘little wheel’. It’s often called the King of Casino Games on account of its strong connections with Monte Carlo.

2. Another name for roulette is ‘The Devil’s Game’. That’s partly because all of the numbers on the wheel add up to 666.

3. Probabilities whizz Blaise Pascal created the concept of the roulette table while he was trying to invent a perpetual motion machine to enhance his calculator, the Pascaline.

4. The game itself may have been inspired by a 17th century English game called Roly Poly, featuring a ball spinning around on a wheel. After the banning of this game, Beau Nash came up with an even simpler variation, EO, or Even-Odd.

5. Gambling took off in the 19th century, after the Blanc Brothers turned Monte Carlo into the casino capital of the world. Francois Blanc was so successful and envied that he was rumoured to have sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the secrets to roulette..

6. Whereas the European-style tables have a single green zero square, the American-style table includes an additional green double-zero. This means that the house edge on American-style tables is almost twice as much – 5.26% rather than 2.7% on European-style tables.

7. Don’t settle for the 2.7% edge. French-style tables have La Partage and En Prison rules. If the ball lands on the green zero on outside bets, La Partage lets you recoup half of your stake. With En Prison, you have the option of leaving your stake on the table for another spin. These rules cut the house edge to just 1.35%.

8. The house edge remains fairly constant, except in one case. American-style tables may offer a ‘Five’ bet, where you cover squares 1-3 and the two zero squares. This bet gives a 7.89% edge to the house, making it the worst choice of all.

9. The double-zero actually dates from the early days of roulette, and Jacques Lablee’s 1796 book ‘La Roulette ou le Jour’, one of the earliest written descriptions of the game, mentions a table with both a zero and a double-zero square. When German designers started building casinos around their spas, they dispensed with the double-zero so as to attract customers away from the Paris houses. The ruse worked, especially after Monte Carlo resorted to the single-zero, and even today, the European- and French-style tables only have a single zero – the double-zero is associated with the Vegas casinos.

10. Early American tables not only had fewer numbers (going up to 28 rather than 36), but also incorporated a zero, a double zero, and an ‘Eagle Slot’. The latter was actually larger than the other squares, and quickly become very unpopular with bankrupt players. Today, the Eagle Slot tables are extremely valuable.

11. Joseph Jagger became immortalised in song as ‘The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’. He had suspected that some of the roulette wheels had mechanical imbalances that would increase the chances of some numbers coming up with greater frequency. In 1873 he hired six clerks to stand and take note of every number spun. He then used this information to identify possibly defective wheels, and made considerable sums before being barred.

12. 18 years after Jagger, Charles Deville Wells became the next man to break Monte Carlo, arriving with £4,000, and emptying out the place after winning 23 times out of 30. Many years later, Wells was jailed for fraud. He died penniless, but to the end, he maintained that his Monte Carlo exploits had been sheer luck.

13. In 2012, a wheel at the Rio Casino in Vegas supposedly hit 19 seven times in a row. The odds of that happening are 3 billion to 1. It’s not clear whether or not the feat was down to a seating problem.

14. ‘Impossible’ runs against you aren’t as impossible as they may seem. Even without the zero and double zero squares, if you bet red or black every time, you have a 1 in 32 chance of hitting 5 losses. You have a 1 in 1024 chance of getting 10 colours going against you. Even a seemingly ridiculous run, like 15 straight colours against you, has a 1 in 32,768 chance of happening. Seasoned roulette players are likely to see such an event happen to them. In a Bristol casino, 36 reds in a row were supposedly hit.

15. The 2004 series Double or Nothing followed Ashley Revell as he sold all of his possessions (for close to £77K), and risked them on the spin of the roulette wheel. Luckily, the bet came good, and he walked away with £153,860.

16. In 2009, Derren Brown tried and failed to accurately predict the correct number on a roulette table. His prediction, 8, was one pocket away from the winning pocket 30, suggesting that he had identified a table with a constantly recurring set of numbers.(video below)

17. The ball is made of ivory or plastic, and lands in ‘pockets’ on the wheel that are separated from one another by tiny walls known as ‘frets’.

18. The frets are designed to be highly springy so that the ball bounces off them. If a fret is loose, this will result in the ball bouncing off with less force, and it may quickly come to rest in a nearby pocket. This’ll make certain numbers or sets of numbers come up more frequently. Loose frets can be a great source of money to those players who can identify them.

19. Wheels that aren’t seated properly will cause the ball to land in a certain section of the wheel more often than it should. Poorly seated wheels can often be detected by looking at the way the light bounces off the wheel.

20. Some players claim that it’s possible to predict where the ball is going to land by watching its bounce. Oxford University don Doyne Farmer became famous in the roulette world after disclosing that he had used an early computer to compile extensive information from a table, and then use that gen to successfully predict the outcome of a spin. This had happened in the 70s, but he disclosed it decades later after reports that a pair of students had just achieved pretty much the same thing with a smartphone.

21. In 2004, the ‘Ritz Gang’ took £1.3 million from the casino at the Ritz hotel. It was rumoured that they had used a laser scanner hidden in a mobile phone to measure the velocity of the roulette wheel, and then fed this information into a computer to work out where the ball would land. While section 17 of the 1845 Gaming Act precludes the use of any unlawful device, the definition is vague, and the Ritz Gang were allowed to keep their winnings.

22. The plastic marker used to signify winning bets is called a ‘dolly’.

23. The easy availability of ’50/50′ bets (Red/Black, Odd/Even, 1-18/19-36) combined with its high popularity makes roulette the first choice for system players – Martingale, D’Alembert, Fibonacci, and Paroli are all great examples of systems that involve altering the bet size to try and escape the house edge.

24. Despite attempts to find a system that defeats the odds, none has been conclusively proven. Indeed, flat betting (placing the same amount again and again) is statistically more successful than just about any progressive system ever devised. When it comes to roulette, you might just as well enjoy the freedom of placing your bets randomly, as no system can help.

25. The Martingale system is the most famous of all progressive betting systems. Its appeal lies partly in its simplicity – you simply double your bet every time until you win – and its ‘100%’ winning record. Unfortunately, you only win all of the time if you have unlimited bank funds and no table limit. Otherwise, you’ll eventually see a long run against you that bankrupts you. The Martingale system, despite its fame, will lose you far more money than a flat betting approach.

26. Ian Fleming, writer of the James Bond books, was a keen gambler himself. Although he preferred baccarat, he did regularly try his hand at roulette. His favoured system (as outlined in the Monte Carlo section in his sequence of travelogues, Thrilling Cities) was Labouchere, where you write down a sequence of numbers (eg, 2 2 6 3 3) and then calculate your next bet by adding together the first and last numbers. If you lose, you add the amount of the bet as the next number in your sequence. Win, and you cross off both numbers. When you have crossed off all numbers in the sequence, you will have made a profit equal to the value of the starting sequence. Like the Martingale System, it doesn’t work in the long term, though, and will lose you more than a flat betting system.

27. James Bond pops up quite frequently in gambling circles. 17 is believed to be the character’s favourite number, and this (plus its central location on the table) has led to it being played more than any other. Newcastle United owner (and founder of Sports Direct) Mike Ashley reportedly banked £1.3 million when he placed £480K across a string of bets revolving around 17. When he attends matches, he wears a shirt with the number 17 on it.

28. 17 isn’t the only number to feature widely in movies about roulette. A famous scene in Casablanca has Rick Blaine fixing it so that a newly-wed wins a sizeable sum at the roulette table, thus saving the man’s wife from having to sell herself to a corrupt chief of police in return for the money the couple need in order to flee the country. Rick tells the man to bet on 22. This same number comes up again in Indecent Proposal. There, the bet loses, setting off a complete reversal of the events of Casablanca, culminating in the wife sleeping with a rich businessman. The number 22 is also the bet that repeatedly loses in the comedy Lost in America.

29. A variation on the game is ‘California Roulette’, which uses cards rather than slots to pick the winning numbers. This version is designed to get round anti-gambling laws.

30. Roulette is very much an equal-opportunities game! Despite its supposedly male-dominated base, 46% of those who play online roulette are female.

Hello from Roulette Games

Hello, you have landed on our brand new site! We are a group of friends that all share common interests and a passion about roulette! Whether its an RNG game or an app, or a normal live dealer version or roulette, we have been there and played it. About 6 months ago we all got together and decided that we wanted to launch our own site focused on roulette and offer a platform and hub for all your roulette needs. Roulette is a game that never gets old, every time you spin that wheel you get excited about the possible outcome which is always unpredictable and that’s what keeps us hooked to this game. As of this month we will start reviewing online casinos that operate in the UK and report on all the different elements and aspects of the game the user needs to know before signing up. Apart from the reviews we will also work with the top casinos in the UK which we trust in order to provide you with exclusive bonuses and promotions that will be available on monthly basis. Our strategy section will also provide guides to all the most popular roulette strategies and tips you can incorporate into your game a which will help you become a better player. So whether you are a rookie or pro this is the right place for you!

Who we are

At roulette-games we focus on providing our users with only the best free and real money roulette games available on the net. It’s often difficult to choose the right casino and trust them with your hard earned cash, that’s where we come in. We are a group of individuals with a passion for roulette. Earlier this year we decided to team up and put together a site that will provide our users with a solid and trustworthy roulette hub. Our site contains a top 5 table with links to the best UK casinos choose by us as well as free roulette games for you to practice our roulette strategies, tips and tricks we offer via the strategy section. Keep an eye out for the news section too as we will bring you the hottest roulette news every week as well as the latest promotions from the casinos we work with.