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Winning at roulette doesn’t take a magic formula or a secret system. It’s purely a game of luck. So if you’re looking for a secret strategy or surefire way to win, you’ll probably be disappointed by the information on this page. On the other hand, if you’re interested in learning the real odds of winning and what you need to do in order to be a winner, you’ll be thrilled by the info on this page.

An America roulette wheel has 38 numbers on it—the numbers 1-36 (inclusive), a 0, and a 00. Calculating the odds of winning a bet on any single number is simplicity itself—you have one way to win out of 38 possible outcomes, which makes the odds of winning 37 to 1. This bet pays out at 35 to 1 odds.

Of course, the single number bet isn’t the only way to win at the roulette table. A plethora of betting options await the roulette player, in fact. These betting options have different odds of winning, but they also offer different payouts.

Another easy example of roulette odds are the even money bets. 18 of the numbers on the roulette wheel are red. 18 of them are black, and two of them, the 0 and the 00, are green. So if you bet on black (or red), then you have 18 ways to win and 20 ways to lose. Your reference odds of winning are slightly less than 50%. 18/38 is 47.36%. This bet pays out at even odds.

If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that in both of these scenarios, your odds of winning are less than the payout odds. This is what gives the house an edge over the player. In the short run, anyone can walk away from the roulette table a winner. But in the long run, the house is always going to come out ahead.

Roulette systems don’t work. Most of them involve increasing or decreasing your bet based on the outcome of your previous bet. The idea is that the odds of losing several bets in a row is smaller than the odds of losing a single bet, and vice versa.

The problem with this line of thinking is that you’re not placing a single wager on a series of bets. You’re placing multiple wagers on multiple events, and the odds of each event are independent of each other.

The house’s edge over the player doesn’t change based on the previous spin of the wheel. If you bet on black and lose, then the odds of black hitting on the next spin are still 47.36%. The probability doesn’t change because of what happened previously.

The most common of these bogus systems is the Martingale system, which requires you to double your bet every time you lose. The idea is that you’ll eventually win back your previous losses plus a single unit.