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Kelly criterion method
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Increase Your Chances of Winning Long Term Betting on Sports
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Choosing a staking method based on your betting profile
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Sports-betting- a game of numbers
Market movement in betting
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Martingale Considerations in Sports Betting
In-play betting
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A Crash Course in Horse Racing
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American odds versus decimal odds
Bankroll management
Money management in sportsbetting- odds, edge and variance
Basic bet types explained
Paying for Picks
Betting on winning streaks
Betting psychology- a crash course about aspiring professional bettors
Popular Sports Betting Beliefs
Do you make these 9 sportsbetting mistakes?
Does intuition have a place in sportsbetting?
Exchange betting
Randomness in sportsbetting
Fractional versus decimal odds
Home team advantage analised
How bad at sportsbetting are you?
Reasons to Keep Betting Records
How bookmakers make money
How bookmakers work
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Should You Bet on Multiple Sports or Specialize?
How do free bets work
How does luck influence short term betting
How good are betting tipsters
Sports Betting for Beginners
How loss aversion impacts performance
How many sports to bet on
How Much Should You Bet On a Sporting Event?
Staking-one method to improve your betting
How much you should risk per bet?
How Sports Betting Has Changed Over the Last 20 Years
How To Avoid A Big Sports Betting Loss
The art of multiple betting
The history of lotteries
The value of information in soccer betting
Three careers ideally suited to betting
Tips for Better Sports Betting Results
Types of Online Sports Betting Bonuses
Understanding and managing your risk of ruin
Understanding Horse Racing Bet Types
Understanding Live Betting
Value betting is an essential skill for bettors
Ways to Increase the Percentage of Sports Bets You Win
What are drawdowns and how to manage them
What are the most common mistakes the bettors make
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Fixed Staking vs. Variable Staking
Basketball betting: Bet types explained
7 Sure-Fire Baseball Betting Strategies
How Does In-Play Betting Work?
To Parlay, or Not to Parlay?
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A Novice’s Tutorial on Casino Gambling Games
How to Gamble with Dice – Popular Dice Games and Their Variations
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5 Tips to Managing Your Casino Bankroll Effectively
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Using Self-Discipline in the Casino
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10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Roulette Before I Started
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How to Spend Your Gambling Winnings
How to Win Consistently at Casino Gambling
How to Win Consistently at Craps
How to Win Consistently at Roulette
Is It Possible to Play Roulette as a Career (Or Even as a Part Time Gig)?
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Is It Possible to Play Roulette as a Career (Or Even as a Part Time Gig)?

Roulette is one of the most random games in the casino. The ball spins around a wheel and can bounce into one of over three dozen pockets.

This makes roulette seem like a pure gamble. This leaves many players wondering if there is any way to reduce this randomness and gain an advantage.

I, too, have this same question.

Several other casino games give you a chance to earn long term profits. This includes blackjack (card counting), poker, sports betting and video poker.

Certain card counters, poker players and sports bettors have made a very good living through their skills. My question is whether or not roulette is another game that you can make a living with.

Follow along as I go over the house edge, betting systems, advantage play methods and how much profit you can make in roulette.

House Edge for Regular Roulette Players

The standard roulette house edge depends upon which game you’re playing. Here are the three main roulette games and their respective house edges:

  • American roulette = 5.26% house edge
  • European roulette = 2.70%
  • French roulette = 1.35%

American roulette has 38 numbers, including both a single and double zero pocket. The zero pockets are where the house gains its edge on most bets.

By dividing the house friendly numbers (2) by the total amount of numbers (38), I arrive at the 5.26% house advantage.

European roulette differs because it only has 37 numbers with only one single zero pocket. By dividing the lone house friendly number (1) by the total pockets (37), I get a 1.35% house edge.

French roulette is also played on the European wheel, but the difference here is that it offers the la partage rule.

This rule pays half back on losing even money bets that land on zero. Thanks to la partage, French roulette cuts the European wheel’s house edge in half.

Obviously, your chances of winning in roulette improve greatly as you move from the American to the French version. Nevertheless, you’re still facing a house advantage and are destined to eventually lose your money.

This is why many roulette players turn to systems and other strategies to try and beat the game.

Roulette Betting Systems – Do They Work?

Roulette doesn’t offer much strategy beyond selecting the right games. If you play European or French roulette (with even money bets), you’re already using good strategy.

Mathematicians have devised their own methods for trying to beat the house edge over the years. Dubbed gambling systems, these consist of betting patterns used in an effort to beat the casino.

The simplest roulette strategy is to wager based on trends. It’s especially popular to bet the opposite of any outcome that’s on a hot streak.

Gamblers think that the losing outcome is “due” to win, which is why they bet this way. Here’s an example of trend betting:

  • You’re betting on red or black
  • You see black win four times in a row
  • You double your wager on red the next round

Most roulette systems are more complicated than this, but they can still be learned rather quickly.

The Labouchere system (a.k.a. cancellation system) is one example. This is a “negative progression” system, which means it involves increasing the size of your bets during losing streaks. The theory is that you should eventually win back your losses plus a profit.

The problem with this system (and others) is that they only manipulate your short term winnings – they don’t overcome the house edge.

Eventually, you’ll hit a losing streak so long that you either run out of money or hit the table betting limit. In either case, you can no longer win back your losses and/or properly implement the Labouchere.

Long story short, no gambling strategy has ever been invented that can beat roulette long term. While these systems are fun to use, you should never look at them as a path to guaranteed profits.

Roulette Advantage Play Methods

The only way to truly win in roulette is to become an advantage player. There are three methods that players have used over the years to beat this game.

Let’s discuss each roulette advantage play strategy along with the pros and cons of each one.

Dealer Signatures

Casinos make more money when roulette games move quickly and efficiently. Dealers are encouraged to spin the ball and collect bets at a decent pace to make this happen.

But worrying about speed can also cause dealers to unconsciously spin the ball the same way every time. This, in turn, leads to what’s called a dealer signature.

A signature involves the dealer’s spin results behaving in a predictable pattern. Oftentimes, this predictability means that the ball lands anywhere from 6 to 10 pockets away from the last winning number.

While this doesn’t automatically guarantee you wins, dealer signatures can give you an advantage. Here are aspects that you want to look for when trying to spot a dealer signature:

  • Distance (pockets) where the ball lands versus the release point
  • If the dealer spins the ball at a consistent velocity
  • If the wheel moves at a consistent velocity

The first point is the biggest thing you want to watch for. If the dealer consistently releases the ball at 3 o’clock and it usually lands around 6 o’clock, you can bet on numbers/sections in this range.

Watching the ball’s velocity also helps because you can count how many revolutions it makes around the wheel. Noticing a consistent pattern in the number of revolutions can indicate a signature.

Watching the wheel is another similar situation where you want to try and spot a pattern in revolutions for each turn.

The hope is that you can put everything together and get a good read on which section the ball stops on. It helps that you don’t even need to be right 100% of the time after finding a dealer signature.

Here’s an example:

  • You notice that most of the dealer’s bets land in the 6 o’clock area of the wheel
  • You put $5 bets on each of the nine pockets in this area ($45 total)
  • You’re paid at 35:1 for a single winning wager ($175)
  • One of your numbers hits one third of the time
  • This means that you lose $90 twice, but win your third collective $45 wager
  • $175 (winnings) – $135 (three bets) = $40 profit

Any roulette player would be happy with winning $40 every three spins.

The uncertainty surrounding dealer signatures is whether they’re truly real or not. After all, we don’t have any famous stories about the MIT Blackjack Team crushing roulette games through signatures.

Furthermore, there aren’t a lot of roulette pros like there are poker pros.

But casino behavior collectively indicates that they believe in dealer signatures. They’ll change the wheel position, ask winning players to leave, or change dealers when their roulette table is being dominated.

You can also find anecdotal evidence around the Internet of dealer signatures working. Even dealers themselves attest to this advantage play technique being real.

Wheel Bias

One roulette advantage play technique that has undeniable proof is wheel bias.

This method involves tracking roulette results in hopes of finding a wheel that favors certain numbers. You can then bet on these specific numbers and gain an edge over the house.

For this to happen, the wheel needs enough wear and tear to where it no longer produces totally random results.

You also have to watch a roulette wheel and record results for a considerable amount of time. I’ve seen estimates that you need at least 5,000 spins to spot wheel bias with confidence.

This means that you need to watch an individual roulette wheel for 100 hours at a rate of 50 spins per hour (5,000 / 50). As if this isn’t already time consuming, you also run the likely risk of not spotting any bias after 100 hours.

Nevertheless, the rewards are great for anybody who does find a biased wheel. Here are three roulette legends who made millions thanks to this advantage play technique:

  • Joseph Jagger – This British engineer was the first wheel bias master. Jagger sent clerks to Monte Carlo in 1873 to record roulette spins and collect data. He then analyzed this data and used it to win what amounts to over $6 million today
  • Bill Walters – Although he’s best known for being a great sports bettor, Billy Walters also won a fortune through roulette in the early 1980s. He and his team found a biased wheel in Atlantic City and won almost $4 million before being banned from the casino
  • Gonzalo García Pelayo – This Spaniard recruited his family to help record roulette wheel results. Pelayo analyzed the data through a computer program, and then used it to win approximately $2 million from Spanish casinos

Obviously, it’s encouraging to see that there are real stories of wheel bias working, but the major downside is that all of these big winners were playing on older wooden wheels.

Almost every casino today uses what’s called a Starburst wheel. Created by John Huxley, a Starburst wheel has metal frets and is much less likely to wear down than a wooden wheel.

This makes it harder than ever to find and exploit a biased roulette game. Therefore, wheel bias is an outdated strategy today.

Gadgets/Chaos Theory

The chaos theory deals with the butterfly effect, or the idea that any sensitive change in initial conditions can have larger consequences later on. Anybody who saw the 2004 film Butterfly Effect with Ashton Kutcher will understand this concept.

A group of physicists from the University of Western Australia Perth used roulette to demonstrate the chaos theory. Furthermore, they measured the motion of the roulette ball to prove that one can overcome the game’s odds.

“Knowing the initial conditions allows you to beat the odds,” said Michael Small, a statistician from the University of Western Australia. “In some cases, you can beat them quite significantly.”

This research essentially amounts to a combination of dealer signatures, wheel bias and technology to predict results.

The chaos theory refers to wheel bias, where the physicists’ gadgets found any slight change in a wheel that gave them an advantage.

“A very slight slant in the roulette table could … substantially enhance returns,” Small explained.

“If you wish to beat the house, look for a wheel for which the ball drops only from one side of the rim – that is, a crooked table. Prediction becomes substantially simpler and more reliable.”

Small and his partner, Chi Kong Tse of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, used equations to predict what path the ball would take once it left the dealer’s hand.

“We extrapolate that prediction to the point where the ball hits one of the deflectors, the raised bumps in the wheel’s rim that are added to increase the random bouncing of the ball,” said Small. “Then, we make a guess as to what portion of the wheel the ball is likely to land in.”

Insider Science reports that the team set up a roulette wheel in their laboratory to carry out their study. They also used a computer and other equipment to measure the ball speed as it passed a fixed point on the roulette wheel.

“You basically press a button when the ball passes a certain point and then use that timing to make a prediction,” noted Small.

Small and Tse used their technology to predict the correct half of the roulette wheel 13 out of 22 times (59.1%). This would earn them an 18% profit on even money bets.

These two are far from the first to beat roulette using gadgets. The “Eudaemons,” a team of physics postgraduates, created a shoe device that helped them win against Nevada casinos in the 1970s.

But Tse and Small used an original method via the computer and a digital camera placed directly above the wheel.

Of course, the distinction to be made here is that it’s no longer legal to use electronic devices to beat roulette. The Eudaemons got away with it in the 70s because there weren’t any laws against doing so.

It would certainly be a dream to be able to use devices in roulette. After all, Tse and Small were able to spot both wheel bias and dealer signatures much quicker than the average person.

What Technique Should You Use to Become a Roulette Pro?

I covered three different advantage play methods that work in roulette. but only dealer signatures are actually viable in today’s casino climate.

The dealer signature isn’t the greatest advantage play technique of all time. In fact, card counting, daily fantasy sports, poker and sports betting are more reliable.

But spotting dealer signatures is the most realistic way to beat roulette. As discussed earlier, you need to watch the ball’s velocity, wheel velocity and where the ball consistently lands.

If you want to make a living through roulette, then I recommend mastering dealer signatures. Assuming you watch a certain dealer and don’t notice a signature, move on to a different table and watch a new dealer.

How Much Money Will You Make?

Going back to the dealer signature section, I discussed a scenario where you make a $40 profit every three spins. Here’s some math on how much you could theoretically make if there are 50 spins per hour:

  • 50 spins / 3 spins = 16.67 wins
  • 67 x 40 = $667 profit every hour

This is an extremely generous estimate that assumes you nail a dealer signature and win a single number bet one third of the time.

The reality is that you’re probably going to win less often and spend hours trying to find a reliable signature. Here’s a detailed example on such a scenario:

  • You notice that most of the dealer’s bets land in the 9 o’clock area
  • You put $5 bets on the nine pockets in this area ($45 total)
  • You’re paid at 35:1 for a single winning bet ($175)
  • You win 3 out of every 11 times (27.3%)
  • $45 x 11 = $495 total bets
  • $175 x 3 = $525 winnings
  • $525  $495 = $30 profit every 11 spins

Here’s how this would translate in terms of hourly winnings:

  • 50 spins / 11 spins = 4.55 wins per hour
  • 55 wins x $30 = $136 profit per hour

This is still an excellent win rate – it’s just not as lofty as the $667 hourly profit that I came up with earlier.

Odds are that the average player will lose money until they get more experienced with dealer signatures, but even at a $136 hourly rate, the rewards are big.

Bankroll Requirements

You don’t have to use the system I described above, but no matter what type of wagers you make, you’ll need a large bankroll to properly execute this strategy.

After all, you must make multiple bets to cover a wide section.

In my example using single number bets, you need to wager $45 every spin. Multiply this by 50 spins per hour, and you’re looking at $2,250 in bets.

We also have to take into account that you’ll go through some losing streaks, even if you have a 2% to 10% edge on the casino.

Here’s an example:

  • You bet $5 on nine different numbers ($45 total)
  • You win 27.2% of the time on average
  • But you go through a losing streak of 7 straight spins
  • You’ve now lost $315 in a short span

The hope is that your edge will balance out and you’ll win this money back, but there’s no guarantee that things will rebound in your favor.

That said, I recommend starting with at least $3,000 to $4,000 if you’re going to bet big on dealer signatures. This gives you between 69 and 89 betting units ($45) to work with.


You can’t beat roulette with gambling systems, but you can through dealer signatures, wheel bias and gadgets.

Out of these, dealer signatures is the best route to go because it’s both legal and still relevant.

Assuming you can spot a dealer signature and win consistently using the system I covered above, then you could win over $100 per hour.

Of course, the biggest step is to spot the signature first. This will take some practice and hard work.

I suggest that you learn more on the subject and visit your local casino to practice. You can even stand off to the side of the game and watch for dealer signatures using the various factors involved.

If you master it, then you could be looking at a very good living.

Proceed with caution. No advantage play technique is guaranteed, especially a murky one like dealer signatures.