Winning Strategies for American Roulette


The most common roulette version in USA casinos is the one with two zeros. Aside from that, in some gambling establishments, you might encounter the variant with a single zero, but it is more characteristic for Europe.

These two roulette versions are known as American and European roulette, and everything that separates them from one another is a tiny zero. The American roulette wheel has an additional pocket for two zeros. Furthermore, this double zero means that the house edge is bigger than with the European wheel. It also implies that the player’s odds might be a bit slimmer.

Knowing that, you must wonder if there are any methods and strategies that can increase your chances of winning. The answer is: Of course there are. Professional gamblers through decades have tried out various ways to beat the double-zero wheel. Many practical strategies came out of their experience and earned their popularity by making real money.

Ways to Approach the Wheel

If you’ve been playing roulette for a while, you must’ve heard about the Paroli or Martingale roulette system. These are simple methods that can help you either win big or remain in the game longer. Let’s see how they can influence your gameplay.

The Martingale Strategy

Roulette TableThe Martingale roulette strategy originates from the 18th-century France. It involves mathematical analysis of odds of winning in the long term. Being quite a common practice among experienced gamblers, it is something that you’ll eventually stumble upon as a roulette player.

Putting it like that, it might seem complicated, but it is actually quite simple. The Martingale betting system is based on making your wager double after you lose and keeping it at the same amount when you win. As an illustration, your initial bet might be five dollars. If you lose in the first spin, applying the Martingale system means your next wager will be ten dollars. Fail again? You increase your bet to 20 dollars. However, if you win in the spin after that, and you want to continue playing, your bet should remain 20 dollars.

You should be very careful with the numbers you place your wager on. The best choice with Martingale for sure is 50/50 bets. These are either red or black, even or odd, 1–18 or 19–36.

With the double-zero wheel, your chances for gain are little under 50% due to the additional 00 pocket. It is of utmost importance to realize that this betting system is a double-edged sword. It can either lead you to the maximum wager or leave you empty-handed. That is why you should know your financial limits and when it is smart to walk out.

To sum it up, Martingale is a negative progression strategy, which might not help you recover what’s lost.

The Paroli System

Unlike the Martingale, the Paroli system is a positive progression strategy. That means you will increase the bet each time you win. Players who use it believe that wins follow wins. That might be true on some occasions. However, it can also lead you to a personal gambling disaster.

The Paroli strategy works this way: The initial bet is five dollars. The wheel spins, and you win. Before the next spin, you double your wager, and you win again. Since that bet was ten dollars, now you raise it on 20. When you win again, your next wager should be the same as the initial, meaning five dollars.

The major disadvantage of this strategy is that you can’t go long distances with it. If you don’t stop raising bets after the three-win streak, you’re at serious risk of losing a lot of money. A good time to start with the Paroli’s strategy is when you already have won. Meaning, don’t use it from the start. If your first bet is $5, and you win, make the second bet $5 as well. Now, if you win the second bet, you should raise it to ten dollars. If your wager falls through, you should go back to five dollars again.

The thing this method shares with the Martingale is that it is most suitable for 50/50 wagers, also known as even-money bets. Like with the Martingale, the odds of winning are little under 50%.

Betting on 0 or 00

Before you understand how betting on a single and double-zero works, you should be reminded of the types of bets you can make at the roulette table. If you have some experience in roulette, you know there are inside and outside bets.

Inside bets are the ones you place on the numbers themselves. The simplest inside bets are the straight-up bet, which covers a single number, and the split bet made on two neighboring numbers. These wagers aren’t recommendable because the probability of winning is pretty small.

Outside bets have better winning odds. The mentioned even-money or 50/50 bets you place on one-half of the numbers belong to this category. These are generally wagers placed on large groups of numbers. For example, you can also wager on black or red sockets.

Betting on a Single Zero

Betting on the 0 is basically a straight-up bet. Meaning that, if you win, your payout will be 35 to 1. It is quite a risk because you’re betting on one field out of 38 on the roulette table. However, if you’re willing to take the risk, it can make you a substantial profit.

Some gamblers make this wager because the house is betting on the zero too. That is not really a great choice to make. The fact that the house might win doesn’t make your odds bigger than with any other single-number wager.

Double-Zero Bet

If you bet on the single zero, it is a good idea to add the two-zeros wager to your gameplay. Looking at the layout, it might seem to you that placing your chips between the 0 and 00 fields, you’ll be betting on the neighboring numbers.

However, when you look at the wheel, you’ll see that the pockets for the single and the double zero are placed one across the other. That means your odds are a bit larger than with a split bet. Actually, the probability of winning is 38 to 2, and though the payoff is lower than with a straight-up bet (17 to 1), your profit will still be significant.

Making Zero a Side Bet

Maybe the best way to benefit from the zero bets is to make this a side bet. Even though the prizes are significantly smaller, the odds are on your side.

The smart move would be to place your main stake on a color, one of the three columns, or a larger group of numbers, and a side bet on the single zero. This way you’ll cover a significant part of the wheel and probably save some of your money.


Before you approach the roulette table, you should have a few things in mind. First, you will most likely lose. The odds of winning vary from one bet type to another, but none of them makes your chances of winning higher than 50%.

Second, you have to be aware that whatever strategy you choose, it will work in your favor under specific conditions that you cannot control. The Martingale might lead you to lose all the money before you hit a win. The Paroli presumes that you’ll have at least three consecutive wins.

Third, you should know when to walk away. If you’ve covered your initial bet and earned a significant amount, it isn’t smart to take further risks. Also, always remember that Lady Luck is as cruel as she is generous.