Roulette Strategy for Beginners - How roulette systems work

Roulette strategy for beginners - explaining the differences between positive and regressive systems. Use our guide to pick the right roulette strategy for you!
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Roulette Strategy for Beginners: Definitive Guide

Broadly speaking, roulette strategies fall into two categories: Progressive and regressive. 

A progressive betting system requires you to bet more when things are going badly, on the assumption that sooner or later your luck is due to change and you’ll get back to more-or-less where you started by betting big. 

A regressive betting system requires you to reduce your bets when things are going badly, to avoid any risks to a bankroll that’s already under pressure. 

So which do you go for? Well, it depends on a number of things. In this beginner guide, we are going to explore various strategies and their major differences.

What you will learn in this article:

  • Choosing a strategy that fits your attitude to risk
  • Some popular strategies for beginners to try
  • Examples of progressive and regressive systems

Best Beginner Roulette Betting Systems


The first question you should ask yourself when picking a strategy is simple: what’s your attitude to risk? 

If you’re risk-positive (i.e. you like taking risks) then a progressive strategy like Martingale or D’Alembert will be right for you. 

The phrase “risk positive”, though, is not as simple as it sounds. You may love taking risks, but there’s also the size of your bankroll to think about. 


If you’ve got lots of spare cash then it’s easy to be quite cavalier about taking on a risk-positive strategy, but at other times you may not be able to afford to. 

In other words, your approach to risk will vary according to other factors. These also include how close you are to payday, what you happen to be saving up for at any given time and various other factors. Without delay, here are some popular risk positive systems.

The Martingale: Solid Beginner Strategy


If you hate being in a negative position and want to get back to Square One after a bad run at the table, the Martingale is a great choice if you’ve got plenty of spare cash. 

It’s the simplest idea around and literally uses the “double or quits” approach, so if you find yourself 
down, you bet twice as much to get back up again. 

However, most progressive strategies are not quite as punishing and consequently appeal to many more players. If you’re risk positive but don’t want to be reckless, then there are lots of options.

Read our full strategy guide to using the Martingale

D'Alembert: Good Choice for Newbies


The D’Alembert is an interesting choice for the new player. This requires to bet bigger when you lose, but only by one unit. 

You therefore won’ t be risking too much more but when luck turns your way you’ll have a small amount of extra winnings to help you come out ahead overall. 

This strategy will also appeal to you if you’re not technically minded as it’s very easy to understand.

Find out how to use this system in our D'Alembert Strategy guide

Labouchere: Technical Starting Point


If you’re a little more au fait with numbers and formulas, the LaBouchere will suit you. 

This uses a set of ascending numbers devised at your discretion (though there are sample sequences you can use to get started), which add up to the amount you hope to win. 

You bet the sum of the first and last numbers and if you lose, you add together the first and last numbers and add the total to the end of the sequence. 

This strategy isn’t just for mildly risk-positive players – it’s also great for players who have an aspirational level of winnings, as the sequence is devised around exactly the amount you want to win. 

Want to find out more? Use our Labouchere strategy guide

Low Risk Roulette Betting Strategies


If you’re a risk-averse player then you can use inverted versions of all these ideas, so that instead of betting more when things go badly, you bet less. 

Anti Martingale: A Safe way to Bet


The Anti-Martingale system is the simplest regressive betting system. You halve your bets whenever you make a losing bet to avoid further damage to your bankroll. 

However, if you win you’ll still have to work hard to repair the damage of the previous losing bet. 

This method will only really suit players who are desperate not to exhaust their bankroll as it’s difficult to get positive returns from it. 

Reverse D'Alembert: A Braver (But Safe) Strategy


A less timid regressive approach would be the reverse D’Alembert.  

You just bet one unit less after a losing bet and if things even out (which statistically they always do) you’ll get back to more or less where you started. 

This approach will suit players who want to recoup losses quickly but don’t want to go all-out and risk everything. 

Reverse Labouchere: Complex... But Calm


The reverse LaBouchere is quite a bit more complex. 

Instead of setting an amount you want to win you’ll set a limit on how much you want to lose. 

If you set out with the intention of only losing up to a very specific amount then this will be the perfect system for you. 

Customising your Roulette Strategy


As with any roulette strategy, you can always customise then to suit yourself. For example, you may want to reduce or increase your D’Alembert bets by two units instead of one. 

Remember, none of this is set in stone and you‘ll need to spend lots of time developing variations and combinations of these ideas to get to where you need to be. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best roulette strategy for beginners?

The best roulette strategy for beginners is the Martingale. It's an easy system to learn - and can be effective over short game sessions. In theory, the strategy has a 100% rate of success. However, new players should be wary that bets can double quickly - and table limits can undo this betting system easily.

Does roulette strategy actually work?

Roulette strategy does work - but it doesn't improve your winning chances. No strategy will increase the RTP of a roulette game. However, it can vary your playing style significantly - so much so that you may actually enjoy the game more.

What is the best roulette game for new players?

The best roulette game for new players is French Roulette with the La Partage rule in play. Not only do you get to benefit from the low house edge of 2.70% thanks to the single zero - you can also receive half you stakes back on even money bets if the ball lands in zero. With this rule active - the house edge decreases further to just 1.35%!

What is the best roulette tip for beginners?

The best roulette tip for new players is to learn the importance of the house edge. If a roulette game has a high house edge, that means you are at more of a disadvantage. For example, there's a big difference to returns with American Roulette's 5.26% house edge vs single zero roulette's 2.70% edge.


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