You have more than likely heard or read about it somewhere that there is no mathematical system that can beat the game because it is a negative expectation game.
BUT what does it actually mean? Let’s get this point cleared once and for all today.
The expected value for any bet or combination of bets in roulette can be calculated according to this formula:
E(V) = P(W) x (Winnings) – P(L) x (Losses)
E(V) = expected value if you play a bet over and over again
P(W) = Probability of winning the bet
P(L) = probability of losing the bet
Winnings = Amount you win
Losses = Amount you lose
So, if say you bet $1 on RED every time, then the expected value will be:
E(V) = (18/37) x ($1) – (19/37) x ($1) – assuming this is based on a European roulette wheel with single zero
= $ ( – 1/37)
= – $0.027
What does that mean exactly?
That means if you keep playing the same bet, in the long run, you can expect to lose approximately $0.027 per $1 bet you place.
And that is commonly referred to as the house edge. You can try and mix your bet up with whatever combination you like, it does not alter the math – the expected value will always work out to be the same as illustrated above.
Does that mean you can never win playing roulette?
Does it mean that every player will succumb in the same manner?
Well, let’s think about this shall we?
Let’s say John (who has several bet selection methods under his belt) and another 100 punters (who are banking on luck) walk into the same casino and each has a bankroll of say $1000.
At the end of the day, John left with winnings of say $100 and everyone else either won some or lose some of their bankroll. Do you think the house edge has anything to do with the outcome of each person or do you think the difference was that John was better equipped to pick more winners than losers compared to everyone else?
If you think casinos bottom line are solely based on the house edge, casinos would not be able to survive.
Based on roulette turnover of say $1 billion, 2.7% of that = $ 27 million – that is NOTHING for a casino. The overheads of running a casino that commands a roulette turnover of $1 billion is not small and $27 million is not going to cut it.
Contrary to popular belief, NOT everyone loses ALL THE TIME. When you go to the casino, have you ever noticed some punters that seem to be always there? No they are not addicted gamblers – they are professional gamblers. Addicted gamblers are usually out looking for money so they can be in the casino!
The point of all this? Yes the mathematical expected value is correct – but why should you care if you have better bet selection skills compared to the average Joe? And the way to have better bet selection skills is to learn some. But don’t misunderstand what I am saying here – I am not saying you can just find a superior bet selection skill out of a book – that would be too easy and casinos will go bust.
The roulette strategy ebooks I publish are meant to give you additional ways to improve the bet selection – they are not a fool-proof system that guarantees you winnings every single time nor do they guarantee to beat the game of roulette. Without bet selection skills to back you up, you will eventually succumb – I have NO DOUBT about that.
Even having the best bet selection skills, if you do not have the right mindset or mental discipline, you also do not have any chance of making a living off roulette. Don’t kid yourself that it is easy and that you can do it – it is far from easy but it is not impossible.
And to seriously live off the casino, you definitely cannot just rely on one game – you need skills in at least 2 games – like roulette and baccarat – sometimes you just need a change and change is good. It stops your mind being fixated in any particular game. The same with bet selection methods – when you have several ways, you are better equipped to secure wins consistently. So, don’t be overly concerned with the mathematical expectations – whether you win or lose on your next visit is not because of it. It will be based solely on your bet selection – period!