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Roulette: what’s the difference between the Martingale and Paroli strategies?

Roulette: what’s the difference between the Martingale and Paroli strategies?


Although roulette might seem like the least strategic game out there, there is a surprising amount of complexity to the game, which makes it perfect for trying out strategies. The rules of roulette are possibly the simplest of any casino game: simply spin the wheel, throw the ball into the centre of it, choose a colour and number combination, and if it lands where you predicted it would, you win. Despite this apparent simplicity, however, there is a surprising amount of complexity to the game. When played at a high level, it takes a surprising amount of strategy to ensure that your bankroll doesn’t deplete in a couple of rounds!

What sorts of roulette strategies are there?

Given that where the ball lands in a game of roulette is dictated entirely by chance, no strategy you can implement will be able to predict where it lands. As such, the difficulty with high-level roulette strategy lies in the betting strategy you can employ in a given game. These betting strategies typically revolve around reducing the house edge as much as possible – for example, by using an American rather than a European roulette wheel – or by being strategic with how you place your bets. Two strategies in particular that have gained a degree of notoriety within the casino gaming world are the Martingale system and the Paroli strategy. What are these strategies, however, and do they actually work?

The Martingale system: what is it?

As one of the most popular roulette strategies out there, if you step into any land-based casino, you are likely to spot someone attempting to use this strategy in their own game. The basic concept behind the Martingale system is fairly simple for the most part – you simply increase your bet after every loss, such that when you eventually win, you will (hopefully) get your lost money back. The basic idea behind it seems pretty logical, and it doesn’t take much to actually implement it. However, as with many other strategies, the key to it is in the execution, which is what so many players struggle with.

The Martingale system: what are the downsides?

Although it seems straightforward and, in many respects, somewhat fool-proof to implement, the fact of the matter is that the Martingale system is no guarantee of success. In fact, all it does is increase the likelihood that you will win big if – and that’s a big “if” – you do eventually win. This is very much a short-term wager as most players won’t be able to sustain this strategy over a long game. The downside is that you are essentially betting big to win small, which isn’t necessarily conducive to long-term success!

The Paroli system: how does it work?

The Paroli system is a system of betting in roulette that – supposedly – gives you the chance of winning big without having to bet too high. The Paroli system is essentially a direct progression wagering system that works in reverse to the Martingale system. It looks to blend certain elements of the Martingale system and the “Anti-Martingale” system into one, and looks to generate consistent, small wins in order to avoid the risk of huge losses like in the Martingale system. At its most basic level, it involves players increasing their wagers during “winning streaks” and decreasing them in the midst of a losing streak.

To implement it, simply decide on a base stake, double up after a win, stop raising your bets after three or so consecutive wins, and bet your base stake after losing.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Paroli system

The main advantages of the Paroli system are that it doesn’t take long to learn, doesn’t require a huge bankroll like the Martingale system, takes advantage of so-called “hot streaks”, focuses on small consistent wins rather than chasing losses, and minimises the risk of any losses you might suffer.

The main disadvantage is that the profit is a lot shorter term and can see your bankroll deplete quicker than you might anticipate.

How do the two differ?

The Martingale and Paroli systems are reasonably similar in their basic mechanics. In fact, the Paroli system is sometimes referred to as the “Reverse Martingale system” – which shows the extent to which it is essentially the Martingale method in reverse. As such, at their core, they are similar in terms of basic mechanics. They differ greatly in the level of risk, however, and how much you stand to gain if successfully implemented. The Martingale system essentially rests on the premise that consecutive losses won’t last too long – well, at least while your bankroll lasts – while the Paroli system rests on the hope that consecutive wins will last.

Because of this fundamental difference in outlook, the Paroli system is considered the more optimistic of the two and, as a result, the less risky. This is because large bets are made only using funds actually won, rather than those drawn from your pot in the hope that they will turn into a win soon. This gives the Martingale system a sense of being more sacrificial than hopeful! Generally, it will result in more losses over time than the Paroli system – however, the hope is that the wins will be less frequent but much larger.

Strategy takes time to perfect – so get started today!

As with any new betting strategy, they ultimately take a lot of time and effort to learn and implement successfully. It’s also important to remember that over the course of this process, you might experience some losses as you test them out and get used to them. With that said, the free-to-play demo account on offer at Bitcasino is the perfect environment to test out any strategies – it is essentially risk-free as it requires no funds to get playing. Why not head over to Bitcasino today and see for yourself?

Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock & Bitcasino


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