Roulette Betting Progressions

Players have been looking for the perfect strategy for centuries and as a result, a great number of betting systems have been developed throughout the years. After all, everyone wishes to win since winning is, in fact, the ultimate goal of playing any casino game for real money, be it roulette, craps, baccarat or blackjack.

In broader terms, we can distinguish two major categories of betting systems. Some systems are based on positive betting progressions and others revolve around negative betting progressions. Generally speaking, following a betting progression means players adjust the size of their stakes depending on the outcome of their previous bets.

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Some betting systems are quite effective, others not so much, but one thing is certain – if you wish to turn a profit or at least reduce your losses to the minimum, adopting an adequate betting system prior to taking a seat at the roulette table is of crucial importance. Even more so, if we take into consideration the fact roulette is solely based on chance and the outcome of the spins is not affected by one’s level of skill and experience. The following article aims at introducing players to the two betting progressions which are applicable to the game of roulette.

The Positive Betting Progression

Systems which rely on the positive betting progression enjoy a great popularity among roulette players. This is anything but surprising as positive betting progressions are easy to master and implement into one’s gambling strategy. In fact, out of the two betting progressions, the positive one is often regarded as the smarter option.

With positive betting progressions, the player increases their stake after each winning bet. How many units the bet is increased with depends on the betting system you have adopted. Then again, the player is expected to reduce the size of their stake each time a loss occurs. The idea behind the positive betting progression is that it will eventually enable players to maximise their profits should a winning streak occur. Adopting this approach may also help players keep their losses to the minimum whenever they experience a longer losing streak.

It is fair to say this theory makes sense. When players are on a winning streak, increasing the size of their stake after each win may help them accumulate greater profits. Also, when you follow this progression, a longer losing streak will not completely exhaust your bankroll. That being said, it is important to mention that adopting a system based on a positive progression will do nothing to affect your chances of winning or losing – the wheel has the final say.

Two of the most popular gambling systems, based on positive betting progressions, are the Paroli and the Parlay systems.

Positive Betting Progression
Spin Bet (units) Outcome Total Profit Probability (%)
1 1 WIN 1 48.6
2 2 WIN 3 24.3
3 4 WIN 7 12.15
4 8 WIN 15 6.08
5 16 WIN 31 3.04
6 32 WIN 63 1.52
7 64 WIN 127 0.76
8 128 WIN 255 0.38
9 256 WIN 511 0.19
10 512 WIN 1023 0.09
11 1024 WIN 2047 0.045
12 2048 WIN 4097 0.023
13 4098 LOSS -1

The Negative Betting Progression

Many gambling systems are based on the principle of the negative betting progression. The latter is precisely the opposite of its positive counterpart – interestingly enough, the negative betting progression calls for increasing the size of your stake with one or more units after each losing bet and reducing the stake after each winning bet.

The idea behind the negative betting progression is that you will eventually win and the increased stakes will enable you to offset your losses. As a result, you will turn a profit. This theory, too, seems logical at first glance. Yet, it is fundamentally flawed due to the simple reason there is no guarantee you will break out of your losing streak quickly. Even if you do break out of the losing streak, your profits will be far from impressive. You might end up losing repeatedly with increased stakes until you exhaust your entire bankroll.

Some players fall prey to the misconception that if even-money bets on red, for example, have won repeatedly, the ball is bound to end up in a black pocket on the next spin. The truth of the matter is there in no such thing – the ball is just as likely to end up in a red pocket again as it is likely to land in a black one. This false belief that previous outcomes can affect future outcomes is known as the gambler’s fallacy. From this, it follows players should never forget that implementing a betting progression, be it a positive or a negative one, has zero impact on the outcome of the spins.

Some of the most popular systems that are based on negative betting progressions include the Martingale, the Labouchère, the D’Alembert, and the Fibonacci systems.

Negative Betting Progression
Spin Bet (units) Outcome Total Profit Probability (%)
1 1 LOSS -1 51.4
2 2 LOSS -3 25.7
3 4 LOSS -7 12.8
4 8 LOSS -15 6.4
5 16 LOSS -31 3.2
6 32 LOSS -63 1.6
7 64 LOSS -127 0.8
8 128 LOSS -255 0.4
9 256 LOSS -511 0.2
10 512 LOSS -1023 0.1
11 1024 LOSS -2047 0.05
12 2048 LOSS -4097 0.025
13 4098 WIN 1

The Level-Betting Approach

Adopting the level-betting approach, also known as flat betting, may prove to be the smartest way to go. The concept of level-betting is probably the easiest to grasp. If the ball fails you on your first bet, you neither increase nor decrease your stake but repeat the same bet, with the same stake, until you win eventually. One of the main advantages of level betting stems from the fact there are no mathematical progressions to work out since you always bet the same amount of money. This way, you will deplete your bankroll in just a few spins by chasing your losses.

For example, if you adopt the level-betting approach and end up losing four consecutive bets of £10 on red, you will be down only £40. Then again, if you have adopted the Martingale which calls for doubling your bets after each loss, you will be down £150. The idea here is that by doubling your bets, you will eventually win enough money to offset previous losses in addition to your base betting unit. However, when one is faced with a longer losing streak, they might run out of money to play with when following negative betting progression systems such as the Martingale.

It becomes evident that out of all betting systems, those that are based on level betting are the least volatile since the chances of players exhausting their bankrolls are smaller.


While following a given betting system may enable roulette players to minimise their losses and turn a profit, it is essential to remember that systems do not influence the outcome of the spins. Besides, the house always wins in the long run. Nevertheless, adopting a betting system based on either of the two progressions will instil a certain degree of discipline in roulette players and enable them to better manage their bankrolls.