What is this?
This tool shows how much you might win or lose playing roulette.
The chart shows multiple simulations where you make the same type of bet with the same amount of money over a specified number of spins. The results are random, and they simulate the same expected results you would get when playing online roulette or live roulette.
In other words, it just shows you examples of how your balance can change over time when playing roulette, and how different the projected results can be depending on how lucky you get.
How does it work?
You have a few settings to play with:
- Balance. Set your starting balance. If you leave this at zero the simulations will keep going even when you're losing. If you set a specific starting balance however, the simulations will stop when you run out of money.
- Bet Size. How much you're betting on each spin of the wheel.
- Bet Type. Which type of bet you're making. Red/Black is more likely to win but has a payout of 1:1, whereas betting on a Single Number is less likely to win but has a much higher payout of 35:1.
- Spins. How many times you make the same bet.
- Simulations. The number of simulations to show on the graph at one time. This is useful for comparing how the results vary.
Obviously this tool does not simulate all kinds of results of playing roulette, as you may vary your bet size and spread your bets across the table in different ways (e.g. the Snake Bet or Call Bets).
Nonetheless, it's a simple tool for highlighting the variance between the most common type of bets you can make, and how your winnings can fluctuate the more you spin the roulette wheel.
What does it show?
Just try out different simulations and see the results for yourself.
A few of things worth noting:
- The overall trend is down. The casino has the edge, so on average you're expecting to lose a small amount on every bet you make. There may be short-term fluctuations due to luck, but the more you play, the closer you become to your expected losses.
- Betting on a single number has more variance. You will see bigger swings betting on a single number (low probability, high payout) than you will betting on red or black (high probability, low payout). It takes longer for the low probability results to converge on your expected results.
- Randomness is unpredictable. It's amazing to see how different your results can be from one simulation to next, even over a large number of spins.
The unique paths shown in this simulation are one of the reasons why roulette is addictive. When you're playing roulette, you're essentially riding one of the roller coasters in the chart, and you could move in any direction at any time.
What about systems?
Using a betting system will change the pattern of the charts, but it won't change the overall trajectory.
The casino has the edge on every bet you make, and varying your bet size (or where you bet) does not get around this fact. So the shape of the charts will be different (and more interesting), but over the long run the trend will still be downward.
The only way to make money from gambling is to make bets when the edge is in your favor, but the roulette wheel never gives you that opportunity.
What about live roulette?
You should see the same results whether you're playing online roulette or live roulette.
- This simulator uses a computer's random number generator to "spin" the roulette wheel, and it's similar to how an online roulette casino generates results when you play.
- A live roulette wheel instead uses physics to generate randomness, which is arguably a much better source of randomness than can be found inside a computer.
Nonetheless, this randomness used for this tool is good enough to be representative of both online and live roulette.
A live roulette wheel may have imperfections that could be exploited (à la Joseph Jagger), but in general these wheels are engineering masterpieces designed to capture randomness as fully as possible, and the differences in "randomness" between live and online roulette are indistinguishable.
But that's a topic for another day. In short, the simulator above applies to live roulette too.
Can I improve my chances of winning?
No, the payouts and probabilities are constant. The only thing you can do is hope to get lucky over the short term.
The more you spin the roulette wheel the closer you move to your expected results (which is to lose an average of 2.70% on every bet you make). One option is to make less bets and hope that luck is on your side, but mathematically you're still fighting the same losing battle.