Negative Progression Systems and Roulette

Negative Progression Systems in RouletteUnlike Blackjack or Poker, where strategy is the key to a successful hand, Roulette is all about luck; with unpredictability in its very core, this table game has challenged many strategic experts who refuse to believe in random occurrences. Science behind the wheel and behaviour of the ball has so far been the topic of many discussions, in an attempt to generate the perfect formula that would be capable of calculating the position of the ball with mathematical precision.

While some believe that such a thing is actually possible, others remain sceptic, arguing that both the wheel and the ball are inanimate objects designed to be unpredictable, thus eliminating all possibility of patterns. Still, that does not mean that playing Roulette will devoid you of all the fun that strategic thinking can bring– you may not be able to accurately predict the exact position of the ball, but you will still be able to plan ahead, even with Roulette.

Progressive Systems in Roulette

If you are on a budget (most of us unfortunately are), the worst thing that you can possibly do is jump the gun and wager all of your savings on your lucky number, hoping for a lucky break. Sadly, most of us had to learn this the hard way. The fortune may favour the brave, but Roulette definitely favours the prudent ones and the time will come when you will be grateful to yourself for taking a few extra moments to work on your strategic skills.

The most common systems used among Roulette enthusiasts are Progressive betting systems, divided into Negative and Positive Progressions. Players who use the Positive systems tend to gradually increase their stakes after a winning hand whereas in the Negative systems, stakes are increased after a loss.

Negative Progressive Systems

The most commonly used Negative Progressions are Fibonacci, Labouchere and Martingale Systems.

Fibonacci System

Compared to others, Fibonacci is considered to be among safer betting strategies. It is based on the integer sequence where every next number is the total of the two previous numbers:

1 -1 -2 -3- 5 -8 -13- 21 -34…

Applied to bets, it means that the amount of the player’s every next bet should be the sum of the two previous stakes. The betting amount does not have to start at 1, although most experts would recommend it.

Fibonacci system will start out flat, with Red/Black or Odd/Evens; every losing spin will be followed up with the bet increase according to the sequence above. As you are making way through the number sequence, the losses will accumulate with every next hand and the stake amount will increase –  until the first winning hand. At that point, the player needs to go back two steps and decrease the stake before the next hand. The idea behind this concept is to limit the potential loss.

Illustrated with an example, the betting sequence would look something like this:

Bet $ 1 1 2 3 5 2 3 5 2 3
Loss(-)/Win (+) -1 -1 -2 -3 +10 -2 -3 +10 -2 +6
Balance -1 -2 -4 -7 3 1 -2 8 6 12

The main advantage of the system is that it can generate profit even if the losing rounds outnumber the winning sessions. On the other hand, taking the table limits and duration of losing streaks into consideration, Fibonacci system is not a strategy that would be effective in the long run.

Labouchere System

Also known as the Split Martingale, Labouchere falls under relatively complex strategies usually employed by the more seasoned players. Developed by Henry Labouchere who was a keen Roulette player himself, the system is designed to recover the losses through the series of wins. The player starts by selecting the sequence of bets and writing it down. For example, we can opt for the basic 1-2-3 sequence, with the total of $6 as a potential profit amount (1+2+3= 6). Each bet should be the total of the first and last number in the sequence; 4 in this case. The same numbers should be crossed out from the list after a winning session, while the total sum of the relevant numbers is added to the sequence after a losing hand:

Winning round:

Losing round:

1  –  2  –  3  –  4

If the system leaves you with a single number on your list, the wagering continues with that particular amount, resetting the system to the original sequence after the winning round.

The best thing about this system is its structure and the fact that the stakes are not doubled after a losing spin, making the entire strategy easy to manage both financially and strategically  – unless you fall into a long losing streak.

Martingale System

By far the riskiest method on the list, but still preferred by some players who use it for even odds outside bet types. The progression should be initiated with the lowest possible amount allowed at the table. Once you lose, the bet amount should be doubled, which would recover the lost amount and add some extra profit in case of the winning spin. The player then needs to start over, going back to the betting minimum, doubling the bets after losses and restarting after every successful spin.

Martingale is often avoided by Roulette veterans as it can dry out your budget fairly quickly; assuming that you are not made of money, only a few losing spins would be sufficient to throw you out of the game, not to mention that you can only keep doubling your stakes for as long as the table limits let you – once you hit that maximum bet, you cannot go any further, which makes it that much harder to recover.