A roulette flat betting system is one in which your bet size stays the same. For example, bet $5 on ten numbers straight up on every single spin. This would be the opposite of a roulette progressive system, where your bets increase each time you lose or win.
Flat betting is a broad term in casino terminology. This article refers to the game of roulette, but it could be used to describe the same strategy on baccarat, three card poker, or blackjack.
For instance, a blackjack player suspected of counting cards may be forced to flat bet during the whole blackjack shoe/session to prevent them from betting the maximum when the shoe is “full”.
Pros and cons of flat betting in roulette
You can flat bet in roulette by always placing the same amount on even chances (such as odd numbers), a dozen or column, or inside bets.
It’s up to you, really. The concept behind the system doesn’t really change — the bet size stays the same.
So, what are the pros and cons? Here’s the ones I can think of:
- Conservative system
- Could help you minimize losses
- Could help you stay in control
- Easy to implement
- Ideal for beginners
- No need to worry about maximums
- Could get boring after a while
- Unlikely to win big with it
- Sometimes you want to just bet randomly
Flat betting system vs progressive systems
Regardless of your level of experience and how long you’ve been playing, my advice would be to always avoid progressive systems.
You don’t need to use flat betting, but definitely don’t go with progressives — the most common one being the Martingale.
This is when you double your bet each time you lose, so that theoretically you can’t lose in the long run.
The problem is, what if you lose ten, twenty, thirty times in a row? And yes, it does happen, and I have seen it as a casino dealer.
To give you an idea, if you start with $5 on red and lose ten times, here’s how much you would have lost:
For a total of $5,115. And this would be only ten times — imagine twenty or more.
Unlikely to happen. But when it does happen… I’ll let you finish the sentence.
Any flat betting system is a much safer and much more conservative way to play.
This means you can still profit if you get lucky, but when you do get unlucky, then you won’t need to worry about the table maximum, and it won’t be as brutal.
Flat betting won’t make you win, or lose less
You probably know this already, but I feel I need to point it out just in case.
No roulette system will ever be profitable in the long run. This is for two main reasons:
- Roulette has a house edge — relatively low if the wheel has a single zero, and relatively high with a double zero — and this pretty much guarantees that in the long run the player will lose.
- Even if you were able to exploit a vulnerability of the wheel, and found a system that could indeed guarantee profit in the long run, the casino would ban you. It doesn’t matter if what you’re doing is legal — casinos are a business and cannot lose money.
We’ve all heard of gamblers who won a huge sum on roulette, cashed out, and walked away and never played anymore.
But was it really thanks to a strategy? Or just pure luck? And most importantly, what amount did they start with?
If you put 100k on red, won, and walked away, then your profit would be 100k. But starting with, say, 500, and getting to 100k, is a whole different thing.
Then there are those players who cheated and somehow got away with it. Like the Eastern European gang who won £1.3 million at the Ritz Club in 2004 (I mentioned it here).
Either way, as explained, forget about winning consistently because either your money is eaten by the house edge or you’re practically trying to exploit a vulnerability, which would never be allowed.
I always say the best roulette system is to play for a few minutes, maybe an hour or so, get lucky, and cash out.
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