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High-Risk and Low-Risk Strategies in Roulette Tournament Play

By: Joan Peppin, Saturday October 26th 2013
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In cash-based roulette, you often run into a scenario where all of your bets have the same payout rate. The main things that change are your risk of losing and your payout amount when you win. If you have a small chance of winning, for example, you're compensated by having your payout amount boosted to make it even out. When you play in certain types of roulette tournaments, however, different bets can actually have different expected values or payout rates based on the standings of the tournament and the risk of the bets. Here we're going to cover what you need to know to take risk-based strategies into account when playing roulette tournaments.

Imagine that you're in a one-on-one tournament where you'll face a single opponent for a set number of spins, and whoever has the most chips after that number of spins comes out the winner of the round. The loser is eliminated from the tournament. If you both start with 1,000 chips, and you run into a scenario where you have 2,000 chips and your opponent has 100 chips with five spins left to go, then it's easy to see that a bet of 100 chips on black will give you a different chance of winning the round than betting 2,000 chips on black.

In the first case, your opponent has little chance of winning no matter whether you win or lose your bet. In the second case, you're giving your opponent about a 50/50 chance to be back in the game with serious chances to win. The other 50 percent of the time, you have a big lead similar to what you have now, so you don't really gain a lot.

The main point here is that in tournament roulette that uses this type of format where you have to beat an individual or small group to advance to another round, your strategy isn't to try to maximize your total chip count. Instead, it's to try to maximize your chances of having the largest chip count of the group, and those aren't necessarily the same things as you can see from the example we gave above. If a loss impacts you a lot more than a win does on an evens bet, then you're going to get the worst of it, and that goes proportionately for other bets on the roulette table as well.

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