The Paroli system is a betting strategy that can be applied to any casino game. It is very similar to the reverse Martingale strategy. Basically it involves increasing the size of bets after wins. the theory is that you compound your winnings on winning streaks.
How It Works
If your initial bet is $5 on red and you win, you double your bet to $10 on the next spin. Then if you win, double your next bet to $20, and so on. Again it;s very similar to the Reverse Martingale, but the Paroli roulette strategy has some differences.
There are numerous variations of the Paroli system, with the main being stop-loss rules. These are defined rules that prevent wagers becoming too large.
For example, after 3 wins, you can revert to your original bet. Another variation is betting no more than a fixed percentage of your bankroll. The Paroli can be useful in some rare cases, but ultimately it will not at all change your chances of long-term profit.
Why The Paroli System Doesn’t Work
Each and every spin in roulette is an independent event. So if you make 3 different bets like $5, $10 and $20 with each on different spins, all you’ve done is made 3 different bets on 3 different spins. It makes no difference if these bets are made by a single player, or multiple players. Keep in mind the wheel doesn’t know or care who is betting money. It has no intelligence, and winning numbers come merely from cause and effect.
It may be natural to thing your bets on different spins are connected. But they aren’t. In this respect, it doesn’t make any difference whether you play roulette online, or at a real land-based casino.
A Better Alternative
The Paroli betting strategy is ultimately just another betting progression. And any betting strategy is only different size bets on different spins.
There are two main branches of betting progressions:
POSITIVE PROGRESSION: Increasing bets after an event.
NEGATIVE PROGRESSION: Decreasing bets after an event.
If you have a negative edge, it means you’ll gradually lose over time. The house edge in European roulette is -2.7%. It seems only small, and it is. But over the long-term, it has a deadly effect on your bankroll. If say you bet 1 number on 37 spins, the odds are you’ll be down 1 unit. Keep in mind that odds and payouts are different things (see explanation).
If you increase the average amount you bet, you’ll increase the average or expected amount you’ll lose. If you decrease amounts you bet, it decreases the amount you’ll lose. Decreasing the amount you lose with a “negative progression” is helpful for gamblers who want to remain at the table for longer. After all, the longer your bankroll lasts, the longer you can play for.
The only time a betting progression of any kind is useful is with advantage play. This is where you get a legitimate edge over the casino. Again the normal edge against players may be -2.7%. But if you correctly exploit roulette wheel physics, you can achieve an edge over the casino. Depending on your approach, your edge could be anywhere between 1% to 200%. While this is a very broad range, it’s just the reality because your edge will depend greatly on the wheel you play on, the conditions in the casino, and the technique, system or technology you apply.
So let’s get to the better alternative.
It’s quite simple: each bet should be a proportion of your bankroll. So if your system is “working”, your bankroll and the size of bets will steadily grow. If your system isn’t working, your bankroll will gradually erode, and your bets become smaller.
It may sound like the Paroli system, but it’s not. Remember the Paroli system aggressively increases the size of bets after wins, and has an element to limit bet sizes.
When I say your system is “working”, I don’t mean you’re profiting. You can profit even with a bad system that doesn’t “work”. When I say something is “working”, I’m referring to a legitimate edge over the casino. If you apply such a technique properly, you will have a legitimate edge, and importantly have a practical way of monitoring your edge. This is because you might have a great system, but be applying it incorrectly. You wont know you’re applying it incorrectly until you’ve lost a substantial amount. So you need to correctly monitor your edge.
For example, a popular proven strategy is visual ballistics. It involves using your eyesight to predict when and where the ball will fall. It works on enough wheels to be viable.
One of the ways to determine if the strategy works is by monitoring if you are correct about the amount of ball revolutions to go, before it falls. If you estimate there are 5 revolutions remaining, but on a spin there were 7, it could be that you’re making mistakes. In such a case, wins may make you think your system is working, but it could be just blind luck. So monitoring your edge and what’s happening on the wheel is critical.
The Paroli betting strategy only has a valid place for gamblers, who play for entertainment. It has no place in professional play.
A better alternative for professional roulette players is betting a percentage of your bankroll. This way, if you’re making mistakes, you’ll slow your rate of loss until you can rectify any problems. As you correct mistakes, your edge will become positive again. Then your bankroll increase rapidly.