Strategy for Roulette Tournaments

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Roulette tournaments are starting to take off, and having played in a few myself recently, I thought it was time to create a comprehensive guide on roulette tournament strategy.

As in standard roulette games, there’s an element of chance involved in tournaments, and so any strategy for roulette tournaments will always be less than perfect. Nonetheless, there are things you can do to improve your odds of winning.

Let’s begin with a refresher on how roulette tournaments work before we delve into the various strategies and tips to help you win.

How Do Roulette Tournaments Work?

There are some freeroll roulette tournaments, but the majority involve a buy-in to get started. For example, you might pay the buy-in of $10 and receive $1,000 worth of chips to play with.

Roulette tournaments take place over a fixed period of time. It’s common that they last 30 minutes or one hour. During this time, players attempt to accumulate the maximum number of chips possible.


Most roulette tournaments are split up into rounds. After a set period of time, say every 15 minutes, the players with the most points will proceed to the next round while the others are eliminated. The points are tracked on leaderboards.

Eventually, only one round will be left, and this is where the prize money is won. In this round, the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the bigger the share of the prize money you receive will be. Sometimes, the winner takes all, but it’s not unusual for the top 10 or 20 players to win some cash.

Roulette Tournament Tips & Strategy

In this section, I’ll share my best advice on how to win a roulette tournament. I’ve played in lots of them over the years, and as I said earlier, I played in a few in just the last few weeks, which is what gave me the idea to write this post. Here are my best tips for roulette tournaments.

Understand the rules completely

Make sure you understand the differences between roulette tournaments and playing roulette against the house.

For example, the most obvious difference is that you don’t play against the casino, so the house edge isn’t something you need to concern yourself with. Instead, your aim is to beat other players.

In roulette tournaments, your objective is to maximize the number of chips you win before the timer runs out in each round. You might want to gain a large lead and then cool it, or you might want to play conservatively and then go for broke if you’re going to be eliminated.

Make sure you understand the objective, how long each round lasts for, how many rounds there are, what share of the prize money each player gets according to where they finish, and other relevant factors. All of this should inform your roulette tournament strategy.

Bet according to the leaderboard as it stands 

I mentioned before that how you bet should be informed by where you are on the leaderboard and how many chips you have relative to other players. I’d like to go into a little more detail about that here.

Let’s say that you’re playing in the first round and you’re third on the leaderboard. You have 100 points, the leader has 250, and there’s 2 minutes left. Obviously, you’re going to have to bet more aggressively, so you might employ a betting system like the Reverse Martingale strategy.

What’s the Reverse Martingale? As the name suggests, it’s the opposite of the Martingale Strategy. You double down on winning bets, going for three bets in a row maximum, taking advantage of winning streaks to maximize your wins without pushing your luck too far.

On the other hand, if you were in the lead by 250 points with 2 minutes to go, you might switch to a more conservative style of betting. Of course, you’d need to keep an eye on the other players, and if one of them started gaining quickly on you, that might have to change.

The type of bets you make could also be informed by your current position. You can make straight bets for 35:1 payouts to win big amounts of chips, or you can make even-money bets like red/black, which are much more likely to pay but which will pay 1:1.

Take full advantage of roulette freerolls

I mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth emphasizing here. Not all roulette tournaments require buy-ins. Some of them are freerolls, meaning the casino puts up prize money and doesn’t require any payment from you or the other contestants.

These are more common at real-world casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere, but they’re available online, too. Why do casinos run them? Getting players through the door and in the mood to bet is what they get out of it. Effectively, it’s a promotional tool.

The aim is to win big with roulette tournaments, and there’s no sweeter way to do that than to do it on the casino’s dime. Yes, you may have to wager what you win in some cases, but nothing beats a freebie, and that’s what these freeroll tournaments are.

Where to Find Roulette Tournaments

Real money roulette tournaments are available at brick-and-mortar casinos all over the world. However, it’s probably more convenient to play them at the best online casinos for roulette.

All of these casinos offer real roulette tournaments and other games like live casino roulette. They also have generous welcome bonuses for new players and pay quickly when you win.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.