When playing roulette, many novices would instinctively try to bet on as many numbers as possible in order to increase their winning chances. As logical as it sounds, this is actually a very risky and expensive tactic that may never work. Only a handful of methods turn out to be profitable and one of them is the 3/2 strategy.
As opposed to the traditional betting systems that are used with even-money bets in roulette, blackjack or craps, the 3/2 strategy does not include a betting progression. More importantly, it was specifically designed for roulette and its goal is to cover as a large area of the betting layout as possible. In fact, in its classic version, this method covers a little over 70% of the wheel – or 68% in a double-zero roulette. The most elegant part of this strategy is that it can help players generate decent winnings over time without having to risk too much.
Overall, this system is considered to be very safe, flexible, and reliable. It allows players to make one of two possible combination bets, based on the arrangement of the numbers on the betting layout. Moreover, the 3/2 strategy also has several interesting variations that are almost as appealing as the original. So, what exactly is this system and is it truly profitable even in the long run?
What is the 3/2 Roulette Strategy?
The 3/2 strategy combines bets on red/black with column bets in order to guarantee frequent wins that bring modest profits rather than occasional, yet incredibly profitable wins. The rules are simple and easy to understand, and unlike most systems for roulette, the bet size here remains at the same level and depends solely on players’ individual bankroll and judgment. The strategy combines two bets on each spin and works in two possible ways:
- A 3-unit bet on red plus a 2-unit bet on the middle column
- A 3-unit bet on black plus a 2-unit bet on the rightmost column
In other words, the strategy comprises of a 5-unit combination bet that always involves one of the two colors and one of the three columns of numbers. Therefore, with this method, players have the opportunity to cover a total of 26 numbers, which is 68% or 70% of the all possible numbers in American and European/French roulette games, respectively.
This means that players are expected to win most of the time even though the profits they make are quite low due to the 1:1 and 2:1 payout for the two bets. Overall, this is a very safe strategy suitable for all kinds of players who wish to earn small amounts of money without risking too much. The 3/2 ratio in the name of the method refers simply to the number of chips wagered on each of the to bets. In fact, the number of chips is irrelevant, it is their value that matters. For the sake of simplicity, we will replace the chips with betting units – 1 unit could be $1, $5, $10, or more, and on every spin of the wheel, players need to wager a total of 5 units.
3 Chips on Red + 2 Chips on 2nd Column
Many roulette players prefer to bet on their favorite color if it happens to be red, they can apply this strategy by placing 3 betting units on red. In addition, they bet 2 units on the second or middle column of the layout, which contains 12 numbers. As only 4 of them are red and 8 of them are black, the combination covers a total of 26 numbers, 18 red and 8 black.
At the same time, the payouts are 2:1 for the column bet and 1:1 for the red. The probability of winning can be calculated easily by dividing the winning numbers (26) by all numbers in the game (37). We get 0.7027 or, expressed as a percentage, 70.27%. Interestingly, the house edge remains fixed for each of the bets at 2.70%.
3 Chips on Black + 2 Chips on 3rd Column
The alternative way to apply the 3/2 strategy is by betting 3 chips on black and 2 chips on the third column. Note that this column contains 8 red and only 4 black numbers, which means that this combination covers 18 black and 8 red numbers. Everything else remains the same – you wager on a total of 26 numbers, or 70.27% of all possible numbers, and the house edge is 2.70%.
Using the 3/2 System at the Roulette Table
Unlike many other roulette strategies and wagering systems, the 3/2 method is not only easy to understand but also quite easy to apply in real-life situations. Players are advised to stick to this bet for at least 10 spins in order to maximize the profits. As explained above, 5 betting units should be waged per spin and in order to demonstrate the strategy as clearly as possible, we will replace 1 unit with $1. So, on each spin, we will bet $3 on the color and $2 on the column – on the red and the middle column, for instance.
|1||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||12 red, 3rd column||$6||$1|
|2||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||29 black, 2nd column||$6||$2|
|3||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||33 black, 3rd column||$0||-$3|
|4||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||0||$0||-$8|
|5||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||2 black, 2nd column||$6||-$7|
|6||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||35 black, 2nd column||$6||-$6|
|7||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||16 red, 1st column||$6||-$5|
|8||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||19 red, 1st column||$6||-$4|
|9||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||13 black, 1st column||$0||-$9|
|10||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||5 red, 2nd column||$12||-$2|
|11||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||29 black, 2nd column||$6||-$1|
|12||$3 on red, $2 on 2nd column||14 red, 2nd column||$12||$6|
|Total Bet Amount: $60||Total Payout: $66||Net Profit: $6|
Using the 3/2 System – Additional TipsAs we can see from this example, the 3/2 strategy guarantees more wins than losses due to the fact that it covers the majority of numbers on the table. The profits of each winning spin are fixed – if one of the bets wins, the casino pays out 6 units and the profit is only 1 unit, but if the player is lucky enough and the ball lands on one of the red numbers in the second column, the payout doubles to 12 units. The net profit is then 7 units, which is enough to recover the losses from a previous losing spin.
However, if players lose more than three or four times over the gaming session, they will find it hard to turn a profit as most of the spins would earn them a single betting unit. Obviously, this system is slow for making money and players who adopt it will have to be prepared to spend a lot of time on the roulette table in order to pocket some decent winnings.
Variations of the 3/2 Strategy
The strategy takes advantage of the uneven arrangement of red and black colors in the second and third column – note that the first column contains 6 red and 6 black numbers. Many similar methods can be applied by those who analyze the betting layout even in the most basic manner. These strategies resemble the 3/2 system so much that many experts consider them variations of the 3/2.
Red + Columns 1 and 2
This is a very interesting version of the original 3/2 strategy but it involves betting equal amounts of money on red and the first two columns. The method gives even greater coverage and the only numbers that are not included in this strategy are the 4 black numbers situated in the third column. In other words, gamblers who adopt this method will be able to play with 33 numbers out of 37 (or 38 in American-style roulette), so they will win approximately 89.2% of the spins. In single-zero roulette games, the coverage is slightly lower but just as impressive at around 87% of the wheel.
As you can see, this strategy offers an incredibly high probability of winning each spin. This low risk, however, comes with rather low payouts, as well. If we place three 1-unit bets on the red and the first two columns, we can expect a maximum payout of 5 units and a net profit of 2 units. There are a total of four possible outcomes of each 3-unit bet when using this method:
- Loss – when the ball hits one of the four black numbers in the third column or the zero.
- Win, 1:1 payout – when one of the eight red numbers in the third column is hit. We receive a 2-unit payout, which is the 1-unit bet and the 1-unit winning. This is not sufficient to compensate for the 3-unit bet, so we end the spin with a net loss of 1 unit.
- Win, 2:1 payout – when the ball hits one of the black numbers in the first two columns. The payout here is equal to the bet size, which means there is no profit.
- Win, combined payout – when the winning number is both red and in one of the first two columns. This is the most favorable outcome when using this strategy because it is the only one that brings players a profit (2 units).
|1||$3||36 red, 3rd column||$2||-$1|
|2||$3||9 red, 3rd column||$2||-$2|
|3||$3||4 black, 1st column||$3||-$2|
|4||$3||3 red, 3rd column||$2||-$3|
|5||$3||24 black, 3rd column||$0||-$6|
|6||$3||7 red, 1st column||$5||-$4|
|7||$3||26 black, 2nd column||$3||-$4|
|8||$3||31 black, 1st column||$3||-$4|
|9||$3||23 red, 2nd column||$5||-$2|
|10||$3||1 red, 1st column||$5||$0|
|11||$3||19 red, 1st column||$5||$2|
|12||$3||32 red, 2nd column||$5||$4|
|Total Bet Amount: $36||Total Payout: $40||Net Profit: $4|
While this variation of the classic 3/2 strategy sounds quite appealing at first, it comes with one large risk – although the majority of the spins will be winning, not all wins will be profitable. This is why many players are looking for an alternative.
2 Chips on Black + 1 Chip on Column 3
This is a quite simple variation of the 3/2 strategy and the only difference between the two systems is the bet size. This is a 2/1 method, also known as the Red Strategy, and it relies on the fact that there are only 4 black numbers in the third column, while the other 8 numbers are red. With this combination bet, players cover 26 numbers – all 18 black and the 8 red numbers from the third column.
The variation is quite safe and reliable, giving players a great probability of winning the majority of spins. Each time, gamblers bet 3 units and in case the column bet wins, they make no profit. The 2-unit bet on black secures them a single-unit profit, while if the winning number is both black and in the third column, the net profit is 4 units. There is an alternative version of this system – the Black Strategy, which requires 2 units to be wagered on red and 1 unit to be wagered on the second column.
|1||$3||36 red, 3rd column||$3||$0|
|2||$3||7 red, 1st column||$0||-$3|
|3||$3||21 red, 3rd column||$3||-$3|
|4||$3||8 black, 2nd column||$4||-$2|
|5||$3||11 black, 2nd column||$4||-$1|
|6||$3||27 red, 3rd column||$3||-$1|
|7||$3||28 black, 1st column||$4||$0|
|8||$3||13 black, 1st column||$4||$1|
|9||$3||13 black, 1st column||$4||$2|
|10||$3||33 black, 3rd column||$7||$6|
|Total Bet Amount: $30||Total Payout: $36||Net Profit: $6|
Equal Bets on Low and 3rd Dozen/ High and 1st Dozen
This strategy resembles the 3/2 system but it is also quite different from it. It does not rely on black and red numbers and their uneven distribution across the betting table. Instead, it aims to take advantage of a combination of bets, namely Low/High and Dozens. Used together, these two bets cover a total of 30 numbers, which is a little over 81% of the table (79% of the table in American roulette).
While this may seem very appealing to most players, they should remember that this particular strategy is not as profitable in the long term because, with it, there are no overlapping wins. Therefore, in each winning spin, only one payout can be received. If we bet 1 unit on Low (numbers from 1 to 18) and 1 unit on the 3rd dozen, we can expect a modest profit of just 1 unit if our dozens bet wins. Even if the low bet wins, it pays evenly, so the profit from it will cover the loss from the dozens.
Clearly, this strategy is not particularly profitable and no huge gains can be made in a short period of time. Still, it limits the losses and generates a low, steady income over a longer period of time, which is why it is suitable for less experienced and risk-averse players. In the table below, we can see an example of how the strategy might work in 10 random spins:
|1||$2||1 low, 1st dozen||$2||$0|
|2||$2||25 high, 3rd dozen||$3||$1|
|3||$2||34 high, 3rd dozen||$3||$2|
|4||$2||36 high, 3rd dozen||$3||$3|
|5||$2||30 high, 3rd dozen||$3||$4|
|6||$2||15 low, 2nd dozen||$2||$4|
|7||$2||28 high, 3rd dozen||$3||$5|
|8||$2||22 high, 2nd dozen||$0||$3|
|9||$2||13 low, 2nd dozen||$2||$3|
|10||$2||16 low, 2nd dozen||$2||$3|
|Total Bet Amount: $20||Total Payout: $23||Net Profit: $3|
Advantages and Disadvantages of the 3/2 Strategy
The classic 3/2 Roulette Strategy, as well as its several variations, are sometimes considered simply combination bets and this is probably a better way to describe them. It implies one very important fact the is also true if the 3/2 method were a strategy, even though some players tend to forget it – that the house edge of every single bet remains the same. Even when your combination of bets covers the majority of the table, the odds are still in favor of the house and the casino is expected to win eventually.
Real-life gaming sessions are much shorter, however, and using the 3/2 strategy, players have a huge chance of winning. And this is probably the biggest advantage of this method – it covers a large portion of the betting layout, reducing the risk of a loss to the minimum. In addition, it is incredibly flexible and could be adjusted to suit all kinds of players, even those with smaller budgets. Moreover, it is incredibly simple and could be applied with ease by everyone both online and in land-based casinos.
Additional Advantages and Disadvantages of the 3/2 StrategyInterestingly, some players combine the 3/2 strategy with their preferred betting system in order to capitalize on the winning streaks they experience. What they do is simply choose a betting progression such as the Martingale, the D’Alembert, or the Fibonacci, and then increase or decrease the bet size, depending on the outcome of each spin. However, they should too follow a few simple steps in order to reduce any possible losses – to choose casinos and roulette tables with lower betting limits and to determine a personal loss limit, so they know when exactly they should stop playing.
Last, but not least, players should consider one major disadvantage of this roulette strategy before using it in real-money games. Unlike most betting systems that are based on even-money bets and changing the bet size, the 3/2 method does not offer a way to generate large winnings quickly. In fact, it could be quite time-consuming and the profits after an hour, for instance, may still amount to only a handful of dollars.
This is a good, low-risk strategy that can be used by anyone who wants to limit the losses while playing roulette, a random game with a built-in house advantage of 2.70% to 5.26%. Clearly, neither the 3/2 nor any of its variations would help players make a lot of money quickly, which is a certain drawback for many gamblers.
Still, it is always great to have a safe betting strategy that would save you from huge losses. In addition, players looking for low-risk betting can try the different variations of the original strategy and adjust the bet size in accordance with their bankroll.