James Gibson, Guest Author at BestCasinoSites.net

Key Psychological Aspects of Roulette

You might not think there’s much to roulette. After all, you’re just betting on which numbered pocket the ball lands in. There’s nothing you can do to affect the outcome – it’s down to luck alone which number wins.

But like other casino games, there’s a lot of depth to roulette. You can easily play it casually and not pay much attention to your bets. Or, you can delve deep into its psychological aspects and play it strategically.

Roulette is fast-paced, thrilling and unpredictable. If you’re not aware of the game’s psychological side, you can still have a great time playing it. Take your roulette experience to the next level by learning how it affects your mind.

In this post, we’ll look at several key psychological aspects of roulette. Many of the things we’ll be covering are cognitive biases. These are errors in judgement we make because of various factors including emotions, memory and background.

In short, cognitive biases prevent us from thinking as logically and rationally as we should. In other words, they cloud our judgement, in other words. They can have some negative effects, especially when it comes to gambling.

Carry on reading and you may be surprised to learn how much the game can get inside your head.

Tilt and Emotion

We’ll start our look at the psychology of roulette by focusing on tilt and emotion. Playing casino games can cause a range of emotional reactions. Some of these can be beneficial; others can affect you negatively.

An example of a positive emotional reaction is when you win and feel good. As for a negative reaction, you could feel upset or frustrated if you’ve ended a session with a significant loss.

In psychology, the term ‘tilt’ refers to when you lose control due to negative emotions. You start making irrational decisions that can have negative side effects.

After a losing streak, you may feel desperate to score a win. You decide to increase both the number of bets and the size of each bet. You back several numbers that haven’t come up yet.

But, none of these numbers is the winning one and you suffer a bigger loss. This is a prime example of what consequences tilt can have.

Managing tilt and emotion in online roulette is important. If you let the game overwhelm you emotionally, it could have negative effects on how you play. Poor decision-making and excess betting can cause you to lose money too fast.

When it comes to playing any sort of casino game, you should be in a good frame of mind. Make sure you stay in control of your emotions and don’t let them influence your gameplay.

Alcohol and Other Substances

It’s also worth mentioning substances such as alcohol and even drugs. Both of these, especially the latter, can make you more emotional and affect your responses.

On the other hand, they can increase the enjoyment you get from playing, especially when you win. But, the way they affect your mind and decision-making isn’t worth it in the short or long term.

So should you play roulette or any other casino game if you’re drinking alcohol or using some other substance? The answer is no.

It’s much better to approach any casino game with a clear head that’s not affected by any kind of substance. You’ll be completely in control of yourself, which is the most important thing when you gamble.

Even if you don’t feel the effects of substances, you shouldn’t gamble for real money. Even if you’ve had just one drink and you don’t feel drunk, it’s best to stay away from casino games.

Gambler’s Fallacy

When you play roulette, the chances of the ball landing in any pocket are the same. In European versions, the wheel has numbers 1-36 plus 0. Therefore, each pocket has a 1/37 chance of being the winner.

With American roulette, there’s an additional 00 pocket. Each pocket therefore has a slightly lower 1/38 chance of having the ball land in it.

Gambler’s fallacy is one of the key cognitive biases linked to gambling. It refers to two things: a result that hasn’t come up recently should come up soon; a result that has come up recently shouldn’t come up soon.

Let’s say you’re playing European roulette. In the last 20 games, the number 7 has won three times. This is higher than expected because statistically speaking, it’s rare that a single number wins this many times in so few rounds.

According to gambler’s fallacy, the number 7 shouldn’t come up again for a while. This is because it’s been the winning number more often than it should have been in recent games.

In other words, 7 has won a lot and it’s now time for other numbers to have their turn.

Some people believe in gambler’s fallacy. They think results are connected and that outcomes from previous games have an effect on the outcomes of future games.

The thing is, gambler’s fallacy is false. This is because in a game like roulette, every single outcome is completely independent. There’s nothing that connects the results in any way.

People believe in gambler’s fallacy because we humans are hardwired to see patterns in things. We like noticing things like certain numbers winning more often. When we notice patterns, we try to use them to our advantage.

It’s easy to see why people think gambler’s fallacy to be true. They want roulette game outcomes to have patterns they can use to predict future winning numbers.

But the truth of the matter is that this isn’t possible. If the number 7 has won three times in the last 20 games, it’s just a coincidence.

This doesn’t mean the number 7 is more likely than usual to win in the next 20 games. At the same time, it doesn’t mean 7 will be any less likely to win either.

On every single spin of the wheel, the number 7 has a 1/37 of winning if it’s European roulette. For American roulette, it’s 1/38. The same is true for every number regardless of previous outcomes.

The key takeaway is this: don’t let past results affect your decisions. Remember that each outcome is completely independent of all others. Any patterns are just coincidences and shouldn’t be used to determine your bets.

The Thrill of Competition

Lots of roulette sites have both solo and multiplayer games. Both of them can be exciting and rewarding, but multiplayer ones have the edge.

If you want to play online roulette with other players, try a live roulette game. These are real-life games you can take part in through your casino account. They’re sociable because you can interact with other players.

This is what sets them apart from solo games. With other players comes the thrill of competition. You’re no longer playing by yourself. There are others and, naturally, you want to do better than them.

When you’re playing a live dealer roulette game, there’s added pressure to do well. Even if you don’t interact with the other players, you might want to outperform them. Roulette isn’t competitive, but it feels like that when it’s live.

If you play a live roulette game, don’t let the presence of other players pressure you into doing things differently. Keep your betting style the same.

If you’re in a land-based casino at a roulette table with other players, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement. Resist the temptation to place bigger bets and show off; it doesn’t matter what others think.

In other words, only think of yourself. Yes, the competitive aspect can be exhilarating and can liven up the game. But, it can also persuade you to overdo things, which you should avoid.

Illusion of Control

Since roulette is entirely based on luck, there’s nothing anyone can do to influence the outcome of each round. Even though players can’t affect things, some people still believe in the illusion of control, which is another cognitive bias.

This is where someone feels they can control things to a degree and overestimate their chances of success. What drives this in a lot of people is superstitious beliefs such as lucky numbers.

Lots of people put on the lottery and use the same selection of supposedly lucky numbers every time. Doing this gives people a feeling of control they wouldn’t have if they just chose random numbers.

If someone’s lucky numbers win, they’ll feel as if they’ve been successful thanks to their act of control. In other words, they’ve stuck to numbers of their own preference and their risk has paid off.

Of course, the truth is that there’s no such control when it comes to roulette. You may feel as if you’re on top of things when you place certain bets or do things in a particular way.

But no matter how much you feel you’re managing things, it’s still luck that decides each outcome. Any spin can produce a number that causes you to lose.

You might feel as if you’ve got the upper hand. It’s best to stop believing this and accept that it’s the casino that will always have the upper hand.

Bankroll Management

When playing roulette or any other type of casino game, bankroll management is important. Before you play, you should come up with a budget and stick to it.

By doing this, you’ll be less likely to have financial problems due to your gambling. Playing in moderation is always best. If you only spend money you can afford to lose, it won’t matter if you never win.

Some people end up chasing their losses. This is where they lose but they decide to keep playing, despite being in the red. They hope that eventually they’ll score a big win and make a profit.

But the problem with this way of thinking is that the big win might never come. There’s no way you can guarantee a win, so you could just end up making your overall loss bigger and bigger.

Chasing your losses is tempting, especially since it’s so easy to bet and have another round. And there is a chance, albeit a small chance, that the next spin will give you a win.

If you want to be sensible and gamble responsibly, you’ll resist the temptation to chase your losses. It’s best to quit sooner rather than later so you don’t end up with an even bigger overall loss.

For effective roulette bankroll management, do the following:

  • Only spend money you can afford to lose
  • Decide on a budget and stick to it
  • Don’t spend too much time gambling
  • Don’t spend winnings on more games
  • Treat winnings as a bonus

When playing roulette for real money, you should play in moderation. Do your best to stick to limits. Keep playing the game regularly so long as you enjoy it. If you no longer enjoy it, stop playing.

The Temptation of Strategies

There are some betting strategies you can use when playing games of roulette. It’s worth pointing out that no strategy can guarantee you a win. Some can, however, boost your odds over long-term play.

Lots of people who play roulette want to use a strategy. They think doing so will benefit their gameplay and hopefully improve their balance. There’s nothing wrong with using one.

But, you shouldn’t convince yourself that using one will work. It won’t. It might help a bit and increase your average payout somewhat, though you’ll still get plenty of losses along the way.

If you want to use a roulette strategy, it’s a good idea to practise using one when playing an online demo version of the game. With demo roulette, you can play as many times as you want without paying.

By doing this, you can see what effect, if any, a strategy has on your bankroll. You might decide it’s minimal and you’re not going to give in to the temptation to use one when playing for real money.

One strategy that’s particularly popular for roulette is the Martingale system. This is where you double your bet after every loss.

The idea is that when you win, you should recoup your losses and make a profit equal to your initial bet. Again, it’s best to practise this with free roulette games before trying it in real-money games.


Roulette is a brilliant game to play. It’s easy to understand, has lots of betting options and can be thrilling. However, like other casino games it can affect your mind, even without you realising it.

If you’re playing roulette for real money, whether online or in the real world, don’t let it get to you. Casino games can have powerful effects on people and it’s easy to let them do this.

For the best possible roulette experience, stay in control. Be aware of how the game plays on your mind and don’t let it do this. Moderate your gaming session and learn to recognise and avoid temptation.

By playing roulette sensibly and approaching the game objectively, you’ll reduce your chances of developing problems. Treat roulette as a fun, entertaining game and it should do you no harm.

About the author

Name James Gibson
Job Freelance Writer Specialising in iGaming

James Gibson is a freelance content writer with passion for slot and game guides. He proclaims responsible gambling and aims at providing accurate and confirmed information.

Moderation is key. Gambling is best enjoyed when you stick to limits and you’re the one in control.

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