As the name of the strategy suggests, this involves betting on a single number. Otherwise called a ‘straight up’ bet, you would place your bet on one of the 37 (38 if playing American roulette) numbers on the board. This bet pays out 35:1, so you can see the casino has an edge for this bet.
Most roulette strategies can be a little difficult to follow, understand, and put in practise, but not a single number strategy. All you have to do is bet on a single number – how simple is that?
There are several variations of the single number roulette strategy and the one that is most common is the Pivot System.
The Pivot System
The Pivot system is based on betting on ‘hot numbers’ or numbers that have shown up on the history scoreboard at the roulette table more than once. When you arrive at the roulette table, or take your seat at an online table, take a look at the scoreboard to see if any numbers have hit more than once.
For example, you may notice that the number 20 has hit three times in the last 50 spins. That would be your number for the next 35 spins (or until it hits again). Why 35 spins? Because you have to consider the house edge. If you hit the 20 on the 35th spin, you break even, hitting on the 36th or 37th spin is an overall loss on the session as you only get paid 35:1.
The idea is to hit that number within the 35 spins, obviously. Then you move onto another hot number or go home in profit. The earlier you hit your number, the more profit you make. Land it within 5 spins and you are going to be happy. Land it on the 35th and you have at least reclaimed all your money.
How Much to Bet?
This is completely up to you, but you have to make sure that your bankroll allows for at least 35 bets (if you plan on running this strategy just the once). We suggest going for the minimum bet at first if trying out this strategy. It is important that you flat bet only and do not chase losses by increasing your bet after each loss.
You are banking on your number coming in within 35 spins.
4 Simple Steps to the Pivot System:
- Look at number history or watch numerous spins until you notice a repeater (hot number).
- Bet on that number 35 times or until it wins.
- Make sure each bet is the same ‘flat bet’ each time – do not increase your bet each spin.
- If your number lands within 35 spins, you are in profit or at least even.
Now, there is one obvious issue with this strategy – what happens if your number does not come in within the 35 spins? A good question!
Simply put, you have lost. The strategy did not work for you this time. Any additional spin on that number will just recoup a portion of your losses but still have you in the red.
Players That Run Again But Double the Bets
One way to have a chance at winning despite not hitting your number is to run the Pivot strategy again. This time, you double the bet you were placing on the number and again bet on it for 35 spins. If you were planning to run it twice in case you lost the first time, it means you would have to have had enough of a bankroll to cover the first 35 bets and enough to double that bet for a further 35 bets.
Should your number hit early, you will recoup your original losses and win a big profit. The longer it takes that profit diminishes until the 35th spin which will recoup all bets placed from both runs.
Miss out again and you are now in the hole for 105 minimum bets. At this point you either cut your losses or try again at triple the bet – rinse and repeat. Obviously, the longer it takes for you to land that number, the more you are losing.
Why Players Use the Pivot System
A frequent observation by professional gamblers is that out of 36 spins of a roulette wheel, only two-thirds of the numbers on the wheel will land. The remaining numbers are known as ‘sleeper’ numbers. As only two-thirds of numbers regularly land, some of those numbers will repeat in what is known as the Law of the Third.
Of course, over a long session at the roulette table, everything will usually even out but according to many, during brief sessions, the Law of the Third is regularly seen. So, the theory is, that repeating numbers are likely to repeat again and thus we should bet on them.
The Pros and Cons of the Pivot System
No roulette strategy is perfect otherwise we would all be playing them and the casinos would go out of business or at the very least, stop hosting roulette as one of their table games.
The Pivot strategy has its flaws too but also has a few positives:
- One of the easiest roulette strategies
- Low risk as you are flat betting and not increasing bet sizes after each loss
- Hit your number early and you are in big profit
- It can keep you entertained for an extended session at a roulette table
- Your number has the same chance as any other on any spin. Although that number has repeated in the past, this has no bearing on what happens in the future.
- Is sometimes a slow strategy – though this depends on how quickly your number hits, if it does at all.
Our Opinion on the Pivot Strategy
Other than giving some sort of organisation to your bets, mathematically, the Pivot strategy is no different to placing a single bet on ‘any’ number each spin for 35 spins. The odds are the same and you are just as likely to lose or win as you would by choosing just one number.
What happens in the past has no bearing on what will happen in the future – unless you are superstitious enough to believe that certain numbers can run hot. Do you even need to look out for repeaters? You could just pick your favourite number and use the same strategy.
The good thing about this strategy is that it is relatively low risk as you are not increasing your bets each spin. You also have a decent chance of that number coming in and giving you profit. That said, the house edge is there and long term, that edge suggests that the casino will win.
Another plus is that you are going to spin quite a few times (unless you get lucky early), so it makes a session out of it. Rather than blowing your bankroll using more aggressive strategies that could result in your session ending early, you can enjoy a bit more action.
Other Variations of the Single Number Roulette Strategy
As well as the Pivot strategy, there have been several other variations of the single number roulette strategy. They call one of the most common the Big Number strategy which is very similar to the Pivot.
Again, this involves finding numbers that have recently repeated. This could be one, two, or sometimes even three numbers. You bet on all of them. The amount you bet depends on how many repeater numbers there are. If one, you just bet your standard bet amount, if two you split that bet in half and cover both, if three you split it in three, and so on.
The idea is that you keep an eye on the scoreboard as you play. Should one of your numbers drop off the scoreboard and is no longer a repeater, you stop betting on it. Any new repeaters, you should start betting on.
As you can see, this is just a slightly more advanced version of the Pivot. You can wager on numerous numbers but you are still relying on the belief that some numbers run hot and will continue to run hot.
Ready to Run Hot at the Tables?
As with any other roulette strategy, the Pivot or the Big Number strategies are far from guaranteed to work. However, they do offer a sort of organisation and plan for when you are at a roulette table. They allow you to pre-plan your bankroll and recognise how many spins you may need to play. This is always better than just randomly betting without a plan, even if the odds are the same, anyway.
Besides, it might just work for you – why not go and give it a try? Just remember to make sure your bankroll is big enough to cover 35 bets (or even more if you plan on running it again).