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The James Bond roulette strategy – is it worth a try?

Sailun Tires

As Carly Simon reliably told us in one of the best movie themes of all time, nobody does it better than James Bond. In each incarnation over the past 60 years, 007 has gone about his business with more than a little swagger. Numerous times, that business has been in the casino – Bond pays at least one visit in most films, and in Casino Royale, he barely left the poker table for the entire movie.

But when it comes to borrowing Bond’s strategy in a real-world casino, or at least at one in cyberspace, we turn not to the poker table but to the roulette wheel. A brief but memorable scene in Diamonds are Forever is the only time we have ever seen Bond at the roulette wheel. However, this was James Bond author Ian Fleming’s favorite casino game and in the 1953 novel Casino Royale he shared the James Bond roulette strategy. 

Placing the James Bond bet

Note that Fleming’s strategy is designed for European roulette, with just a single zero. It is a flat bet, meaning one that you place over and again without changing the amount. In that respect it is simple, although the bet itself is a little convoluted. Every spin of the wheel, you bet $20 (or multiples of that amount) in the following ratios:

  • $14 on high (19-36)
  • $5 line bet on 13-18
  • $1 on zero

You will notice that this bet will win you something unless it lands on a number between 1 and 12. There are four possible outcomes:

  1. Ball lands on zero – WIN $35 – $15 profit
  2. Ball lands on 1-12 – LOSE – $20 loss
  3. Ball lands on 13-18 – WIN $25 – $5 profit
  4. Ball lands on 19-36 – WIN $28 – $8 profit

Pros and cons of the strategy

Players take to the James Bond strategy because they are always in the action and as they are betting on two thirds of the numbers, twice as many spins result in a win as in a loss. That makes for an exciting time at the roulette wheel and it makes you feel like you are winning more than you are losing.

The problem is that if you get out a calculator and work out the probabilities, ie 33 percent chance of losing $20, 50 percent chance of winning $8 and so on, you arrive at an average loss of $0.54 per spin – that’s $2.70 per $100. In other words, the house edge of 2.7 percent applies to all bets in European roulette no matter how you place them.

The only true strategy

The pros of the James Bond strategy should not be underestimated – we go to a casino to enjoy ourselves and this is a good way of playing roulette for the reasons mentioned. However, do not kid yourself that you are beating the house, and keep track of your bankroll to avoid overspending.

The only way to genuinely improve your profitability at the roulette wheel is to play at a casino that is offering free spins or bonus cash – if you’re not spending your own money, you definitely can’t lose! Visit to read the latest reviews of the US online casinos that are offering the best deals.


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