The Ian Flemming 007 spy novels are one of the most recognizable brands in books and movies. And the main character James Bond is the pinnacle alpha made. Being the ultimate super spy Mr. Bond possess all sorts of unique talents. The top spy on her majesty’s secret service is also the best gambler at MI6. In the movies when James Bond is in the casinos his game of choice is Baccarat. But in the books Mr. Bond is a very successful roulette player.

The James Bond Roulette strategy is a very simple betting system and requires the player to only place three bets. And because James Bond is the hero of the 007 novels he was always successful in his efforts. And this result remains strictly in the realm of fiction. The James Bond Roulette strategy when played straight results in a negative expectation. But there is a way to play the James Bond Strategy that results in a positive expectation. We will now discuss how to do that.

DEFINING THE JAMES BOND STRATEGY

  • The popularity of the James Bond Strategy is because of its simplicity.
  • However the player needs to remember the strategy only works on the European wheel (single zero).
  • The strategy requires each round of betting to use 20 units. This means that it can either be 20 large units to increase the win or 20 small units to decrease the win.
  • The player only needs to remember 3 bets.
  • Bet #1 requires the player to bet 14 units on the number bet 19-36.
  • Bet #2 is for the player the player to bet 5 units on the number set 13-18.
  • Bet #3: The player bets the remaining 1 unit for the ball to come to rest in the single zero basket.

When the ball lands on any number basket 19-36 the player profits 8 units. When the ball lands on any number basket 13-18 the player profits 10 units. In the event the ball lands in the zero basket, the player profits 16 units. This takes into account the money the player gets back when the wager is won. When the ball lands in any of the slots numbered 1-12, the player loses the entire 20 unit wager. When one of the 1-12 numbers comes up the player applies a martingale system to this series of bets. The martingale system is where the bet is doubled after each bet.

Visual display of the James Bond Strategy using a 20 unit base

The main reason the strategy fails is that it has a negative expectation. This means that the over time you will lose more than you win. See the article Why The James Bond Strategy Fails. The essence of the proof is that when one of the 12 numbers that you don’t bet hits it will wipe out any gains that you may have achieved. To beat the game using the James Bond Strategy, the player has to overcome this negative EV. So the question is how is this done?

The obvious solution is to bet nothing and win money. This is similar to a free roll bet. Since betting nothing and winning something is not a viable option in casino gaming, the next best thing is to reduce the amount of your own money that is wagered per spin.

In live casino play there is a few ways to do that. When a player plays at a casino for a period of time and is a players’ card awards member, they will receive various kinds of comps form the casino. Casinos do this to entice the player to come back to the casino and lose more money. Occasionally these comps will include casino pit chips. These chips can be wagered at the tables but not redeemed for cash. What is a great thing about the chips is that if you win the bet then you get to keep the pit chip as well as get an actual chip that can be redeemed for cash.

To utilizes the promotional chips for the James Bond Roulette Strategy simply place the casino promotional chip on any one of the three bets (being sure to scale your remaining bets appropriately) and play the strategy for as long as you have the promotional chip(s). Here you are doing here is reducing the amount real money that is wagered, while keeping the win rates the same. This reduction in the out of pocket wager is enough to shift the expected value (EV) of the play from negative to positive, but only over the course of the roulette spins when the promotional chip is utilized. This reduces the loss potential while keeping win potential constant. The player is getting odds on their wager. The percentage shift during the spins when the promotional chip is being used is not dramatic but it is enough to swing the EV in the players favor for the spins.

In the online gaming world we can apply a similar approach.  Online casino can’t compete with land based casinos in the form RFB (Room, Food, and Beverage) comps.  So they give players free money to play with in the form sign up bonuses and play bonuses.  Many online casinos give the player a free No Deposit bonus when the sign up for an online casino, and as they continue to play the player receive additional bonuses as their play continues.  Similar to land based casino, online casinos offer better bonuses to the players who wager more money and play longer.

We can apply the same approach that was employed using the promotional chips in land based casinos for online casinos. A specific type of bonuses offered by online casinos are “sticky bonuses.” This is where a player plays a bonus that cannot be exchanged for cash. It must be played until the bonus is exhausted. This is similar to the way that the promotional chips work. And like the promotional chip approach, land based casino players are wagering less real money for the same payout.  We are again shifting the percentages in the players favor for the duration that the free bonus money is wagered.

The final aspect that must be utilized to have a positive EV using the “James Bond Roulette Strategy,” is to play short sessions. The session has to be limited to the duration of croupier spins where the player has promotional chips or free bonus play that they are using. Betting less is the corner stone to a winning “James Bond Strategy.”  Playing without the free bet money will lead to bankrupting.

SUMMARY

The James Bond Roulette Strategy approach is negative expectation game on its surface but can be flipped to a positive EV game using the methods described here. This is because of the reduction out of real money being wagering. In the rare events that usually wipe out all the wins gained by the player, the losses are not as much as they would be because the actual real dollars wagered is reduced, because of the use of promotional chips or bonus money wagered in the place of cash, and more because the win would be the same as if real money was being used. The methods here will lead to a positive expectation over the long term for the “James Bond Strategy.” And because of this we have a chance to win at roulette using the James Bond Roulette strategy.

About the Author
By

Nicholas is a 17 year veteran of the casino gaming industry. He is former player manager with the infamous MIT Blackjack teams and is a regular attendee of the Blackjack Ball, a gathering of the world’s top professional gamblers.

He is the Managing Director of the Alea Consulting Group, a leading gaming consultant company with a focus on gaming economics and, is a frequent contributor to world class business publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines’ and over 15 gaming trade publications. He is also the founder of Casino Exploits a player centric casino gaming site.

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