Roulette's Law of the Third System

Photo Courtesy (Getty Images Entertainment)
Jenny McCarthy Betting the Columns. Photo Courtesy (Getty Images Entertainment)

The Law of the Third is a roulette wagering system based on the somewhat shaky belief that a player can make money by wagering on numbers that have not appeared after 37 spins of a wheel. A European roulette wheel has the standard 36 numbers, 1 through 36, plus a single zero (37 total), but an American wheel with 36 numbers plus zero and double zero will work for this roulette system.

The funny thing about mathematics is that there will always be some pattern to scattered results of trials.

The problem is in attaching any significance to them. Can we predict coming numbers from previous results? That would be excellent, because the whole premise of this system is that in a typical string of 37 spins, about one third will not appear (because some numbers repeat).

How to Play the Law of the Third

Playing the Law of the Third is fairly simple, but requires a pencil and paper be used at the wheel. If you thought you were going to track 37 spins and bet the numbers that haven't appeared, well, that was a good though - but it was wrong. Instead, based on the idea that numbers will repeat (try just tracking numbers for yourself and you'll see the results happen fairly often) the plan is to track spins until 12 different numbers have spun, and then start wagering on each one to repeat.

Your starting bankroll is just 36 chips (you should get a color, with perhaps 120 chips to start). Then, you wager one chip on each of the 12 numbers for the next three spins.

If luck is with you, you'll hit one of the numbers on the first spin and be paid 35-1.

On the second spin you'll hope that another number hits for another 35-1 payoff and you'll be up a minimum of 34 units. If a third number comes up on the third spin, you'll be ahead 70 units (take down your winning chip after the third spin).

If you get no repeats, you've burned your 36-chips.

Play for Nine

Some players justĀ  track nine new numbers before playing and then bet on those numbers, risking just 27-chips. The advantage is that even one repeat number turns a profit, since you'll get 35 chips back and have only risked 27 total chips, 1 per number per spin.

Money Management with the Law of the Third

Since this is a wagering system, there are bankroll considerations. Whether you are tracking 9 numbers or 12, you should start with a bankroll of at least 108 chips. This allows you to play three sessions at 12 numbers (36 chips each round) or four sessions at 9 numbers (27 chips per round).

If you want to be conservative and stick with a 108-chip bankroll, then each time you have a session that creates a profit, take the profit and set it aside. You'll save that for another time. If you want to be more aggressive, you'll be raising your wagers with your winnings.

Suppose you are playing the 12-number group and get ahead 72-units. When that happens you play the next group of 12 numbers for 2-chips on each. If you hit another number, great. If you miss, you'll be back at your beginning with 108 chips.

Remember, no system will work all the time, and the Gamber's Fallacy states that there is no time-frame for a set of probabilities to even-out, so you can't expect the numbers to repeat, or not repeat.

Obviously, the only way you can expect to win with any wagering system other than card counting at blackjack, you'll need some luck. Make sure when you do have some luck that you set aside some of your winnings for next time!