How to Avoid Losing £127k in 26 Minutes of Online Roulette

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6 Minute Read

If you play online roulette on a regular basis, you’ve probably had a rough session or two. You’ll especially struggle to get wins if you make longshot bets (e.g. single number, split).

As bad as you may think your gambling sessions can be, you’ve never experienced anything like one gambler recently did. “Alex” lost £127,000 ($155k) in just 26 minutes of playing the game.

Put another way, that’s £4,885 in losses per minute! If you’re in disbelief about losing this much money in such a quick time frame, keep reading as I explain exactly what happened.

I’ll also discuss how you can avoid suffering a similar fate. Chances are that you’ll never lose anywhere near £127k, but you still might be interested in minimizing your losses, nonetheless.

How Did Alex Lose £127,000 Playing Online Roulette?

Ross Kemp, an English actor who became famous for his role on the BBC’s EastEnders, hosts an ITV documentary series called Living With.

In one of the episodes, Kemp met a 35-year-old teacher who had a severe gambling problem. Going by “Alex,” the man’s addiction is so bad that he no longer owns a car or phone.

He sees “going off the grid” as the only way to keep away from gambling. Alex was motivated to take extreme measures after his relationships with loved ones crumbled.

“I’ve lost friendships, jobs, relationships — I was engaged, I don’t see my daughter,” he said.

“I’ll never get back some of the friendships and relationships I’ve lost. That’s the hardest thing to suffer.”

Alex told Kemp that he began gambling at age 17. His habit quickly grew, and he resorted to borrowing money from family and friends. Now, 18 years later, he still struggles to ward off the temptations of casino games or any other kind of action.

Alex’s gambling problem accelerated in recent times thanks to the convenience of online betting.

“Online just has a completely different impact to it,” he explained. “It’s phones, it’s laptops, smart tellies.”

At the height of his problem, Alex blew the aforementioned £127,000 in less than half an hour of roulette. The money was gone in just “10 or 11 spins.”

Alex has no illusions about ever being able to enjoy online roulette and other casino games on a recreational basis.

“I can never bet again,” he told Kemp. “I would class myself as an addict if I was clean 30 years down the line.”

Everything Begins With Bankroll Management

Woman Writing Down in Notebook, Hand Putting Ball Into Roulette Wheel
The first step to preventing a horrific roulette session, or any type of problem gambling, is to set up a bankroll management (BRM) plan.

BRM refers to deciding how much money you can dedicate towards gaming. After all, the last thing you want to do is lose money on the game that’s needed in other areas (e.g. rent, utility bills).

You can go about roulette bankroll management in a variety of ways. But here’s an example in case you’re looking for a starting point:

  • Go through your bills and expenses.
  • Decide that you can comfortably put $1,000 toward online roulette.
  • Your goal is to make your bankroll last at least 20 sessions.
  • 1,000 / 20 = $50
  • You have a $50 bankroll for each session.

There’s no right or wrong way to do roulette BRM. The key is that you simply put time toward the matter and stick with your plan.

Set Stop-Loss Limits

A great way to prevent yourself from losing too much money in any given situation is to set stop-loss limits. Such limits refer to a predefined point where you’ll quit after blowing so much money on the game.

Much like BRM, stop-loss limits don’t include any hardline rules. I suggest setting your limit fairly low, like between 10% and 25% of your overall bankroll.

  • You have a $500 bankroll.
  • You don’t want to lose any more than 20% of your roll in a single session.
  • 500 x 0.20 = $100 stop loss

One downside to these limits is that they don’t force you quit gambling after hitting your limit. However, they at least make you conscious of when to stop playing.

Stick to Even Money Bets

Roulette is an interesting casino game that allows you to essentially choose the volatility. Even-money bets are at the lowest end of the volatility spectrum, while single-number and split wagers are at the high end.

Longshot bets are fun for the purposes of winning a big payout with a small bet. For example, you can win 35x your wager by choosing single numbers.

The downside, though, is that you’re basically playing slot machines in this case. You only have 37:1 odds and 18:1 odds of winning single-number and split bets, respectively, in American roulette.

Sometimes, you may get lucky and win one of these wagers quickly. Other times, you could suffer through a massive losing streak.

Assuming you want to avoid the latter scenario, then you should make a lot of even money bets. High/low, odd/even, and red/black all give you 1.11:1 odds of winning in American roulette.

You can also opt for slightly more risky bets, such as column, street, and six-line. But the main key is that you mix in even-money wagers to reduce your volatility and get some money coming back to your bankroll.

Find the Best Roulette Games

Laptop Displaying Online Roulette Game, Magnifying Glass Over Screen, Money Flying
Roulette comes in different forms, based on the wheel and rules in place. These factors have a direct impact on your chances of winning.

American roulette is the most common variation found in North American casinos. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good game to play in terms of the casino house edge.

The American version has 38 pockets, including a zero and double zero pocket. These two spaces give the casino a 5.26% house edge (2/38).

European roulette is a more player-friendly game. Its wheel features 37 numbers, including a zero pocket. The fact that European roulette only has a single zero reduces the house edge to 2.70% (1/37).

But you can do even better than this with French roulette. The French version is also played on a European wheel.

However, it differs by featuring the la partage rule, which pays half back on losing even-money bets when the ball lands on zero. La partage drops the house edge to 1.35%.

Unfortunately, your local casino may only offer American roulette. This scenario prevents you from playing the superior European and French variations.

But you can find both European and French roulette at online casinos. The latter is available at Microgaming and RealTime Gaming (RTG) casinos.

Play Online Roulette

As explained above, French and European roulette aren’t available at an abundance of land-based casinos, especially in North America.

Of course, nothing prevents you from playing the American version if you don’t have any other options. But if you want the absolute best chance of winning, then you should head to online casinos.

You don’t need to worry about if the nearest casino features a good roulette game in this case. Instead, you can just grab your phone or jump on a PC and begin playing with the best odds.

Another advantage to online roulette is that it features low minimum bets. You can wager as little as $0.10 to $3 per round, depending upon the casino. Contrast this to brick and mortar casinos, which normally require you to bet at least $5 to $10.


Roulette is an exciting game that can offer you lots of profits when you’re on a hot streak. However, it can also lead to big losses when luck doesn’t go your way.

Alex found this out as badly as anybody in the game’s history. The teacher lost an astounding £127k in only 26 minutes.

He’s found that he can no longer enjoy roulette and other casino games without going overboard. Alex doesn’t even own a phone or car to prevent himself from gambling.

Maybe you’re the type of player who’d never have to worry about a scenario like this. You may play responsibly and view gaming as pure entertainment.

But you should still consider taking preventative measures to ensure that you don’t blow your bankroll too quickly. Speaking of which, you should always have a bankroll management plan in place. This guideline will keep you from betting too much on gaming.

You should also set a stop-loss limit. Such limits help you know when to stop playing based on how much you’ve lost.

Looking specifically at roulette, you should make as many even-money bets as possible. These wagers are less risky and give you a stronger chance of winning than long-shot bets.

Finding the best roulette games is one more key to winning often. European (2.70% house edge) and French (1.35%) roulette are the best available variations.

Finally, you should dedicate the bulk of your roulette play to internet sessions. After all, you’ll have a much easier time finding the top variants online.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. ...

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