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Roulette: The Fitzroy System Explained

June 20, 2024

Invented much earlier, the Fitzroy system was popularised by an infamous British roulette team, which made a multi-million-pound strike in Nice during the 1960s.

A week after England won the football World Cup, Norman Leigh took his calculator and his plan to the Casino Municipale in Nice, intent on cleaning up at the roulette tables.

After two weeks, Leigh and his team had been banned from every casino in France, not because they cheated, but because they won, cleanly, and methodically, beating the bank at roulette – using the Fitzroy system!

When playing roulette at an online casino, using the Fitzroy system is pretty simple: bets are increased after a loss and decreased after a win.

The principle is this; once a win comes in, the big losses are cancelled out. But is the Fitzroy system a foolproof strategy?

How the Fitzroy Betting System Works

It was created in the 1800s by two British aristocrats, James St Clair-Erskine, the Earl of Rosslyn, and his brother, Alexander Fitzroy St Clair-Erskine (after whom the system was named).

Convinced they had found a way to win at roulette using the Fitzroy system, the brothers spent much of the following 70 years trying to prove it.

Ultimately, the Fitzroy was beaten when it was put into practice at the Monte Carlo casino.

In effect, the Fitzroy works a little like the d’Alembert progression system.

But in this staking plan one unit is added to your bet after a loss, and one is taken off following a win; kind of a conservative version of the Martingale strategy.

The Fitzroy System in Practice: Making Bets

All bets are made on a European Roulette table, which incorporates a single zero slot. Only ‘even-money’ outside bets such as red/black and odd/even are covered.

Let’s start with a base starting price of £1 for this system. If we lose our bet then we raise it to £2. If we win then we scale down by £1, or start again at £1, whichever is higher.

This entire system is meant to give players a structured approach to control their bankroll and recoup any losses.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Fitzroy System

It is virtually identical to the d’Alembert system, but the Fitzroy system can be adapted to all other numbers, not just the outside bets.

However, the main advantage of the Fitzroy over the Martingale and similar systems is the flat staking plan; since after each unsuccessful spin, the player raises the stake by only one unit, the bankroll is much easier to manage, and players won’t lose a huge amount of money.

The big problem with the Fitzroy, and indeed with all roulette strategies, is that no matter how clever it might be, it can never change the fact that roulette is a game that is always stacked against the player because of the house edge, which is 2.7% in European roulette.

With small stakes, the Fitzroy won’t lose players much, but it won’t win them much either, but it is a good system for players to try just for the fun aspect of it.

Test the Fitzroy Betting System Today

Want to test out the Fitzroy Betting System for yourself? Head over to one of the best online casinos with casino table games such as roulette available.

Of course, all online roulette betting systems have their flaws, but all are entertaining to put to the test in a demo or free play mode. Betting systems such as the Fitzroy can also serve as a practice for players in managing their bankroll in a sensible manner.