Today was both my grandmother and father's birthday, so we drove down to West Virgina to Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort and did some gambling. My grandmother loves slot machines so she spent most of her time on the quarter and nickel slots, but I noticed they had blackjack and roulette. Watching both I decided to play roulette. The reason I did so was because although your odds are quite poor if you play a specific number (odds being 1/38), the odds are quite high if you play "off the board" which is to say if you bet that the number that comes up will be even/odd, red/black, from 1-18 or 18-36. If the ball lands on "0" or "00" you loose half your money. I put $10 on "black" and $10 on "odd" each roll. This gave me pretty high odds to at least stay in the game for as long as possible without loosing any money.
The mathematical breakdown is as follows, there was a 1/4 chance the number rolled would come up red and even (I would loose the game outright), there was a 1/4 chance the number would come up odd and red (I break even), a 1/4 chance the number would come up even and black (I break even), and a 1/4 chance the number would come up odd AND black (both my bets pay off and I win). So there is a high chance 1/2 that I would simply break even, meaning I had a ton of longevity. I would occasionally add a few bucks or subtract a few to my bets as well.
It is not the sexiest way to play the game by any stretch of the imagination, but from my $40 investment I walked away with $100. It took me a long time to think out my strategy and get the ropes of the game by watching, so I say I made that money in only a few hours worth of fun. Next time I will spend the whole day there!
Now I need to refine my technique. And learn about some of the other bets available whose odds are not so close to 50-50.