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How the Shotwell betting system works

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Every Tom, Dick and Harry out there claims to have their own sure-fire betting method or playing tactic to win at any given game. It seems as though roulette attracts the most betting systems of all casino games. The Martingale system, the D’Alembert system and the red system are just some betting strategies. Another of these wiley schemes is known as the Shotwell betting system.

Available to residents of United States
Available to residents of United States

History of the Shotwell system

The Shotwell system first came to the attention of punters in 1978, when it was published in Gambling Times Magazine. Since then, it has grown in popularity as a betting system among punters the world over.

How the Shotwell system works in roulette

The Shotwell system is specifically designed to be executed while playing American – or “00” – roulette. It advocates the use of one of seven betting combinations. Each combination contains a single six-line bet and four straight up’s. See the seven different betting combinations below:

Six line: 1 – 6 | Straight ups: 20, 26, 8, 10
Six line: 4 – 9 | Straight ups: 13, 14, 15, 10
Six line: 10 – 15 | Straight ups: 16, 17, 18, 28
Six line: 13 – 18 | Straight ups: 11, 12, 27, 28
Six line: 19 – 24 | Straight ups: 1, 2, 4, 26
Six line: 28 – 33 | Straight ups: 00, 22, 24,
Six line: 31 – 36 | Straight ups: 0, 00, 29, 30

One chip – or unit – must be placed on each six line and straight up.

The way this system has been sold to punters the world over is that each combination strategically covers every fourth number on the wheel, theoretically giving you a 1 in 4 – or 25% – chance of winning on any given spin.

The system dictates that you chip up with consecutive wins. If you have a win – either the six line or one of the straight ups – then the system instructs you to increase your betting unit by one.

For example: an initial outlay of $25 at $5 per bet – your six line and assorted straight ups – that results in a win, would require you to increase your bet to $50 at $10 per bet. Another win after that would require $75 per spin at $15 per bet and so forth until you have a losing spin.

Keep in mind each six line has odds of 5 – 1 and a 15.78% probability of winning per spin. This means if you hit one of the six line numbers, you have a return of five betting units – or $25 – plus the initial unit on the six line which gives you a profit of one unit: $5.

The odds of a straight up win is 35 – 1, with a 2.63% probability of hitting any given straight up on an American style roulette wheel. If one of your straight ups hits then you have a return of 36 units or $180 including your initial straight up bet of $5.

However, you have to anticipate losses. Each loss costs you five units, $25 at $5 per betting unit. You either need to consistently hit straight ups to get ahead and cover your losses here.


This system doesn’t really lower the house edge of roulette or ensure eventual or big wins. The Shotwell system was more conceived as an excitement engine rather than an instrument toward making you a millionaire.

The one major flaw with the Shotwell system it doesn’t take into account your inevitable losses. By essentially covering each fourth number along the wheel this system only creates tension, excitement and close-calls. The old “Oh, so close, the pill missed my number by one spot!”

If you are in the market to make your millions, maybe give the Shotwell system a wide berth. If, however, you want to play with friends for a while and elevate your levels of playing excitement, then the Shotwell system is for you.