Roulette is one of the most popular table casino games in history and entire casinos and gambling venues are based around it. Roulette is a game of pure luck and does not include any skill or any decision making. The only decision roulette players will make is placing their wagers, and they will do that before the game begins. Wagers are placed on random numbers and are paid if the roulette ball lands on the number or the bet they chose, so it is a matter of pure luck. There is no need to be a professional or an experienced gambler.
The game consists of a roulette wheel, a wooden wheel that contains 37 or 38 slots. The zero (and double zero in America) slot is green, while the number slots (from 1 to 36) alternate between black and red. The second part is the roulette ball that spins on that wooden wheel until it lands in a particular slot to reveal the winning number for that round. The wagering area is usually found on a green piece of cloth right next to the wheel. It is where players will place their chips and choose the numbers and bets that they wish to place their stakes on.
Meaning “Little Wheel” in French, Roulette is considered one of the oldest casino games in history, dating all the way back to the wheel-based games in China and Ancient Rome. The roulette wheel of today was invented in France, by Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. Pascal was a French mathematician who wanted to create a gambling game that would spin and the winner would be decided according to the landing spot of a small object (the roulette ball). The game spread across Europe and it flourished specifically in Germany for a while. The true success of the game was in Monaco, as roulette was the foundation of the gambling empire in the city of Monte Carlo.
Modern roulette owes its origins to Louis and François Blanc in 1842. They invented the French roulette wheel that contains 37 numbers, including a zero. The zero was introduced to increase the advantage of the casino so the game did not end up being a losing proposition to the casinos offering it. The brothers spread the game throughout Germany until gambling there was banned. It was at this point that Louis and François were introduced to King Charles.
King Charles desperately needed to alleviate the financial woes that were dominating his kingdom and he had the Blanc brothers create a casino for his people. In return, the roulette table became a great source of income for the kingdom. Roulette soon gained popularity and became the main symbol of Monte Carlo’s casino culture.
Years later, the game made its way across the Atlantic ocean and it started to spread in the Unites States where it proved to be very popular as well, especially during the Gold Rush. With a booming economy, the rich were drawn to roulette becoming high rollers. The popularity of the game increased incredibly. As a result, casinos decided to increase their edge and advantage once more with the introduction of the double zero slot. This is the only American contribution to roulette history.
Today, the French version of roulette, the single “0″, can be found in European casinos and the American version of roulette, the double “00″, can be found in such places as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Currently, Roulette is more popular in Europe, mainly because of the better odds it predicts based on the one “0″ vs. double “00″ difference. Of course, in the online gambling world, players can enjoy either one of these versions, regardless of their location. Online casinos have even created a number of other unique roulette versions of their own for players to try out.
How to Play Roulette
The roulette game, like any other casino table game, starts with players placing their wagers. Since all the wagers will be put on the same wagering area, with the probability of more than one player placing the same wager, players will have to purchase different chips. These chips have different colors so each player’s chips can be easily identified. These special roulette chips can only be purchased and cashed at the roulette table, which is why players should cash their winnings at the table before leaving. The chips cannot be cashed in at the cashier.
After players get their colored chips, they will start the game by placing wagers. Players will place wagers by putting the desired number of chips on the numbers or the different bets that the game offers. The wagering area, which is a big piece of green cloth on a table, includes all of the different numbers and bets the game has. While they are placing these chips the dealer, or croupier, will throw the roulette ball on the roulette wheel in the opposite direction it is spinning.
While the ball is spinning, players will be able to change their wagers, retract them or place new ones. Once the ball starts to slow down, the croupier will say loudly “No More Bets Please.” At this point all of the wagers that are on the roulette table’s wagering area are final and players are not permitted to change, retract or place new bets.
After the ball lands on any of the numbers, it will be declared as the winning number. The croupier will then place a small glass object that is called a dolly on the winning number. He will then start to pay players their winnings if they have placed winning bets while taking the losing bets. Of course, the croupier will pay players in their own color so they can use these chips to place more bets on the table. While the dealer is paying the winning bets and taking in the losing bets, players are not permitted to place new wagers or touch their chips. After all is done and paid, the dealer will signal players that they can start placing wagers again. They will start placing wagers and the same procedure is repeated spin after spin.
The different bets that are available pay differently according to the odds of each bet. The bets that have a higher chance and better odds will pay less than the bets that have bad odds. This is why the highest payout is paid by the bet that has the worst odds, which is the straight number bet as players have a 1/37 or a 1/38 chance of winning. This is why it pays a lot for players to know the different bets and their payouts before they engage in a roulette game.
Roulette is pretty simple and straightforward, but the game does come with a set of rules and etiquette that players have to know before they start placing chips at the table. Here are some of these important rules:
- Players are not permitted to move any of their chips or even touch them once the croupier says no more bets.
- Once the dealer places the dolly object on the winning number, players should not move or touch the chips before he removes it to signal a new round.
- Players cannot use a camera or cell phones at the table as all electronics are prohibited.
Players can only put cigarettes, drinks, money or chips on the roulette table.
- Changing chips or cash can only be done between roulette spins and not during the game play.
- Players who want to place called bets will say it and if the dealer is not busy, he will accept them. These bets are only official if the croupier repeats them in a loud voice.
- The seats at the table are only for players who have bets on the table. This will happen if there is only 1 player sitting at the roulette table. Players who want to sit at the table have to place bets.
- Players can only start to place new bets once the dealer clears all of the losing wagers and has paid all of the winning ones from the last spin. Players will then be given time to place wagers and then he will start to spin the next round.
Of course, most of these rules do not exist in the online gambling world. At online casinos, roulette is a single player game where players will have the roulette table for themselves. There are no croupiers, no other players and no colored chips. Playing roulette online is much easier and simpler in than land based roulette.
You can find plenty of different roulette versions at most online casinos, including the two most commonly played ones, American Roulette, and French Roulette. Some casinos may even offer innovative versions of roulette, created just for the online gambling world.
For example, the mini roulette game is an optional game containing only half of the numbers that are found on a normal wheel of roulette. There is also multi-wheel roulette versions that enable players to place wagers on up to 8 roulette wheels at the same time as each wheel spins separately. Some of these innovative games have their own rules and payouts, so we advise you to check the rules and payout tables of each game before playing. These rules can be viewed by clicking on “Rules” or “View Rules” at the roulette game. Likewise, remember these games may also have their own house edge and payouts.
The odds of the roulette wheel depend on what version of the game is being played. Different versions have different setups, and thus have different odds and a different house edge.
House edge is the advantage the casino has over the players and is the percentage of chips that are taken from the winnings of players. For French roulette, the single zero roulette version, the house advantage or edge is 2.7 percent. For American roulette, the double zero version, it is 5.26 percent and is equal 7.9 percent on the 5-number bet (0-00-1-2-3).
A lot of players prefer to play French roulette because it has a lower house edge. French roulette has better odds than American roulette also because it has one zero, which means that for a straight number bet, players have a 1/37 chance of winning. American roulette has 38 number slots, so for a straight number bet the chance is 1/38 instead of 1/37.
This shows the odds are primarily affected by the version of roulette being played but also are affected by the bet itself. As noted earlier, different bets have different odds.
- Reds/Blacks: This bet is placed on Red or Black and, since the table contains 18 blacks and 18 reds plus 1 or 2 green spots, the odds are almost 50:50. This is why the bet pays even money (1 : 1).
- Even/Odd: Llike the last bet, the odds are 50:50 and it pays even money.
- Straight number bet: Players will place a wager on a specific number and will be paid 35 to 1 since players have a 1/37 or 1/38 chance of winning this bet.
- Three number bets, also called a street bet, pays eleven to one.
- The 6 number bet pays five to one.
- The 2 number bet pays seventeen to one.
- A column or a dozen bet pays two to one.
There are certain rules that can affect these odds. These rules are not implemented in every casino. Some of these rules include:
The En Prison Rule (In Prison):
This rule is applied on the bets that pay even money, such as odds/evens, blacks/reds and 1st half/2nd half. If players place any of these bets and the ball lands on the zero, the player will be able to take half of his bet or keep it all for the next spin. If the ball lands on zero again during the next spin, the entire bet will be lost.
The La Partage Rule:
This rule is quite similar to the previous rule but players will lose half the bet. The second option, to keep the bets for a second spin, is not available.
These two rules cut down the edge of the house on even money bets down to half because they give players a second chance.
Roulette is a random game and players cannot predict the outcome of the spins. However, there are certain betting strategies that can increase the odds. While these strategies will increase the odds, they can never guarantee a win because the outcome of the wheel is 100 percent random. Below we discuss 3 strategies:
1. The Martingale Betting System is basically a double or nothing strategy. In this strategy, players will double up their bets as they lose so they can make up for the money they have lost. Of course, it is not a very successful strategy because players can hit the house limit or they can run out of cash before they can make up for their losses.
2. The Andre Martinez Betting System depends on the odds and the possibilities. It states that players should bet on the same number 35 times since there is a 1/35 probability of winning. This is also not a very successful strategy because there is less than a 61 percent chance of winning if you bet on the same number for 35 consecutive spins. Players can run out of money well before winning.
3. The third strategy states that for a game of roulette, you do not have to only bet on black or red, or just one specific number. There are a lot of other options such as the 1st dozen bets, 2nd dozen bets and 3rd dozen bets. In this strategy, instead of choosing numbers without any calculations, it will use a special strategy and system in order to choose a group of roulette numbers that you will place wagers on. For the purpose of this betting system, the first twelve numbers will be named A, the second twelve will be B while the third twelve will be C. As for the 0 or the 00, they will be named 0.
In order to build the strategy, you should play at an online casino on free mode, so you do not waste your bankroll while learning the strategy. Get a paper and spin the wheel; if it ball lands on the first 12, write down A, the second 12, write down B and the 3rd twelve, write down C. You will do this test in sets of 5. Keep spinning until there is a set of 5 that is missing one of the letters. So if you record B, C, C, B and B, you will stop because A did not show up — you should bet for real money on B and C (the 2nd twelve and 3rd twelve). Keep betting on these numbers and over the long haul you should rack up the wins. The procedure of betting depends on your budget — if you have a low budget then place small bets and if you have a big budget, place big bets.
Pro’s Perspective: Roulette Strategies & Tips
One important concept that all gamblers need to understand is that in any game, the house gets its edge by paying winners at less than true odds.
In roulette, payoffs are set so they would reflect true odds if there were only 36 numbers on the wheel. But there actually are 37 or 38 numbers, including 0 and sometimes 00.
If you win a single-number bet, it pays at 35:1 odds, and there would be no house edge if there were only 36 numbers. With the zeroes, the true odds are 36:1 or 37:1.
So it goes for every possible bet. On a two-number split which pays 17-1, true odds are either 17.5:1 or 18:1. On red or black, the payoff is 18:18, which reduces to 1:1, but true odds are either 19:18 or 20:18.
The difference between the odds paid and the true odds is why the house makes money.
It’s equally important to understand that the odds are the same on every spin of the wheel. The way game analysts put it is, “The wheel has no memory.” If a number occurred on the last spin or not in the last 100, the odds remain the same for the next spin.
With the combination of those two simple concepts, the house has its edge of the same size on every spin. Even on a system that is designed to win more often than it loses, the house still will have its edge.
A System that Wins More than it Loses
To illustrate, let’s make up a system that wins more often than it loses. Let’s say you’re playing a double-zero wheel in a set of 38 spins in which each number comes up once.
In our system, we’ll bet $6 on black plus $5 on the two-number split of 0 and 00. That’s $11 per spin for a total risk of $418 for the 38 spins.
On 18 spins, black will win and we’ll win $6 and keep the $6 bet – a total of $12 that exceeds our $11 in wagers.
When the 0 comes up and again on 00, we win $85 on a 17:1 payoff plus keep the $5 wager for a total of $90 on each win.
On each of the 18 red numbers, we lose all $11.
At the end of the trial, the 18 black wins times $12 leaves $216 on our side of the table. The two 0-00 wins times $90 give us another $180, so we have $396 of our original $418.
Divide the house’s $22 by the $418 we risk, then multiply by 100 to convert to percent, and we get 5.26 percent – the normal house edge at double-zero roulette.
Our system wins on 20 numbers and loses on only 18, but it gives the house its usual percentage.
Systems are fun to play, they can win more often than they lose and sometimes you’ll hit a hot streak and walk away with a nice profit. But over extended play, the house will earn its percentage.