Over the years, Roulette has acquired the prestigious title of queen of both online and land-based casinos for good reason. The table game has graced European casinos for over 200 years since its introduction to Parisian casinos in the late 1700s and has remained one of the most popular games in a casino, be it in land-based or online, to date. Roulette is a social game like Craps which people flock to it as it is an iconic and unbiased game, holding no preference for any player. It is also one of the easiest games to win at with nearly a 50% chance of walking away victorious. The objective of the game is simple, the player must accurately predict where the ball will fall after the wheel spins. But before you give that wheel a whirl, there are a few things you need to know which can improve your odds and redefine your betting strategy.
Why play Roulette?
Did you know that the Roulette wheel was never intended for gambling purposes? It was the invention of the French physicist, inventor and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, who back in 1655 attempted to devise a machine that would stay in perpetual motion in order to enhance his calculator, the Pascaline. That is, he sought to defy the odds in the hope of creating a machine that would continue to operate without drawing energy from an external source. The name Roulette is believed to be derived from the French term for “little wheel” which was thought to have been the inspiration behind Pascal’s invention. Another theory stipulates that the name comes from an early variation of the game called “Roly Poly”, which was a 17th-century simple version of the spinning game.
Interestingly enough, the zero didn’t make its way onto the Roulette wheel until the 19th century. It came into being in 1842 when Francois and Lois Blanc designed a Roulette wheel especially for King Charles III of Monaco. It was the addition of the zero which gave the house a bigger house edge. With his kingdom facing financial ruin, Charles built the famous Monte Carlo casino. His Roulette wheel drew in the masses and generated a large income for the state. This all took place at the same time that France had decided to interdict gambling, in turn, making the brand new luxury casino even more enticing – a perfect case of being in the right place at the right time!
The game is played around a Roulette table and rotating wheel and can hold up to eight players. In order to play, one would just need to know some terminology related to the game and the bets that can be made. It would be ideal to master a few basic tips and some limitations of the gameplay before you begin spinning.
The odds of winning on this table game are significantly high. A classic American wheel, for example, has 38 numbers ranging from 1 to 36, including a 0 and 00. This means that you can bet on 18 numbers at a go out of the 38. In this case, your odds of winning are 1.111 to 1, leaving the house with a very narrow edge in this kind of bet. The wheel consists of alternating pairs of odd numbers with pairs of even numbers. The numbers also alternate between red and black. The dealer spins the wheel in one direction and rolls the small ball in the other. It will eventually land in one of the numbered slots. This is called a coup, a single roll of the wheel at Roulette. The numbers on the table are lined up into three columns, each of twelve numbers. The rest of the table is dedicated to the infinite number of bets that the game consists of. The bets are divided into two categories, inside bets and outside bets, and there are no limits as to how many bets you can make. Below is an outline of all the different types of bets that can be made in a classic game of Roulette.
Straight Bets:This is betting that the ball will land on one specific number on the wheel. To make this bet all you have to do is place a chip on top of the number on which you want to bet on. If your number wins, the payoff is 35 to 1.
Split Bets:This is betting that one of two numbers that lie next to each other on the table will win. You do so by placing a chip on the line that separates two numbers. You win if the ball lands on either number. The payoff is 17 to 1.
Street bet, Trio bet, or Three Number bet:In this bet, a player is wagering that any number in a particular row will come up on the next spin. To make this bet, you must place a chip on the outside line of the selected row. You win if any number in the row comes up. This bet pays 11 to 1.
Corner bet, Square bet, or Four-Number bet:This bets that one of four numbers will hit on the next spin. The four numbers should all be touching and moving a chip into the middle of the four numbers chosen places the bet. If one of these numbers hits, you win. The payoff is 8 to 1.
Five-Number bet:This is betting that either the 0, 00, 1, 2, or 3 will come up on the next roll. The chips on this wager are placed on the outside line that divides the 0 and 1. You will be paid 6 to 1 if any of these numbers come up.
Six Line bet:This is a bet that one out of six numbers in two adjacent rows will come up. Place a chip in between two rows on the outside line. If the ball lands on any number in the two rows, you will be paid 6 to 1.
Red:This is a bet that the next number to come up is red. This pays 1 to 1, or even money. To play this bet, place a chip or chips on the box marked "Red".
Black:You are betting that the next number to come up is black. Like the Red bet, this wager also pays even money. To make this bet, place a chip or chips on the box marked "Black".
Even:This is wagering that the ball will land on an even number, however, it doesn’t include 0 or 00. The payoff is 1 to 1. To play this bet, place a chip or chips on the box marked "Even".
Odd:This is wagering that the ball will land on an odd number. The payoff is the same as the Even bet and pays 1 to 1 if the forthcoming number is an odd one. To play this bet, place a chip on the box marked "Odd".
Low Bet:This is a bet that the next number will fall somewhere between 1 and 18. The payout is 1 to 1, and all you have to do is place a chip or chips on the box marked "Low".
High bet:This is a bet that the next number will be between 19 and 36. The payout is also even money, and your chip or chips go on the area marked "High".
Dozen Bet:These bets divide the numbers on the table into groups of twelve as follows; 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36. To play this bet, put a chip or chips in one of the three boxes marked "1st 12", "2nd 12" or "3rd 12". The payoff is 2 to 1.
Column Bet:This bets that a number in a singular column will come up on the next spin. The payoff is 2 to 1 and is done by placing a chip at the end of the layout below your coveted column where it is marked "2 to 1".
Certain European variations of the game offer distinct rules that are not largely found in American Roulette. The ‘En Prison’ rule, for example, works solely for outside even money bets. If the ball lands on a zero, the player may choose to take back half the bet or leave the money, as if ‘en prison’ (in prison) for the duration of another spin. The bet is lost if the following spin also produces a zero. The ‘La Partage’ rule is similar to the ‘en prison’ rule, except that players don’t have the option of leaving their money in prison and are required to sacrifice half their bet. This applies to the 'outside' even-money bets Red/Black, High/Low, Odd/Even and applies when the outcome is zero. Both the La Partage and the En Prison Roulette rules essentially cut the casino edge on the 'even-money bets' in half. Therefore, a bet on Red on a single-zero roulette table with the either one or both rules has a 1.35% house edge and one on a double zero Roulette table has a house edge of 2.63%.
If you’re still a tad overwhelmed by the myriad of bets at your disposal or are just seeking some more information on the crowd-pleasing game, here are some tips and pieces of advice which will aid you in understanding the game better.
There are two widely known variations of Roulette, the single green zero (0) European version and the American green double zero (00) version (this version has both a 0 and 00). Both types of wheels carry the nickname, The Devil’s Wheel as all the numbers add up to 666. The double zero works in the same way as the single zero. The American version dates back to 1796, as it features in Jacques Lablee’s ‘La Roulette, ou le Jour.’ It was Monte-Carlo who decided upon and kept the single zero design. The house edge remains fairly constant, except in one case. American-style tables may offer a ‘Five’ bet, where you cover squares 1-3 and the two zero squares (0, 00, 1, 2, 3). This bet gives a 7.89% edge to the house, making it the worst bet of all, one you should avoid at all costs.
A third variation of the game is called California Roulette which utilises cards instead of slots to pick the winning numbers and was designed to get around anti-gambling laws. Thanks to the introduction of the internet in the 2000s, you can play all these variations of the game online.
Before you risk it all and start playing with real cash right away, it’s best to try your luck at Roulette by playing for free first. You can do just that on this very page. Remember, the key to succeeding in most table games is simply to practise. There is such a thing as beginner’s luck, but it doesn’t last forever. However, if it’s real excitement you’re after, then you can play Roulette using real money. Being such an alluring game, every bricks and mortar casino will feature plenty of Roulette tables. Thanks to the birth of online casinos you can experience the thrill you get when the ball comes to a standstill in any place at any time from your laptop, tablet or mobile. All you need is an internet connection. These casinos offer you two types of gameplay; online games making use of computer software and video feed of a live casino dealer. Remember that online games move much faster than live games as some of them, as well as electronic and video roulette, are set for a new spin every 20 to 25 seconds.
I will let a man who needs no introduction, Albert Einstein, answer this question for you. After a visit to a Las Vegas casino, he said, “The only way to beat the roulette is to steal the money when the dealer is not looking.”
The easy availability of ’50/50′ bets (Red/Black, Odd/Even, 1-18/19-36) combined with its high popularity makes Roulette the first choice for system players – Martingale, D’Alembert, Fibonacci, and Paroli are all great examples of systems that involve altering the bet size to try and escape the house edge. There is one particular strategy which is associated with the game of Roulette, that is the Martingale system, also dubbed the doubling strategy. It is the most prominent strategy of all for winning easy money and is especially popular among rookies as it’s straightforward, user-friendly and above all, makes sense. Other strategies, are a little more complicated and require a great deal of strategic and mathematical understanding. However, it does have its fair share of risks, which is why seasoned players avoid using it. This strategy is used on outside bets as they have the maximum odds of winning (almost 50%), but also the smallest payout when compared to the inside bets. The outside bets to wager on are 1-18 (Manque) or 19-36 (Passe); red (Rouge) or black (Noir); even (Pair) or odd (Impair). If you win, you are paid even money (1:1), meaning you get the same amount you bet back. The strategy is as follows, after every coup you lose, you double your wager on the outside bets until you win. The first win will regain all your previous losses, at the same time, giving you a profit equivalent to your initial bet. For your next wager, the cycle repeats itself as you start from the beginning with your original bet and keep doubling until your next success. This only works in theory, though, because in a reality there are many other factors that may have an effect on the course of the game and which may interfere with your strategy. Remember, that at the end of the day the house always has the upper hand thanks to the green zero.