Roulette is a game of chance that has been with us since the 18th century, and it was invented in France. Many gamblers have won or lost huge amounts of money on this unpredictable game, and roulette is now more popular than ever because of the emergence of online gambling, live dealer roulette in particular, which allows anyone to play roulette from the comfort of his own home.
Roulette has been intriguing gamblers since its invention, and there are many strategies and different approaches to playing this game which is the most popular table casino game in the world and a staple of any casino, land-based or online.
Roulette Game rules
Roulette uses a wheel with 36 numbers and one or two zeros, and bets can be made on a specific number, red/black, odd/even, or one of the side bets. The dealer will spin the wheel and release the ball, and it will end up in one of the pockets and then the winnings will be paid.
A winning bet on an exact number, called a Straight Bet, pays 36:1, while Red/Black, Odd/Even and High/Low are two-sided bets so they will pay 2:1. There are three columns of numbers, and a winning bet on one of them will pay 3:1, and so will the Dozens bet where you choose if the number will be between 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36 respectively.
There are variations to the straight bet on a number. Betting on two numbers at once is called a Split, and it is placed by putting your chip on the line that separates the two numbers, either horizontally or vertically. This bet pays 18:1. Line is a version of this bet that covers two adjacent rows, a total of six numbers, and it pays 6:1. Street is a bet on a row of three numbers, and it pays 12:1. Corner is a bet on a group of four numbers, and you can only bet on numbers that form a square on the betting board. It pays 9:1.
There are also patterns that are designed to not cover specific numbers, but a certain portion of the wheel. Voisins du Zero, ‘neighbors of zero’ bet covers a total of 17 numbers, 9 on the left of zero and 7 on the right, starting with number 22 and ending with the number 25. Orphelins, ‘orphans’, is a bet on a group of five numbers before the number 22 and three numbers after the number 25, and these groups are on the opposite sides of the wheel. The remaining numbers, 12 of them opposite zero, are called Tiers du Cylindre, ‘third of the wheel’. Jeu Zero, ‘zero game’, covers the least number of pockets, only seven, four numbers on the left of zero and two numbers on the right. Covering a certain portion of the wheel is a very popular bet as the player can win if the ball lands in the general predicted location, not a specific pocket.
In order to play the side bets with ease, a player would need to find a version of the game which allows easy placement of chips on side bets without having to cover the respective numbers manually. If the side bet is listed on the board, just place your chips there and you’re done.
How to play Roulette
Roulette can be played casually or with a well-researched strategy in place, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is a game of chance in which every new outcome is totally independent of the last one. Players naturally see streaks in historical results of spins, but these have no effect on the next spin, none whatsoever.
Many players utilize one of the betting strategies which manipulate the bet size in an attempt to take control of roulette’s unpredictable nature. All betting strategies increase the bet size during non-winning spins in order to win the money back when a bet is finally won, and fall back to a lower bet after a win. This, however, can lead to bankruptcy as losing streaks in roulette can be longer than expected. These systems are called progressive systems, and there are more than a few: Martingale, Fibonacci Sequence, Paroli and D’Alembert System to name a few. All these strategies are applicable only to two-sided bets, Red/Black and Odd/Even, as the variance of other bets is too great for the system to handle.
Martingale, the most popular roulette betting system, doubles the bet every time you don’t win. This means the bet will reach incredible amounts after a longer series of non-winning spins, and may just leave the player unable to place the next bet. In case of a win, the net win is always the amount you would have won on your first spin. Fibonacci Sequence manipulates the bet so it’s always the sum of previous two bets (if you didn’t win), and if you win you go back two steps in the Fibonacci sequence of numbers. This strategy allows for longer losing streaks.
In non-progressive systems the bet remains the same through non-winning spins. Playing the Numbers is a strategy that bets on numbers that haven’t appeared for a while, the so-called overdue numbers. Same can be applied to other bets, and players search for an event that hasn’t happened for a while and is therefore deemed overdue.
Roulette is best played for fun, but of course it’s crucial to know the rules and the different types of bets that exist. Most new players will choose one of Red/Black or Odd/Even to reduce the variance, or will really play for fun and will put their chips on several numbers, getting a 36:1 payout when the ball lands in the right pocket.
It is possible to win money in roulette, and this is the reason why players play it. The way to win money on roulette is exactly the same as the way to lose money on roulette – by using the game’s unpredictable nature which may give you a long winning streak or a long losing streak. A player who can provoke the luck by either betting straight up on a number, or by reinvesting wins, might just be awarded by the unpredictable wheel of chance. In any case, playing it safe or attempting to control or predict the wheel will inevitably result in losses as the house has the edge, provided by that extra number on the wheel, zero.
There are books written on the subject of winning on roulette, so strategies can get really complex, and this is just a general overview of what to expect, how to play and how not to play. Expecting to win in roulette is a poor starting point, even more so if a player starts believing he can actually predict the outcome of the next spin. Roulette is completely random and the house has an edge of 5.26% with two zeros and 2.70% with one zero.
Online roulette for real money
All online casinos have not one but several versions of roulette to choose from. It is up to each player to decide if he’s rather play roulette in form of an automated table game, or does he prefer a version with an online dealer. The latter will be found in the Live Casino section of any casino.
There can also be different rules for each game, for example does the game have one or two zeros. More variations are usually reserved for the automated versions. European Roulette is the standard, and American Roulette has an added zero. French Roulette is like the European Roulette but with added En Prison and La Partage insurance bets which may give you half of your money back. There is also Multi-Ball Roulette and Multi-Wheel roulette.
A huge advantage of playing automated roulette in an online casino is that the random number generator is periodically inspected and you’re guaranteed a fair game, unlike some land-based casinos which have been rigging the wheel to ensure bigger profits for the casino. Or at least some players swear by it after not being able to win. In any case, in physical roulette small imperfections in materials may influence the spin and people around you may break your concentration, so online roulette is the only pure form of roulette.
Since the emergence of live online casinos and video broadcasts from game rooms or even from famous casinos, you can enjoy the best of both worlds and have a full roulette playing experience while sitting at home. When playing roulette in an online casino, the only decision to make is if you want the pure automated game, or the live experience.
Another advantage of online casinos is that they give a deposit bonus and other bonuses, which can rarely be used on roulette but in some cases roulette does contribute something to bonus rollover requirements. It is worth your while to find these casinos.