Roulette Spinning Wheels, There is a particular esoteric quality about the casino game of roulette. This is probably due to the human fascination of predicting the future. Just where on earth will the little silver ball land next?
Roulette is probably the oldest casino game. It is said to be based on a Roman game in which arrows would be shot into holes in a wheel, although it was possibly inspired by an ancient Chinese game in which the wheel was actually an instrument for torturing human beings!
Modern roulette was introduced in the 17th century by a Frenchman named Blaise Pascal. The renowned mathematician/philosopher invented the little wheel (called “roulette” in French) and gave us most of the rules we know today. The single zero roulette wheel was introduced a little later by brothers Francois and Lois Blanc, who realised that the 0 would give the House an advantage.
European Roulette, as that original French version of the game is known, took Europe by storm, making its way from German gambling dens to Monaco, where it became a primary source of income King Charles III and his heirs. But like other casino games, its real boom in popularity came with its exportation across the seas to America.
American Roulette rose with the gold rush in the Western states, as nouveau riche miners looked for forms of entertainment on which to spend their money. However, the American table was fitted with one difference – an extra double zero (00) that gave the House a larger advantage.
Today, American Roulette, European Roulette, French Roulette, Live Roulette and 3D Roulette are enjoyed by millions around the world thanks to online casinos.
Like other casino games, Roulette’s vocabulary testifies to its origins with a mix of French and American terms.
American Wheel: Wheel with 38 numbers, one more than the European version. The extra 00 increases the House advantage.
Ball: Small white ball that spins around the roulette wheel, eventually settling on one number.
Column Bet: Wager placed on vertical column of 12 numbers (1-12, 13-24, 25-36), with payout of 2:1. This is also known as a dozen bet, or “derniere” for bet on the last dozen numbers and “premiere 12” for bet on the first dozen.
Corner Bet: Wager placed on four adjoining numbers, with payout of 8:1. Also known as a “carré” in French.
Croupier: Alternative French name for the “dealer”, which is used commonly at American or online casinos.
European Wheel: As opposed to the American wheel, this has 36 numbers plus a single zero.
Even Bet: Wager placed on all the even numbers.
Even Money Bet: Any wager that pays out at 1:1. Even Money Bets include red/black, odd/even, high/low.
Five Number Bet: Wager on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 that can be placed in American Roulette only.
High/Low Bet: Wager on 19-36 (high) or 1-18 (low).
Inside Bet: Wager on the numbers, which sit on the inside area of the table.
Line Bet: Wager on line of six numbers.
Odd Bet: Wager on all odd numbers excluding 0.
Outside Bet: Wager on anything other than numbers (i.e. red or black, high or low).
Split Bet: Wager covering two numbers.
Straight Up Bet: Wager placed on one number.
Street Bet: Wager covering three numbers in a row.
Goal: To predict which slot (or area) the ball will fall into.
Opponent: The House.
- Players place bets. Wagers can be placed on: single number, group of numbers (i.e. lines, columns, corners), outside bets (i.e. red or black, odd or even, high or low).
- Croupier spins the roulette wheel. Everyone watches as ball lands in one of the slots
- Croupier makes payouts to players.
House advantage: In European Roulette, the advantage is 2.7%. In American Roulette, thanks to the presence of two zeroes (single and double), the advantage is 5.26%.
Straight-up bet on one number – 36:1 (or 37:1/38:1 if there is no house advantage).
Split bet on two numbers - 17:1.
Street bet on three numbers - 11:1.
Corner bet on four numbers - 8:1.
Six-number bet - 5:1.
Column or outside dozen bet - 2:1
Even Money Bets - 1:1.
Unlike Poker or Blackjack, there is no mathematical strategy for winning roulette. Whether you are playing America Roulette or European Roulette, this game is completely random. One spin has no effect on any other spin. Having said that, there are some strategies you can follow to maximise your chances, three of which are described below.
Martingale Strategy: The most popular basic roulette strategy, which is based on betting only on Even Money Bets (red/black, high/low, odds/evens) and doubling the value of your wager after each loss. Because Even Money Bets are a 50/50 game of chance, constant doubling of bets ensures that you will recover all losses on the first win. The strategy dictates that you stick with your bet – if it’s red, it’s red the whole time. The risk is that red fails to come up in four, five, six spins, exceeding your bankroll limit.
D’Alembert Strategy: Lower-risk roulette strategy in which the player increases their bet value by one after each loss and decreases the bet value by one following each win. The aim is to quit once your amount of wins is equal to or greater than your losses. If you start off losing, wait until you pull back to even ground. If you start off winning, cash your chips before you fall back to 50/50.
James Bond Strategy: As you would assume for anything associated with 007, this strategy is for high-rollers (you’ll need at least $200). This strategy works only for European Roulette and requires you to bet on column bets. Place 70% of your funds on high numbers, 25% on low numbers and 10% on 0. Your odds of winning are just above 50% - if you hit high or 0, you win, if you hit low you lose.
- Roulette is a good game to play if you are looking for a new casino game that is fun and simple to play, and does not require a lot of skill.
- Roulette is not a good game to play if you’re looking to make a career out of online gambling. Poker is a game you can build a strategy around as you compete against real-life opponents. Roulette is not such a game, as you compete only against the house, which has the advantage.
- Maximise your chances of winning with Even Money bets. Although the reward is smaller, the risk is also far smaller, which means your wins could equal or even exceed your losses.
- The best online casinos offer both American Roulette and European Roulette. Try your hand at both and see which one you prefer.
As with any other casino games, play in free-money mode before playing for real money. Any online casino worth visiting will offer free-play roulette, allowing you to understand the rules and wheel before depositing real cash.