Perhaps the most compelling casino game ever, Roulette offers players glitz, glamour and the chance of winning big.
In Roulette, players bet on which slot a ball spinning on a wheel will land on. It is one of the most popular games found in casinos, also due to its simplicity and high fun factor.
The very early beginnings of Roulette are said to trace back to ancient times. According to popular belief, it derives from a Roman game where soldiers used to shot arrows onto a wheel; the Greeks and Chinese are also said to have had similar games. Like most games found in most casinos today, Roulette was also modernized by the French. The first modern Roulette is attributed to a Parisian scholar named Blaise Pascal. Pascal invented Roulette while he was trying to figure out perpetual motion in the mid 17th century; he developed a little wheel which stands for "Roulette" in French and gave it some rules. It was a popular pastime which was thought to be "chic"; surprisingly it was very big in monasteries.
The next important phase for Roulette was in the mid 19th century when the brothers Lois and Francois Blanc opened casinos in Hamburg, Germany. These casinos had Roulettes with their tables having only one zero. Eventually, Roulette met fierce resistance in Germany for some deemed it to be an "unchristian" game. The two brothers then expanded their business to places like Monaco and Monte Carlo, and the game expanded by itself gradually.
However, like many other games, Roulette skyrocketed in its popularity when it crossed the ocean to America in the early 19th century. It is said to have been popular among the elite, like many other casino games in their early versions. One thing did change, though, with the emigration of the game to America. The American table added an extra double zero, something which enlarges the House advantage. Today, Roulette can be found practically in every casino, and especially in online casinos offering 3D instances of the game; Roulette is also very common to be found among the games offered live in online casinos.
Roulette's glossary is a fine mix of terms from France and America, commemorating the special history behind the game.
American Wheel: While European wheels have 37 numbers, the American wheel has one additional number putting it at 38 (1 to 36 with two zeroes).
Ball: The little guy who determines everything – this is a small white ball which is spun around on the roulette's wheel until it settles on a number.
Column Bet: A bet with a payout of 2:1 which is placed on a column of 12 (1-12, 13-24, 25-36). A bet on the first dozen is called "premiere 12" while one for the last dozen is "derniere".
Croupier: The French version for dealer, it is not uncommon to stumble upon it in online casinos.
European Wheel: Unlike the American Wheel, the European Wheel has 37 numbers: 1-36 and a zero.
Even Bet: A bet placed on all of the table's even numbers.
Even Money Bet: A bet with a payout of 1:1. This can include wagers like high/low, red/black, odd/even.
Five Number Bet: A bet available only on the American Wheel, placed on 0, 00, 1, 2 or 3.
High/Low Bet: A high bet's considered between 19 and 36 while a low bet is considered between 1 and 18.
Inside Bet: A bet on the numbers placed in the inside section of the table.
Line Bet: A bet on a line of six numbers.
Odd Bet: A bet placed on all odd numbers on the table not including zero.
Outside Bet: A bet placed on anything but numbers, e.g. high or low, odd or even, black or red.
Split Bet: A bet which covers two numbers.
Straight Up Bet: A bet placed only on one number.
Street Bet: A bet which covers a row of three numbers.
Rules and Conduct of the Game
In Roulette, the player's goal is predict into which slot or area the spinning ball will fall. Each round begins with all players placing their bets; the betting options are plenty – they can be made on single numbers or groups of numbers like columns, lines etc, then there can be bets which are not specifically numbers – odd or even, black or red, high or low.
Once all bets are placed, the most exciting part of Roulette begins. Accompanied by the iconic saying "No more bets please" the croupier (dealer) spins the roulette wheel and tension builds as it slows up, with everyone looking to see on which slot the ball will land. Once the ball has landed, the croupier makes the payouts to the winning players.
In American Roulette, the presence of two zeroes makes the House advantage 5.26%, while in European Roulette with only one zero, the advantage is 2.7%.
Roulette Payout Odds:
Straight up bets (bet on one number) – 36:1 (if there is no house advantage – 37:1/38:1).
Split bet (two numbers) – 17:1.
Street bet (three numbers) – 11:1.
Corner bet (four numbers) – 8:1.
Bet on six numbers – 5:1.
Outside or column bet – 2:1.
Bet on even money – 1:1.
In its core, Roulette is a total game of chance with random results. The Roulette's wheel spins have nothing to do one with the other. Yet, there are some strategies which players can employ to boost their chances of winning.
Martingale: Developed in 18th century France, with the Martingale strategy players place bets on Even Money Bets exclusively; after each loss, they double their wager. This is due to the Even Money bets having chances of 50/50 – a firm doubling of the wager will make certain the player will recover his losses the moment he wins. The Martingale strategy demands devotion; if you've chosen to bet on black, you'll remain black for the rest of the game.
D'Alembert: Named after the 17th century French mathematician, the D'Alembert is a strategy for lower risks where players gradually increase their bets by one each loss they endure, and after a win – they decrease the wager. What this aims to achieve is that the amount of wins will be either greater or equal to the amount of losses.
James Bond: While you don't have to be a secret agent in service of the queen, or to wear a flashy Rolex Submariner, you do need at least $200 for this strategy named after the world's most famous spy. Working only in European Roulette, the James Bond strategy is based around wagering on column bets with a system: 70% of your funds are put on high numbers, 25% are put on low numbers and 10% on 0.
- Roulette is one of the most entertaining games found in casinos, and also one of the simplest. It is a highly recommended starting point for players who are new to casinos and gambling in general.
- Keep in mind the importance of Even Money bets. Smaller risks mean smaller payouts, of course, but this could also bring about a situation where your wins can exceed or at least equal your losses.
- While Roulette does have some strategies, these are very basic and are not recommended to be adopted as a way of life in Roulette – remember that your only competitor in Roulette is the House – and it always has the advantage.
- Online casinos usually offer different variations of Roulette, with the most common ones being American and European Roulette. Try both of these in free play mode in order to determine which you like better, before delving in real games.
- Many casinos offer Live Roulette, so if you want to experience the thrill of the game without actually visiting a brick & mortar casino, check them out.
- Remember to maintain table etiquette.
- Set yourself a maximum bankroll and play responsibly.