Roulette

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Introduction to Roulette

Roulette is the most glamorous of land casino games. The wheel spinning at the centre and layouts stretching out on either side cannot fail to excite. There is always a buzz about the roulette wheel with the dealer making the announcements and the croupiers collecting the losing bets and paying out the winning ones.

There are three variants of roulette games. All have 36 numbers on the wheel. In addition, the European version has a single zero (0) and the American version has both a single zero and a double zero (00). The French version is like the European version but displays the numbers on a green layout instead of the red and black one.

History of Roulette

The mathematician Blaise Pascal is said to have invented roulette in the 17th century, but there is no verification of this. Roulette wheels with single zero and double zero were known in French Casinos in the early 18th century. For over 100 years this was the standard version of roulette. In 1863 a Frenchman named Francois Blanc was given the contract to operate the newly opened Monte Carlo Casino. Unable to attract the required traffic to service his payments he switched roulette wheels with single zero that had just been introduced in some smaller casinos. Blanc’s fortunes changed for the better but all wheels in Europe had to adopt the single zero because of the competition.

The American roulette wheel began with 28 numbers, single zero, double zero and the American eagle. This gave far too much advantage to the house and over time the American wheel settled on 36 numbers, single zero and double zero. The current betting layout evolved in the United States as did the practice of placing the wheel where it could be seen by all.

Roulette has evolved as an online casino game as well. There are some advantages that online roulette offers. These include progressive jackpots and other side bets.

Rules for Roulette

Roulette offers a large number of bets. Players place their bets from among those offered. The wheel is then spun and a ball is rolled against the wheel. When the wheel comes to rest the ball falls into a pocket corresponding to one of the numbers. The bets that cover this number are paid out and all other bets lose.

Rules for roulette involve an understanding of the bets and their payouts. The payouts are same across all versions of roulette. The first set of bets is Inside Bets, so called because the chips are placed inside the main layout. The straight bet covers a single number and pays 35 to 1. The Split bet covers two adjoining numbers and pays 17 to 1. The Street bet covers three numbers in a row and pays 11 to 1. The Corner bet covers four numbers in a square formation and pays 8 to 1. The Six Line bet covers two adjoining streets and pays 5 to 1. The Outside bets are placed outside the number grid and cover more numbers but have lower payouts. The Column bet covers 12 numbers in a vertical column and pays 2 to 1. There are a number of even money bets. These cover the first 18 numbers or the last 18 numbers; the red numbers or the black numbers (each number on the wheel, except 0 and 00, is either red or black) and the even numbers or the odd numbers. Roulette also has a set of more complicated bets known as Call Bets. These are based on the arrangement of numbers on the wheel and each bet involves covering numbers on the layout that are not contiguous.

French Roulette has a La Partage rule in which half the even money wagers are returned to the player in case a 0 is called.

General Strategy

The first thing players should know is which roulette variant to choose. The payouts would be mathematically fair provided there were no zeroes on the wheel. The zeroes create an advantage for the casino, which is known as a house edge. Since American Roulette has 0 and 00 it has the greatest house edge of 5.26%. European Roulette has a house edge of 2.7%. For other than the even money bets, French Roulette also has a house edge of 2.7%. For even money bets the house edge in French Roulette falls to 1.35%. Therefore players opting for even money bets should wager on French Roulette and others can choose between French and European Roulette.

Roulette has a large number of bets and the second strategy issue deals with the choice of bets. Within American and European Roulette all bets have the same house edge and hence the selection criterion has to be some other. The Outside Bets have a larger cover and hence will win more often. But will pay out small amounts. These bets are suitable for risk-averse players whose first priority is to conserve the bank roll. The Inside Bets cover fewer numbers and will win less often, but will pay out more handsomely when they do. These bets are suited for the more risk taking players.

More betting systems are offered for roulette than for any other casino game. The claim made is that these systems guarantee that the player will make money. The fact of the matter is that all these systems are bogus and their claims are fraudulent. The Martingale strategy is the most common one in which players keep doubling the wager after every loss. This system hits a roadblock because all casinos have a maximum limit on bets and players cannot double their wagers indefinitely.

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