Odds & Gameplay
The secret of the game’s popularity is dynamic. Numerous betting options are offering excitement like no other. Besides the element of luck, there is a great deal of strategy involved. Good discipline and adequate management are required for good profit on the roulette table. However it does have a quite high casino edge, so it’s also important to learn how to maximize your chances of winning.
In terms of odds, the house always has an advantage. This is without exception, the case with all casino games. The term house edge describes the mathematical advantage that the casinos have in the long run of play. In the case of roulette, it depends on the variants of the wheel – European wheels have single-zero pocket, while American ones have double-zero pockets.
The name roulette is derived from the French word for “little wheel”. The roulette wheel is composed of alternating red and black slots allotted with numbers. The objective of the game is a straightforward prediction of the numbered pocket in which the ball will land.
The croupier turns the spinning wheel announcing that there are “no more bets”. When the wheel loses momentum and comes to a stop, the ball lands in one of the numbered pockets. The croupier announces the outcome and marks the winning number. There is no competition between the players as the game of roulette is played against the casino
The number of slots varies depending on the type of roulette. American wheels have 38 slots with two zeros. This gives the player a bigger handicap and increases the casino advantage to 5.4%. European and French wheels are more attractive with their 37 slots. They only have one zero making the casino advantage only 2.7%.
La Partage rule (or surrender) is used in French roulette and applies only to even money bets. The rule states that should that the outcome e of the spin be zero, the player can take back half of his bet. This rule decreases the casino advantage by another half to 1.35%.
There are various bets with a different risk and can be separated into two categories: inside and outside bets. Players can bet on a single number or a combination of numbers.
The bets are placed on the use of chips of many different colors so there won’t be confusion among the players. Outside bets are more popular, especially for beginners because they have better odds at winning, but their payout is generally smaller than that of the inside bets.
Players place bets on a roulette layout, which is the betting area. Bets can be placed either on a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. There is only a certain time period allotted for placing bets. The dealer would raise his hands and say “no more bets”, usually shortly after the ball has been released. Winning bets are paid after each spin.
- Bets that pay 1:1
Low numbers, betting that the number will be between 1 and 18. High numbers betting that the number will be between 19 and 36, odd or even numbers, red or black numbers.
- Bets that pay 2:1
The first dozen numbers (1 to 12), the second dozen numbers (13 to 24), the third dozen numbers (25 to 36). Column bets are similar but they work vertically. The first column covers every third number starting with 1 all the way to 34.
The second column covers, again, every third number starting with 2 and ending with 35. The third column covers every third number beginning with 3 and finishing off with 36. Betting on any single number pays 35:1.
However, these are not the only bets allowed in the game of roulette. You can also bet on two numbers. For example, this particular bet pays 17:1. Placing your chips at the end of one row means that you’re betting on three numbers. This bet pays 11:1. Betting on four numbers, also known as the corner bet, pays 8:1. The six-line bet, betting on six numbers, pays 5:1.
The casino advantage of all the bet types is the same with the exception of the top line bet in American Roulette where the casino advantage is 7.9%. Probabilities of outcome for the different bet types, of course, are different.
The bets that pay 1:1, the low, even, red/black, even or odd bets have a probability of happening of 50%. The bets that pay 2:1 such as the column bets have a probability of happening of 33%.
The probability to win if you bet on six numbers is 16 to 17%. If you bet on four numbers you have the probability to win of approximately 11%. When you bet on three numbers, you have a probability to win of 8%.
Betting on two numbers will give you the probability to win of 5-6%. The bet that pays the most in roulette is the bet on a single number, which pays 35:1 and has a probability of happening of less than 3%.
Based on the probabilities, it’s obvious that you will need more money when placing bets with lower probability.
Let’s say that you think the next number will be red between 1 and 18, so you bet 10 dollars on each. If the number 8 black comes in, you win 10 dollars from the low number bet, but you lose the 10 dollars if you embed in red. If you have a feeling that the next number that will come out will be on the third dozen and an even number, you bet 10 dollars on each.
A number comes out that satisfies both of these predictions and its 30 red, which brings you a win of 30 dollars. Ten dollars from betting that it will be an even number and twenty dollars from guessing it will be from the third dozen.
Early American roulette wheels were from 1 through 28, plus a single zero, a double zero and an American Eagle. The Eagle, which is a symbol of American liberty, was a housing slot that brought extra edge for the home casino.
After a time, this tradition faded and the wheel has only numerical slots as we know it today. In the United States, the French double zero wheel remained dominant and made its popularity from Mississippi to the deep West.
Facing the facts that there was a lot of cheating by both operators of the casinos and the players the wheel was eventually placed on the top of the table to prevent gadgets being placed hiding in the table or the wheel, and the betting layout was simplified. This is the brief evolution of the American-style roulette game but the French roulette matured with style and ease in Monte Carlo.
The only two casino towns noted during the first part of the 20th century were Monte Carlo holding its traditional single zero wheels and Las Vegas with the American double zero wheel which can be found in the United States, Canada, The Caribbean and South America. The single zero wheel can be found in any other casino around the world.