The game of roulette is an easy game to learn and it offers a great variety when it comes to betting options. Many people like roulette for the mere fact that they have ample time at the table to decide where they want to place their money. First played in the 17th century in France, this game is not only a favorite throughout Europe but also in the United States.
For roulette, you usually see up to eight players, all going against the house, which is represented by the dealer. The dealer spins the roulette wheel while handling all the bets and payouts. In both the French and European roulette versions, the wheel has 37 slots but for games in the United States, there are 38, as well as two zeros. Each player uses different colored chips to help keep bets separated. Just as with poker, you can purchase chips with different denominations within the same color.
To start playing the game of roulette, one or more bets would be placed on numbers with the exception of zero, either on the inside or outside of the table layout. Generally, if you are just starting out, we recommend you practice two types of betting. First, is inside bets, and second, is outside bets. For inside bets, the total of all your bets has to meet or exceed the table’s minimum. Outside bets require that you play the table minimum for each bet. Additionally, outside bets are those on the roulette board but on the outside of the main playing area.
After all the players have placed a bet, the dealer, also called a croupier would spin the roulette wheel, which launches the ball. The ball will drop over the slots but just prior to that, the dealer will call out “no bets”, which means no new bets or changes on existing bets are allowed. Within several seconds, the ball will drop into a slot at which time the dealer places the dolly on the winning number on the table while clearing off all losing bets.
Other types of bets that apply to the outside betting situation include Red or Black. For this type of betting, a bet would be placed on a red or black number, clearly marked with the words “red” and “black” on the board. A common mistake made is that if five spins land on black, the next spin has a better than 50% chance of landing on red. Unfortunately, this is not logical thinking and will cause you to lose your bet quickly. The Red or Black betting is paid even, meaning if you bet $10, you win $10.
Another game is the “Odd” or “Even” bet. Somewhat similar to the Red/Black bet in that it is an even-money bet, based on the number coming up odd or even. “Low” or “High” provides you with the opportunity to predict if the number will be within the 1 to 18 range or the 19 to 36 range. This bet is also even money but provides you with a better chance of winning. Then, there is “Dozens”, which allows you to place your bet on one of three places, first a set of a dozen numbers, 1 to 12, second numbers 13 to 24, and third, numbers 25 to 36. The payout for this type of bet is better with 2 to 1 odds.
Many people ask if the game of roulette can be beaten and the answer is yes, as long as you use good strategies and tips. For example, spread your bets around, meaning randomly choose different types of bets. You will find that many players actually follow a system that might consist of placing three bets of Red/Black, two bets on Dozens, then three bets on Odd/Even before starting back at Red/Black. However, we recommend against a set system, instead of going with random betting.
It is important to understand the house advantage. For a single zero game, the house would have a 2.7% advantage whereas, on a double zero game, that number increased to 5.26%. Then, there is the “En Prison” rule, which is applied only to even-money bets and by some casinos. In this situation, if the outcome were a zero, then players would be allowed to take half of their bet back or leave the bet as it for another spin of the wheel. If the outcome on the second spin is again a zero, the player loses the bet.
Then, another important rule in roulette is called the “La Partage” rule. Similar to the “En Prison” rule, the difference is that the player would not have the option of taking half the bet or leaving the bet to spin again. The bottom line is that with both of these rules, the house advantage is cut by about 50%. We suggest that to increase your chance of winning at the game of roulette, you play a roulette wheel with a single zero due to the lower house advantage.
Try to play in casinos where they have what is called the “surrender rule”. In this case, you would enjoy odds almost as good as a single zero roulette wheel, but only on bets that are even-money and outside. Finally, do not waste your time looking for roulette wheels that appear to be on the player’s side since these do not exist.