You may ask yourself, what is the world’s most popular casino game that does not involve playing cards. If you’ve had to ask, then you probably do not know enough about casinos both real-world and online, as the answer is most obviously Roulette! So, it should be no surprise of the number of online roulette casinos out there on the market.
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Roulette has been a casino staple for a couple of centuries now, and it’s one of the few casino games that’s actually sold as a children’s toy (and there is a lot of debate as to if such a thing should be permitted). Almost everyone has played roulette at some stage of their lives, and many gambling terms from the game have entered the lexicon of countless languages and are used beyond the walls of a casino.
If you want to know a little more about the world’s most popular online and real-world gambling game that does not involve playing cards, then here is the perfect online roulette guide to help you do just that.
History of Roulette
The fanciful early history of roulette goes way back into the mid-1600s. There lived a very famous and intelligent mathematician in France who went by the name of Blaise Pascal. A legend in his own lifetime and beyond, Pascal is honoured by having a computer language named after him (although it’s a language that nobody uses now).
Pascal decided one day to try and make a perpetual motion machine (a machine that creates power without being powered itself). Quickly working out his machine was a complete non-starter, Pascal remade it into a gambling game instead. As he was French, he called it ‘roulette’ which means ‘little wheel’.
It is unlikely that this fanciful tale is true. Versions of roulette have been found recorded in Ancient China, Ancient Greek and Ancient Rome. Roulette likely began life as a merger of two games called ‘roly-poly’ and ‘even-odd’, both influenced by games that had been played for centuries.
The fledgeling casino industry took up roulette in the early 1800s. Casinos created a wheel with numbers 1 to 36 plus a ‘0’ and a ‘00’. Players could bet on numbers and groups of numbers, but there was a caveat that maintained the house edge of 5.26% over the player – when the ball landed on ‘0’ or ‘00’ ALL bets such as red/black, high/low and odd/even were losers.
One major change was devised by brothers Francois and Louis Blanc in 1842. They dropped the ‘00’ from their version of roulette, reducing the house edge to 2.7%. Players flocked to the Blanc brother’s casinos meaning ALL casinos soon dropped the ‘00’ … except for those in America where of course they have to do everything differently. To this day, roulette with a single ‘0’ is known as European or French roulette, and versions with a ‘0’ and ‘00’ are known as American roulette.
How to Play Roulette at Online Casinos
The basis of roulette is straightforward. Players bet on numbers or groups of numbers. The casino employee (‘croupier’) spins the ball around a roulette wheel. When the ball lands, the winning number is announced. Players are paid if they bet on the right number, and lose their stake if they did not win.
There are a huge number of possible bets:
Bet on the winning number being red, or black. Payout is 1:1.
Bet on the winning number being odd or even. Payout is 1:1.
Bet on the winning number being hi (19 to 36) or lo (1 to 18). Payout is 1:1.
Bet on one of three groups of twelve numbers (1 to 12, 13 to 24 or 25 to 36). Payout is 2:1.
Bet on one of the three columns of numbers on the roulette table. Payout is 2:1.
Bet on a group of six numbers as on the roulette table. Payout is 5:1.
Bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 (American roulette only). Payout is 6:1.
Bet on a group of four numbers as on the roulette table. Payout is 8:1.
Bet on a line of three numbers as on the roulette table. Payout is 11:1.
Bet on any two numbers as on the roulette table. Payout is 17:1.
Bet on any single number. Payout is 35:1.
In some versions of roulette, there is a second betting table in which the numbers are arranged (as though on a racetrack, hence the name) in the same order as they are on the roulette wheel. This allows players to bet on certain sections of the wheel as opposed to numbers in their set, assigned sequence. There are several racetrack bets.
Voisins du Zero (or Serie 0/2/3)
A combined bet as follows: Street on 0/2/3. Splits on 4/7, 12.15, 18/21, 19/22, 25/28. 26/29 and 32/25. Only any winning bet pays.
Tiers du Cylindre (or Serie 5/8)
A combined bet as follows: Splits on 5/8, 10/11, 13/16, 23/24, 27/30 and 33/36. Payout is 17:1 but only on the winning split.
A combined bet as follows: Splits on 6/9, 14/17. 17/20, 31/24 and a straight-up on 1. Payout is made on the winning bet only.
A combined bet as follows: Straight up bet on 26 and splits on 0/3, 12/15 and 32/25. Only the winning bet pays.
A bet on any number, plus the two numbers to the left of it on the wheel, and the two numbers to the right. Payout is 7:1.
Call bets are those announced (or ‘called’) by the player as opposed to being placed on the table. It’s unlikely that call bets are offered in any version of online roulette that you can find. Some games will treat racetrack bets as call bets. The most common call bet is a ‘final bet’ which is a bet on all numbers that end with the same number. A call bet of ‘Final 6’ would be a bet on 6, 16, 26, and 36. All call bets cost four chips except calls bets on 7, 8 and 9 which cost three (as the roulette wheel does not contain 37, 38, 39).
How to Place Bets
You place bets at roulette by placing chips on the numbers you want to bet on, on the roulette table. If your chip is wholly within the box in which the number is printed, then you are betting on a specific number. If it is on the line joining connecting two numbers, then this is a split bet on two numbers, and so on. You can quickly learn how to place any bet you want when playing roulette.
You can only place a bet once the previous chips have been completely cleared from the table. The croupier will begin the spin of the ball as bets are taking place. Once the ball has begun to lose momentum the croupier will announce ‘no more bets’ meaning any bet placed after this has been called will be declared void and pushed back to the player who made it. The balls lands, the number is announced, and markers are placed on any bets that have won. All losing chips are raked off the table, and winners are paid out.
When you play roulette at an online casino, you will be playing software-based roulette games. These are also known as ‘RNG roulette’ games with RNG standing for ‘random number generation’.
Aside from the lack of a croupier and any other players, the only real difference between ‘real’ roulette and software-based roulette is that you have as much time as you want to place your bets. When you are satisfied that all your bets are in place as you want them, you click a button to commence the spin of the roulette wheel.
Live Casino Roulette
Live roulette is offered at every online casino that has a live casino section. Live roulette is a hybrid – if you like – of real-world roulette and RNG-based roulette. Players at the table make bets via a software interface that is available to them. Like real roulette, players only have a limited time in which to place their bets. Once the croupier has called ‘no more bets’ the software will prevent the player from placing any more bets.
Unlike, for example, blackjack, live casino roulette online works just as it does at real-world casinos. Call bets are typically never available though, and racetracks bet options are something of a rarity.
Successful Roulette Strategy at Online Casinos
If you have read any of our other casino guides, then you may have come across the term ‘cognitive bias’. This is a habit of the human brain of assigning bias to a particular event even though, logically, no bias exists. For example, if you were to toss a coin four times in a row and scored ahead each time, then you may feel that is now more likely that on your next coin toss you will land a tail. This is not true, no matter what anyone may tell you. The odds of any coin toss are always the same – 50% heads and 50% tails.
Roulette is the casino gambling game that is most prone to aspects of cognitive bias. The most famous involves red and black. In European roulette there are thirty-seven numbers – eighteen are red, eighteen are black, and one is green. If the balls land on a red number four (or so) times in a row, then the majority of roulette players will start betting on black as they feel that a black number is now more probable. The odds of the red/black bet on European roulette are ALWAYS the same – 48.65% red, 48.65% black and 2.7% green. This is the same for EVERY spin, no matter if the last number was red, the last ten numbers were red, or the last one million numbers were red.
There have been multiple examples in casino history of players losing large amounts of money because of cognitive bias. The most famous example of this happened in a Monte Carlo Casino in 1913 when word began to spread around that a roulette wheel has landed a black number a dozen times in a row. Gamblers flocked to the roulette table, hammering vast fortunes on red supposing that red was far more likely now to come up than black.
In fact, black ended up as the winning number colour a staggering twenty-six times in a row, and people lost huge sums. The odds of this occurring were around 67 million to one. By the time the casino wheel broke the black sequence, hardly anyone was betting on the wheel having convinced themselves that it somehow was now biased against red.
This type of cognatic bias is known as ‘The Gambler’s Fallacy’, and it forms the basis of many so-called roulette strategies. One such strategy states that you should double your bet every time you lose but bet on the same outcome. Once you win, you should fall back to your original bet. This fails because long losing streaks are frequent, and even doubling a $1 bet a few times because of successive losses will see a player being unable to place the bet because of the table limits.
The best bet in roulette is actually to bet on a single number time and time again and hope it comes up more frequently than probability dictates it ought to. In the long run, though, the casino will always come out on top. Roulette is purely a game of chance, and nothing more.
There are only two successful rules to enjoyable roulette play:
- Never play American Roulette when French or European Roulette is available.
- Never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose.
Roulette is an entertaining game for which no skill is required. It is purely luck-based (no matter what anyone else may tell you) so the entertainment comes with the anticipation of watching that little ball spin around the reels in the hope it will land kindly for you. If you do happen to hit a winning streak, then the best thing you can do is walk away from the table with your winnings. Precisely the same holds for a losing streak.
As with all forms of gambling, always practise responsible gambling and remember that gambling will never be a way for you of generating a steady stream of income.
Are there any forms of roulette aside from American and European/French roulette?
I have heard the term ‘la partage’ used when playing roulette. What does it mean?
Can I play online roulette on my phone or tablet?
What’s the difference between an outside bet and an inside bet?
What does ‘Let it Ride’ mean?
Who was the ‘Man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo’?
Don’t ‘all bets lose’ when the balls land on ‘0’ or ‘00’?