Roulette is a game of chance. This casino table game was invented by Blaise Pascal, the notable French mathematician, in the 17th century. Oddly enough, Pascal was attempting to invent a perpetual motion machine at the time.
All the numbers on a roulette wheel, including European Roulette, French Roulette, and American Roulette sum up to 666 – the number of the beast. Jokes aside, this table game has baffled casino connoisseurs and casual players for centuries.
In their attempts to unravel the mysteries of the roulette wheel, players have postulated complex betting systems such as James Bond, Fibonacci, Martingale, Reverse Martingale, and D’Alembert. The astute player ignores all of these betting systems and bankroll management techniques, and, instead focuses on the mathematics of the game. Let us begin our quest into the great game of roulette!
What is the Game of Roulette all About?
Roulette is first and foremost a betting game. The roulette wheel features a limited range of numbers for players to bet on. In European Roulette and French Roulette, players can place their bets on 0, and numbers 1-36. With 37 numbers on the wheel, the odds of any number coming up at any time are 1/37, or 2.70%. And that’s precisely what the house edge in this fascinating casino table game is. Put differently, a £100 bet on roulette will yield a theoretical profit of £2.70 for the casino in the long-term. In the short term, however, any result is possible. Players can substantially increase their bankroll through good fortune and proper bet placement on the roulette racetrack.
American Roulette is an entirely different animal. For starters, this casino table game features an additional number – the 00. While it’s just ‘one’ extra number on the wheel, it significantly changes the odds of the game. Thanks to the inclusion of 00, American Roulette features 38 numbers on the wheel. Players now have a 1/38 chance of their number coming up, or a 2.63% likelihood of calling it right. But the house edge in American Roulette is higher because of the 00, at 5.26%. That means your £100 bet will typically yield a profit of £5.26 for the casino over the long-term. Fortunately, the majority of players are short-term players and anything can happen during a couple of sessions of play.
Regardless of the roulette variant you play, certain rules hold true:
- Inside bets are bets on single numbers. They also include bets on split numbers, corner numbers, street numbers, 5-number combinations, or double street combinations.
- Outside bets are bets on 1-18, 19-36, even/odd, red/black, first 12, second 12, third 12, and other selections.
Here’s an interesting fact: inside bets pay out significantly more than outside bets, but they are more difficult to call. For example, a bet on a single number pays 35:1 (an inside bet) while a bet on red or black pays 1:1.
Let’s say you’re playing a game of European Roulette and you place a £10 bet on red and a £10 bet on 1. If the roulette ball lands in the #1 slot, you will receive a payout of 1:1 on red and a 35:1 payout on 1. Your £10 wager will net you £10 on red and £350 on 1 for a total payday of £360 + your original bet. Of course, if black 2 or green 0 lands you will forfeit your £20 bet.
Which Roulette Game Should You Play?
If roulette is a game of numbers, then it’s probably worth your while playing the game with the most player-friendly odds. Contrary to popular opinion, the most favourable roulette game is actually French Roulette. While this game mimics European Roulette in many ways (0, 1-36), there are a few rules in place that make this game particularly player-friendly. It takes a little reading to understand the intricacies of French Roulette, but once you do you’ll be glad you did.
There are two unique rules in French Roulette that you should pay attention to: En Prison and La Partage.
- En Prison – Let’s say you’re playing French Roulette and you have placed an even-money bet on the table. Even money bets (1:1) include red or black, odd or even, and low or high selections. Now, what happens if the ball lands on the green 0 on the wheel? The French Roulette dealer will then place a marker on the bet indicating that it is in prison, or ‘En Prison’ until the next spin. If you win the bet on the next spin, you will win back your original bet in full. However, if an odd number comes up, you will forfeit your entire bet.
- La Partage – now that you understand what En Prison bets are all about, it’s pretty easy to understand La Partage. This rule states that if you have placed an even-money bet on French Roulette and the ball lands on the green 0, you will have the opportunity to accept half of your bet back.
What effect does this bet have on the odds of the game? It cuts the 2.70% house edge in half to just 1.35%. That’s why French Roulette is widely considered to be the most player-friendly roulette variant next to European Roulette.
Managing Your Roulette Bankroll Well
We’ve said it before and we’ll say that again: roulette is a numbers game.
The numbers also indicate the betting minimums and maximums. Your budget should allow you to play enough roulette games based on table minimums/maximums. If you’re just starting out with a small budget of £100 – £300, you will be better served by playing at a low table minimum. The lower the minimum bet, the more action you get at the tables.
Your budget should reflect what you can afford to lose. Anything more is over budget. Nowadays, it’s easy to find affordable games of roulette online, or at traditional casino venues. Live dealer roulette features authentic casino dealers at secure studios in real-time. Live roulette games are also affordably priced and offer all the comforts and convenience of traditional roulette games. Now that you know all this, get ready to spin up a storm.