Roulette

Roulette is one of the most famous casino games out there. Three elements are needed for the game: a roulette table (obviously including roulette wheel and ball), a group of enthusiastic players and a croupier. You will come across these three elements when setting foot inside a casino in order to play a game of roulette. However, you can also find yourself dealing with a real croupier and other players online. In order to make the gambling experience as realistic and complete as possible, most online casinos offer the opportunity of playing live roulette. Whether you are opting for live roulette or favoring the regular online version, it always starts by understanding the rules of play.  

French roulette with one zero and American roulette with two zeroes

There are two classic versions of the roulette game in existence: French roulette and American roulette. Both versions are very much alike. Yet the layout of the roulette table is slightly different. French roulette (also referred to as European roulette) contains 37 numbers, whereas the other version has one more. The difference is in the number ‘0’.

In French roulette, there has always been one zero, while there are two in American roulette. This extra pocket automatically has consequences for your odds of winning. If you bet on a number, you will face odds of 1 to 37 (or 2.70%) that the balls drops in your pocket for French roulette. Are you opting for American roulette? Then your odds are down to 1 to 38 (or 2.63%). The odds of winning might not be that much lower, yet it can make a marked difference in the gambling world. 

From scientific experiment to popular gambling game

The game of roulette has become a true classic in the casino world. It is claimed that it was invented in eighteenth century France. Although the idea behind the roulette game was thought up even before that. It was no one other than the famous mathematician and scientist Blaise Pascal who studied the so-called cycloid some 150 years before. This is a mathematical shape following the path that is taken by a fixed point on a circle. Does that not make a whole lot of sense to you? No worries, it is much more important to know that Pascal developed some kind of wheel for his experiments that he called roulette. With this wheel, he attempted to find a way of creating an perpetual motion.

The wheel of Blaise Pascal was meant for serious scientific experiments. How it eventually ended up as a game of gambling is anyone’s guess. Fact is that the roulette wheel suddenly appeared in Parisian casinos towards the end of the eighteenth century. Jaques Lablee even published a book titled ‘la Roulette, ou le jour’ in 1796. In this, he described the roulette wheel used by the Parisian elite in the Palais Royal. Funnily enough this is not the style that we nowadays refer to as French roulette. It was the style with two zeroes that became extremely popular amongst the French elite. Some 50 years later, in 1843, the first roulette wheel appeared with a single zero. The idea behind it was fairly simple. The French brothers François and Louis Blanc (the first of whom carried the elusive nickname ‘The Magician of Monte Carlo’) were trying to find a way for a casino in the German city of Bad Homburg to compete with other casinos. Differentiating yourself is always a smart move. And that is exactly what happened when their roulette wheel did not boast two zeroes, but only one. This new roulette game became very successful. Nowadays, it is the most commonly played style in Europe.

So how does the roulette game work?

For more than two centuries, roulette has been a popular game amongst gamblers. The big advantage is that you do not have to think up elaborate strategies, like you have to for poker. Roulette is one of those games that is all about luck. You place your chips on the playing field and then all you can do is wait. Once all the players have made their bet, the famed words ‘rien ne va plus’ will sound, after which the bets are fixed – nothing can be changed anymore. It is all down to the roulette ball. The croupier will drop the ball in the spinning roulette wheel, and everyone’s eyes will be affixed to the wheel. The more the wheel slows down, the higher the anticipation will be. You will see your number come closer, but will the ball actually drop in that pocket or just barely miss it, letting you go home empty handed?

The roulette wheel contains the numbers 0 to 36. The zero has a green color, whereas the other numbers are red or black. And this is not just because it is more aesthetically pleasing. The colors black and red are another option for you to place your chips on. 

What to bet on and what does it get you?

When opting for a game of roulette, it is imperative to play smart. The table layout offers a lot of possibilities. You can, for instance, place your chips on:

  • Inside bet on one of the numbers (straight/single)
  • Two adjacent numbers, such as 1 and 4 (split)
  • A row of three consecutive numbers, such as 25, 26 and 27 (street)
  • Two complete horizontal lines above each other, such as 13, 14, 15 + 16, 17, 18 (six line/double street)
  • Four numbers forming a square by meeting at the corners, such as 1, 2, 4 and 5 (corner/square)
  • A complete vertical column with 12 numbers (colonne)
  • Two adjacent columns (colonne à cheval)
  • The color (rouge) or black (noir)
  • An even (pair) or odd number (impair)
  • All numbers from 1 to 18 (low or manque) or all numbers from 19 to 36 (high or passe)

Obviously you are taking a much greater risk when placing your chip on one single number instead of on a complete column. However, the extra risk will be rewarded by the casino with a higher payout. And that difference can be pretty steep. For black/red, odd/even and manque/passe you will be paid out one time your bet. For colonne it will be paid out twice, whilst carré and transversale can lead to a payout of eight and eleven times your bet. Do you dare to take the risk of going for a cheval? Then there will be a payout waiting for you equalling seventeen times your bet. Of course the ultimate gamble is placing your chip on one single number. Your odds of losing are very high, but your lucky number might bring you a lot of money. The casino will reward you with 35 times your bet, so that a single tenner will instantly result in a 350 euro profit. Just think about what this might be when gambling with higher amounts. 

Live roulette and other varieties

The croupier plays an important role in the game of roulette. The experience is simply less magical when playing in an online casino against a computer. This is why live roulette was invented. Through a video connection, you will be shown to a real roulette table, where a suited up croupier is waiting for you. You hear the words ‘rien en va plus’ and will be a live witness to the ball dropping in the roulette wheel and eventually falling in a pocket. Often you can communicate with the croupier and with other players via live chat. You will definitely get that genuine casino feeling, yet from the comfort of your own home.

Live roulette is very popular, although there are more versions for you to choose from. You might come across games such as multi wheel roulette, double ball roulette and 3D roulette in a casino. These kind of games might appear very spectacular, yet the basics do not change. So make sure that you are confident in playing the classic style before changing to one of these flashy roulette games. 

What strategy do you use in the roulette game?

We mentioned before that roulette is all about luck. Of course you can place your chip strategically, by opting for a complete column or all red numbers. This way you increase your odds of winning, yet the luck factor is still all-decisive. Despite this, there are many players who confidently hold on to a gaming strategy. The most well-known strategies are the Fibonacci sequence and the Martingale system.

All strategies in the roulette game are focused on eventually making a profit. This can be done through smart betting. With the Martingale system, you double your bet each time you lose a game. Once you win, you automatically make up for your earlier losses. The Fibonacci sequence is very similar to the Martingale system. Only this time you do not double your bet, but instead employ the number sequence 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – and so on in order to determine your bet. Both strategies are only suitable for 50/50 bets. These are bets on red or black, and odd or even.

Whether playing with a strategy or not: the roulette game is a guarantee for excitement and anticipation. Anyone can and will win the game. Who knows, you might be lucky and take home a decent profit.

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