Roulette is an iconic game of chance which origin is still debated these days. Some researchers believe it was invented by French mathematician Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. Others state that the primitive forms of roulette trace back to Ancient Greece, grounding their opinions on archeological excavations. Whatever the case is, scholars contend that the roulette wheel in its modern look appeared in the 19th century and later split into two distinct variations: French and American roulette. The word “roulette” is translated from French as a “little wheel” and this is a good name since the sectored wheel is the mainstay of roulette game. Today, roulette is synonymous with the richness, glamor and majesty of Las Vegas, and its spinning wheel with a hopping ball has been giving great pleasure to many generations of gamblers in New Zealand and over the world.
How online roulette is played
Since the emergence of online casinos at the beginning of 2000s, online roulette became a centerpiece on many gambling sites. It has over a dozen variants but the most popular are European, American and French roulette games. The key elements of any game are a wheel and a table layout marked with numerous bet sections. As opposed to land-based roulette where players use casino chips to place their bets, online roulette has a handy graphic interface that replicates chips of various values. A bet is placed by selecting one or more chips and then clicking or tapping on a required space on the table grid. Each table has a certain betting range that normally starts at $1 and reaches into thousands of dollars. It is worth noting that some tables accept fun credits in addition to real money bets.
A table layout consists of a numbered grid with 37 numbers for European and French roulette and 38 numbers for American roulette. There are inside and outside bets. Inside bets are placed on any single number or a group of numbers located within the grid, while the fields for outside bets are located outside the grid. The winning odds and related payouts are different for each type of bet, and outside bets that cover many numbers at a time feature the highest chances of winning. The types of bets in online roulette are:
- Straight. It covers one number and pays 35:1 (European) or 36:1 (American).
- Split, Street, Square and Six Line. These cover 2, 3, 4 and 6 numbers, respectively.
- Dozens. This is an outside bet with three options: the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dozen.
- Columns. The bet covers 12 numbers and is placed on any of the three boxes marked as “2 to 1”. Each column has a 2:1 payout.
- All the other outside bets (on red/black, even/odd and low/high) have the maximum odds (close to 50%) and the smallest payouts (1:1).
A roulette wheel has 37 (or 38) numbers that are arranged in a specific order, not randomly as it may seem from the first glance. The configuration of a European and American wheel is different but there are a few similarities for each of the wheels: Red and black numbers come in an alternating order and are never found adjacent to each other. Besides, even/odd numbers and low/high numbers are distributed as smoothly as possible. With this in mind, some experts consider the American wheel to be less balanced than the one-zero wheel because of many violations of this structure on the former.
European and American roulette
A European roulette is one of the most popular game variations since the house advantage here is just 2.70%. European roulette features 36 numbers and a zero pocket, while American roulette has 36 numbers and two zero spots (0 and 00). Due to this seemingly small distinction, the house advantage for American wheels skyrockets to 5.26%. This means that for every $1000 wagered on European or American roulette, you can expect to lose $27 or $52.60 in the long term, so playing European online roulette makes your bankroll last longer over the long haul. Payouts in both roulette versions are the same but in American roulette they occur a bit less often because of an extra zero number.
There is another slight difference between the two roulette variants. American roulette features an additional bet known as the basket bet and it features a 6:1 payout. It is placed on the group of five numbers: 1, 2, 3, 0 and 00. This is the least beneficial bet for the player as it increases the house edge to 7.89%.
The French roulette wheel is almost identical to European roulette, with a single zero box, so this roulette variant has the 97.3% return to player. When you start playing online casino roulette based on French rules, you will immediately notice that the wordings denoting bet names are in French, though they are often duplicated in English, for example, Impair/Pair means Even/Odd and P-12 means the 1st dozen. This engrossing roulette type offers some unique features that elevate its appeal to many fans of this game, for example the La Partage rule that cuts the house edge to 1.35%. In simple terms, when the players makes a bet on the even-money option (e.g., red/black) and the ball stops on the zero section, only 1/2 of the bet is lost.
European and French roulette feature five unique bets known as “call bets”. They are named so because in land-based roulette the player announces his wager without placing chips on the table. Call bets cover a specific area on the roulette wheel and feature different payouts depending on the quantity of numbers included in the bet. Some of these bets are explained below:
- Les Orphelins (Orphans). The bet covers 8 numbers located in two opposite sections of the wheel.
- Tiers du Cylindre. This call bet is placed on 12 numbers that run between 33 and 27 on the wheel, with the inclusion of number 2.
- Voisins du Zero (Neighbors of Zero). It has 17 numbers in the range between 25 and 22, plus number 2.
Call bets are not so popular as inside and outside bets but if you want to feel thrills of online casino roulette and take advantage of the entire rules of this game, consider announce bets as a good addition to other bet choices.
Richard Grace, a professional gambler and inventor of the New Barby roulette system, stated, “Even if roulette had a sign which said ‘This table has a cheating mechanism, you will lose your bets,’ people would still bet hoping that the cheating mechanism fails next spin.” The statement reflects perfectly the idea of roulette strategies, however intricate, flawless and fool-proof they may seem. Even the best roulette strategies cannot beat the maths since they come to nothing when the ball lands on zero and the house takes the player’s chips.
The most prominent roulette systems are the Martingale model whereby the player should double a bet after a losing round and return to the original bet after a win; the Parlay progressive betting system; the Fibonacci betting strategy based on the Fibonacci Sequence of Numbers, and many others. Avoid sticking with the first available roulette strategy; instead, test out different systems, practice them and identify the ones that give you more consistent wins. You may as well just enjoy good time, choose random numbers on the table and entrust yourself to luck.