Roulette is literally an endearing way to say “little wheel” in French. This quaint, fun, and (seemingly) simple game is an old favourite among gamblers. However, a surprising amount of depth hides underneath the surface. This is illustrated by the numerous strategies and the many die-hard players it has.
Because of how simple it is, almost everyone has played roulette before. However, few people actually understand all the rules and the full purpose of this casino game. Whether you are a roulette veteran or a complete newbie who wants to get deeper into it, we’ll spell it out for you here.
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How to Play Roulette
The basic setup for playing roulette is very simple. The roulette wheel itself consists of 37 (European roulette) or 38 (American roulette) alternating black and red squares. Each is labelled with a number between 1 and 36 and a colour (red or black). There are also one or two green spaces labelled ‘0’ and ‘00’ (European has just one, while American has two). There is also an inner circle of pockets with separators that correspond to the numbered squares on the outer ring.
To start the game, the croupier spins the wheel in one direction and then tosses the ball along an inward-tilting track in the opposite direction. Once the spinning of the wheel slows down, the ball will lose momentum and fall into one of the numbered pockets. Players bet on numbers or a range of numbers on a separate table before the spin, and if the ball lands in a pocket that corresponds with those bets, these players win.
Online roulette with a live dealer should work in exactly the same way, while other online or virtual roulette games might just simulate the experience.
Rules of Game Title
As you can imagine, there aren’t many rules when it comes to roulette. The way the game works is very simple. Most of the rules of the game relate to how players can make bets and on which numbers or ranges. roulette tables usually impose minimum or maximum bets based on the casino and whether it’s a low/high-limit or VIP table.
Players are allowed to place their bets until the dealer announces that no more bets may take place. The dealer will then spin the roulette table and the wheel and wait for the result. Once a winning number is determined, the dealer will mark it on the table with a dolly. All losing bets will be swept away and the winnings calculated and paid out. Obviously, this happens much faster on a virtual roulette table. No bets are allowed while this is taking place. The dolly is then removed before the next round of betting starts.
Purpose of a Roulette Game
The purpose of playing roulette is also very straightforward. As a player, you are trying to guess which number the ball will land on. This is determined by complete chance, so all anyone can do is go with their gut feeling. It’s important that you play with a reputable online casino to ensure this is still the case and it’s not determined by some other algorithm to the advantage of the house.
You can place bets by choosing either the exact number or range of numbers that you think the ball will land on. You will then be paid out according to the probability of the ball landing on your number(s). So, just like with other forms of betting, the more you risk, the more you can win.
Roulette Game Probabilities
Because there is one more possible place for the ball to land in American roulette, the odds are slightly different, and technically, American roulette is slightly harder. The most straightforward bet you can make is a single number (which also has the worst odds), giving you a 1 to 36 chance of winning and a possible payout of 35 to 1. The best odds you can face is when betting on odd/even, red/black, 1 to 18 or 19 to 36. Betting on these ranges will give you odds of winning of 1 ⅛ to 1 but only result in a 1 to 1 payout.
Next, with a 1 to 17 ½ chance of winning and a 17 to 1 payout, is a bet on the 0 and 00 (only in American roulette) or on a split, which is any two numbers. A street is any 3 numbers in a row with odds of 11 ⅓ to 1 (11 to 1 payout). One of the most popular bets, because it offers a good balance between odds and payout, is a corner. Here, you bet on four adjoining numbers for 8 ¼ to 1 odds and an 8 to 1 payout.
Next in line is a “six-line” where you bet on the numbers of any two adjacent rows at 5 ⅙ to 1 odds (5 to 1 payout). You can also place bets on any set of a dozen numbers in the three different sections of the table at 2 ½ to 1 odds and for a 2 to 1 payout. The same goes for betting on any column.
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Top Roulette Strategies
Despite roulette seeming like a simple game, it’s the casino game with the most strategies. This is simply because of the number of possibilities that the range of numbers provides. Most strategies aim to help players stick to making bets that help them beat the odds by betting in a consistent manner. Over the years, a number of strategies have sprung up with many variations. Strategies also vary on how volatile or risk-averse they are.
Most roulette strategies only end up losing players money because this is a game based on random chance. However, it can never hurt to go at it with a plan as long as you keep in mind that more players lose than win. Strategies can help you in real terms by providing you with an end-goal or limit that dictates when it’s time to step away from the table after an adequate amount of winning or before you lose too much.
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All-in Roulette Strategy
This strategy is suited for those with a “go big or go home” approach to gambling. With this strategy, you should start by deciding what the maximum amount of money is you are willing to lose and what amount you want to win to be able to walk away.
Next, play at the maximum odds to reach your goal as soon as possible. For example, if you want to win £1,000 and you have £100 to start playing with, you’ll need at least 10 to 1 odds. According to the probabilities above, you can bet on a street which has an 11x payout. If you want to win £10,000, your quickest route would be to bet on a single number for a 35x payout and then play a six-line.
This overshoots your total by a lot which means you’re taking on more risk than you strictly need to. This is one of the problems with this strategy. Another downside is that your playing time (win or lose) will be very short.
Reverse Martingale Roulette Strategy
You might’ve heard of this strategy’s brother, the Martingale Strategy. Using this strategy, you double your bet every time you lose. However, with the Reverse Martingale, you increase your bet every time you win. While the normal Martingale Strategy aims to help players recuperate possible losses in successively bigger plays, the Reverse Martingale tries to create a snowball effect of winnings.
Here’s how this strategy works. If you have a £100 bankroll and you want to leave the table with at least £1,000, that you’d start by betting £1 on a single number. If you lose, you just keep betting £1 on a single number until you win. If you win, you take your £36 in winnings and bet on a single number again until you cross the £1,000 line. If you lose your £36, you start over again with £1.
This strategy has the edge over the All-in Strategy because it allows for a longer playing time with more ups and downs and opportunities to have fun. It strikes just the right balance between volatility and giving yourself enough chances to walk away with something by the end of the day. However, it might get boring having to repeat the same steps over and over again.
Progressive Bet Roulette Strategy
This strategy improves on the shortcomings of the Reverse Martingale Strategy by employing a bit more variation and improvisation on the part of the player. While you bet your entire winnings from the previous round in each successive bet with the Reverse Martingale Strategy, the Progressive Bet Strategy only requires that you bet ⅔ of your winnings, and you can bet them in any way you see fit.
One of the most popular approaches to the Progressive Bet Strategy is to play corners, as this leads to the most interesting results and plenty of playing time. However, you can start with whatever bet you wish as long as you stick to the ⅔ rule. For example, if you win a £4 corner bet, you get a payout of 8 to 1. You’d then bet ⅔ of your winnings, which is around £24, for a chance to win £216. If you win the next round with a £142, you’ll already be past your £1,000 target.
Once again, if you lose, you start from scratch. You can make things more interesting by only playing certain bets like corners, streets, six-lines or by mixing it up as you go along. The Progressive Bet Strategy provides for a wider possibility of outcomes and the potential for big fun.
James Bond Roulette Strategy
Although generally discounted as an effective betting strategy, it’s still pretty cool to be able to say you can bet like the man from MI5, James Bond. The math is solid, and if you play long enough, you’ll probably end up only losing about £20 every 37 roles. Even the deadliest spy in the world, 007 himself, can’t seem to beat the house edge.
So, what is James Bond’s strategy? In its simplest form, you bet every round exactly the same with 70% of your bet on the numbers 19-36, 25% on the six-line (if you want to strictly stick to James Bond’s method, then it’s 13-18), and 5% of your bet on 0. This means that for a £20 bet, you’d put £16 on 19-36, £4 on 13-18 and £1 on 0. Your possible payouts are £28 if it lands on the first, £24 if it lands on the second, and £37 on the last.
By covering as much of the table as possible, you’re relying on your luck for the ball not to land on the 1-12. Some people employ a progressive betting system or another way to distribute the same bets across the table to make it more interesting.
Raise the Stakes with High-Limit Roulette
There’s something very palpable about the excitement generated with the spin of the roulette wheel and the tossing of the ball. This makes it a prime candidate for high-stakes gaming where the thrills and excitement are taken to the next level. Long before online casino gaming, high-limit roulette was popular among high-rollers and at casino competitions.
At high-limit casinos like the ones we review, you can find roulette tables with maximum betting limits of up to tens of thousands and payouts of hundreds of thousands. At special events, winnings could be even bigger. VIP tables are often provided to regular players with proven experience who want to play with other pros for higher stakes. With the wide range of odds available at a roulette table, this means that you can expect wide betting ranges with affordable buy-ins even at high-stakes VIP tables.
Experience the Thrill of Roulette Live!
Thanks to the internet and modern advancements in online casino software platforms, roulette has been a big part of the live casino experience for some years now.
In fact, most top casinos offer a live casino experience that comes very close to replicating the exact feel of a land-based casino. Here, players not only play with real croupiers at real tables and with other real players but all of this happens live and in real-time with HD video feeds. This means that you don’t have to put your results in the hands of a computer algorithm.
History of Roulette
Although there are plenty of similarities with games of Ancient China, Rome and Greece, roulette as we know it today was first introduced in France in the 18th century. Many historians attribute the invention of the roulette wheel to the inventor Blaise Pascal’s attempts to create a perpetual motion machine. The wheel’s mechanism itself is a hybridization of the early gaming wheel invented in the 17th century and that of the French game Biribi.
In its current form, roulette has been played since 1876 in Paris. The earliest wheels had a red 0 and a black 00, but this was changed to green to make it easier to spot. The early American roulette wheel had 28 numbers, a single zero, a double zero, and an extra American Eagle square which basically just increased the casino’s edge. It was Francois and Louis Blanc that introduced the single 0 style wheel as a competitor to the mainstream wheels of the time in Europe, and this design won out in the end.
It was during the early part of the 19th century that roulette gained popularity and spread all across the U.S. and Europe. The single 0 wheels also became the preferred variety. When roulette was it its peak during this time, cheating from both players and casinos was a regular occurrence. As a result, it became common practice to place the roulette wheel on top of the table so that players could see there were no cheating mechanisms in place. Betting tables with simpler layouts also became the norm to make it harder to cheat.
Today, almost every casino in the world features roulette. Types of roulette tables are still largely divided among single 0 and double 0 tables in the Americas and single 0 tables in Europe. The Venetian Las Vegas introduced a new variation, “the triple 0 table,” that has spread somewhat since its inception in 2016.
As it was already one of the most popular forms of gambling, it didn’t take long for roulette to become a must-have feature of online casinos. Today, you can even play live roulette in real-time with real croupiers and players for an experience that’s as close to real life as you can get.
Spin to Win with Roulette!
Roulette has always been a casino game that brings gamers together in a spirit of fun and thrill-seeking. Playing against the house, you feel the ups and downs and highs and lows of your fellow players as you hope for the colourful wheel to bring you good luck.
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On the surface, it’s one of the simplest table games around. You don’t need to spend hours studying rules, hands and odds like some other table games. To make things even better, roulette has a wide range of possible bets and outcomes, which means it caters to anyone from the most risk-averse to the high-rollers among us.
However, if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll realize that there is a surprising amount of depth to this game. That’s why roulette has managed to pass the test of time and has been one of the most popular games among gamblers for the better part of 300 years.
Roulette has made its way on to the online casino scene and thrived there as well. It is now offered at every major online casino. With the advent of live casino gaming and high-stakes online gambling, you can now participate in this timeless game with all the excitement and atmosphere you’d find at a real brick-and-mortar casino.