Roulette has been one of the most popular gambling games in Europe and the U.S. for centuries. Gamblers love Roulette because of the excitement, the huge payouts, and the quite simple rules. It is a gambling game that is completely based on luck and chance and doesn’t require any skill at all. To play this exciting game of Roulette, you need to learn a few simple rules, and you are all set.
The rules of Roulette can differ a bit depending merely on the type of roulette wheel. There is a roulette wheel with one zero, and a roulette wheel with two zeros. Also, there is a “little wheel” that features even three zeros, but this one is not that common. So in brick and mortar, American and European casinos, you are most likely going to come across a wheel with a single zero, and a wheel with double zero.
The roulette wheel features three colors, and numbers from 1 to 36. So the classic wheel has a total of 37 (or in some cases 38, or 39) numbers (including the zeros). The three colors of a roulette wheel are devilish red, hellish black, and the unlucky green. The numbers and their color on a roulette wheel follow a pattern. Zeros are green, and other numbers are either red or black, depending on the two things — whether they are odd or even and on their position on the wheel.
Paint by Numbers
The numbers from 1 to 10 are red if they are odd and black if they are even. The numbers from 11 to 18 are black if they are odd, and red if they are even. Now, for the numbers from 19 to 28 applies the same rules as for the numbers from 1 to 10. Also, for the numbers that range from 29 to 36, applies the same rules as for the numbers from 11 to 18.
The principle of the game of Roulette is pretty simple — you bet your money on a number, color, or a group of certain numbers. When the wheel spins, a small, lively, white ball decides your fate. Roulette is purely a game of chance, and there is no particular knowledge or skill that can help you win. However, there are many legends about some roulette strategies, such as betting strategies that can increase your odds of winning. In spite of the great popularity of these tricks, there is no proof that any of these strategies actually work. We are going to talk about these strategies later in the article and explain the math behind Roulette. But before we get to that part, let’s make a more thorough introduction to a game of Roulette.
The Invention of the Lucky Wheel — A Short History of Roulette
Roulette is a casino gambling game of that originates from land of Charlemagne, Rousseau, Baudelaire, and great wine — yes, you guessed it, from France. It was first introduced in European society in the 18th century. The game gained large popularity very fast in many European countries. In the romantic 19th century, Roulette was played in France, Italy, and Germany. Soon after, the game of Roulette has become popular among gamblers in Great Britain and the U.S.
Since behind the game of Roulette is no more than the simplest physics — the wheel is spun in one direction, and a ball is rolled in the other — throughout history, both casino owners and gamblers saw an opportunity to take advantage of this and earn some money. The numerous attempts, by both players and casinos, to manipulate the wheel, influenced the development of Roulette as we know it today. We could say that the modern roulette wheel was forged by battling with scammers — throughout the past centuries, the wheel was improved so that the possibility of cheating would be reduced. In the early beginnings of the game, casinos tried to rig it, and players tried to manipulate it with various, quite inventive, and creative devices.
We Came a Long Way — Online Live Roulette
Today, the game of Roulette is for sure one of the most popular casino games. Online casinos today offer many Roulette variants. There are even custom online Roulettes where you can design your own type of bet! These online Roulettes gained global popularity very fast since they offer many more betting options. Besides classic online Roulette, you can enjoy live Roulette games online, and VR Roulette games. All these modern, different, online types of roulette came from two classic Roulette forms — French Roulette, and American Roulette. Now, let’s talk about these two main types of Roulette.
The Roulette Types — American or European, What’s the Difference?
The rules of American and French (European) Roulette are basically the same, just as the order (layout) of the numbers. The primary difference between American and French Roulette is in the number of zeros on the wheel. American Roulette has two green slots, one with 0, and the other one with 00. French Roulette has one green slot with one 0. This small difference between American and French Roulette seems to be just a tiny detail — it’s not hard to remember, and a player doesn’t need to learn any new rules because of this one difference. The number of green fields in a roulette wheel doesn’t influence the way the game is played. However, statistically speaking, this small difference changes a lot! The number of green slots changes the RTP.
How Should You Understand the RTP?
Many gamblers prefer playing French Roulette because it has significantly higher RTP than the American version. However, the RTP primarily influences the house edge, the money that a casino gets to keep. The RTP doesn’t influence a single outcome of one bet. So choosing to play Roulette with a higher RTP doesn’t necessarily mean that you have superior chances of winning those few spins that you are going to play.
It is important to note that RTP is not going to tell you how your one spin is going to end. The RTP can only tell you what percentage of all wagers is house going to keep in the long term. So American and French Roulette don’t have different rules, but they do have different RTPs.
Besides roulette wheels with one and two zeros, there is a roulette wheel with three zeros that has a total of 39 fields. This variant of Roulette was relatively recently introduced to a global gambling community by Venetian Las Vegas. It’s obvious that this form of Roulette has the lowest RTP. However, it got popular pretty fast among gamblers because of its uniqueness. Now that you know what types of roulette wheels are out there let’s see how you can try your luck on them!
Placing a Bet in Roulette — The Various Types of Bets Explained
As we explained, the fields on a roulette wheel differ in colors and numbers. So, naturally, the two types of wagers that you can place are betting on a color and betting on a number. But Roulette wouldn’t be as interesting as it is if these were the only bets that you could place! There are many ways to test your luck on a French wheel, and we shall now explain all of them.
The List of All Bet Types
- Betting on one number — The popular name of this bet is a straight bet. Here, you are betting that the ball will land exactly at one particular number. This bet pays out 35 to 1 — pretty amazing, right? A straight bet is the riskiest one, and also the one that pays the most.
- Betting on the two numbers neighboring numbers — This type of bet is called a split bet. This bet also pays a lot, 17 to 1!
- Betting on three numbers in a row — This type of bet has many names. It’s called a three-number bet, or trio bet. Sometimes this bet is called the Street bet. It also has a high payout. If you get one of the three numbers right, you can win 11x your wager.
- Betting on four numbers — This bet is called Corner or Square bet. If just one of the four numbers that you wagered on comes up, you win an 8 to 1 payout.
- Betting on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 — This type of bet is called a five-number bet. The payout is 6 to 1.
- Betting on six numbers in neighboring rows — This bet is called six-line bet. If just a single number of the six numbers that belong to two different rows comes up, you get 6x your bet.
- Betting on Red or Black — In Roulette, you can place your wager on a certain color. These types of bets are low-risk bets, and they pay out 1 to 1.
- Betting on Odd or Even Numbers — You can bet that a winning number is going to be odd or even. This type of bet also pays out 1 to 1.
- Betting on Low — In Roulette, if you don’t want to take chances with straight bets, you can bet simply that a lucky number will be a low one, meaning it will be a number from 1 to 18. This type of bet also pays out 1 to 1.
- Betting on High — Also, you can bet that a winning number is going to be high, meaning it will be a number from 19 to 36. This type of bet pays out 1 to 1.
- Betting on Dozen — Here you bet that a winning number will belong to a certain group. There are three groups of numbers for this bet — 1–12, 13–24, and 25–36. If you win, with this bet you can double your wager.
- Betting on Column — Just as the name says, here you bet that a winning number will be from a certain column. This bet pays out 2 to 1.
How to Place a Wager
As you can see, playing Roulette is quite easy. You can place your bet on a singular number, a certain group of numbers, or a color. Bets that pay out the most are straight, split and street bets. Placing bets is also quite easy — in a casino, you will see a table with all the numbers, and you place your chips in the field of your choice. Depending on the type of bet, you can place the chips on a field or on the line (border) between numbers, if you are betting on multiple numbers.
First all players place their bets. Than, the croupier spins the wheel and rolls the ball. The wheel starts spinning in one direction, and the ball in the opposite one. Sometimes it’s possible to place a bet even after the croupier spins the wheel — the rule here is that the ball is still spinning fast enough that the outcome is entirely unpredictable. The moment the ball slows down, the croupier stops accepting the bets.
These are all rules about Roulette that you need to know. However, finding out about these rules is only half of the story — you need to know more about how this game works to have a pleasant gaming experience, free of dangerous beliefs, myths, and legends about various strategies. We have mentioned before that Roulette is a game of chance — you don’t need skills for Roulette. So what does this mean exactly? Is there some math behind Roulette? Can you somehow manipulate the game? Is it all wild luck? Let’s answer these questions!
Maths or Gambler’s Fallacy — Is There Any Use of Betting Strategies in Roulette?
We all know about the age-old phenomenon that a gambler believes that one outcome is somehow connected to the following outcome. Also, we know that maths says that this belief is completely ungrounded. So how should you approach Roulette? Should you try to find some “pattern?” Or should you just let fate decide?
Many gamblers use betting strategies when they play the game of Roulette. Some of the legendary strategies are Martingale, Labouchère System, and Montant et demontant (D’Alembert System). All of these systems promise to reduce the amount of money lost. They all have a similar principle, the similar idea behind the concept — use betting strategy to control your loses.
The betting strategies use methods like increasing the amount of wagered money each time you lose so that you can get all of your lost money back once you win. Sounds logical, but, what if you never win? No one guarantees you that you will eventually win if you play long enough, so, by using some of these strategies, you can end up losing huge amounts of money.
Can You “Beat” Roulette?
Betting strategies are not a safe method of playing, and Roulette is based on wild luck. The wheel spins, and the ball lands on a number — that’s it. So is there a way of manipulating a game of Roulette? The short answer is no. There is no way of spotting a pattern in Roulette since there is no pattern. Now you may ask, what about all those incidents in various casinos where players who claimed that they used a strategy went home with thousands, and even millions of dollars?
Well, people who claim that they won due to some strategy usually won just because they spotted some fault in the wheel itself — this is the only weak spot this game can have. Extremely rarely, but it does happen, the roulette wheel can have some detail in the design, some physical fault, that can make a ball land more on one side than on the other side of the wheel. However, occurrences of something like this are so rare, that the roulette wheel with some fault is more of a myth than a genuine possibility. So when you are playing Roulette, you are dancing with the goddess of Fortune, pure luck, random occurrences without a pattern. But what does the math have to say about your odds? Let’s see!
Odds and Statistics — What Does the Science Say About Your Odds?
Each type of bet has its own odds and the payout ratio according to those odds. Now, let’s see what the approximate odds of winning various roulette bets are. Let’s start with the riskiest bet of them all — the straight bet. When you put your bet on a single number, the house has a 97.30% chance of taking your money. Now, when you bet on two, three, or four numbers, the house has between 89.19% and 94.59% chance of keeping your money. You have the biggest chance of not losing everything you got if you place a wager on color, odd or even, or high or low. In these cases, you have 48.65% of leaving the table with some green left in your wallet.
When we look at Roulette from the statistics point of view, things can seem a bit depressing. The math says that you have more than 90% chance of losing your bet. However, you have about 2.70% chances of walking out of casino filthy rich! Learning about statistics beating a game of chance is important. However, that knowledge might ruin your fun. Math can’t tell you anything about the rush, the excitement, the memorable moments, the adrenalin, and the way your heart pounds when the ball starts slowing down — and that’s what gambling is all about.
Before We Say Goodbye
As we explained, in the fun game of Roulette the odds are not on your side, but if the fortune is, you can win even 35x your bet! The roulette gaming rules are so easy. You can learn them fast, and as you can see, there are not many variations to those rules. The principle of the game of Roulette is so simple, and there is no skill required.
Remember that the betting systems are tricky, and they don’t promise anything — actually, you can lose a lot of money using them. Your chances of winning rise as you bet on more fields — it’s just simple math. If you place a straight bet or bet on just two adjacent numbers, you can lose a lot. If you bet on red, black, first 12 numbers, or place a column bet, you have big chances of keeping your money. Playing Roulette with real money bets is a lot of fun, but don’t let the rush and excitement get the best of you. No matter how fun the game is, never forget to gamble responsibly.