For most people, when they think about casino gambling, they think about the casino classics — card games of poker and blackjack and table games which include baccarat, craps and roulette. The one image that always stands out is the roulette wheel. The game of roulette was one of the first games to be featured at the early casinos of the French Riviera and its popularity never waned, even after hundreds of years.
The name roulette means “little wheel” and it refers to the central focus of the game — the wheel that sits in the middle of a roulette table into which a ball is tossed. The wheel’s perimeter is surrounded by pockets, each featuring a colour (black or red) and a number (from zero through 36 or 37). If your bet corresponds to the pocket into which the tossed ball lands, you receive a payout. The value of your payout is dependent on the type of wager that you placed.
There are numerous bet types that you can make when you play online roulette. The Betting Schedule is divided into two groups — Inside Bets and Outside Bets.
If you place an inside bet, you will be betting on your prediction of where, within a specific range of pockets, or the pocket’s exact number, you expect that the tossed ball will land. The range of pockets refers to the proximity of the pocket, or group of pockets, to the ball’s final landing place. Inside bets are regarded as riskier bets since odds on an inside wager being successful are lower than the odds on success for an outside bet. Conversely however the payouts for inside bets are higher than payouts for outside bets. Some players feel that the higher payout makes inside bets worth the risk while others prefer the relative safety of outside bets.
If you decide to place your wager on an Inside bet you have your choice of single number (straight bets), wagers in which you bet on 3 numbers on a single horizontal line (street bets), wagers on 2 adjoining numbers (split bets), wagers on two adjoining street (six line bets), bets on the intersecting point between 2 numbers (trio bets) and bets on zeros, ones, twos or threes (basket bets).
The less risky ‘outside’ bets are wagers which are based on large positional groupings of pockets such as even or odd-numbered pockets, high or low numbers or black or white pockets.
The first big split-off that resulted in a new roulette games variations came in the 1800s when American roulette was introduced. American roulette included the addition of a second zero pocket (the double zero) and the classic roulette then came to be referred to as “European Roulette.”
In classic European roulette the numbered pockets range from 1-36. There is also a single zero pocket. The pockets are either red or black so there’s an equal proportion of red numbers to black numbers. The proportion of odd and even numbers is equally distributed, as is the high numbers (18 – 36) and low numbers (18 and under). The zero pocket breaks the tie.
In American Roulette the wheel will include an additional pocket — the double zero. It’s known as the “house number” because it adds an additional small house edge into the game. From a mathematical perspective you’re better off playing European roulette since, with the one zero pocket, you enjoy an increased chance to win as the casino’s house edge is reduced.
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French Roulette is often favored by roulette mavens because it offers two special rules — the En Prison Rule and the La Partage Rule. The En Prison rule reduces the house edge on Outside, even-money bets. Ssome mathematicians say that the house edge is reduced by half on these bets. The En Prison Rule is effected when, having placed an even-money bet (such as a color bet), the ball lands on the zero. At that point the bet is held ‘en prison’ and carries over to the next spin. Then, if that bet wins, you receive your original wager PLUS your winning payout.
The La Partage Rule is a variation of the En Prison Rule. When you play with La Partage you receive an amount that’s equal to half your bet, rather than having your bet imprisoned.
When you play French Roulette or any other roulette variation that includes En Prison or La Partage the house edge is reduced because the edge comes from the zero. These rules reduce the house edge from European roulette’s 2.7% to 1.35%.
Regardless of the online roulette variation that you’re playing, there are some general tips that will help you enjoy a more satisfying and rewarding roulette event.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred roulette variation, don’t jump in and start playing immediately. Go to the Free Mode and practice the game a few times before you play in the Real Mode for real. When you play in the Free Mode you have no deposit obligations so you have time to refine your techniques as you explore the different betting strategies. You can navigate to the Real Mode and make a deposit to start playing for cash prizes at any time.
Concentrate on the less risky outside bets over the riskier inside bets. Payouts for inside bet wins are better but they come less often.
Try playing one number continuously over the course of multiple spins. The law of averages is on your side for a win.
Set your gaming budget before you enter the casino and stick to it. The gaming budget is an entertainment expense and, as such, should be treated in the same way as you would treat any other entertainment expense.