Casino-goers have loved roulette for decades due to the fact that it is one of the easiest table games to understand and play. Roulette’s simplicity, however, does come at a cost. The house edge in your average roulette game is greater than most every other casino game and therefore, it may be more appealing for some to play other table games in lieu of roulette.
Yet another major difference between roulette and all other table games in a casino is the fact that roulette chips have no nominal denominations printed on them. Instead, a roulette table is equipped with anywhere from 6 to 8 sets of roughly 300 chips. When a player arrives at a table they are given all chips of a certain color; the value of the chips is the amount of the buy-in divided by the number of chips given out to the player.
In the following few sections, we’ll go over everything there is to know about roulette including how to play.
The roulette wheel is comprised of 37-38 non-numerically-sequential pockets that are colored black or red. The pockets numbered 1-36 are either black or red while the 0 and 00 pockets are both green. Once all bets are placed and the game starts, the wheel is spun by the dealer. Shortly thereafter a small metal ball is spun around the outside of the wheel in the opposite direction in which the wheel is spinning. After a few seconds, the ball will fall in a single numbered, colored pocket; this is the winning number/color.
Adjacent to the numbered wheel is a somewhat confusing board consisting of all the available bet combinations. The board will consist of the 37-38 numbers present on the wheel in addition to a few other possible betting options. These other proposition bets include placing a wager on the color (red or black) of the pocket in which the ball lands, whether the ball lands on an even or odd number, whether the ball lands on 1-18, 19-36, 1-12, 13-24, 25-36, or whether the ball lands on a non-sequential row of numbers. These three non-sequential rows start with 1, 2, and 3 respectively and count up to 36 by threes. The payouts for each wager vary and can range from as high as 35:1 to as low as 1:1.
The American, or United States, roulette wheel consists of 38 numbered slots positioned around the outside of the wheel. The wheel is numbered 1-36 and is joined by a 0 and 00 position. Players are able to bet on the chances that a spin of the roulette wheel will see the ball land on any one of the 38 numbers.
Additionally, players may place “outside” bets where the wager is that the spin of the wheel will see the ball land on any one of a combination of numbers, or the color of the pocket in which the ball rests. For example, placing a wager on “Second 12” means that the bettor is hoping a spin of the wheel will see the ball land on any number between 13 and 24.
European roulette is different than American roulette in only a few, subtle ways. For one, the European roulette wheel only contains a single 0 as opposed to the American roulette wheel that has a 0 as well as a 00.
Additionally, European roulette has a half-back or “en prison” rule that gives a player wagering a 1:1 bet half their money back should the ball land on 0. This means that, for example, if a player places a $50 wager on black and the ball settles in the 0 pocket, they will be returned $25. This rule holds true for all 1:1 wagers (red, black, even, odd, 1-18, and 19-36).
Atlantic City rules also give half of a player’s wager back should the ball land in the 0 or 00 pockets. As you can plainly see, Atlantic City roulette is the perfect mesh of American and European style roulette games.
Because the game of roulette is based entirely on chance, there are very few things a player can do to increase their odds of winning a single spin of the wheel. With that being said, however, there are steps a player can take in an attempt to mitigate potential losses.
A lot of players employ the practice of betting larger amounts on better odds and smaller amounts on wagers where the odds are severely stacked up against you. While this practice gives you no real advantage over the house, it does give you a better opportunity to keep your head above water. For example, a player looking to wager $50 has a much better chance of winning a single bet on black than he or she does placing that same $50 on any single number on the roulette table. Of course, hitting the single number bet is much more profitable than hitting the bet on black, but it is also much less likely to happen.
The only other circumstances in which a player may have an advantage over the house is in the case of a tilted wheel or a predictable dealer. In some instances, a seasoned dealer will roll the ball the exact same way at the exact same time every single spin. If a keen-eyed player is able to notice this, they may have a slightly better chance of winning a given bet than someone who fails to notice a dealer’s consistently repetitive movements. Keep in mind though, this type of scenario rarely happens and is even more rarely caught by the players.
Finally, a player may have a greater than normal chance of winning if the roulette wheel is altered, or biased, in some way. Though casinos regularly check their roulette wheels for defects, there have been instances where a player is given a better than normal chance of winning due to something like a worn down wooden track, a tilted wheel, or any other abnormality. Regardless of these possible wheel defects, it can still take thousands and thousands of spins for a player to prove or take advantage of any of them.
Roulette is loved by casino-goers all over the world because of its simplicity. In the same breadth, people tend to avoid roulette tables because it is a game of chance where the player has little to no way of increasing their odds of coming out a winner. The game has a few variations, but they are only slight and just like the game itself, easy to learn. By understanding the rules associated with each roulette variation and knowing the odds of each and every bet, a player can more readily enjoy their time at the wheel.