The game of roulette originated in France and has since spread to casinos, online and offline, throughout the world. It is a game of chance in which players try to predict where a ball will land on a spinning wheel composed of 37 or 38 numbered pockets. The pockets alternate in colors between red and black. There is also a zero – and in the American version of the game – a double-zero, both of which are green. The word “roulette” even means “little wheel” in French.
Roulette Games & Odds
There are three basic types of roulette: American roulette, European roulette, and French roulette. American roulette has the worst odds because it is the only roulette form that has the double-zero. This extra possible outcome changes the odds from a 2.70% house edge in European roulette to a 5.26% house edge in American roulette. European roulette is the same as American roulette, but without the double-zero. French roulette also lacks a double-zero and it further increases the players’ odds with a favorable rule called “la partage.” With this rule, the player only loses half of one’s wager if the ball lands on zero.
Rules and Strategy
Unlike most other table games, Roulette is classified as a random number game. Subject to chance, mathematical strategy does not help to determine the outcome at the Roulette table. However, there are ways to ensure the best odds possible, i.e., certain bets do indeed offer a lower House Edge than others.
In all of the roulette games, the player has a large variety of betting options. Players can place inside bets or outside bets. Inside bets have the highest payouts but the lowest rate of occurrence. Outside bets occur more frequently but have lower payouts. Betting on a single number, a street, or a corner are examples of popular inside bets. Common outside bets include betting on odds, red, or on 1 to 18. The full list is as follows:
Inside Bets – Payout ranges from 5:1 to 35:1
Street – Wager made on any three adjacent, horizontal numbers, i.e., 1,2,3 or 4,5,6 . Payout is 11:1
Double Street – Wager made on six numbers of two adjacent streets, i.e., 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 7,8,9,10,11,12. Payout is 5:1
Corner – Wager made on any four adjacent numbers composing a square. The chip is set in the common point/corner separating all four numbers. Payout is 8:1.
Basket – American Roulette wager on one of three number combos: 0,1,2 / 0,00,2 / 00,2,3 Set chip on the shared corner of three numbers. For the single-zero layout, the basket bet is made on 0,1,2,3.
Split – Wager made on any two adjacent numbers. The chip is set on the line between two numbers. Payout is 17:1
Straight Up – Wager on any single number. Payout is 35:1.
Five Number (Top Line) – American Roulette wager on five numbers: 00 (double zero), 0,1,2,3. Chip is placed on the top line – the shared corner between 2,0 and 00. Payout is 6:1
Outside Bets – Payouts are 1:1 and 2:1
Red/Black – Even money wager made on either a red or black number. Chips are placed in corresponding box marked red or black.
Odd/Even – Even money wager made on either an even or odd number. Chips are placed in the correspondingly marked box.
Low/High – Even money wager made on the numbers 1-18 or 19-36.
Dozens – Wager covering one of three groups of numbers: the “1st 12″, “2nd 12″ (13-24) or “3rd 12″ (25-36). Payout is 2:1
Columns – Wager covering one of three long columns of numbers, each signified by a box marked “2 to 1″, which is where chips are set to place the wager. Payout is 2:1
Though some betting systems have been devised in an attempt to beat the game of roulette, none of them have proven reliable and 100% effective. While there have been documented cases of roulette players identifying and capitalizing on biased wheels, these days, the wheels in land casinos are routinely inspected to check for biases, while in an online casino, the outcome is determined by a hard coded, random number generator. In either case, the outcome is ensured to be random, making prediction impossible.