Roulette one of the most preferred and wide-spread casino games. As all gamblers know, it is a table game, which has different varieties. It was introduced in the American casinos during the 18th century by a flow of immigrants, who were fleeing the French Revolution. They brought the French heritage of the game with them, but it was not welcomed with open arms by the Americans, who considered it as too advantageous for the player. Thus, they changed the game couple of times till they came up with the American version of the game, which is played nowadays. Hence, three major types of the play are outlined- American, French and European.
The American variation of the game is the most popular in American and Asian casinos. It has the same basic rules- the croupier spins the wheel until the rolling ball falls down on one of the number-pockets. Making a correct guess on where the white ball will land on will bring an award to the player. The payout is calculated in accordance with the personal bet and the house edge.
American vs European Roulette Style
The first and most decisive difference is that American roulette has 38 number pockets, which makes it harder for the player to make the right guess. The American wheel offers numbers from 1 to 36, a zero, and double-zero pockets. The colors, related to the game are red and black, but the zero pockets are colored in green. The numbers are ordered in a specific way- two consecutive numbers are positioned opposite to one another (number 1 is opposite to number 2 and so on).
The difference in the house edge stems namely from the extra pocket. If the ball falls down on any of the zeroes, all bets except those on the zeroes are lost. This doubles the chances of loss and provides a more advantageous house edge. Unlike the European wheel, which is 2.7%, the American one offers 5.26% house edge. It is, in fact, the advantage of the casino, which is determined by the payout and the amount won. A few casinos have accepted the rule “surrender” La Partage, according to which a player with an even-money bet could keep half of it if the winning number is any of the zeros. But this is valid only in the French and European casinos. The bets to which this rule can be applied include red/black, even/odd, and high/low.
Interestingly enough, the surrender rule has been available in most brick-and-mortar casinos across the USA for decades, and currently, it can be found in a number of roulette variants that are available over the Internet, as well as in some land-based casinos in Europe. As mentioned already, while playing roulette, gambling enthusiasts will lose the staked amount whenever the white ball lands in the pocket of the casino numbers or 0 and 00.
In American roulette, there are 38 pockets in which the ball can fall, and players will be paid at the rate of 35:1 when they place a winning straight bet. With even-money roulette bets, on the other hand, if players have wagered $5 and win the decision, they will be paid $5. Considering that the house edge is 5.26%, this means that the house will collect $5.26 for every $100 gambling enthusiasts have staked during their betting session.
This surrender rule works to the advantage of players because the house advantage is reduced from 5.26% to 2.63%, so are the losing expectations. Players will get to benefit from a lower house edge, and therefore, the casino will collect a smaller amount than it will normally do. In other words, the hit of the casino on the bankroll of players while betting on a double-zero roulette variant will be smaller, given that the surrender rule is available.
As for single-zero roulette versions, on some occasions, players will get to benefit from the En Prison rule, which also reduces the house advantage when the ball lands on 0. Thus, the house edge will decrease from 2.7% down to 1.35%, which turns such games into instant attention-grabbers. What players should bear in mind is that while being in a land-based casino, players’ bet will be locked on the table, and instead of collecting the money, the dealer will leave it on the table for the next round.
The colors of the wheel are alternating between red and black, where black numbers are opposite red ones. The double-zero pocket is placed between two red ones, while the one-zero pocket is between two black numbers.
The table layout is the betting section, where you put your chips. The main difference between the European and the American one is that the American has one more betting box, which covers the double-zero pocket. One more thing is that the French layout also provides bets on an entire section of the wheel, while the American one lacks this option.
Another feature distinguishing American roulette is the chips that are used to bet. Players buy roulette chips directly from the table, as each of them receives a different color, which makes the differentiation between gambler’s bets a lot easier. Another slight difference is that the croupier in American roulette handles the chips with his hands, whereas a special stick is used for that purpose in European roulette.
Types of Bets in American Roulette
After you receive the chips, you can start with making the bets. The betting limits define the minimum and maximum amount that can be wagered. These are different for every table and you can spot them on the edge of every table. There are no limits for how many bets a player wishes to make at the same time, as long as they do not exceed the maximum table limit. Make your bet by placing your chips on the roulette table. Even after the croupier had spun the wheel, you are still allowed to change your bet till it is announced that the bets are stopped. Once the roulette ball lands on a certain number pocket, the croupier marks the winning number, eliminating all losing bets. Then it is paid to the winner and you are allowed to make new bets in the meanwhile.
The name of the “inside bets” is not a coincidence. It is significant, since these bets are made on the inner part of the betting layout. It is made out of small checkboxes, which include all the numbers from the wheel. These bets offer lower chance to win, but higher payout. Here are the different type of bets:
It is placed on one particular number by setting your chips in the middle of the square on the betting area. Then you bet on a specific number. The chances are not very high, since you need to predict one particular number out of 38 possible ones. But if there is no risk, there is no win. That is why the payout is 35:1.
It is placed on two adjoining numbers on the betting layout, by setting the chips on the line in-between the numbers. It doubles your chances to win, since you play on two numbers, but it also cuts in half the payout. This type of bet can be made on both horizontal and vertical numbers. The payout is 17:1.
It is placed on three numbers in a row, by setting the chips on the edge line at the end of the row. By placing the chips on the intersecting point of the triangle that forms 0, 1, 2 or 0, 2, and 3. The payout is 11:1.
It is placed on four adjoining numbers by setting the chips on the intersection part of the four numbers. For example, you place chips in the middle of the square formed by the numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5. The payout is 8:1.
It is placed on numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 by setting the chips on the intersection part of the two rows. These are the only numbers, on which you can place five bet. But here the house edge is the highest of all the other bets, so it is recommended to be avoided. The payout is 6:1.
It is placed on six numbers on two adjacent lines. You place your chips on the intersecting point between the two lines. For example, if you play with the numbers from 1 to 6, you need to place your chips on the left edge of 1 and 4. The payout is 5:1.
The payout ratio, aka payout, is the amount of money, that will be paid to the winner, in accordance with the initial bet. For example with payout 5:1, $10 will bring to the winner the profit of $50 and total payout $60.
Here, the bets are made on the periphery section of the betting layout. The different types include:
It is placed on all the numbers from one of the three columns by setting the chips on the box at the end of the column. So, you play with all the numbers from the column. If the “lucky” number falls in your column, you win. The payout is 2:1.
Dozen/ Group Bet
It is placed on all numbers included in the first (1-12), second (13-24) or third (25-36) dozen of numbers by setting the chip on the dozen bet box. The payout is 2:1.
Black/ Red Bet
It is placed on black or red color to win by setting the chips on the color bet box. The payout is 1:1.
Odd/ Even Bet
It is placed the winning number to be odd or even by setting the chips on the odd or even box. The payout is 1:1.
High/ Low Bet
It is placed on the winning number to be low (1-18) or high (19-36) by setting the chips on the low or high box. The payout is 1:1.
As mentioned above, the American wheel has one more “zero-pocket” than the European one. This reduces the chances to win. So, if you have the opportunity to choose, better go for the European one. Every seasoned gambler is familiar with the fact that the second “zero-pocket” is disadvantageous to the gambler since it increases the chances of the ball to nail namely in the losing pocket.
Outside bets also enhance your chances to win, because you cover greater amount of numbers, but not only a particular one. But whatever strategy you use, keep in mind that roulette is a game of chance. You need knowledge, but also a pinch of luck.