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Roulette certainly needs no introduction. It is the most popular gambling game ever and you can play it in virtually all classic and online casinos. Roulette is among pure gambling games because it’s mainly a game of chance. Although there are various roulette systems and strategies that try to reduce the importance of luck and increase your chances of winning, in the long run, betting odds are always to your detriment. That, however, should not prevent you from enjoying the game of roulette royally.
Is not exactly clear when and how roulette as such was created. The only thing known with certainty is that the first records about roulette as a gambling game come from the first half of the 18th century from France. Since its inception, roulette has gone a long way and is now known and popular around the world.
Roulette in French means "small wheel". Under this name is hidden the game of numbers, created in Europe in the 18th century, based on ancient and long-forgotten entertaining games.
Like many other games, roulette history is also linked to ancient China. A game of chance with a wheel contained individual boxes with animal iconographies. The whole wheel was on top of the stone with the number 666, one of the happiest figures in Chinese culture. Dominican monks are responsible for exchanging animals for numbers - it is because of their attempt to make the game more attractive.
British "E-O" and Italian "Hoca" are most likely ancestors. Both games included a set of 40 pockets/holes on the gaming table and a ball that pointed to the winning field. In the E-O, the area was divided into even / odd lots, in the Hoca, the pockets were numbered. It is also interesting to note that there were special squares in both games (two fields for E-O, and three zeroes in Hoca). If the ball ended in one of these fields, all the house players' bets were forfeited. The game also had a house edge.
Roulette, as we know it today, was developed at the end of the 18th century in France and its colonies.
In 1796, a French novel by Jaques Lableén, La Roulette, Ou le Jour, was created. The game and its mechanisms were described in detail, including two boxes for the banker (0, 00).
Blaise Pascal (1624-1662) French was a mathematician and scientist who is connected to the creation of the principle of roulette. Initially, he tried to construct a Perpetuum mobile mechanism, but the wheel was useless due to friction, and it became a gambling device instead.
There is one myth about Blais Pascal. Some people say he made a deal with the devil, who told him the secret of roulette and referred to the sum of 666. If you ever hear this story, just smile at it and leave as calmly as the Dominican monks.
Until 1842, gambling in France was considered a "hobby non grata" and thus absolutely undesirable. Two French brothers, Francois and Louise Blanc moved to the German spa town of Homburg to set up a casino. However, to avert the decline in popularity of roulette, mainly due to the high house edge, they decided to take a very drastic step. They removed 00 from the wheel. The house edge value suddenly dropped from the original 5.26% to a more acceptable 2.7%. And so European Roulette was created.
The success of the casino inspired King Charles III of Monaco. He gave licenses to Louise Blanc to copy their casino in Monte Carlo. And that is how Sociéte des Bains de Mers (SBM) and also the world's first modern casino resort was created.
The rest is history. Once the roulette with one 0 became a hobby of European aristocracy, its double-zero version has just arrived in the US, thanks to the French settlers. They brought it along the Mississippi River to Louisiana, and it quickly became the cornerstone of American gambling. Therefore double-zero roulette is now known worldwide as American Roulette.
🌍 Nowadays, double-zero roulette is played in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean, while single-zero roulette is famous around the world.
Roulette history is one great fairy tale of a true gambling queen. She was born in ancient China, wandered through Europe, across the ocean to Quebec, and then down to Louisiana, then to Strip to Las Vegas to the smartphone in her pocket.
Nowadays, we recognize two types of roulette. First, there is the traditional European roulette with one green zero. The other one you can find is the American roulette with two zeroes. Even though the difference may seem insignificant at first, this turns out not to be the case. One extra pocket - and especially a zero - greatly effects the casino's advantage and, in turn, payouts and probability.
First thing what you will see are different types of bets in roulette. For complete newcomers, we have prepared a list of all basic bets that can be found on the roulette table.
Bets can be combined with each other to cover any part of the playing field. It is, of course, possible to make bets on the whole board. These bets are nonetheless profitable, and the win in the best case will cover the loss from non-winning chips. The most popular roulette bets are so-called even bets (colour, even x odd, high x low) with almost 50% chance of success. House edge in roulette is, however, the same for almost all bets.
The best ways to learn is to try. Play roulette online for free and try all the possible bet without risk of losing any money.
In the gambling world, we distinguish 2 types of roulette.
There are 38 fields on the American Roulette. Numbers are ranched from 1 to 36, 0 and 00. Bets are the same as other roulette types, except there is one special bet, where you can bet on 5 numbers. House edge is 5.26% for this variant. The five-number special bet has a house edge of up to 7.89%. The American Roulette is therefore quite unfavourable to the player.
Unlike its US version, the European roulette has only 37 fields. To be specific, there are numbers from 1 to 36 and 0 on the game board. The house edge also drops with fewer numbers and its set up to 2.7%. So every time you visit a casino, no matter if online or land-based, look for European roulette first.
On the very rare occasions you can encounter a European roulette which offers two very special rules:
The two rules are basically pretty similar and they say that if a player place an even bet and the number is 0, half of the bet is returned to him (La Partage) or half of the bet remains in the next round (En Prison). These two rules are, however, very unusual nowadays and can be found almost exclusively in French casinos.
Since you can bet in roulette by covering any number of roulette screens with your bets, there are also "call bets", which are bets that you declare to the dealer, give him many chips and he bets them for you.
In addition to the basic bets, in some cases, you can also place so-called call bets. These are pre-arranged combinations of bets on individual numbers that are adjacent to each other on the roulette wheel.
These bets are placed by having the player prepare some chips, announce the name of the bet and have the dealer prepare them. At this point it is worth saying that the dealer only puts them on the table if it is European Roulette, he knows these bets and, above all, has time to prepare them. If you know the bets well, you can put them on the table yourself.
Zero Game (Jeu 0)
Neighbors of Zero (Voisins du Zero)
Five number bet
American Roulette has a bet called the Five Number Bet. As the name suggests, it covers 5 numbers, namely the first 5 numbers of the roulette wheel (0, 00, 1, 2, 3). This bet has become very popular, even though it has a high house edge. Therefore, the player should only bet it rarely and only when he feels he will be lucky.
In both American and European roulette, the numerical values are arranged quite differently than their arithmetic value would suggest. To make things harder, the layout of the numbers is different for both types of roulette. This is one of the secrets of roulette. Far from being a work of chance, the wheel layout is a completely premeditated act to achieve several goals:
Confusing the player
It is very difficult for new players to form a mental picture of a roulette wheel and to correctly understand the relationship between the numbers.
The colors on the wheel must alternate
The same rule applies to two consecutive numbers. It applies to both American and European roulette.
Low (1-18) and High (19-36) must alternate as much as possible
In European roulette, there is only one part of the wheel where this rule is broken, and that is when two low 5s and 10s meet. In American roulette, there are several such sectors. This is also why European roulette is considered more balanced.
Even and odd
The numbers should be evenly distributed around the roulette wheel so that there are no more than two even or odd numbers next to each other.
💡 Two interesting asymmetries in European roulette
- If you cut from 0 to the average in two, on the left side you will find all the low black numbers and all the high red numbers. On the right side, you would find all the high black and low red numbers.
- In the nine-number sector 29-7-28-12-35-3-26-0-32, you will not find a number from the second dozen.
Roulette is one of the most popular gambling games you can find in a casino. But this game also has one of the biggest house edges. So how does the house edge at roulette work?
The value of the house edge is the same for every roulette bet. So it depends on the variant you choose because you will be subjected to a certain house edge accordingly.
💡 Note: The only bet that has a different house edge value is the Five Number Bet on American Roulette (0, 00, 1, 2, and 3). The house edge for this bet is 7.89%, which is the worst house edge for the classic roulette variants.
So, as you already know, roulette comes in three basic versions. However, American roulette is the only one that has double the value of European and French roulette.
So if you have the option of choosing between the American and European versions of the game, always choose the European version, as it is more profitable. You also have a better chance of winning the game.
Because American roulette has an extra "00" that you won't find in the European and French versions.
But the payouts are the same for all versions, so an extra zero will just cause you to lose a lot more.
A quick example
Suppose you bet €10 on red and €10 on black. The total bet is then worth €20. It's a completely stupid bet, but that's not what we're concerned with now.
In European roulette, there are 36 black and red numbers and only one green number 0. The odds of winning €20 are 36/37, but the odds of losing are only 1/37. You win if the ball lands on any red or black number. You only lose if the ball lands on green 0.
However, there is another green number in American roulette, and that is 00. In addition, there are 36 other black and red numbers. So as you can see, the chances of losing are 2/38.
So if you compare the odds of losing, you get the following numbers:
The odds of losing are almost double for American roulette, and that's only because of the extra 00.
❓ So why do online casinos offer American roulette?
That is a very good question. Of course, if you have a choice, you will always choose European roulette over American roulette. Because you have a much better chance of winning. But why do most casinos still offer the worst possible roulette option?
The answer: players who are not very familiar with roulette still choose American roulette.
If you don't know about the double house edge in American roulette, you don't really have a reason not to play this game. So if roulette is played by players who don't know much about roulette, online casinos will still offer American roulette. In fact, casinos make money very easily this way.
Another reason could also be that Americans are very patriotic and so they will not play European roulette after all.
❓ What does the casino advantage actually mean
As we already know, one roulette has a house edge of 2.7%, the other has a house edge of 5.26%. What do these numbers tell players?
The answer: the percentages represent the portion of your bets that you should lose. So, on average, this portion goes to the casino.
Let's take a simple example. If you bet €10 on a single spin at European roulette, in the long run you will lose 2.7% of your bet. In our case, that's exactly €0.27.
But beware. That doesn't mean you lose exactly €0.27. You can only lose or win the whole bet in roulette. This number represents the average loss on the game. So it means that during a gaming session you should theoretically lose the house edge.
If you bet €100,000 on roulette during a certain period of time, you can expect to lose €2700 on average. That is if you choose to play the European or French version of roulette. If you reach for American roulette, you will lose €5260 on average.
House edge of other casino games
The house edge for other games of chance depends, among other things, on how you play the game and what bets you place (roulette is one of the few games where the house edge is the same for all bets).
Note: the table above shows us the lowest possible house edge values if you are playing a perfect strategy or betting with the lowest house edge.
If we compare roulette to other games, we find that we are dealing with a game that has one of the highest house edges. On the other hand, though, the point is that roulette is one of the most fun and interesting games you will find in a casino. But if you want the best conditions at the game, choose blackjack or baccarat instead.
To calculate the house edge for roulette, you first need to calculate the so-called Expected Value. The Expectation Value is a mathematical value that tells us "how big a win or loss you can expect in the long run".
💡 The formula is
Expected Value = (loss x probability) + (win x probability)
So, to calculate the expectation (and subsequently the house edge) of a bet, you need to know these two things:
Let's say we bet €100 on European roulette. If we win, we get another €100. But if we lose, we also lose €100. It's very simple.
So all we need to know at this point is the probability of winning or the probability of losing.
📌 In European roulette, we have 37 possible outcomes (numbers 1-36, plus one green 0. That's 37 possible outcomes in total). So on the wheel, there are 18 red numbers, 18 black numbers, and one green 0. So let's have a little overview. Assuming we're betting on red.
- Probability of winning: 18/37 (red numbers)
- Probability of losing: 19/37 (black numbers + green zero)
So at this point, we have a summary of the results. Now we just need to plug these numbers into the formula.
- Expectation = (Loss x probability) + (Win x probability)
- Expectation = (-€100 x 19/37) + (€100 x 18/37)
- Expectation = (-€51.35) + (€48.65)
- Expectation = -€2.70
So, on average, we lose €2.70 on this €100 bet. That's unexpected, isn't it? Because this value corresponds perfectly to the house edge of European roulette: 2.70%.
Fact: If there was not a single zero (0 or 00) present in roulette and the payouts remained the same, such a game would have no house edge.
What are the ways to play roulette?
📌 Mobile Roulette
One of the ways we can play this very popular gambling game is by playing on one the mobile devices. The advantage of mobile roulette is the fact that you can play it anywhere and anytime. All you need is the right mobile device and an internet connection. Thanks to mobile roulette, you can have fun whenever you feel like it. And in this day and age, we have our mobile devices at our fingertips 24/7, so there's no limit at all.
📌 Live Roulette
Have you also ever wished you could bring the classic brick-and-mortar casino into your living room or den? It once seemed impossible, but today it's a reality. And that's thanks to Live Casino, which most reputable casinos already have on their offer. With a live dealer, you can play live poker, blackjack, baccarat, and even roulette.
All you have to do is sign up for an online casino that has a live casino on offer, select the Live Casino section, choose roulette, and that's it. Thanks to the webcam, you can see the entire table and the dealer, who you can also chat with. As well as with other players. As you can see, today you can have a land-based casino right in your apartment.
📌 Classic roulette
But you'll only ever have the best gaming experience in a land-based casino on a classic roulette wheel. That's the only way to enjoy the right atmosphere, the excitement, and the celebration of winning. In addition, it has other advantages. In the big casinos, you get free food and drinks with your game. If you're a regular player and you're making big bets, you might even get a room or a ticket to a show.
Some players only play roulette in land-based casinos because of the social aspect and the atmosphere. But there is one minor problem. In most land-based casinos, you will only find the American version of roulette, which has a much higher house edge than the European one. American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%, while in European roulette the casino has only a 2.7% advantage over the player.
📌 Online roulette
We've already covered live and mobile roulette today, but what about classic online roulette? Because there are still players who prefer to just play the classic game in a regular online casino on their computer or laptop. The biggest advantage of such a game is the size of the display. After all, a regular monitor or laptop screen is much bigger than your mobile phone or tablet. So if you play roulette from your home, you'll probably choose this option too. It's probably the most convenient way to play.
📌 Chat Roulette
If you don't have a land-based casino nearby, don't despair just yet. You still have the opportunity to play roulette with other players and share your experience of the game with them. And that's thanks to chatting roulette. It's just another variation of the classic online roulette that you play in an online casino. But the biggest difference is the presence of chat, which has several features. Next to the roulette wheel, you have a text box where you can write your experiences, and notes or just chat with other players. It's also a great way to make new friends with the same hobbies.
Casinos understand the mathematics of gambling very well from the very beginning and give players very little room to win for sure. However, there are roulette tips and tricks that will at least make you lose less and also avoid the risks associated with playing.
Play European Roulette
The numbers speak clearly. The house edge for European roulette is only 2.7%. The house edge for American roulette is 5.26%. While this may not seem like much at first glance, the longer you play, the more you'll notice. And how do you tell American roulette from European roulette? That's very easy. European roulette contains only one 0, while American roulette has two zeros.
💡 If you don't know what the house edge means, read our article on how gambling works.
Know the roulette rules and betting options
Don't play games you don't know. Play roulette for free and try out all the bets and the overall mechanics of the game. It's also a good idea to know the odds of winning, the house edge for each bet, and, of course, the optimal strategy. We've already discussed the odds of winning and the house edge in this article, and since roulette is a game of chance, there is no optimal strategy. However, it is still true that if you don't know the rules, you put yourself at risk of higher losses.
Follow the principles of money management and playing safety
This tip probably won't help you win more, but it will help you not lose more. All professional players have a set of money management principles that they follow consistently. Let's take a look at the basics:
Do not use betting systems to meet wagering requirements for bonuses
Betting systems are not profitable in the long run. However, there may be some logic behind their use. What many people may not know, however, is that if you get a casino bonus and want to cash it in on roulette, you cannot use these strategies. That is if betting on roulette is allowed.
Play at licensed online casinos
If you want to play roulette at an online casino, only play in licenced online casinos. Otherwise, you risk betting on unfair software or the casino not paying out your winnings. You can find out if and what kind of online casino license an online casino has in one of our casino reviews.
Since the beginning of gambling history, players have been trying to make up a system that will help them beat the house edge and guarantee them unlimited profits. Even some of the most amazing brains in history were so fascinated by casino games that they tried to figure out how to beat them. One of them was, for example, the famous mathematician Blaise Pascal, who came up with the theory of probability.
Even Albert Einstein was so fascinated by roulette that he tried to beat it. After spending some time on the issue, he concluded that there was only one possible way: "The only way to beat roulette is to steal money when the dealer is looking elsewhere." In a sense, he was undoubtedly right. His point was simple - there is no way to develop a mathematical configuration of bets that can beat the house edge.
Betting systems based on how to increase or decrease bets are sometimes referred to as money management strategies. Most of these systems fall into two categories:
➖ Negative progression
These systems consist of increasing the bets after the game has been lost, hoping that you will get your money back after winning. These systems are hazardous because a player can lose all his money after a series of losses. This type's most popular system is Martingale, which consists of doubling the bets after the game has been lost.
Martingale is the first-ever betting system, and it would work. If the player has an unlimited amount of money, and at the same time, there would be no wagering limits on the roulette table.
➕ Positive Progress
The most basic betting strategy is to bet more after you win and bet less after you lose. Unfortunately, it is easy to say because you never know which series will come until it is over. An easy way to bet more when you win is to slowly increase your bets after winning a game and reduce your bet to a minimum after you lose. This method is called a positive progression system. If you ever try a system, we recommend this type because you cannot be quickly beaten by a long series of losses with these systems.
Many experts claim that a positive progression system will not make you more money than the same-bets system in the long run. That is true, but the question remains how many games can be considered a long-term perspective. If you play a limited number of games (and practically everyone plays because no one can play an infinite number of games), positive progress can win you money if you catch a lucky series of winnings.
You can use this betting with every game, but positive progress works best with Craps. With this game, there are many cases where the shooter has a long series, and you can use the progress to increase your winnings.
Positive progress will not hurt you because you only increase your bets if you win. So if you want to try a system, we recommend this type.
Many people hope that their system will help them overcome the advantage of the casino in the game. Unfortunately, the reality is that no betting scheme will guarantee you anything like that. You can easily try it for yourself by playing roulette online.
Some sports betting systems may work because in sports betting, the house edge is not calculated in the standard way (however, the odds are always in favor of the house). In blackjack, card counting works because the amount of bets is decided according to the ratio of small to ten cards in the deck, not according to the win and lose scheme.
Many people believe that roulette systems work because they have a relatively fundamental misunderstanding of basic mathematical principles. This misunderstanding is excellent for people trying to sell roulette systems; unfortunately, it is no longer so great for players who try their luck with them.
A classic example is the negative progress of the most well-known system - Martingale. This system forces you to bet on one event (for example, on red at roulette, although in reality you can change colors and the result will be practically the same) and double your bet after each loss.
When you finally win, your profit will be the original bet, so if you start, e.g. with $ 5, you get just that $ 5.
This example illustrates an error in understanding the basic gambling mechanics or the law of numbers, which says that although an event, in the long run, will be about 50 to 50, a significant deviation may occur in the short term.
The black color in roulette can appear five times, 10 times, or even 15 times in a row, and this is what destroys the player's system, who is thus forced to bet more than he can afford or than is allowed.
Yes, you can. There are several ways how to play roulette online. Either you can try roulette for free in our games section. Or you can play roulette for real money in the licenced online casino. How to do it?
For more info, check our article about How to register in the online casino.
That would depend on what do mean by the best bet in roulette. When it comes to frequency of winning, the best bets are so-called even bets, which has the highest probability of winning 48.65% (European roulette)/47.37% (American roulette).
If you want to be more precise, you could compare the house edge of every bet. The best house edge has the European roulette with one of the following rules - En Prison or La Partage, which have a house advantage of 1.35%.
Do want to know more about it? Read our article about the best bets in roulette.