Roulette is truly one of the most iconic casino games. Even if you’ve never set foot in a casino before, you probably have a pretty good image of a roulette table in your head – the long, deep green table, the brightly coloured betting squares, the rich mahogany of the roulette wheel and, of course, the rattle of the ball as it spins around the wheel.
This is all part of the simple, visceral appeal of roulette and what makes it so appealing for casino goers. Added to this is the ease at which you can get to grips with the game. At its most basic level, the game is incredibly easy to understand – simply pick the number where you think the spinning ball will land on the wheel. However, don’t let this apparent simplicity fool you. There is a lot of complexity to roulette. When played at a high level and for high stakes, it takes a lot of skill and strategy to win and, more importantly, keep winning. With this guide, you will get both an overview of the basics of the game, as well as some more advanced techniques and strategy to put you on a winning path.
History of the game
Derived from the French for “little wheel,” roulette is one of the oldest parlour games of chance still played today. The game originated in the form we currently know it around the late 1600’s to the early 1700’s and is alleged to have arisen from the great mathematician Blaise Pascal’s attempt to invent a perpetual motion machine. Though he failed, he gave us this iconic cornerstone of the casino floor in its place. Since then, roulette has proved to be one of the most enticing, and enjoyable, casino games.
Roulette is an incredibly simple game to play, and you can pick up the basics quickly. Players choose their bets, usually a colour or number combination, and place their chips on the corresponding square on the roulette table. The dealer then sends the roulette wheel spinning in one direction, which is quickly followed by running the ball in the opposite direction on the track surrounding the wheel. Eventually, both the ball and the wheel itself lose momentum and come to a complete stop. Wherever the ball lands will determine the winning bet, which will be a colour (typically red or black) and number combination. European wheels have 37 slots, while American wheels have 38 in total.
As you will note from the layout of the table, roulette gives players an opportunity to place a wide variety of bets. The odds of each bet type potentially winning is based on their probability and will vary based on a colour and number combination. The odds for a straight bet on one number on a roulette wheel are 37/1 for a European wheel and 38/1 for an American wheel. These odds will increase or decrease depending on which combinations you decide to wager on, such as colour or number groupings. Number bets have higher odds, while some bets, such as red/black or odd/even, are close to a 50/50 chance.
You can also place bets on which third of the board the winning number will land on. Roulette odds will usually be the same across dealers, boards and casinos, with your chances remaining roughly the same. This is because the roulette tables are mostly uniform across the world due to the standard layout. We at Bitcasino adhere to the same rule – as you’ll no doubt notice in our vast selection of roulette games!
Inside bets are those bets where a player places chips on one or more of the numbers making up the inner section of the grid on the table. These are wagers that the ball will land on that exact number and colour combination.
Outside bets refer to those betting spaces on the larger areas around the board. These enable players to bet on groupings of slots, whether the winning number is odd or even, and the colour of the winning slot.
Inside betting options
Some popular inside betting options might include the following.
· Straight up bet. This is a wager on a single number (35/1 odds).
· Split bet. A wager on two numbers, the player places their chip to straddle the line between two numbers (17/1 odds).
· Line bets/street bets. Place your chip on the vertical line that separates inside and outside betting areas, straddling the first number in the row (11/1 odds).
· Corner bet/quad bet. Place a chip so it is touching the four corners of the numbers that you are placing a bet on (8/1 odds).
· Double street bet. This is a wager on six different numbers, which involves placing your chip on the line that separates the inside and outside areas while also straddling the row above or below (5/1 odds).
Outside betting options
Some popular outside betting options might include the following.
· Red, black, odd and even. These are all even money bets, simply place your bets on the chips in the boxes on the outside layout.
· Dozens bet. This is a bet made on 12 consecutive numbers. To do so, place your bet on the boxes marked either 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36. This bet has 2/1 odds. However, if it lands on the zero or double zero, you lose.
· Column bet. Much like the “dozens bet” above, you make this bet by placing a wager on the numbers in one of the three vertical columns. Place your bet in the boxes at the bottom of the table layout (2/1 odds).
The roulette table
The term “roulette table” refers to the entire structure housing both the roulette wheel as well as the betting surface itself. Collectively, this is referred to as the “layout.” The standard roulette table layout has been around since at least the 18th century, where they first appeared in France. Since then, the basic layout hasn’t really changed much, mostly because the game of roulette itself is relatively simple.
Usually covered in a distinctive green felt, the table features printed squares containing numbers, colours and a variety of betting options. These correspond to the roulette wheel housed on the table. Players make selections and place chips on the desired square based on their betting preferences. They can do so until the dealer, or croupier, notifies the players that no more bets can be placed.
Choosing your game
As you can tell, despite the seemingly simple rules, there is a surprising amount of complexity to a game of roulette that lies just beneath the surface. Here at Bitcasino, you can find a game type to suit your desired skill level and pace of play, with a range of live roulette games available for you 24 hours a day. Sign up today and take advantage of our new player bonuses!
Words: Sean Mcnulty
Images: PA, Depositphotos & Bitcasino