Roulette

History
European Roulette Rules
American Roulette Rules
English roulette Rules
Roulette Strategies


History

The name itself, 'Roulette' is a French word meaning 'Small Wheel', which signifies that the game, as we know it today, originated somewhere within the French culture.

Earlier versions of Roulette, like the carnival wheel game, were in use throughout Europe, as early as the mid-1500s.

A very primitive version of roulette was introduced in the 17th century by the famous French scientist, Blaise Pascal, who is also accredited with the probability theory.

RouletteThe first account we have of a spinning ball and a rotating horizontal wheel being used as a gaming device was in a game called 'roly-poly', in 1720. The Gaming Acts of 1739 and 1740 banned roly-poly, as well as many other games of chance, in England. An innovative Beau Nash, the Master of Ceremonies at Bath, England, evaded these laws by introducing 'Even-Odd'. EO was a simplified version of Roulette, but that too was outlawed in 1745.

During the next 50 years (from 1745 onwards), the game evolved into the one that we can recognize today. The modern roulette wheel began appearing in Paris casinos around 1796. The familiar elements were already there; the numbered layout of pockets 1-36 with alternating red and black colors, green 0, and green 00. The 0 was actually red in color and the 00 black, and the rules were the same. Eventually these colors would be changed to green to avoid further confusion on color bets.

Roulette was introduced to the United States of America in the 1800's, by way of the many Europeans found in the Louisiana city of New Orleans . Due to the greed of certain gaming establishment proprietors, who were not content with a 5.26% edge, people soon stopped playing roulette, particularly those roulette wheels which these enterprising businesspersons had reduced to just 31 pockets in order to benefit a staggering 12.90% advantage. Of course, people ended up only playing the original double zero wheels. The game became popular in the old west of America during the California Gold Rush.

The French brothers Francois and Louis Blanc invented the single '0' roulette game in 1842. Roulette's history changed dramatically at this point, particularly the House's edge, which was now reduced from 5.26% to a 2.70%. The game became a smashing success. Because gambling was illegal in France during this time, the game was introduced in Hamburg (Bavaria), Germany where it became very popular and replaced an earlier version that featured higher odds.

The option of 'En Prison' was offered, further lowering the house edge, on even money wagers, down to 1.35%. No wonder the game accounts for over 50% of revenues in European casinos as compared to about 5% in U.S. casinos. Casinos today in Atlantic City, do offer 'En Prison' for even money bets on their double zero wheels. This effectively reduces the casinos' edge from 5.26% to 2.63% for those bets.

When gambling was eventually banned from Germany, Louis Blanc accepted an invitation from the Prince of Monaco, Charles III, to visit Monte Carlo to establish and operate the casino that today sets the casino standards for everyone across Europe. In 1863 Blanc signed a 50-year franchise contract and built the luxurious Monte Carlo casino in a manner to attract the richest members of society and hence brought the game of roulette back to France. Blanc persuaded French authorities to build a highway to Monte Carlo and to extend the railway from Nice, which opened Monte Carlo to the world.

Although over time gambling became legalized throughout nearby France, the game of Roulette remained exclusive to Monte Carlo until 1933, which kept not only the luxurious Monte Carlo Casino popular, but also the game of Roulette.

Roulette did enjoy popularity stateside around the turn of the century up until WW II. As Americans learned to lose less at craps and subsequently became interested in the notion that black jack was beatable, roulette declined in popularity. Roulette is the oldest casino game still in existence.

Although both the American (double zero) and the European (single zero) versions of the wheel were invented in France, the double zero wheel has come to be known as the American Wheel, since, contrary to its fate in Europe, it has survived in the United States.

The single zero version has maintained itself as the European favorite, and has come to be known as the French Wheel. Other European nations have adopted the single zero version as their own. For example, there is the 'English Single' Roulette.


European Roulette Rules

European roulette is played by spinning a small ball on a round wheel. When the wheel stops, the ball comes to rest in one of the numbered slots. Object of the game is to predict which number out of possible 37 the ball will land on. The European Roulette wheel has 37 numbers, including the 0 and 1 to 36. Another name for European roulette is 'Single Zero Roulette'.

There are many different ways to place roulette bets. Each bet covers a different set of numbers and has a different distribution.

The player has the option to bet on a certain number, a combination of numbers or can choose for the option whether the number will be red or black, even or odd.

The following bet types are possible:

Bet Type How Payoff
Straight up You can bet on any number, including 0, by placing the chip on the center of a number 35 to1
Split bet You can bet on 2 numbers by placing a chip on the line that divides the 2 numbers 17 to 1
Street bet You can bet on 3 numbers by placing a chip on the inner left boundary line of the roulette table that is next to the corresponding row of 3 numbers 11 to 1
Corner bet You can bet on 4 numbers by placing chips at the corner where the 4 numbers meet 8 to 1
Four bet You can bet on the numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3 by placing your chip on the inner left boundary line between 0 and 1 8 to 1
Line bet You can bet on 2 street bets by placing your chip on the inner left boundary line where the line dividing the 2 rows intersects it 5 to 1
Column bet There are 3 boxes labeled '2 to 1' at the bottom of a column of numbers. You can place bets for all of these numbers by placing your chip in one of these boxes. If any of the numbers in your column is hit you get paid 2:1; 0 is a losing number.
Dozen bet You can bet on a group of 12 numbers by placing your chip in one of the 3 boxes marked '1st 12', '2nd 12' or '3rd 12' If one of your numbers is hit, you are paid 2 to 1; 0 is a losing number
Red/Black, Even/Odd, Low/High bets You can place a bet in one of the boxes on the left, long side of the table that covers half of the roulette table numbers (excluding the 0). Each box covers 18 numbers

You win even money; (1 to 1) on all of these bets; 0 is a losing number

'En Prison' rule

Some European casinos offer the 'En Prison' rule. This refers to the Red/Black, Even/Odd and High/Low bets. When the outcome is 0, it's allowed to leave the bet for another roulette spin. So your bet stays 'En Prison'. If the next spin outcomes in 0 again, then the whole bet is lost, if it's a hit, the bet is released with no payout.

'la Partage' rule

This rule is similar to the 'En Prison' rule, only in this case the player loses half the bet and does not have the option of leaving the bet 'En Prison' for another spin.


American Roulette Rules

This is a faster variation of European Roulette. The difference in this game is the addition of a Double Zero. Another difference is that the player decides on the value of the colored chips and informs the croupier of his decision when he buys the chips. American roulette is played by spinning a small ball on a round wheel. When the wheel stops, the ball comes to rest in one of the numbered slots. Object of the game is to predict which number out of possible 38 the ball will land on.

RouletteThe American Roulette wheel has 38 numbers, including the 0, 00 and 1 to 36. Another name for American roulette is 'Double Zero Roulette'.

There are many different ways to place roulette bets. Each bet covers a different set of numbers and has a different distribution.

The player has the option to bet on a certain number, a combination of numbers or can choose for the option whether the number will be red or black, even or odd.

The following bet types are possible:

Bet Type How Payoff
Straight up You can bet on any number, including 0 and 00, by placing the chip on the center of a number 35 to1
Split bet You can bet on 2 numbers by placing a chip on the line that divides the 2 numbers 17 to 1
Street bet You can bet on 3 numbers by placing a chip on the inner left boundary line of the roulette table that is next to the corresponding row of 3 numbers 11 to 1
Corner bet You can bet on 4 numbers by placing chips at the corner where the 4 numbers meet 8 to 1
Five bet You can bet on the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 by placing your chip on the boundary line between 0 and the first row intersects it 6 to 1
Line bet You can bet on 2 street bets by placing your chip on the inner left boundary line where the line dividing the 2 rows intersects it 5 to 1
Column bet There are 3 boxes labeled '2 to 1' at the bottom of a column of numbers. You can place bets for all of these numbers by placing your chip in one of these boxes If any of the numbers in your column is hit you get paid 2:1; 0 and 00 are losing numbers
Dozen bet You can bet on a group of 12 numbers by placing your chip in one of the 3 boxes marked '1st 12', '2nd 12' or '3rd 12' If one of your numbers is hit, you are paid 2 to 1; 0 and 00 are losing numbers
Red/Black, Even/Odd, Low/High bets You can place a bet in one of the boxes on the left, long side of the table that covers half of the roulette table numbers (excluding the 0). Each box covers 18 numbers You win even money (1 to 1) on all of these bets; 0 and 00 are losing numbers

'Surrender' rule

This option can be found on some American roulette tables. Outside beds are not lost on a 0 and 00, but you lose half of your bet.


English roulette Rules

This game is a variation of European (French) roulette. Even though the wheel also has 37 sections numbered from 0 to 36 and the winning bets are paid out in the same way, English Roulette has its own rules. A maximum of nine persons can sit at the table and they play with colored chips in order to better control their games.

There is no question of making verbal announcements. However, to facilitate the bids, three additional sections have been added: 'Tiers' (6 split bets), 'Orphelins' (4 split bets and 1 straight-up bet), 'Voisins' (playing a specific group of numbers on a section of the roulette wheel neighboring the 0 with 5 split bets, 1 street bet and 1 corner bet).


Roulette Strategies

The game is simple, so is the math behind the game. Every spin has the same chance of producing any of the numbers, regardless of the last 10, 10,000 or 10 million spins. Statistically every spin is an independent event, so it doesn't matter what happened before. So immediately rule out any strategy which guarantees results based on 'What is due to come up'. This isn't saying you shouldn't bet on your birthday number, or the day you met your partner. If that pleases you, then do so, just understand that even so there is some form of emotional reasoning behind it, you are still just as likely to get any number on any individual spin.

All bets on the American Roulette table have the same house edge of 5.25% except the 5 number bets which have a house edge of 7.29%. So the first thing to take note of is never play the 5 number bet. The second thing to take note of is that all other bets are equal, so it is up to you as to how you want to play the table. Some people like to go for the bigger bets, others like the even money bets so they have regular wins. If you have only a few betting units to play with you might choose the lower payouts, or if you have a large bankroll you can go for the thrill of the large payouts.

European Roulette on the other hand has a 2.70% house edge, so immediately you have to realize that they are the preferred tables to play. You can play exactly the same as you would on a American table only taking into account that there is only the one 0 stop.

If you are forced to play on American tables then look out for those that offer the surrender rule, often found in Atlantic City. The surrender rule applies to even money bets on the table, when a 0 or 00 is landed half your wager is returned. On these bets the house edge is only 2.63%, slightly better than European Roulette. Of course the large bets are unavailable to you which may or may not be a problem depending on your preferred betting strategy.


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