Roulette: A Brief History
Born in the 17th century, Roulette owes its creation to the scientific curiosity of French physicist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal. While attempting to devise a perpetual motion machine, Pascal inadvertently birthed a prototype for the Roulette wheel. Over time, modifications were made and by the 18th century, Roulette, named after the French word for 'little wheel,' had entered the realm of French gambling establishments.
The game eventually found its way to America in the 19th century, where it underwent further changes. But the true evolution of Roulette occurred in Europe, where it developed into two primary forms: European Roulette and American Roulette. This bifurcation in the game's structure significantly influenced the strategies and odds for players around the world.
Basic Principles of Roulette
At its heart, Roulette is a game of chance. The game consists of a spinning wheel, a ball, and a table with numbers 0 to 36, laid out in three rows. In American Roulette, an additional '00' slot is present. Players bet on the number, color, or group of numbers where they predict the ball will land.
Once all bets are placed, the dealer spins the wheel in one direction and releases the ball in the opposite direction. The ball eventually loses momentum and falls into one of the numbered pockets, determining the winner.
American vs. European Roulette
The major difference between American and European Roulette lies in the layout of the wheel. The American version includes an extra green pocket numbered '00'. This addition might seem trivial, but it substantially increases the house edge from 2.70% in European Roulette to 5.26% in American Roulette. This means that the odds are slightly stacked against players in the American version.
Understanding Roulette Bets
Mastering Roulette requires understanding the diverse array of bets available. Bets in Roulette fall into two main categories: Inside Bets and Outside Bets.
Inside Bets are placed directly on one or more numbers. They offer high payouts but come with higher risk. They include:
- Straight-Up Bet: This is a bet on a single number, including '0' and '00'. It offers the highest payout of 35:1.
- Split Bet: A bet on two numbers next to each other on the table. The chip is placed on the line dividing the two numbers.
- Street Bet: A bet on three consecutive numbers in a horizontal line.
- Corner Bet: A bet on four numbers that meet at one corner.
- Line Bet: A bet on six numbers in two adjoining rows.
Outside Bets offer lower risk and lower payouts and include:
- Column Bet: A bet on one of the three vertical columns of 12 numbers.
- Dozen Bet: A bet on sets of 12 numbers—1-12, 13-24, or 25-36.
- Color Bet: A bet on all the red or all the black numbers.
- Odd or Even Bet: A bet on all odd or all even numbers.
- Low or High Bet: A bet on the low numbers (1-18) or high numbers (19-36).
The Racetrack: An Additional Betting Area
The racetrack is a distinctive feature of the Roulette table that adds an extra dimension to the game. Named for its oblong shape, this area is also known as the 'French bets' or 'called bets' section. It represents a specific pattern of numbers on the wheel, rather than the table, and is used for placing a group of bets with a single chip.
The racetrack area is divided into sections, each representing a specific set of numbers. These are:
- Voisins du Zéro (Neighbors of Zero): This bet covers the 17 numbers between (and including) 22 and 25 on the wheel. The bet requires nine chips and includes a combination of splits, corners, and one trio.
- Tiers du Cylindre (Thirds of the Wheel): This bet covers a third of the wheel, specifically the 12 numbers opposite the zero. The bet requires six chips, all placed as split bets.
- Orphelins (Orphans): This bet covers the numbers not included in Voisins and Tiers. The bet requires five chips and includes one straight-up bet and four splits.
Additionally, the racetrack can be used for placing 'neighbors' bets. This is a bet on a specific number and the two numbers on either side of it on the wheel. For example, a bet on '5 and the neighbors' would cover 5, 24, 16, 10, and 23.
While the racetrack offers an alternative way to place bets, it is important to note that the odds and payouts remain the same as the main betting area. However, it allows for a more strategic approach, especially for seasoned players who have a deeper understanding of the game. It's a way to bet on sections of the wheel and can be particularly useful for players who believe in 'hot' or 'cold' numbers, or who wish to hedge their bets across a particular section of the wheel.
The French Influence: La Partage and En Prison
What sets French Roulette apart are two additional rules: La Partage and En Prison.
La Partage rule applies when the lands on zero and a player has placed an even money bet. Under this rule, the player loses only half of their bet.
The En Prison rule is a variation of La Partage and also applies to even money bets. If the ball lands on zero, the player's bet is 'imprisoned' and carried over to the next spin. If the player's bet wins on the next spin, the original bet is returned without any winnings. If it loses, the entire bet is lost.
These rules are exclusive to French Roulette and provide players with better odds, reducing the house edge on even-money bets to 1.35%.
Roulette Strategy: Playing Smart, Not Hard
While Roulette is fundamentally a game of chance, applying certain strategies can increase your chances of winning or at least make your game play last longer. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Understand the Odds: Remember, every bet has a risk and reward. Bets that are easier to win have lower payouts, and harder-to-win bets have higher payouts.
- European Over American: If possible, opt for the European version of the game. The absence of the '00' in European Roulette decreases the house edge, providing better odds for the player.
- Use the En Prison or La Partage Rule: If you're playing French Roulette, take advantage of these rules. They can significantly reduce the house edge on even-money bets.
- Manage Your Bankroll: Always keep track of your money. Set a budget for your play and stick to it. It's easy to get carried away in the thrill of the game, but wise money management is key to prolonging your play and potentially securing wins.
- Practice Makes Perfect: Before stepping into a casino, try playing online or using a Roulette simulator. This will help you become familiar with the game mechanics and betting options without any risk.
Explore Queenplay’s Roulette Games Today
It is not hard to understand why roulette consistently been one of the most popular casino games around. Whether you're playing American, European, or French Roulette, the thrill of watching the spinning wheel and awaiting the resting place of the ball is a universal experience shared by players around the world.
Here at Queenplay we have a huge number of roulette games for your enjoyment. In addition to the main variants of the game discussed above, you will find a few versions that break with tradition and introduce exciting new features that offer new ways to win. Make sure you take the time to try these games and discover the raw excitement of roulette.