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Roulette: American, European & French Roulette

Casino Roulette - All about Roulette

The game has been around since the 18th century when it was birthed in France, and its popularity has not dwindled throughout the country of its origin as well as Europe and America. It is played in casinos, hotels and event basements around the world by both amateurs and experts alike. It can pad a person’s wallet or break the bank in very little time at all, which only adds to the excitement of the game. It can be highly entertaining and quite a thrill for those who challenge the wheel. The game is Roulette and it has entertained the masses for many years.

The word “Roulette” is French and literally means “little wheel”. In fact it was in France that the game originated and from whence it spread to neighboring countries and eventually throughout the world. Fittingly so, the roulette wheel is one of the most recognized and favorites of all casino games. Its French origin is said to have been a combination of several games from several different countries brought together for one mathematically-geared game of odds. The French birthed the game of roulette but they couldn’t keep it a secret from the rest of the world. It has spread like a wildfire.

Whether participating or spectating, nothing is quite as thrilling as watching roulette. The game is incredibly unpredictable, making it suspenseful at every spin of the wheel. The absolute truth behind roulette is that results of the past wheel selections do not indicate what will happen next. Each bet up to chance. People can get lucky and win big or they can walk away with empty wallets. Some play by strategy to increase wins and reduce losses, but in the end it comes down to the luck of the wheel as to whether or not a player goes home rich or hands the money over to the dealer and his rake.

Playing Roulette

Roulette is a highly-varied game because there are many playing options and combinations when it comes to betting. Gamers can play it safe to earn less if successful or they can place riskier bets to earn a great deal more—if they win that is. The way roulette is played is that those participating place either an inside or an outside bet either before the wheel is spun or while it is spinning before the dealer closes betting for that spin. Inside bets are the riskier of the two. A player placing an inside bet will bet on an exact number that the ball will settle upon or a small grouping of numbers. An outside bet is the larger and safer bet, which yields the fewer rewards. Outside bets consist of larger groupings, including betting on a color (either red or black) or on odd versus even numbers. These outside bets bring in far less winnings but they also reduce the chance of leaving completely empty-handed.

With great excitement and anticipation players step up to the table and begin placing their bets. There are usually some requirements as to minimum and maximum bets determined by the casino or gaming house’s policy. These minimums and maximums vary depending on whether or not they are outside or inside bets. Those players who place inside bets are often provided unique chips in order to showcase the degree of risk they are playing.

The most important aspect of playing roulette is to understand how the betting works and how to place each kind of single bet or combination. Some players simply rely on chance and pick numbers. Others have taken great care to use a specific betting system in order to maximize their chances of winning. When it comes to placing the bet on the table, there is a very clear table layout that shows the numbered boxes and how they relate to each other. There are also various words to make outside betting easier and less confusing. Bets are made by placing one’s chips directly on the table in relation to which number or bet combination one desires. It is considered bad etiquette for players to toss their chips haphazardly onto the table to make a bet. This causes a great deal of confusion as to what the bet is and the dealer may reject it altogether. Players must place their chips on precise locations on the table layout in order to indicate a number or number or color grouping.

It is also possible to make what is called a “called bet” or an “announced bet”. The “call” or “called” bet is when someone calls out a bet without putting money or chips directly on a table. In a more casual environment, or where there may be very few players, this method may be acceptable, but that will be left up to the dealer. The dealer will determine which called bets he has time to accept. “Announced bets” occur when a player calls out the bet and then proceeds to put the money on the table. This is often done when the wheel is already spinning in a last minute, urgent attempt to place a bet. Again, if the dealer hears it and has the time to accept it, so be it. If the dealer does not accept the bet he will say “no bet” and will leave the money or chips on the table. It is considered rude and impertinent to argue with the dealer regarding whether or not a bet was in. He has complete jurisdiction over the table and such debates are simply not permitted.

The wheel is tilted and is set up either on the table or, in most cases, above the table for all to see. The croupier, or dealer, spins the wheel in one direction and the ball is then spun in the other direction against it. People are still permitted to place bets during this time. When the ball starts to show that it is slowing down, the dealer will call out “no more bets” or in the original French, “rién ne va plus.” Last minute bets are up to the dealer’s discretion. He may accept them or he may not. His word is final when it comes to the game but he will often have a second dealer there for support.

After the dealer has made that final call there can be no more bets placed on the table. This is the moment of greatest intensity in the game as the ball starts to bounce across the number pockets, losing momentum little by little. Guessing where the ball will drop is nearly impossible until very close to the end, as it pitches and bounces unpredictably. Finally it slows enough to settle into one of the number pockets, declaring who has won and who has lost to the house. The dealer will lay a marker, sometimes referred to as a dolly, on the table layout to show which number has become a winner. During this time, when the dealer is determining whom has won and whom has lost, no one is permitted to touch the bets on the table. Failure to abide to this strict rule of play will usually result in expulsion from the game, and possibly even the casino. The dealer will gather together, by rake or hand, the losing bets to himself and then will determine what sort of payouts the winning players have earned.

When it comes to pay-outs, the riskier inside bets receive larger rewards. They also stand to lose much more. The pay-outs are tiered based directly on the odds and risk level of each bet. The game also changes remarkably depending on the maximum bets allowed, which is different from one country to the next. Once each player has received their winnings, bets are open again and a new game begins. Plays happen quite quickly so it is easy to jump in at any time, or even just to play one or two rounds.

Differences between French, American and European Roulette

There are not many differences between French, American and European roulette, but the ones that do exist are important and worth pointing out. The most obvious difference is on the wheel itself. French and European roulette wheels contain 37 pockets and one of those is the green House zero pocket. In American roulette there is another House pocket marked double zero, which leaves them with 38 pockets total. Both wheels still have pockets numbering from 1 to 36 so the added double zero pocket does not affect those numbers. There are certain bets that are allowed for one and not the other. Several of the more common betting options are only available for single zero wheels and there are a few that are only for double zero roulette.

Interestingly enough, 18th century literature reveals that in France they originally held to a zero and double zero roulette board. This clearly gave the House more of a mathematical advantage when it came to the odds. IN 1843 Francois and Louis Blanc decided to unveil a single zero roulette wheel to bring in more customers. It was advertised at being a fairer game for the players, with the House holding only one pocket. Now the single zero wheel is now considered the French and European standard.

Many credit the Blanc family as having grown and developed the popular game. They had been living in Germany when they introduced the single zero version but when gambling was made illegal by the German government in the 1860’s, they moved to Monte Carlo and the single zero roulette caught fire amongst gamblers. Today Monte Carlo is known as one of the greatest gambling cities in the world, paired with its counterpart Las Vegas. One interesting rumor was that Francois Blanc got the inspiration for the wheel from the devil himself, since the numbers 1-36 when added together equal the sum of 666, which the Bible says is the “number of the Beast”.

American roulette continued on with the double zero House pocket and the wheels strayed even further from the herd for a while in the late 1800’s. Instead of being numbered 1-36, the wheel was numbered 1-28 and in addition to the single and double zero pockets they added one with an American Eagle. While the American Eagle is a great sign of liberty, the extra House pocket only added to the house advantage. American pride in the Eagle symbol was not enough for players to be willing to allow the House any more edge than they had so the symbol was eliminated on the roulette wheel. Today there are very few of these wheels that have been preserved. A roulette wheel with an American Eagle slot is quite valuable as a collector’s item today.

As roulette moved across America, they encountered a serious problem with cheating by both the players and the House dealers. Devices, such as magnets, were being rigged into the wheel to draw the ball to a certain number or set of numbers. As a means of fixing the problem, the roulette wheel was situated on top of the table at the head so that it could be assured no devices were being used to manipulate the outcome. The table layout was also changed and made more basic, creating some slight differences between the American version of roulette and its original French model where the wheel was still in the center of the table.

While roulette in France was something of a classy, upper class diversion, in America the gamblers game was going on in gambling dens. It was quick and dirty, oftentimes considered a questionable activity amongst the more upstanding people of society. Still, the fast-paced American version of the game ended up being the most popular in casinos around the world. The double zero wheel is the standard in Canada, South America, the Caribbean and the United States. While the Europeans and French ended up liking the layout and fast cash action of the American game, they kept to their single zero wheel.
More recently in California a new type of roulette has been trending where the pockets are not numbered but instead numbered cards are used. This variation of the game is being used at some of the Native American casinos in northern California, but it doesn’t seem to be spreading.

When it comes to the number sequencing, American roulette is different due to the extra pocket. In all roulette the odd numbered pockets are red and the even ones are black. The House pockets are green to eliminate confusion. In both cases the numbers are adequately sequenced to avoid any two neighboring numbers being placed side by side. Most casinos have the same sequencing on their boards. The following are the most common clockwise sequences for single zero and double zero wheels.

Bets and Betting Strategies

Inside Bets

Outside Bets

The French Roulette Bets

The French Bets (although not all of them are indeed French), are more roulette strategy bets than anything else. They are set number series bets that have been given a name. Each one of these series covers a portion of the wheel. The series are more to do with where the numbers lie geographically in their sequence on the board. These bets are not always allowed in casinos and some may be offered with variations.

Tactics and Theories

The game of roulette was designed for one purpose—to bring in money for the House. While people do win, some big and some small, the overall idea is that the House ends up on top making a profit and people get to enjoy the excitement and thrill of the game. While most roulette players are simply amateurs who are dabbling with it for a bit of leisure and amusement, there are some who have put much study into identifying mathematical tactics, systems or schemes for legally beating the House at roulette. Some have turned out to be bogus. Others seem to be feasible.

While sometimes the very idea of coming up with a system can be exciting and add to the thrill of the game, mathematicians say that there is nothing to be done to beat a game that always gives the advantage to the House. A skilled player may get lucky once or twice but eventually the House will win, and because most strategies tend to involve risky bets, the House will probably win big.

The Theory of Biased Wheels in Roulette

When it comes down to it, the roulette wheel is nothing more than a piece of equipment that has been designed to move in a specific order. While the wheel will always spin as it should, there may be tiny, unrecognizable errors in an individual wheel, such as some sort of unnoticeable balance issue, that causes the ball to drop into one or two pockets more often than others. This is the basis behind the theory of Biased Wheels. Some believe if you can observe a wheel long enough you can determine which numbers it might be biased towards and then bet accordingly to increase chances of winning.

The idea that a roulette wheel has some sort of flawed mechanical bias today is very unlikely considering the meticulous work that goes into crafting them and the checks and calibrations that the House does to prevent such give-aways from occurring. Dealers are bound to report any piece of gambling equipment that is not functioning properly. Errors could cost the House some weight pay-outs, so to stop that from happening they keep a very close eye on the machines.

Still, with all of the checking that goes on, errors can and have occurred over the years. Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo proved that this theory can be effective in Madrid when he won a million euros by using a computer to analyze the bias of a wheel. This occurred in the early 1900’s. The casino sued Mr. Pelayo but it was determined that if it was an error in the wheel that the House was responsible to take care of it. Similar occurrences took place in Britain in the 1980’s. Casinos began to notice much larger pay-outs than they expected and it all came down to a team of players who had figured out how to bet against a biased wheel. As a result, a new model of the wheel was invented which counteracted any such bias issues. Within a year of its birth, the new wheel was being purchased by every serious casino worldwide. There have been a few others since the 80’s to attempt to put into effect such theories, but most were done with computer simulations and scanning wheels with hidden laser devices. This kind of manipulation would be considered cheating.

At the end of the day, there will no doubt be times when machinery fails or a slight flaw occurs that the dealer and House do not notice. If one can observe a certain number being hit more often than the others than it makes perfect sense to place a bet on that number and hope that the theory is correct.

Roulette Betting Systems

While a select few individuals have ever won big money by somehow predicting how the ball will fall based on a wheel bias, many hold firm to specific betting schemes they have developed that they believe helps increase their odds. While these systems may not work to overcome the advantage of the House, some have seen them increase winnings to some degree. Some have found them to give a more balanced approach to the game and to minimize losses. Others simply enjoy having their own strategy to put into place.

While there are many other systems out there guiding the way for roulette lovers, many people are simply happy with just playing the odds and hoping they get lucky. It does happen, even with the House always a step ahead. At the end of the day, people should never assume a big win at the roulette table. Many and tried and most have failed miserably. Instead, one should treat the game as if it is the reward, and any winnings should be like the icing on the cake.

“The King of Casino Games”

Roulette is often called the “King of Casino Games” because it has simply grown to become one of the favorites amongst gamblers around the world. Whether playing the American, French or European styles, the game in and of itself is a winner. With so many varieties in betting and play techniques, there is nothing boring about Roulette. It is intense, exciting and enticing, which is why Casinos continue to put more emphasis on this fast-paced, dynamic game.


Online Roulette Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is definitely a term that has started to become more and more popular in the online gambling world. There is no way you can deny the importance of money management. One of the very first things that comes in your mind when you hear about roulette bankroll management is going to be to put at risk only a small percentage of your bankroll each and every time you are going to play roulette.

A good bankroll management system is going to be able to help you avoid going through the embarrassing moments when you go bankrupt. A roulette bankroll system is going to keep you safe from going bankrupt and at the same time is going to allow you to get a constant growth of your online bankroll.

Gamblers from all over the world are thinking about roulette to be one of the easiest games that you can play at an online casino. This is the reason why they are not going to pay too much attention while playing compared to the attention they pay to other games.

In order to be a winner at the roulette you will not need to use a mathematical formula just like at blackjack or other games where mathematics counts, but you will need to have an online roulette strategy. And at the same time one of the most important parts of this strategy is going to be the bankroll management.

Some roulette experts are proposing that in order to be able to stay safe and to use a proper bankroll management, you should always only bet 10% of the total bankroll that you have put aside for your roulette gambling session. A session means starting from the time when you sit at a table and buy in and goes up to the moment when you leave that table.

By using a proper roulette bankroll system, you will be able to reduce your losses significantly because once you go beyond the loss limit you will have to stop according to the bankroll management rules.

Some more advanced roulette players are going to use a more complex bankroll management system which is going to be based on the types of bets that they make. This way they will be allowed to bet a larger portion of their bankroll for those bets that are less risky, for example those that pay 1 in 2. And in case they are going to bet on bets that are riskier the percentage of the bankroll they will be allowed to use is going to become smaller. This way they are going to be able to keep equilibrium while playing your favorite roulette games.


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