Roulette for the Uninitiated

Posted by: on Apr 15, 2013 | One Comment

Roulette is a true casino classic. It has been an integral part of the casino gaming culture since time immemorial. It probably is the most visible, and definitely one of the most romanticized casino games in the world. Roulette has always been associated with glamour and class, and its place in popular thought as a symbol of casino culture, is unmatched by any other gambling activity. So strong is its visual association with casino games, that it has almost always been the first choice for filmmakers whenever they have had to depict a scene with a casino or a gambling backdrop.


Playing Roulette

Part of Roulette’s charm and popularity comes from the simplicity of the game and the spread that it uses. Although the basic idea, like most casino games, is to place bets on numbers, or a certain combination of them, Roulette stands out due to the nifty and enticing designer spinning wheel it is played on. We all have seen one on television or the movies, if not in real life. It contains small alternatively colored red and black slots that are marked with a series of numbers.

The game typically starts with the player placing a bet, and the wheel being given a clockwise spin by the croupier. Subsequently, a small ball, usually white in colour, is gently tossed into the wheel in an anti-clockwise direction. It bounces around till the wheel is in motion, and finally drops into one of the slots. The bets are placed on the colour and/or the number, or a combination thereof, of the slot the ball will go into.

An important part of the game is the chips table. In standard American Roulette, it contains markings for numbers between 0 and 36, and a separate marking for 00. Apart from these two sections, there also are markings for even or odd, red or black, and low 18 or high 18 bets. Other bet sections include low, middle & high 12, and column bet sections. Participants are also allowed to place cross bets between numbers and auxiliary bet options.

Types of Roulettes Played in Casinos

The most widely played Roulette games in casinos are the English, American, Mexican, and French versions of the game. French Roulette is also known as European Roulette. It is different from all other forms of the game on account of the fact that it offers the player the least probability of losing money on the bets he/she places. The wheel in a French Roulette contains 37 numbers instead of 36. The English Roulette starts out as the same as the French version, but differs in its rules. The number of players that can play in this version of the game is limited, and each player is assigned chips only of one particular colour.

American Roulette is the most popular version of the game, especially in casinos. This is not because it is popular with the players, but because it gives the house much better odds against them. This version also has a different number and cylinder setup, and also contains an extra slot – ‘00’ in it. Mexican Roulette is identical to the American version, but has an added 000 in the numbered slots, making it the least favourable for the gamer.

Popular Roulette Strategies

Over the years, a lot of enlightened minds have tried to use logic and arithmetic to come up with winning roulette strategies. Terms you might come across include the Martingale Technique, and the Hawk, Labouchere, and D’Alembert methods. It would be disingenuous to claim that these have not had an impact on the game. But every Roulette strategy has a life span. Casinos always make sure that they are not at the receiving end of a strategic novelty for very long. No wonder then, that betting limits have been enforced all over the world to counter these mathematical probability based strategies.

So, when you get to try your hand at this classic casino game, try and enjoy the moment, and the win, if you get one. Do not depend on any one strategy to win because every throw of the ball comes with a new set of possibilities!




1 Comment

  1. The Five Most Popular Casino Games | Rakesh Wadhhwa
    August 16, 2013

    […] Roulette: Meaning ‘a small, diminutive wheel’ in French, this game is indeed a spin unto exhilaration. Like so many other casino games, this charming beauty too, calls for players to place bets on a number, or a range of numbers, within the red or black colors, or the even or odd numbers. The Croupier begins with spinning a wheel in one direction, and a ball in the opposite direction, which ultimately loses momentum and falls into one of the thirty-odd pockets on the wheel. Crowds in casinos the world over cheer every time the wheel sets off and there is absolute pandemonium. Simple yet intricate, Roulette rules the hearts of casino aficionados! Read my blog on Roulette. […]


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