Of all the casino games there are, roulette is maybe the one that first springs to mind. It’s a classic game of chance that is as dramatic to watch as it’s exciting to play.
These are also both features of online roulette, a phenomenon that has given a whole new generation of players a great deal to enjoy.
This is just the latest version of a game that has a long and interesting history. It was first played in France in the late 18th century and the word roulette means, literally, “little wheel”.
The principle of the game really couldn’t be simpler. The wheel turns, a little white ball spins round in the opposite direction and players bet on the number between 1 and 36 that it will come to rest on.
The drama arises from the anticipation as the wheel slowly spins and the ball bounces across the numbered sections of the wheel. It’s a spectacle unlike no other in the casino.
Although it’s an undeniably simple game, there are certain aspects that it’s important to know about if you’re going to gain maximum enjoyment, not to mention giving yourself the very best chance of winning.
Picking your game
Although the game originated in Europe, it soon made the journey across the Atlantic to the US. The rules that were adopted were pretty much the same, with one notable exception.
So, to this day, American Roulette wheels have both a 0 and an 00 space on them as well as the traditional 36 numbers. Without going too deeply into the math of this, it gives the house a fractionally better chance of winning.
For this reason, the real roulette aficionados will always choose to play European roulette in preference to the Stateside version. Luckily, there’s plenty of choice for them, especially online.
The ever-increasing popularity of the online game has been a real shot in the arm for roulette. With players wanting more and more variety, they have definitely received it.
Take a look around any of the top sites and you’ll see just what a choice there is. High stakes games, low stakes games, even ones that are designed to be played fast to keep the action rolling.
Try some out and pretty soon you’ll discover where your preferences lie.
Then there are the many live casino versions available. These are run as real games by actual dealers and are designed to capture all the ambience of the authentic casino experience.
Clever technology, the same sort that spots car number plates in car parks, converts the game information into digital format so it can be run online. There’s even the chance to chat online to the dealer as you play, making it an even more authentic experience.
There are now live versions of roulette games available online.
Bonuses and betting
Anyone looking for a good casino site where they can play roulette should also check out the joining bonuses that are on offer. These usually take the form of matching your initial stake money up to a certain limit – so they’re effectively free money.
Often these also come with a certain number of free spins on selected slots games – another big favourite for online casino players.
Once you start playing roulette proper, it’s probably best to begin with the more basic forms of betting. This means picking red or black or odds or evens. This will win you 1:1 – so if you bet $5, you’ll win $5 if you predict right.
As you gain confidence, you could move on to some of the more complex bets, for example on four specific numbers that meet in one corner on the board. If successful, this will pay out at 8:1.
An even more lucrative bet, potentially, would be to bet on two adjoining numbers with one chip. If either of those numbers came up it would mean a 17:1 pay-out. So that would be an $85 pay-out for a $5 stake.
There are various different amounts you can bet on a roulette wheel.
Sticking to systems
Because roulette is a game of probabilities, a number of systems have even been developed that, it’s hoped, will beat the odds.
Probably the best known of these is the Martingale. In this, you concentrate on the 1:1 bets of red or black, odds or evens. Each time your bet loses, you double the next stake with the intention of making good your losses.
It’s fine in theory. But it just takes a long losing streak for most players to find that their stake money has been wiped out.
Another popular, and less risky, strategy is the exotically named D’Alembert. This follows the same basic principle as the Martingale but in a more conservative way.
That’s because instead of doubling up after a losing bet, you just increase your stake by one unit. So, if you lose a $5 bet your next one will be for $6. Then, if your $6 bet wins, the next one goes down to $5, and so on.
For fans of classic math formulas, there’s the Fibonacci system which uses the famous number sequence. The most conservative of the three systems, this involves adding the value of the last two bets together to work out what the third should be. It sounds complex, but you soon get into the groove.
So, hopefully, this has given you a few pointers towards starting to play and enjoy roulette. Like everything, it takes a little practice before you really get the hang of it.
But, if you do, it can really turn out to be a worthwhile game to play.