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Roulette

Roulette is a popular casino game played with a gaming wheel and a roulette ball. To start the game, the croupier spins the wheel and launches the ball in the opposite direction. Players place bets on the pocket (or pockets) in which they believe the ball will land. Once the ball and the wheel slow down sufficiently, the croupier announces that bets are no longer taken. After a short while, the ball falls in one of the pockets and the winners of the round are paid out according to the odds of their bet. Then a new round is started.

Roulette History

The first gaming wheel was invented by Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. The game we now know as roulette was developed in 18th century France by combining the gaming wheel with the rules of a popular ticket-based game called cavagnole. Due to its visually appealing nature and transparency, the game quickly grew in popularity and replaced covagnole as France’s favorite pastime. The French quickly introduced the game to other parts of the world. There is documented evidence that the game had travelled as far as Québec by the middle of the 18th century.

The game evolved in several ways since it was first introduced. Roulette balls were traditionally made out of ivory, but they are now commonly made of various plastics, such as nylon and polytetrafluoroethylene (trademarked as Teflon). The earliest roulette wheels in Europe actually had two zeros, much like American style roulette wheels do now. To help differentiate the zeros from the other numbers, the zeros began to be colored green in the early 19th century. By the middle of the 19th century, the single-zero European wheel was invented in Germany. In 2016, a triple zero roulette wheel was invented by the Venetian Las Vegas luxury hotel and casino. The move was controversial because the addition of the third zero pushed the house edge to 7.69%.

European Roulette (Single Zero) vs American Roulette (Double Zero)

There are two main types of roulette: European wheel and American wheel games.

European wheel roulette uses a 37 pocket wheel composed of 36 number pockets and a single zero. This setup gives the casino a very modest house edge of only 2.70%, which makes it one of the fairest casino games you can play (alongside baccarat and blackjack). In addition to regular Europen roulette, there’s also French roulette. French roulette is also played on a European wheel, but has an additional rule that make it even more player-friendly in cases when the player makes an even-money bet and the ball lands on a 0:

  • La Partage: the player gets half of their bet back.
  • En Prison: the bet is “imprisoned” and is returned in full if it wins on the next spin.

American wheel roulette, on the other hand uses a 38 pocket double zero wheel. The presence of a second zero increases the casino advantage to 5.26%. Due to the difference in the odds, in land-based casinos, single zero wheels are typically reserved for high rollers playing high stakes games. This is similar to how dollar slot machines have a higher payout percentage than penny slots. These differences in house edge allow casinos to service players of all income levels.

Roulette Bets and Odds

Listed below are all the possible roulette bets, their payout odds, and true odds in European and American roulette:

Bet Type

Payout

True Odds (Single Zero)

True Odds (Double Zero)

One Number

35:1

0.027

0.026

Two Numbers

17:1

0.054

0.053

Three Numbers

11:1

0.081

0.079

Four Numbers

8:1

0.108

0.105

Five Numbers

6:1

0.135

0.132

Six Numbers

5:1

0.162

0.158

Column Bet

2:1

0.324

0.316

Dozen Bet

2:1

0.324

0.316

Evens/Odds

1:1

0.486

0.474

Reds/Blacks

1:1

0.486

0.474

Low/High

1:1

0.486

0.474

 

Roulette Etymology

The term «roulette» comes from French and translates as «little wheel». The game was called this in reference to the equipment it uses.

Roulette:

  • a popular casino game played with a gaming wheel and a ball

Chips on Roulette Table in Casino

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