Roulette Rules and Systems

Few games can offer as much excitement as the roulette wheel. Out of all casino games that are played on the internet, roulette is easily one of the most sought after, being perfectly suited to the online environment. This game has come a long way since it was a popular pastime for the bourgeoisie of 18th century France, but it still follows similar rules today.

The Basics

Roulette usually comes in two formats – one with a ‘0’, known as ‘European’ Roulette, and the other with an additional ‘00’, known as ‘American’ Roulette. The other numbers on the wheel run from 1 to 36 and alternate between red and black. These numbers are assigned a pocket on the edge of the spinning wheel and are also laid out in a grid on the table.

When a player calls a bet on a certain number, chips are placed on the corresponding grid position. The croupier then spins a ball around a tilted track above the wheel, with the ball eventually landing in one of the number’s pockets.

Playing the game

The basic rules of Roulette are easy to follow, but betting on the game is where some know-how is required. Firstly, you should be aware of the differences in the game variations, as European Roulette has a much smaller house advantage then American Roulette. The extra ‘00’ on the American wheel actually increases the house edge by over 3%.

Also similar to the European version is French Roulette. In this game players can benefit from the ‘Surrender’ or ‘La Partage’ rule, which allows a loss of only 50% of the wager if the ball lands on zero. It will always be recommended for newcomers to start at either a French or European table, as the odds of winning are far greater.

Placing your Wager

For all variations of Roulette, placing wagers will be essentially the same. The most common form of wagers are ‘Inside Bets’, which gives the player higher odds with greater payouts. There are several different inside bets to choose from:

  • Straight Up – a single-number wager
  • Street – a wager on three numbers, in a horizontal line on the table
  • Split – a wager on two adjoining numbers on the table
  • Corner – placing chips over four numbers in a square
  • Six Line – placing chips on two adjoining “streets” or line of numbers

Another type of wager in Roulette is an ‘Outside Bet’, which is a safer play, but one that has smaller odds. Common outside bets include ‘red or black’, ‘even or odd’ or ‘dozen bets’ (placing chips on 12 consecutive numbers, such as 1 to 12, 13 to 24 etc.). Another tactic is to place a wager on one half of the board, either on the ‘first low 18’ or ‘last high 18’.

Announced Bets

As the odds when betting on 50% of the table will be quite small, there is also the option of placing chips on a series of numbers or a smaller section of the grid, referred to as an ‘announced bet’.

The Roulette wheel is split into four sections, with which a player can place an announced bet:

  • Voisins du Zero (neighbours of zero) – 17 consecutive numbers from either side of ‘0’
  • Jeu Zero (zero game) – the seven numbers closest to ‘0’
  • The Tier (the third) – the numbers on the opposite side of the Voisins du Zero
  • Orphelins (orphans) – the numbers outside the Tier and Voisins du Zero.

Another option is to play a number and its neighbors, which can be any number on the wheel plus two numbers either side. ‘Final’ bets are wagers on places ending with the same number, such as ‘Final 4’s’ on 4, 14, 24 and 34 and ‘Final 7’s’ on 7, 17 and 27.

Roulette Strategies

As there is such a wide variety of betting options in Roulette, you can expect plenty of strategies and systems to be used. There are numerous theories and tactical approaches to beating the casino at this game, but what you must remember is that there is no way of turning the advantage in your favor. No matter what system is used the casino will always come out on top eventually.

However, players still like to use systems in order to improve their chances. One of the most well-known is the ‘Martingale’ system, which involves doubling the wager after each loss. This, of course, follows no mathematical formula, so a player can end up in trouble very quickly if luck is not on their side.

A slightly safer strategy is the ‘Labouchère’ system, which uses the same principles as the Martingale but the wager is not doubled after every loss. Instead the player follows a series of numbers to determine the size of their wager. Numbers at the beginning and end of a line are added together and these can be varying lengths according to the amount of wins and losses. The Labouchère system far outweighs the Martingale in terms of mathematical possibility of success, but, as always, the casino will win in the end.

Another similar approach to these two strategies is the ‘D’Alembert’ system which follows the principles of the mathematical equilibrium. When a player loses on a wager, one unit is added to the value of the following wager. Again, this is still a negative strategy and is only based on a more conservative playing style rather than a real mathematical possibility.

With the advent of online gaming, new strategies for roulette are being devised on a regular basis, although they are still just variations of the systems mentioned above. There are plenty of bogus sellers on the internet, trying to cheat players into buying a “foolproof” strategy that will beat the casino. Roulette is and will always remain a matter of luck.

So if you’re about to enter the exciting world of Roulette for the first time, you must start by finding a reliable casino, getting accustomed to their software and making sure you stick to the French or European tables. Following a strategy will be the best way to structure your wagering and, if you want to hold onto money, be sure to not get carried away with an early win.