History of Roulette
Roulette was first invented in France in the 18th century, though quite a few historians are convinced that a primitive version of the game was created in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal. The roulette wheel is the result of combining a gaming wheel from 1720 with Biribi, an Italian game.
This casino game has been around in its current incarnation since 1796, which can be proven thanks to “La Roulette, ou le Jour”, a French novel written by Jaques Lablee that describes the came in detail.
The original form of the game included pockets for zero and double zero, just like the American version of the game. However, the single zero was red, while the double zero was black and the color green only started to be used in the 1800s.
The single zero roulette game was introduced in Germany, in Bad Homburg, by Francois and Louis Blanc, as they were trying to compete against other more popular casinos that offered traditional roulette. It’s
Roulette became very popular all over the United States and Europe in the 19th century. However, in the 1860s, when gambling was abolished in Germany, the Blanc family moved their casino operations to Monte Carlo, which was the last place to allow legal gambling in Europe. It was here that the roulette version with a single zero gained precedence.
The only place that the single-zero roulette game didn’t become popular was in the United States, where, to this day, the double-zero version of the game sill dominates. Other places where the double-zero roulette game is popular include the Caribbean, Canada, and South America.
Types of Roulette
Roulette is a simple game. You could easily walk up to a table and start playing right away, even if you’ve never seen the game before. However, if you want to really enjoy the game without getting frustrated, it’s a good idea to understand how the game works so you can make informed decisions.
It also pays to understand the differences between the types of roulette games you will encounter so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises.
The Three Types of Roulette Games
There are, essentially, three types of roulette games, namely American, French, and European. They are all quite similar to each other, and virtually identical in terms of gameplay.
In other words, all three versions involve a table where bets are placed, a wheel that is spun and a metal ball that lands in the different pockets, denoting the winner.
However, there are certain differences that you need to be aware of. Thus, the layout of the wheels and tables differ, as do the odds and rules to a certain degree.
Roulette Wheel Differences
All roulette wheels have numbers on them from 1 to 36, either black or red. European and French wheels also have a green zero, while American roulette wheels have the green zero, but also an additional green double zero.
The layout of the numbers on the roulette wheel doesn’t seem to make much sense at first glance. They aren’t arranged in descending or ascending order, i.e. 0 to 36 or 36 to 1. At the same time, even if it seems so, the layout isn’t random either.
Roulette wheels are designed the way they are to ensure that the numbers and colors are distributed as evenly as possible.
Thus, both types of roulette wheels feature alternating color numbers. So, you will never have two black numbers or two red numbers next to each other. This also holds true for American roulette wheels in the sense that the green zero and green double zero aren’t next to each other either.
Furthermore, the wheel alternates high numbers, namely those between 19 and 36, with low numbers as much as possible.
On the European and French wheels, this balance is far better than on the American wheel. On the former type of wheel, only the numbers 5 and 10 – both considered low numbers – are next to each other.
The American wheel is not quite as well balanced as it has more low and high numbers next to each other such as the 7 and 11, the 1 and the 13, and the 29 and 35.
The wheel also attempts to achieve a relatively equal distribution of even and odd numbers. While they don’t exactly alternate, generally you will find a maximum of two even or odd number placed next to each other.
The distribution of the numbers on the wheel, as well as the number of slots, affect gameplay in the sense that in European and French roulette the house has less of an edge than in American roulette.
Roulette Table Differences
There are also differences in the layout of the tables on which bets are placed. These differences are not significant and don’t have much of an effect on the game.
Thus, American roulette tables also include the green double zero, whereas European and French tables don’t have it. The outside betting sectors might be in slightly different positions, but the three tables still feature all of the outside betting options.
Another small difference is that American and European tables tend to use English, while the French table uses French.
Some casinos also allow announced bets, which are special bets placed on specific sections of the wheel. Usually, most tables don’t have an area to place bets, so you have to verbally place the bet. However, some tables feature what is known as a racetrack, which is a separate area with a depiction of the wheel where you can place these special wagers.
Roulette Rules and Odds Differences
European and French roulette have only one zero, which means they have a total of 37 numbers compared to the 38 an American roulette game has. However, the payouts are the same as American roulette.
Thus, it’s clear that player return in European and French roulette is better than that of the American version of the game. Thus, European and French games have a return-to-player ratio of 97.3%, while American roulette only offer 94.74%.
Otherwise, the rules are much the same between the games. American roulette does have a few additional bets that are made possible due to the additional double zero, such as the “top line” bet, which involves betting on a set of five numbers, namely 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3.
Special Rules That Affect Gameplay
Besides the three types of roulette games, there are also some special rules that affect the way the game is played. While not all casinos offer these rules, the most common are La Partage, En Prison, and Surrender.
The advantage with these rules is that they lower the house edge, which means you won’t lose as much money over the long term.
A rule used commonly in French roulette, it applies to bets with a 50/50 chance of winning, namely bets placed on red or black, odd or even, and high or low. When La Partage applies, if the ball falls on zero, then you receive half your bet back.
A more complex version of La Partage, En Prison applies to the same bets. However, instead of getting half your money back, your bet stays on the table. The dealer will place a marker on the bet, indicating that it is imprisoned, which is where the name comes from.
On the next round, if you win, the imprisoned bet is returned to you. If the ball lands on something you didn’t bet on, then you lose the wager in full.
The Surrender rule applies to American roulette, though it isn’t available in every casino. Essentially, it’s the same as La Partage, except that the rule applies if the ball lands on double zero as well as zero.
Play Roulette for Fun
Roulette is a popular game and a lot of fun. However, it doesn’t offer the best odds in a casino. This is why you should never treat roulette as a game that will make you rich. Making a lot of money definitely shouldn’t be your ultimate goal.
The only goal should be to have fun. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t implement a few roulette strategies. They will allow you to increase your time spent at the table while giving you fair chance to make some large wins, which will just increase the entertainment value of the game.