A certain part of the brain of every gambling lover is devoted to the fantasy of becoming a truly accomplished roulette player. It’s a sexy mental image to cling to: strutting confidently to some of the fancy casinos on the French Riviera, placing disgustingly dangerous bets on the spin of the wheel and emerging victorious time and time again. Who wouldn’t want to live out such a scenario?
Unfortunately, this scenario is found more often in James Bond films than in real life. Roulette is a complicated and often very punishing game of chance. Yet it continued to cast powerful spells, as usual. Derived from the French word for “little wheel”, roulette has a rich history and the style of game play has undergone few changes since its invention.
A dealer spins a wheel that has 37 or 38 separate numbered pockets on which the ball must land. The main pockets are numbered from 1 to 36 and alternate between red and black, with the number 1 being red. There is a green pocket numbered 0. The roulette wheel in the United States contains an additional compartment marked 00, also green. Whoever added the double-zero slot many thought the French were just cowards.
If a player bets on one number and wins, the payout is 35 to 1. The bet itself is returned, so the total is multiplied by 36. A player has the freedom to bet on numbers, combinations, distances, odds/evens and colors.
American Roulette uses so-called “non-value” chips, which means that all chips belonging to the same player have the same value determined at the time of purchase and the player cashes out the chips at the roulette table. European roulette uses standard casino chips of different values as bets, which can make the game more confusing for both the bookie and the players. That’s the old world for you.
As you embark on your secret mission to success in the cruel world of the spinning roulette wheel, you may want to keep the following tips in mind:
1.) Average house or house edge is the average number of times a player loses on bets. If a player bets on a number, there is a 1/38 chance that the player receives 36 times the bet (35 times the bet plus the return of the bet itself), so that player ends up, on average, losing 5.26% on each bet.
2.) Hold is the total amount won by a player’s house. While the house may have a 5.26% advantage, if the player continues to play until his bankroll runs out, the house will enjoy 100% ownership.
3.) Level (French for “the third”) refers to the number located on the opposite side of the wheel between 27 and 33, including the numbers 27 and 33 themselves
4.) Voisins (meaning “Neighbours”) is the name for any number that is between 22 and 25 on the wheel, including the numbers 22 and 25 themselves.
5.) Orphelins (yup, “Orphans”) are the numbers that make up the two wheel areas outside of Tiers and Voisins. They contain a total of eight numbers, the Orphans being 17, 34, 6 and the Orphans being 1, 20, 14, 31, 9.