One of the most popular casino games on the planet, roulette boasts a universal appeal like no other. Much more than a simple game of chance, it combines remarkably straightforward rules with a unique sense of glamour and excitement – a winning combination by all accounts. Interestingly enough, the roulette wheel was never intended to be a form of entertainment when it was first created way back in the 17th century. As you might guess from the name, it was a famed French mathematician, Blaise Pascal, who invented the contraption while working on ideas for a perpetual-motion machine. Even though his original hypothesis failed quite badly, Pascal soon realised the potential for his wheel as a game of chance, odds and statistics.
Fast forward to the modern day and roulette is just as integral to the gaming landscape as ever – particularly online. In fact, online roulette has proven a key contributor to the exponential growth of the iGaming industry over the past decade, and which is forecasted to reach a market value of £45 billion by 2020. With more online operators popping up every year, it’s easier than ever to get involved in the action yourself, but before you do it’s worth taking some time to gen up on these top tips…
Know your wheel
The main piece of apparatus you need to understand is the wheel itself (bonus point: roulette is French for ‘little wheel’). In the United Kingdom and most of Europe, roulette wheels have 37 pockets as standard: 18 red numbers, 18 black numbers and a zero. However, in the United States, roulette wheels tend to have 38 pockets: 18 red numbers, 18 black numbers, a zero and an additional ‘double zero’. This ultimately means that the European version of the game offers slightly better odds than its American counterpart – a key consideration if you’re looking to decrease the house edge as much as possible.
Get familiar with ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ betting
These are two common terms that you’re likely to come across when playing online roulette. In short, outside bets offer much better odds of winning, but with the promise of a lower overall payout; inside bets are the opposite in that the chance of winning is a lot slimmer, with a much larger payout. A few classic examples of an outside bet are ‘red or black’, ‘odd or even’, ‘1 to 18’ or ‘1 to 36’ – all of which offer a payout value of 1/1.
For inside bets, you can bet ‘straight up’ on a single number which, at 35/1, offers the longest odds of winning in a game of roulette. Players can also ‘split’ two numbers next to each other (e.g. 22, 23) or place a ‘street’ bet on three consecutive numbers (e.g. 22, 23, 24). It’s well worth taking a quick look at a breakdown of all available odds before going for your first spin…
Check out the variations of gameplay
In a bid to stand out from the crowd, more and more online casino operators are starting to mix up the classic roulette gameplay with their own innovative twist. This could be anything from multi-wheel betting to creative hybrids that meld together different elements of several classic casino games. Some casino sites have also invested heavily in ‘live dealer roulette’. Live casino roulette at William Hill, for example, allows players to log in and join a table at a real casino and watch the game via a live video link. It’s hard to get closer to the action than that from the comfort of your own sofa.
Once you’ve found the perfect roulette provider for you, you’re ready to go! Keep those all-important odds in mind and think strategically when laying down your chips. And, as always, just remember online roulette is more of a marathon than a sprint.