History of Roulette
Although it’s slowly losing its popularity in America it’s gaining followers in Europe and in the online casino world. Roulette has been around since the 17th century and is believed to have been played in France – makes sense as Roulette is the French word for little wheel. The history of Roulette makes it even more interesting, according to history the Roulette Wheel was invented by a Frenchman called Blaise Pascal, but he did not intend it as a gambling wheel – it was part of his search for a perpetual motion machine.
But as in the case of most famous inventions, there are some people that believe the Chinese, the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks were spinning the wheel before Blaise Pascal tried to create his perpetual motion machine.
Regardless of all the conspiracies Roulette owes it’s rich history and longevity to two Frenchman. In 1843 Roulette hit the jackpot, so to speak; when Francois & Louis Blanc introduced Roulette to the Germans (gambling was still illegal in France). But that’s not all they did, the ancient Roulette game had a 00 slot (the American Roulette version still has this) What Francois & Louis did was remove it, thus creating European Roulette.
Having only one zero slot lowered the house edge to 2.70%. With a double zero slot the house edge sits at an average of 5.26%. The lower odds and higher return-to-player percentages meant a spike in popularity. Eventually, the single zero version replaced all of the double zero variations across Europe. Even France relaxed their stance on casinos and finally, Francois & Louis Blanc were allowed back in their home country where they showcased their version of Roulette to the King and French Roulette was born.
Types of Roulette Available
Now-days there’s an abundance of variations across the world, in both brick & mortar casinos and online casino. In 1994 Microgaming created the first ever online casino and people are now lining up from their lounge rooms to bet, and Roulette is having a fresh surge in popularity. Coupled with the rise in Live Dealer options, Roulette has spun itself back into mainstream casinos and into the loungerooms, workplaces and lives of people around the world.
Roulette is strictly a game of chance with no proved strategies to beat it. But watching that mesmerising wheel go round still invokes a charm that is hard to resist.
It’s guaranteed that if you go onto a casino (online or otherwise) you are going to find lots of Roulette tables, different rules, different board layouts. The truth is all of these are derived from the original 3 types of Roulette: American, European and French.
As mentioned above American Roulette has that extra green double zero slot. This might not seem like much but it raises the house edge significantly, to 5.26%. American Roulette is also typically played in America. The order of the numbers on the wheel is different to the European & French versions.
This version is commonly used to describe roulette played outside of America. It has a different layout number wise and also lacks the extra double zero slot. This lowers the house edge, making it a much more popular choice for punters worldwide.
Different Bets for Roulette
With the different layouts and the double zero slot on the American Roulette table there are ‘extra bets’ or a difference in available bets between the two versions.
In American Roulette you can place a ‘five-number bet’ – this covers the zero, double zero, and the numbers 1, 2, 3. Another ‘extra bet’ is obviously a bet on the double zero slot.
In European Roulette there are additional bets – ‘called bets’ or ‘racetrack bets’. These bets cover a specific section of the wheel or groups of numbers.
This version is almost identical to European Roulette. There’s no double zero slot and all bets are the same. The board is a little different but it doesn't change the way that the game is played. The reason we've added this in is that there are two extra rules worth noting and keeping in mind. The "La Partage" and "en Prison” rules. These can be used in the European version, but more often then not they are just in the French version.
La Partage: If a player has made an even-money bet and the zero comes up. They receive half of their stake back.
En Prison: Instead of receiving half of the stake back, in these circumstances a player can leave their bet on the table for the following spin. If that spin wins the player gets their full stake back – but NO winnings. If they lost, the whole stake is lost.
In the world of online casinos you are going to come across a broad range of roulette tables and different variants, but like we mentioned they are all based on these three types, here’s some of the more recent and popular variants: New AR Roulette, Pinball Roulette, 3D Roulette, Age of Gods Roulette, Mini Roulette, Video Roulette, 3 Wheel Roulette, Monopoly Hot Properties Roulette, Double Ball Roulette, Roulette Advanced.
Not too mention the Live Roulette tables available. Covering the basic three types of Roulette and then some of the above-mentioned variations as well. Live Roulette itself can be played anywhere. Some tables are purely for online casinos, other more advanced and well-known online casinos can actually link you to a table at a brick and mortar casino, virtually you will be standing next to real people who are betting on the same table as you.
There are literally too many to list and each reputable casino site should have seven or more different variants of Roulette and a large collection of Live Roulette tables. Check the rules before you start and if you are a beginner it helps if you know the differences and rules of those three main versions of Roulette.
How does Play Roulette
Players place bets on either a single number, groupings of numbers, the colours red or black, odds or evens, or high (19-36) & low (1-18). These bets are placed inside squares; that represent the numbers on the wheel and the different bets available; on the board, there are different variants of the board, depending on which variant of Roulette you are playing. For example, French Roulette will have squares corresponding to the La Partage and en Prison rules. And the American Roulette has a square that corresponds to the double zero on the wheel.
To determine the winning number & colour the croupier spins a wheel in one direction and then spins the ball in the opposite direction around a tilted circular track that runs around the outer edge of the wheel. As the ball loses momentum, it passes through an area of deflectors and eventually falls onto the wheel and into one of the coloured and numbered pockets: 37 pockets on the European & French style wheel; 38 pockets on the American style wheel.
These are the basics of Roulette. Now let's have a look at some of the available bets.
The bet combinations are numerous as you can imagine, for ease they are divided into inside bets and outside bets:
Straight Up: a bet on a single number
Split: a bet on two neighbouring numbers
Street: a bet on three neighbouring numbers
Six Line: a bet that allows the player to make 2 x street bets
Corner: a bet on four neighbouring numbers.
Dozens: players can bet on the outcome falling between 1-12; 13-24 & 25-36
Colours: a bet on either red or black
Odd or Even: a bet on odds or evens numbers
High & Low: a bet on either the high range (19-36) or low range (1-18)
Columns: a bet placed on the entire column of numbers
Best Roulette Software Providers
As a customer of online casinos you should have basic knowledge of the who’s who in software providers:
RealTime Gaming has a mid-large range of games available with a growing number of mobile games.
PlayTech works with some of the big names in online casinos such as William Hill, Bet 365 and Sky.
Microgaming is also considered one of the best, if not THE best in the industry.
NetEnt partners with some big names such as Betway, 888, 777 and LeoVegas.
IGT (International Gaming Technology) these guys have been around since the '70s.
Conclusion of Online Roulette
Roulette is one of the oldest casino games in the world. It’s a long-standing staple in every brick & mortar and online casino in the world. So it makes sense that it goes through periods of popularity and lull periods. At the moment we are in a popularity phase, with the technology going into online casinos, the ability to take part in a live game at an actual casino whilst sat in your lounge room in your pyjamas appeals to a lot of people.
Roulette is no doubt a mesmerising game, it's been featured throughout the decades in Hollywood through classics like Casablanca, Casino, 13, Diamonds Are Forever, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Indecent Proposal to name some. Watching that wheel and ball spin, waiting with bated breath until the ball stops moving. It's old school gambling at its finest, gone are the glitz and glamour of the neon slot lights. Roulette can take you all the way back through the history of casinos with merely a ball and a wheel.