Introduction: What is Roulette, The History of this Popular Online Gambling Game
The game of Roulette is the most popular gambling game in the world. It has been around for centuries and it has witnessed its fair share of evolution. This game was originally invented by Blaise Pascal, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He devised it as a way to teach probability to his father, who was a gambler with a streak for bad luck. The word “Roulette” is derived from an old French word meaning “little wheel” or “small wheel”
There are two main versions of this game: American Roulette and European Roulette. The American version uses 38 numbered pockets with 2 green pockets on either side for Zero and Double Zero. The European version has 37 pockets with just one zero. Online you should always play European Roulette or better still French Roulette.
Return to Player RTP
The Return to Player, or RTP, within any game is the expected percentage of stakes a specific game will return to the player over a period of time.
However, it is important to realise the % RTP is an average achieved over a significant number of game plays and not each time the game is played.
The average % RTP is typically measured over one million games played or greater.
For example, if a game displays a 97% RTP, it is not expected the player would win an average of £0.97 for every £1 staked during a playing session.
The RTP can vary widely in either direction due to statistical variance and differs from game to game.
- For American Roulette its 94.74%
- For European Roulette its 97.3%
- For French Roulette its 98.65%
Different Types of Roulette Games Available Online
There are two main times of roulette online. Either random number generated roulette (RNG) or live roulette. RNG roulette relies on a computer to generate the winning number whereas live roulette uses physical methods. This is usually a dedicated roulette studio or a live feed from a real-life casino.
RNG roulette is a lot faster as computers can generate a random number in seconds. Live roulette is a lot slower, even more so when it’s a real casino and the croupier has to pay people out.
Some people are sceptical of RNG roulette as they think they are rigged. There is no need to be afraid though as the payouts are audited. Roulette favours the house anyway so there is no incentive to cheat platers.
There has been a recent trend to add spice to the roulette games by changing the odds slightly for numbers. You can get ‘hot’ or ‘bonus’ numbers where they pay up to 1000x. For example, Live Quantum roulette changes the payouts on certain numbers. The overall RTP is the same but the distribution is different. If you are playing one of these roulette variants, always check the RTP is at least 97.3% or you may as well keep playing the regular European Roulette game.
The Best Strategies to Win at Roulette
Roulette is a game of chance and not of skill, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to beat it. To be 100% crystal clear, there is no way to win long term at roulette online. The odds are well defined no strategy can change the odds.
You can change your stakes to change the distribution of your wins and losses, to get up in the short term but long term, the house edge will erode your bankroll and you will go bust.
One promising system people always come up with is the double up system. This is formally known as the martingale system where you double up after every loss and take profit after every with. This does actually work in theory. In practice though, you need 2 things to succeed. 1) an unlimited bankroll 2) a table with no limits. You might just about be able to have an effective unlimited bankroll but no casino will allow you to place unlimited bets on roulette.
In real life, wheels can be biased. Less so nowadays and I doubt you’d be able to find one that was biased enough to profit from it. Norman Leigh apparently used a biased wheel in Thirteen Against The Bank to beat the casinos in France. He used the Reverse LaBouchere in order to maximise the winnings from the biased wheels. This would not work today.
The other physical method used to beat the roulette table is using a laser to guess the end slot where the ball lands. This is possible in a real-life casino. There was a famous gang at the Ritz in London who won £1 million doing this.
None of these will work online though. You will lose eventually to the house edge. Any bias in the wheel or software would come out when the external auditors look at the payout.
Play Small Stakes.
The best thing to do when playing roulette is to play with small stakes. The less you bet, the less you lose. Playing on the inside increases your variance whereas playing on the inside is a steady game where you will gradually lose your bankroll. Depending on why you are playing, you might be better of playing on the inside.
Check out the lows stakes roulette tables online.