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. What we do know is that the early roulette casino game has been around since at least 1796, which can be proven thanks to “La Roulette, ou le Jour”, a French novel written by Jaques Lablee that describes the game in detail.
The original form of the roulette 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 wheels first appeared in Germany, in Bad Homburg. They were produced by Francois and Louis Blanc. At the time, the duo was trying to compete against other more popular casinos using the traditional double-zero wheels.
Further down the line, it made its way to the United States and Europe, where in the 19th century, it became immensely popular. 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 single zero variant of the game gained precedence.
Meanwhile, over in the United States, where, to this day, the double-zero roulette game dominated the casino scene. Other places where the double-zero variant is popular include the Caribbean, Canada, and South America. In the Caribbean and in a few Las Vegas gambling venues, you’ll also find triple-zero roulette wheels.
Of course, as computer games became popular and evolved into the internet, the online roulette game tables inevitably crept in. At first, these tables were played with basic graphics and simple random number generators (RNGs). However, with the latest codes and encryption, today’s RNGs are able to mimic the results of land-based wheels. As roulette real money games continued to evolve, the introduction of non-computer-generated results via live casinos came into the fold. By streaming the physical wheel spinning the ball in real-time via HD webcams live dealer casino games quickly gained notoriety and are now immensely popular.
Playing Roulette for Free VS Real Money
You can play online roulette on real money tables or practice playing using a free demo mode at most online casinos. Demo mode versions are also known as free play. You get to play the roulette real money version of the game with the same RNGs in play, but instead, you will place bets using play money. Playing the free-play version is a great way to practice spread betting on outside and inside bets, learn different betting patterns, get used to racetrack bets, and try out various strategies before switching to roulette real money gameplay.
Once you switch to playing online roulette for real money, you will be betting using the currency you use to deposit into your casino account. This could be USD, CAD, NZD, NOK, JPY and a number of other foreign currencies, or you can bet using cryptocurrencies at some online casinos. You can also play roulette using bonus money. When you have a bonus balance, you’ll still be playing the real money variant, but you will need to play through the bonus wagering rules to convert the bonus into cash you can withdraw.
Casino Roulette Variations
Roulette is available in online casinos as virtual tables and live dealer tables, and there are even land-based versions. They can also come with slight modifications depending on the software developer. For example, Playtech has an Age of the Gods Bonus Roulette table on which you can land a 5- to 6-figure jackpot windfall. Despite these modifications, when you start to play roulette online regularly, you will notice that there are actually three key variants that developers stick to before adding additional jackpot, bonus round or multiplier features.
This roulette table variant comes with a single zero on a 37-segment wheel. One segment is for the green zero, and the others are numbers 1 to 36. With only one zero, the house edge is a mere 2.7%, thus giving you an RTP (return to player) of 97.3%. Numbers are then alternatively red or black, with the number ‘1’ starting as red, ‘2’ is black, ‘3’ is red, ‘4’ is black and so on. You will also see the European roulette variant of the game use a racetrack which allows you to bet on sections of the wheel.
The American roulette variant has two zeros on the wheel, giving it 38 segments. One segment is a zero, another is a double zero, and the remaining 36 segments are numbers 1 to 36. With the additional ‘00’ on the table, the house gains a slight advantage compared to the European version of the game. The house edge is 5.26%, which is an RTP of 94.74%. Numbers are red and black, with ‘1’ starting as red. Modern versions of the American roulette variant come with a racetrack, but the bets are slightly different compared to the European and French variants.
The French roulette variant is essentially the same as its European counterpart, with a couple of subtle differences. Firstly, the betting board lays out the outside betting areas slightly differently. Another small change is that it uses French language rather than English. Furthermore, the racetrack uses French descriptions for each bet combination to cover sections of the wheel. These include Tiers du Cylindre, Orphelins, and Voisins du Zero. Aside from this, there is still a single zero, and as a result, the house edge is 2.7% (97.3% RTP).
Live Dealer Roulette Online
One of the most popular ways to play online roulette is to stream a land-based variant to your device via a webcam. Depending on the software providers your online casino hosts, you can either stream from a live casino studio or from a series of land-based casinos. Tables accommodate an unlimited number of players and come with a real-life croupier hosting the action. There are also live auto roulette tables streamed via a webcam. Another popular way to play is to join tables on the casino floors of land-based casinos such as the Hippodrome Casino in London’s West End.
Roulette Wheel Differences
The key to telling which variant you are playing is simple. European Roulette and French Roulette wheels have a green single zero ‘0’. American Roulette wheels have the green zero ‘0’, but also an additional green double zero ‘00’.
Recently triple zero ‘000’ roulette games have snuck in, but these are mainly at tourist casinos in the Caribbean. However, it was the Venetian in Las Vegas that was first brought to the casino scene. It is a terrible game that reduces your RTP, so please avoid it if you see it.
The layout of the numbers on the roulette wheel itself may not make much sense at first glance. They aren’t arranged in descending or ascending order, i.e., 0 to 36, as they are on the betting board. In fact, the way the numbers align on the wheel is purposely designed to distribute the numbers and colors as evenly as possible. Consequently, you will never have two black or two red numbers next to each other.
This also holds true for wheels on the American Roulette variant in the sense that the green zero and green double zero are not next to each other either and rather on opposite sides of the wheel. Furthermore, the wheel alternates high numbers, namely those between 19 and 36, with low numbers as much as possible.
On the European and French roulette wheels, the 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, you will generally find a maximum of two even or odd numbers next to each other.
Betting Tips and Strategies for Online Roulette
When you play online roulette, you will come across an array of strategies that are well-documented. For the most part, the first tip is to not rely on these as winning formulas. Roulette is completely random and a game of chance, so when you see progressive betting and non-progressive betting strategies such as the Martingale, D'Alembert, Fibonacci or Hollandish betting strategies, take them with a pinch of salt.
In fact, your best strategy when playing Roulette is to master the art of casino bankroll management and bet sizing. This way, you can bet according to what you can afford while maximizing your winnings and minimizing your losses. Also, playing in online roulette free demo mode allows you to practice different betting patterns and will help you understand the mechanics and randomness of results.
Best Online Roulette Bonuses
When you find an online roulette game you like, you may want to try out a bonus that allows you to play roulette with a backup bonus balance. However, before you choose your bonus, it pays to understand exactly which deals are worthwhile.
Look for online roulette bonuses that…
- contribute at least 10% or more towards the wagering requirement
- offer low wagering requirements to increase your chance of converting the bonus into a real money balance
- high maximum bets so you can spread more bets across the table
- a high table spread percentage, i.e., you can cover 60% to 70% of the numbers using bonus bets
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