Think of a casino and there’s a good chance that an image of a roulette table comes to mind. The ball spins its way around the wheel, landing on black or red numbers as the croupier collects bets and delivers winnings. It’s an image that features across luxury brands as well as TV shows and movies, depicting the high life that we’d all like to live if given the chance.
And thanks to online versions of roulette, now anyone of legal age can try their luck at the game. It’s simplicity itself to learn so you can start playing within just a few minutes – although you’ll want to keep your bets very modest at first. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can take it as far as you wish. There are games available for low-stakes players right through to the highest of high rollers.
Decide which type of game you’d like to play, as this will have an impact on the types of bet available to you. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to choose a demo version of the game or play a very low-stakes game while you’re getting used to the gameplay.
The roulette wheel is divided into coloured and numbered sections, with a ball that randomly lands in any section. You can bet on a number, or a colour, odds or evens or any of the other choices available to you for the version of the game you’re playing.
When you first start playing you’ll probably place inside bets, which means betting on the numbers 0 – 36 in one of five ways.
Bet on one single number where you think the ball will land. It’s the riskiest strategy but it delivers the biggest payouts.
Bet on two adjacent numbers on the betting table by placing your chip on the intersecting line between them.
Place your chip on the outer line of row of numbers to include all three in your bet.
A chip placed on a cross between four numbers on the playing table puts your bet on all four at once.
You can play up to 6 numbers on adjacent rows by placing your chip at the end of the two rows where they meet.
Outside bets are placed on odds or evens, black or red or larger groups of numbers as shown on the wagering table. And if you decide to try French Roulette, you’ll find a whole selection of other bets too, although these are best reserved for more advanced players.
Your first decision is whether to play a video table version of roulette or head to the Live Dealer gaming tables. The Live Dealer games replicate the full bricks-and-mortar gaming experience, allowing you to chat with the dealer and other players if you wish. Alternatively, you might prefer to avoid all human interactions completely and play one of the many table game roulette options.
Now you need to decide whether to play American or European Roulette. Both games have 18 red numbers and 18 black numbers. American Roulette has two additional segments in the game wheel for 0 and 00, both of which are set against a green background. European Roulette only has one single 0 on a green background, giving a slightly better advantage to the player.
The version of the game known as French Roulette is played on the same wheel as the European version but has its own unique side bets – all with French titles in keeping with the game’s name.
You’re far more likely to come up against a rigged roulette table at a bricks-and-mortar casino than you are in an online one. It’s usually only the unlicensed and unregulated casinos that would consider using such tactics, as industry regulators are extremely strict about fair play. You’re only likely to come unstuck if you choose to play online roulette at an unlicensed casino – check out the site’s credentials before you play, and look for games that have been tested by industry bodies such as eCOGRA.
Good bankroll management is the key to success at roulette, whichever variant you choose. But there are certainly ways in which you can improve your chances of winning. Placing outside bets should bring in plenty of returns, although you won’t get rich given the odds they offer. Most serious players study known roulette gaming strategies, such as the Martingale System in which you double your bet after every loss. There’s also the D’Alembert Strategy, which is considered to be less risky. For those who want to take it even further, there’s also a James Bond Roulette Strategy and the Fibonacci Strategy, which are believed to encourage greater success and bigger wins.