A certain part of every gambling fan’s brain is devoted to the fantasy of being a very talented roulette player. It’s a sexy mental image to hold onto: stepping confidently into a fancy casino on the French Riviera, placing dangerously inappropriate bets on the wheel and emerging victorious time and time again. Who wouldn’t want to live a scenario like that?
Unfortunately, that scenario is more common in James Bond movies than in real life. Roulette is a complicated and often very punishing game of chance. Yet he continued to cast powerful spells, as usual. Derived from the French word for “little wheel,” roulette has a rich history and the style of play has undergone several changes since its invention.
The croupier spins a wheel that has 37 or 38 individually numbered pockets on which the ball must land. The main pouches are numbered from 1 to 36 and alternate between red and black, with the number 1 being red. There is a green pocket numbered 0. The Roulette wheel in the United States contains an additional compartment marked 00, also green. Whoever added the two zero slot many thought the French were just cowards.
If a player bets on a single number and wins, the payout is 35 to 1. The bet itself is returned, so the total is multiplied by 36. A player has the freedom to bet on numbers, combinations, ranges, odds/events and colors.
American roulette uses so-called “no-value” chips, which means that all chips belonging to the same player have the same value determined at the time of purchase and the player cashes in the chips in chips at the roulette table. European Roulette uses standard casino chips of different values as bets, which can make the game more confusing for the croupier and the players. That’s the old world for you.
As you embark on your secret mission to success in the cruel world of the spinning roulette wheel, you may want to keep the following tips in mind:
1.) Average house or house edge is the number of losing players relative to the bet, on average. If a player bets on a single number, there is a 1/38 chance that the player receives 36 times the bet (35 times the bet plus the return of the bet itself), so the player ends up, on average, losing 5.26% on each bet.
2.) Hold is the total amount won by the player from the player. While the house may have a 5.26% advantage, if a player continues to play until his bankroll runs out, the house will enjoy a 100% hold.
3.) Grades (French for “third”) refer to the numbers located on opposite sides of the wheel between 27 and 33, including 27 and 33 themselves
4.) Voisins (meaning “Neighbors”) is the name for the numbers that lie between 22 and 25 on the wheel, including 22 and 25 themselves.
5.) Orphelins (yup, “Orphans”) are the numbers that make up the two wheel areas outside of Tiers and Voisins. They contain a total of eight numbers, Orphans being 17, 34, 6 and Orphans being 1, 20, 14, 31, 9.