If you’ve never played roulette before, it may look complicated because there are all those numbers, arranged seemingly randomly (though they’re not) around the wheel. But roulette is purely a matter of luck, and the only roulette systems that will help you maximize winnings are strategies for knowing which types of bets to place.
The first thing you should know is that American roulette wheels have 38 numbers on them (0 to 36, plus « 00 ») and European roulette wheels have 37 (because there’s no « 00 »). You only have 1 chance out of 38 or 37 to guess the correct number the ball will land on, so to keep things interesting and give players more chances of winning smaller payouts, casinos allow lots of other kinds of roulette bets.
You can bet on two numbers, a row of numbers (as laid out on a roulette table), two rows, black only, red only, odd numbers, even numbers, and bunches of other combinations. Keep in mind that since European roulette wheels have one less space on them, the house edge is slightly lower, so if you have the choice, go with a European roulette game. Here are the roulette bets you can make, chances of winning, and payouts in American roulette.
• Outside Bets: Black, Red, Odd, Even, 1-18, 19-36. Payout is 1:1, and you have a 47.37% chance of winning.
• Column Bets: 1-12, 13-24, 25-36. Payout is 2:1, with a 31.58% chance of winning.
• Sixline: a bet on six numbers. Payout is 5:1, with a 15.79% chance of winning.
• First Five Numbers: This bet has a payout of 6:1 and has a 13.16% chance of winning.
• Corner Bet: four adjoining numbers, with a payout of 8:1 and have a 10.53% chance of winning.
• Street Bet: three numbers in a line on the table. It has a payout of 11:1 and a 7.89% chance of winning.
• Split Bet: two adjacent numbers on the table, with a 17:1 payout and a 5.26% chance of winning.
• One number: the payout is 35:1, with a 2.63% chance of winning.
If you look at the layout of a Roulette table, it becomes clear where descriptions like « column bet » and « corner bet » come from.
You might hear stories about roulette dealers being able to influence the spin, or wheels that are intentionally off-balance, but you can pretty much ignore them. Roulette workers have rules about force of spin, and the wheels are rigorously tested for balance. And if you’re playing online it’s a non-issue, since the software uses random number generators.
Roulette systems for coming out ahead are based on knowing the odds, payouts, and house edge and betting accordingly. Strategy one should be choosing a European roulette game instead when possible because of the slightly lower house edge. Both pay out at a maximum of 35:1.
European roulette sometimes uses the « en prison » rule. This means if zero turns up, the player has to leave his outside even chance wagers (in « prison ») until the next spin. Both this and the « la partage » rule, where all even chance bets lose half their original stake when the ball lands on 0 bring the house edge down to 1.35%, so finding online roulette with these rules is a good strategy.