It is commonly believed that a game like Roulette is one of complete chance and luck. How can there be any strategy for playing this kind of a game?
While it is undeniable that chance and luck are an inherent feature of roulette the fact that a strategy for the game can be followed, should not totally be overruled. Roulette is a game of statistical probability and hence the strategy becomes quite simple. Here are a few simple tips that you should keep in mind while betting:
Since Roulette is a game based on straight statistics, generally you get fair odds. For example you will get even money odds when you bet red and the actual statistical odds that red will come up is approximately even. The exception is the one green square in European Roulette. Therefore your odds are slightly lower than 50/50. It is important to note, however, that the house edge can vary, as it does most notably in the US. In American roulette the house edge is 5.26% for every bet except the five number bet which gives a house edge of 7.29%.
Roulette is a pretty rigid, non-interactive game and players can do very little to lower the house edge. But what they can do is to be on a careful lookout for places that offer special rules. In Atlantic City there is a beneficial rule called “surrender”. Enquire about this rule, at the table before playing. But to summarize briefly, the rule is applicable only to outside bets that pay even money. These are red/ black, even/odd and high/low. If the ball lands on a double zero (00), the better loses half the bet instead of the whole amount.
Though even money bets are doubly nice as compared to their inner counterparts, the player has to give up on payoffs significantly in order to benefit from the lower house advantage. Even though this cannot be considered a perfect situation, the strategy works.
Be on the look out for wheels that do not have a double zero. In European roulette wheels this is standard but it is rarely the case with American tables, where the house advantage is significantly higher. American casinos do away with the odds of European Roulette and add an extra Green space – the double “00”. With this move the house advantage goes up by a factor of 2. Hence European Roulette gives the house an advantage of 2.7% as against American Roulette that gives an advantage of 5.5%.
One other rule that must be kept in mind is called ‘En Prison’, which can only be found in Europe. Suppose you are placing an even-money outside bet, and the ball lands at ‘0’, if En Prison is applicable, the bet will not be swept off after all the other bets. It will not be returned either. The bet becomes ‘in prison’ and stays on the board and gets another chance on the next spin. In the next ‘spin’ if your bet wins, you get the money back, though with no extra winnings. If the next spin is a ‘loss’ your bet gets swept away. In case it lands on a zero, it remains ‘En Prison’ once more. This rule decreases the house advantage on even-money bets to 1.35%.
After all these strategic tips you will begin to think that playing at European tables is probably the best strategy. The real issue here, however, is not location, but that you must visit ‘Single zero roulette wheel’ locations. One such location, rather surprisingly, is some online casinos.