The original roulette wheel consists of 37 pockets, covering the numbers from 0 to 36. The French mathematician Blaise Pascal invented the roulette wheel by accident while trying to create a perpetual motion machine.
A little-known fact is that the zero pocket was added to the roulette wheel in the mid-19th century to give the house a bigger edge. Lois Blanc and Francois came up with this idea, doing King Charles III of Monaco a favor as his kingdom was facing financial troubles. The game was immediately introduced to the people and it did not take long until it generated a sizable revenue for Monaco.
In the 1800s, French immigrants brought the game to the United States. However, casinos did not welcome the game with open arms because of its low house edge. Later on, the American gambling community decided to add an extra zero pocket to the European wheel and that is how this variation of the game was devised.
Nowadays, most online and land-based casinos offer this version of the game as many players prefer playing it despite its higher house edge compared to its European and French counterparts.
How to Play American Roulette in a Land-Based Casino?
Roulette is the first choice of many casino fans as it has clear rules and the only skill involved is the proper management of the bankroll. But this does not make the game less exciting, even the opposite. Roulette tables in land-based casinos are usually fully packed with cheerful people waiting to see in which pocket the small metal ball will finally come to rest.
If you are a fan of the traditional brick-and-mortar gambling experience, then you have to visit a gambling establishment of your choice, buy chips for the table you wish to join, and wait for a seat to be vacated. It is important to pay attention to the table limits and make sure these are within your bankroll.
Buying Roulette Chips
Each roulette table in a land-based casino has unique chips. This means that you cannot use the chips you will get to play other games. Every player’s stack of chips is colored differently. In that way, the dealer does not mix up the players’ bets. Once you join a given roulette table, the croupier will exchange your casino chips for roulette chips.
Placing a Bet
To place a bet on the American Roulette table in a land-based casino, you first have to wait for the dealer to clear all bets from the previous round. Then, players can place their bets. Usually, roulette fans have about a minute to do so. Once the croupier announces “No more bets”, you cannot change, add, or remove your wager. The game commences when the dealer spins the wheel in one direction and tosses the ball in the opposite direction.
Eventually, the ball will start losing momentum and land in one of the pockets on the wheel, determining the outcome of the game. The croupier will put a marker (the dolly) on the winning number on the roulette table, collect all losing bets, and pay out all winning bets.
Provided that you decide to play American Roulette in a land-based casino, you have to observe the etiquette. Every casino has a dress code that you have to comply with.
Another important thing you have to remember is to keep your emotions in check. Shouting, screaming, or laughing at other players who are losing is inappropriate. Be polite to your fellow players and the dealer and it will pay you off.
Furthermore, roulette enthusiasts are allowed to touch their chips only when placing a bet. It is important to know that touching the chips of other players is also not admissible.
American Roulette at Online Casinos
If you are a novice player, it may be better to first play at an online casino to improve your skills. Many gambling sites offer various American Roulette variations that feature demo mode. Online American Roulette is a virtual representation of the roulette table. There is a wheel and a number grid to place your bets, but no croupier manages the table.
Instead, the outcome of the game is determined by a sophisticated piece of software also known as a random number generator (RNG). To ensure the fairness of the games, independent third parties are responsible for testing the unbiasedness of the software.
How to Place a Bet
Once you select a regulated web-based casino to play at, create an account, and fund it, you are ready to play American Roulette for real cash. The most appealing aspect of RNG-based roulette is that you can join the betting action right away. Open the variation that appeals to your interest and select the chip you wish to bet from the chip display. Hover your mouse over the betting table and click on the betting area to place a bet. You can add to the amount of your bet in the same way.
The chips have different denomination values and every bet has a minimum and maximum limit. Most online American-style roulette variations feature additional buttons that allow you to repeat your bet, double it, or remove it.
Popular RNG-Based American Roulette Variations
Reputable online casinos rely on first-class software suppliers to power their gaming portfolio. When it comes to American Roulette, some of the titles experienced fans of the game recommend are Microgaming’s American Roulette Gold, NetEnt’s American Roulette, Playtech’s Premium American Roulette, and others. These feature crystal-clear graphics, thus providing players with a realistic gambling experience. In addition, roulette fans can customize the settings of the game according to their preferences.
Online American Roulette variations offer various features to help players get the most out of every round. Statistics is another feature we consider quite useful for players whose strategy is based on the hot (numbers that come up more frequently) and cold (numbers that appear less often) numbers.
Another feature that is worth players’ attention is the bar charts. It shows the percentage of game rounds with Red/Black and Odd/Even outcome. What is more, players can save some of their favorite betting formations so that they can easily place them again whenever they wish to.
Live Dealer American Roulette
Nowadays, many web-based casinos offer live dealer games to please the preferences of all types of players. Roulette was one of the first games to go live. The main difference between live dealer and software-based American Roulette variations is that live games play out in real time and professional croupiers manage the tables.
2Popular Live Dealer American Roulette Variations
Evolution Gaming, Playtech, and Visionary iGaming (ViG) are some of the software providers that added this variation of the game to their live dealer portfolios. Playing live dealer American Roulette is not different from playing the game in a land-based casino. The betting options, the objective of the game, the table layout, and the wheel are identical. Do not forget that you have to place your bet within a designated time frame.
Most live dealer American Roulette variations offer different game views, allowing players to toggle between various ways of viewing the game. Live dealer American-style roulette variations also offer features such as statistics, game history, customizable settings, and others. Next to that, players can communicate with each other and the dealer thanks to a live chat box every live dealer American Roulette variation features.
Types of Bets and Payouts
Roulette is a classic game with easy-to-understand rules and multiple betting options. When playing American Roulette, you will come across the same bets and payouts as in the European and French variations of the game. The roulette bets are divided into two categories - inside and outside bets. The inside bets are the ones placed inside the number grid. These are usually associated with lower odds of winning. But the bigger the risk is, the higher the payout is.
As the name of the category implies, outside bets are placed outside the number grid. Since they cover a group of numbers, players’ chances of winning are bigger. Consequently, the payout is lower.
- Straight-Up Bet – players can bet on any single number, including zero. The payout is 35:1.
- Split Bet – a bet on two adjacent numbers. Players have to place chips on the vertical or horizontal line between the selected two numbers. Winning bets are paid out at odds of 17:1.
- Street Bet – players should place their chips at the end of a row of three numbers to place a street bet. This bet offers a p0ayout of 11:1.
- Corner Bet – it is a bet on a total of four numbers that form the shape of a square on the number grid. Chips are placed in the middle of the square and the payout is 8:1.
- Six Line – a bet on two adjacent streets. It covers a total of six numbers and chips are placed at the intersection of the selected streets. Winning bets pay out 5:1.
- Basket Bet – a bet on five numbers, including 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. You have to place chips on the edge of the line connecting these numbers. The payout is 6:1.
- Column Bet – a bet placed on 12 numbers in a column. For example, 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, and 34. You have to place your chips at the end of the selected column. The payout is 2:1.
- Dozen Bet – the number grid has three columns. The first column covers the numbers from 1 to 12, the second one – from 12 to 24, and the third one – from 25 to 36. You have to place your chips on the “1st 12”, “2nd 12”, or “3rd 12” box located outside the number grid. This bet pays 2:1.
- Red/Black Bet – a bet placed on all red or black numbers. It covers a total of 18 numbers, which is nearly half of the wheel. The payout is 1:1.
- Odd/Even Bet – players can place a bet on all odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.) or even (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.) numbers. The payout is 1:1 and the bet includes 18 numbers.
- Low/High Bet – the numbers on the roulette wheel are divided into low (from 1 to 18) and high (from 19 to 36). Winning bets come with a payout of 1:1.
Why to Avoid the Basket Bet?
1The Worst Roulette Bet
Savvy roulette fans can tell you that the basket bet is the worst roulette bet one can place. And there is a good explanation for that. We will rely on the exact mathematical science to back up this statement. For that reason, we will first explain the meaning of some important terms such as odds and probabilities.
Many rookie roulette players believe that probabilities and odds refer to the same thing. That is why we would like to explain the difference between these two notions in a comprehensible way. Probability is a ratio between the ways to win and all possible outcomes of the game. For instance, if you place a basket bet, then you bet on a total of five numbers. But what is the probability of any of these numbers coming out if you play American Roulette?
Since you have a total of 38 possible outcomes and 5 possible ways to win, the answer is easy – 5/38 = 0.1315. To convert this decimal number into a percentage, you have to multiply it by 100, or 0.1315 x 100 = 13.15%. You can use this approach to calculate your probabilities of winning any of the available roulette bets.
3Calculating the Odds
Provided that you want to calculate your odds of success, you have to compare all possible ways to win and the possible ways to lose. For example, if you play American Roulette and you place a basket bet, you have 5 ways to win and 33 ways to lose. This means that your odds of success are 5/33 and the reciprocal number of this fraction – 33/5 – expresses the odds against success.
But these are the true odds, not the odds at which the casino pays out winning bets. As we already mentioned above, the basket bet pays out 6:1. But if the casino was paying according to the true odds, you would collect a payout of 33/5 or 6.6/1 for winning a basket bet.
Now, let us calculate the house edge associated with the basket bet. To do so, you have to subtract the house odds from the odds against success and then, multiply the result by the probability of winning a given bet. In the case of the basket bet, this means that the house edge is (6.6/1 – 6/1) x 5/38 = 0.6 x 0.1315 = 0.0789. Let us multiply the result by 100 as the house edge is a percentage, 0.0789 x 100 = 7.89%.
Considering the house edge of the game, and namely 5,26%, the price for placing a basket bet is quite high.
American Roulette vs European Roulette
There is a slight difference between European and American Roulette. Designwise, the two tables are alike. Due to the extra double zero pocket on the American Roulette wheel, there is an additional box on the number grid. In the table below, we would like to present the biggest differences between these two popular roulette variations.
The European Roulette wheel has 37 pockets, covering the numbers from 0 to 36;
The American Roulette wheel features a total of 38 pockets, including the numbers from 0 to 36 and an extra double zero pocket;
European Roulette’s house edge is 2.70%;
The house edge of American Roulette is 5.26%;
The sequence of the numbers on the wheel are as follows: 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26;
The numbers on the American Roulette wheel are arranged in the following way: 0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14, 2;
European Roulette does not offer the so-called basket bet;
When playing American Roulette, you can place a basket bet. However, it is better to avoid it.
Some European Roulette variations feature the “En Prison” and “La Partage” rules that reduce the house edge on even-money bets to 1.35%.
Some American Roulette tables feature the “surrender” rule that reduces the house edge to 2.63% on even-money bets.
The Surrender Rule
If you happen to be in Atlantic City and play American Roulette, the chance to find a table that features the surrender rule is big. Should the ball land in a zero or double zero pocket and you have placed an even money bet, then the surrender rule comes into play.
As some of you might have already noticed, it is very similar to the “La Partage” rule in French Roulette. The surrender rule decreases the house edge to 2.63% for even-money bets. Players whose outside bets are losing automatically get half of their stakes back.