Interesting Facts About Roulette
Even though the game of roulette or “little wheel” has been around European casinos as early as the 18th century, it didn’t really take off until later on. The game was not very well accepted in America, mostly because American roulette wheels and layouts have one extra house number on them. The double zero (00) practically doubles the house edge and makes it more difficult for the player to land a lucky number.
Las Vegas casinos were the first to see the enticing effect roulette has on people – the wheel, the ball, the crowds of cheerful supporters. So for a long time, casinos around the country had been making changes to the game in hopes to draw the same crowds as their European counterparts. The implementation of the single zero roulette wheel, raising the maximum bet limits and using modern electronic reading boards have indeed made the game more favourable for the players. With time, roulette became popular among American bettors, as well.
The fact that you are reading this guide shows just how hyped and ready you are to win Big Money, just like the professionals do. In this article, you will see that inexperienced players could easily fall victims of crooked and rigged roulette games. Others, however, may be able to spot the weakness of the roulette wheel and exploit it. But let us first take a look at several interesting facts about roulette you probably never knew about.
The Devil’s Wheel
It is impossible to know whether the game of roulette was invented by a particular individual at a particular point in time. It might have been played for centuries across Europe in unofficial or even illegal gambling establishments, without well-defined rules or concepts of fairness. In the 19th century, however, it took the continent by storm and its popularity was a factor for the opening of a large number of casinos, including the Monte Carlo Casino.
Two French brothers, Francois and Louis Blanc greatly contributed to the spreading of the game across Europe. The entrepreneur and casino manager Francois introduced the single-zero wheel in Germany in order to compete with the French casinos. Suddenly, this new, more favourable version became very popular. The game was so addictive, people believed because it came from the devil. Others thought that gamblers became possessed when playing roulette. Over the years, the game became known as The Devil’s Wheel.
According to one legend, Francois Blanc signed a pact with the Devil to secure the secrets of roulette. Whether you believe this or not, you cannot deny the strangest fact about the roulette wheel – the sum of all numbers on it (0 to 36) is 666, the Number of the Beast. It is often associated with the occult and even those who are not superstitious would agree that if played irresponsibly, roulette may have a truly sinister effect on one’s bankroll.
Attempts to Beat the System
During the 200 years roulette has been around, many cunning and deceptive people have succeeded, and continue to do so, in rigging roulette wheels. After all, traditional roulette is one of the few games that demand using actual, physical objects such as the wheel to determine the outcome of the game. But the gambling establishment owners are not the only ones trying to win the game in this fashion. Over the years, many intelligent gamblers and science enthusiasts have devised ways in which to cheat the system, most commonly by creating intricate betting systems, wheel manipulation techniques, ball control, visual tracking and player/computer predictions.
This is considered the oldest recorded method for trying to predict the outcome of a spin by looking at the ball itself. The most commonly used technique takes the zero pocket on the wheel as a reference point. Players count how many times the ball passes the zero in one round. Usually, this is between four and six times. This information gives you essential clues to finding out the speed of the ball and the wheel head, or more importantly the ratio of their speeds.
The purpose of this activity is not guessing the exact number the ball would fall on. This is impossible. What may be a reality, however, is to predict the general area of the wheel where the ball would eventually appear when the wheel stops.
Roulette Wheel Bias
When playing at the roulette table in a land-based casino, some players notice that one or more numbers a more likely to win. This is called a wheel bias and it is caused by different defects in the mechanics of the physical wheel. Often, the reason for it is simply the wear and tear that tend to become more prominent as time passes. Generally, all roulette wheels would be biased to some degree as they cannot be manufactured perfectly.
Naturally, gamblers would try to take advantage of such weaknesses and further their chances of winning. They usually observe a roulette wheel for a certain period of time, write down all the winning numbers, and look for patterns and numbers that come out more frequently. Bear in mind that such wheels are not easy to spot and players who keep a record of numbers and outcomes are rarely welcome in casinos.
Do you know how a magician gets to be so good at hiding, switching and moving cards around without anyone in the audience noticing? The answer is simple – they had years upon years of hard work and extensive practice. Some croupiers, most often at illegal gambling establishments, can also do some impressive feats of wizardry like guiding the ball towards a specific section of the wheel.
Players, on the other hand, not having a direct control over the ball, have figured out other ways to control the ball from outside the wheel. They would often use magnetic fields and various magnetism emitting devices. These practices have almost entirely disappeared from the gambling world after casinos took measures to protect the roulette wheels from influences such as magnetic devices. Plenty of other steps have been taken to prevent players from cheating and today, casino operators have managed to end all attempts to beat the game by such unfair methods.
No, we are not referring to anything supernatural. In fact, predicting the outcome of the roulette game, using physical variables, has been a common practice and a hobby for scientifically inclined gamblers in the past. Some players have become so proficient at figuring out the velocity, speed and momentum of the roulette ball, that can actually guess the winning number before the spin comes to an end. This way, they can place bets accordingly and win big.
There are various ways to do this and it is a practice as old as the game itself. But it is not as common today as it was, for example, a hundred years ago. Traditional wooden wheels are less common and most casinos have already replaced them with automated ones. Online roulette games are even more popular. Here comes the computer-based prediction, in which players can simulate various spins on their home computers.
The practice has been around for quite some time now, but the implementation of such a strategy was not possible until recently. Now, you can buy specialized software online, computer bots, etc., that would detect patterns and repetitions in the seemingly random outcomes of every spin. Note that most reputable online casinos use independently tested RNG (Random Number Generator), which eliminates any possibility of predicting the next outcome.
While betting systems are interesting, do not be deceived. There are no ways to beat the odds while playing roulette. Some people swear by betting systems, saying that they increase your winnings and help you get ahead. If a betting system is producing good results, it was because you were winning in the first place. When you apply a strategy, it will only amplify what you were already getting. This means that if you were already winning you would win more; and if you are losing, you would lose more.
With all the betting systems out there, it could be difficult to settle for one in particular. Be sure to check out our article on Roulette Betting Strategies to gain more insight.
There are many variations of roulette out there, each bringing something different and unique to the table. However, there is one version of roulette that barely classifies as such. California Roulette is interesting in that it does not use a wheel. According to California laws, only cards may be used in games of chance. As a result, California establishments offer a strange version of card roulette. The rules of the game are kept as they are but cards are used to determine the winning number.
This brings up the philosophical discussion of whether a roulette game can be a roulette game without the ‘roulette’. Suppose, that it is up for debate. Several other states have also used a similar loophole to offer card roulette to players.
The Gambler’s Fallacy
The Gambler’s Fallacy is an interesting concept that debunks the notion of something is more likely to happen due to past outcomes. It is a common misconception that a red number will come up on the next spin because a black one can last; and vice versa. While it does make sense at face value, in actuality, it doesn’t.
Each spin is an independent event and as such, the previous one does not influence the next one. The odds are always the same, as indicated by the RTP and house values. Since the roulette wheel has no memory, there is no reasonable expectation that the next spin will produce the other colour. Mathematical odds and probabilities only make sense with infinite spins. As it happens, that is never the case in the real world and you can expect some anomalies in the short term.
The Gambler’s Fallacy can be applied to any game of chance, not just roulette.
Longest Winning Roulette Sequence
Winning streaks are what gamblers live for. Having your number come up time and again is undoubtedly one of the best feelings in the world. This then begs the question how far can it actually go. This has been a topic of debate for many years and no real answer has come forward.
Regardless, one of the commonly accepted stories is of red coming up 32 times in a row. Supposedly, this happened back in the 40s in the United States. This information has not been verified by any official authority, but it is supported by the Internet. As you can imagine, the odds of 32 consecutive red numbers are astronomically low. Calculating the probability of this happening is enough to give you a headache, no doubt. Still, you will probably be better off than everyone else betting on black at that table.
The Chips in Roulette
One interesting factor in playing roulette is that you do so with special chips. Usually, when you enter the casino, you will exchange cash for standard chips. These are standardized in their design, feature multiple denominations and can be used on just about any table. When you approach the roulette table, however, you will have to exchange your chips for colour-coded ones. Each player is assigned a specific colour. This is done so that the croupiers can keep track of all bets on the mat, how large they are and who placed them.
The roulette table is communal and no player is given their own special seat or betting box, as in blackjack, for example. Therefore, everyone shares the same space. You can imagine the chaos of having everyone throw in their identical chips on the table.
Roulette Table Etiquette
As we mentioned above, roulette is a communal game and you will not be the only player on the table. Therefore, it is expected that you will abide by certain social norms, developed by the gambling community over the years.
Some frowned upon behaviours include buying the special chips during an active spin, eating at the table, throwing your chips on the table, and more. As for the rules of the table, there are several of them, as well. For instance, you are not allowed to touch your chips after the wheel is spun. Similarly, you cannot place a drink on the table itself, though holding it in your hand is allowed.
If you wish to leave the table, wait for the current spin to conclude and then ask the croupier to exchange your chips. Tipping the casino staff is also considered good form and is something to keep in mind.
Online Roulette Variations
In the digital space, players have access to a larger number of games than any land-based casino can offer. As a result, online casinos are able to host and offer multiple variations of roulette. Most of them are some variation of European and French Roulette, even if they include special features. However, we also find American Roulette at most online casinos. So which one should you play?
Of the three variations, American Roulette is the worst, in terms of odds. This game features a house edge of 5.26%. By comparison, European Roulette only gives the house an advantage of 2.7%. European Roulette is the clear-cut winner between the two. But what about French Roulette?
French Roulette is the most interesting of the bunch because it comes with special rules. The ‘en prison’ and ‘la partage’ rules actually work in your favour, if you can believe it. They are meant to protect you when the ball lands in the zero pocket and you have placed an outside bet. Effectively, they lower the house edge of outside bets to 1.35%, half of what European Roulette offers.
Based on this, it is clear that French Roulette is the optimal way to play this game. If you want the best odds, you know what to go for.