There are loads of movies that make the game of roulette seem exciting and glamourous, but if you’ve ever given the game a little thought, you may have started to wonder how exactly a game with so many possible outcomes could yield any winners. If there are 36 or more possible outcomes and a lot of ways to bet, how can you, as a player, ensure that you get a big return without having to spend all of your money. Well, in this quick yet comprehensive guide, we take a look at the basics of the game, how the betting works and highlight a few strategies you can use to get luck on your side.
Learn the Game of Roulette
Roulette is perhaps one of the simplest games to play at the casino and though you need to have some understanding of house edge and betting to ensure you get a good return for your wagers, the basics of the game are just that: basic. There are a number of variations of the game and you may find yourself faced with the choice of playing American roulette, European Roulette or other variations. While you don’t have to learn every specific element that makes the variations different, suffice it to say that the American version makes use of a double zero, while the European version uses only a single zero.
But before we get into the specifics, let’s take a brief look at how the game’s betting system works. When you play, you need to place a bet on the green felt, which has a number of squares containing numbers that you can bet on. You can choose to bet on a single number, on two numbers, on four and so on and so forth. You can also place a bet on the zero (or double zero in American roulette) and if you want to keep your odds of winning high, you can place a bet on either black or red.
Inside bets and outside bets
Roulette is a game of prediction and trying to predict where the ball will land is undoubtedly tough, but it’s not impossible. Believe it or not, some people do manage to swing the odds in their favour, and they do this in the wager they wager, but we’ll get to that when we discuss strategy. One thing you need to know though is that in the game of roulette, you have a choice of making an inside bet or an outside bet. The latter is usually a better bet if you’re hoping for more frequent wins, but the former can yield some impressive payouts.
There are 6 types of bets that are classified as inside, and these are a trio, a corner, a six-line, a straight up, a street and a split. Now, before you panic about what all of these names mean consider how self-explanatory they actually are. A straight-up bet, for example, is exactly what it seems. This means you make a bet directly on one number to win. A split type of bet is when you split your bet between two numbers, that is, you place your chip on the border line between two numbers. A street bet allows you to bet on three numbers as long as they are all on one horizontal line while a trio is a simple bet in which you place a chip on one of the two three-number combinations: 0, 1 and 2 or 00, two and three. As for a corner bet, this lets you bet on four numbers by placing a chip in the ‘corner’ where four numbers meet. Finally, a six-line bet lets you bet on six numbers. Simple.
An outside bet is also one that has six possible combinations, and these are broken down as follows:
- A 1-18 bet lets you bet on any number from one to 18 (inclusive).
- A 19-36 bet lets you bet on numbers between 19 and 36 (inclusive).
- Evens and odds is a bet on whether the ball will land on an even number or an odd number
- A dozen bet gives you a chance to bet on one of three possible outcomes, namely one to 12, 13 to 24 or an outcome of 25 to 36.
- Last but not least, a column bets lets you bet on all the numbers of one column on the board.
Before you put all of your chips on the table, it is vital that you know that there is no fool-proof, 100% guaranteed strategy when it comes to playing roulette. While you can control your betting, this is a game of luck and the wheel will spin and stop as dictated by fate. However, being smart about betting and about the way in which you play can really help you keep your real money account balance up. Here’s what the experts recommend:
- Practice and play as much as you can for free or with really low bets. This is a game that is simple to play but takes a little getting used to, which is easily done if you play using a practice account or keep your bets really low. Take the time to understand the rules first-hand.
- Once you understand the game, bet according to a budget. Believe it or not, even the very best players had to start somewhere and they wouldn’t be as good as they are if they hadn’t taken the time to learn the game. However, if you’re out of cash, there’s not much you can learn. Set yourself a daily or weekly budget to play and stick to it, to ensure you extend your time spent and up your fun level.
- Hang on to your profits. If you start playing and you make a little money, hang onto that cash. Don’t plug it back into the game because if your winning streak comes to an end, you’ll be left with nothing to play with.
- If you do hit a patch of bad luck, call it a day, throw in the towel and try again tomorrow. Everyone has bad days but if you keep telling yourself that the next spin will be better, you may find yourself devoid of cash after just a few spins.
- When it comes to betting, start out with the easiest bets possible, such as betting on red or black, or on evens and odds. While this is not the most thrilling way to play the game, it will help you boost your balance in the short-term while you’re forming your own unique strategy.
Perhaps the very best advice you can get when it comes to the game of roulette is to have fun. Roulette is meant to be an enjoyable pastime, a way for you to while away the hours enjoying yourself and enjoying the thrill of a possible positive outcome. While forming a strategy is an excellent idea, don’t forget that the game of roulette is not about recommendations on a page or statistics. Enjoy the game and you’ll find that the wins comes easier, the rules make more sense and you’ll have a good time too.
For those of you looking for some specific roulette strategies that some players can use when playing roulette, check our Introduction to the Martingale roulette strategy article.