Roulette game originated in Europe and was first established in casinos of Monte Carlo back in the 18th century. There are theories that claim that this entertainment has ancient Chinese or Greek roots, but it wasn’t until the 1790s for the form of roulette we know it to appear. It is believed that French scientists and entrepreneurs are responsible for the invention of the wheel mechanism and the expansion of roulette.
In the early 19th century, Europeans who were settling in Louisiana introduced the game to locals. New Orleans was a gambling centre in the US back then. It wasn’t anything like in casino resorts in Baden Baden or Monte Carlo, where roulette was among the most demanded games at the time, and visitors appreciated a smooth and relaxed play. In America, roulette was spread in gambling dens, and the process was very fast-paced. The most significant modification was about adding one more zero section for increasing the house edge. Even though this automatically means fewer chances for players to win, the American roulette game is still quite popular, not only in the US but also in Asian casinos.
Interestingly, not every state legalized roulette, and California even made its own version of the game to get around the law. California roulette is played with a deck of 38 cards instead of a numbered wheel.
At first, there were even three sectors that acted like zero: 0, 00, and the image of an eagle. Together they made a house edge of 12.9%, which is a ridiculous indicator for roulette. The standard American version has numbers up to 36, zero, and double zero.
The basic rules of American roulette are the same as any other type. There are just some differences in arranging the numbers and some additional betting options and other odds of winning you need to be aware of. The purpose of the game is to determine the number on the wheel the ball will hit.
The payouts are traditional: you will get the maximum of 36:1 if you guess the exact number, but the chances of that happening are smaller than in European roulette. The odds of so-called even-money bets are also worse.
One of the reasons why roulette is so popular is the wide range of bets you can place. Here are inside bets available in American roulette with their payouts:
- straight (one number): 35:1
- split (two numbers): 17:1
- street (three numbers in a row) and trio (three numbers, starting from zero): 11:1
- corner (four numbers at the corner): 8:1
- basket (five numbers) and top line (first five numbers including two zeros): 6:1
- six line: 5:1
An interesting fact: when roulette offers a top line bet (on numbers 0-00-1-2-3), the house edge increases to 7.9%.
There are also outside bets, which are considered as generally safer:
- dozens (there are three of them): 2:1
- columns (12 numbers in the specific order market on the table): 2:1
- Odd/Even: 1:1
- Red/Black: 1:1
- High/Low: 1:1
While playing roulette online, American or any other version of this game, one need to understand that the results are based purely on luck. There are some betting strategies that are applied to roulette, but they can’t guarantee anything.
Here are the most well-known examples:
- the Martingale strategy (requires doubling your stake after a loss)
- the reverse Martingale strategy (doing the opposite, doubling after a win)
- the Paroli system (increasing the amount for as long as wins continue to happen)
- the D’Alembert system (means raising your bet after losing but a little at a time)
- the Fibonacci system (taking a sequence where each next number is the sum of the previous two and defining your bet amount)
- the Labouchere system (splitting the desiring winning amount and wagering based on the sequence of numbers the split resulted in)
Many people fall for such strategies and may end up with gross losses. But if use them wisely and set yourself a budget limit beforehand, it’s possible to make the play more engaging and interesting.
What Gambling Experts Say?
A roulette pro, Frank Scoblete, names two approaches to be his favorite: he uses Martingale and Paroli systems in the so-called “gun and run” variation. He suggests making an even-money bet, increasing it if losing, and then sit out for two rounds, then increasing again, and quitting if losing again. This may sound reasonable but only as a strategy of reducing losses not staying protected from them.
There actually loads of books written on roulette strategies, which is a bit ridiculous, as it’s not an intellectual game where you can calculate your way to success. A couple of them are dedicated to American roulette, but the most popular writing on the topic is not a book of advice but a funny autobiographical story (American Roulette: How I Turned the Odds Upside Down-My Wild Twenty-Five-Year Ride Ripping Off the World’s Casinos by Richard Marcus).
There were some situations when players could take advantage of a biased wheel (back in 1873, Joseph Jagger made a fortune on that). It is a thing of the past which hardly can happen nowadays, as modern casinos are highly secure and being regularly tested regarding their fairness. While choosing a place to play, always take into consideration licenses and other documentation, as well as general reputation.
No matter how bad are the chances, they still work, and big wins eventually happen at the table of American roulette. For example, a businessman Ashley Revell won $272,000 in 2004.
ility of Modern Casinos
American roulette is available on many online platforms not only via PC but also via mobile devices in instant play and downloadable mode. Some innovative variations shift away from the double zero and offer a bonus section instead. There are also specific variations for playing with high limits. You can choose from an impressive array of roulette types. Moreover, you can always check all the features and learn everything about roulette for free using a simulator online.
Live roulette is a current industry trend. Practically all table games are adopting a form of playing with live dealers. In such a mode, gamblers can see the process broadcasted to them from the equipped studio, interact with croupiers and other participants.
Despite the fact that the American version of the game is commonly taken as riskier one, many gamblers, especially US citizens, still prefer it to the European one. In Las Vegas, for example, it’s not that easy to find a place with a single-zero roulette, and in most cases, it will be in a VIP room with high minimum amounts for wagers. Paradoxically or not, American roulette is more affordable in Vegas casinos.