When it comes to long-term results, choosing the right roulette table is a big decision that can help make you a winner or a loser. If you want to be successful playing roulette, you’ll have to consider all your options and choose wisely.
The most significant option is single zero or double zero. European or French versions of roulette traditionally have 37 slots on the wheel – numbers 1 to 36 and zero. The single zero game gives the house a 2.7% advantage.
When roulette was introduced into the Americas, gamblers were less sophisticated and more willing to play a game with two zeroes. They simply accepted the new wheel with 38 slots – numbers 1 to 36 and a zero and double zero. The double zero game gives the house a 5.26% advantage.
There are still plenty of double zero games around the world, most notably in Las Vegas and other cities in North America, but if you have a choice you always want to play a single zero game.
If you do have a further choice, French roulette features two possible advantages that help the player. In fact, they both reduce the house edge to just 1.35% on even-money bets. It is the “La Partage” or “En Prison” rule that helps the player.
When a table offers La Partage, a player with a bet on red/black or odd/even or 1-18/19-36 is not as affected by the ball landing on zero. This is because the dealer will immediately return half of their even-money bet, while locking up the other half in the table’s bankroll. A player with a $20 bet on red loses the whole amount if black spins, but if green (zero) comes up they lose only half their wager ($10).
There are still some casinos that offer En Prison, which involves a “hold” on all even-money wagers when zero is spun. In this case, all even-money bets are capped with a marker and the wager is in prison on the same betting spot for the next spin. If it wins on the next spin, it is returned. If it loses, it goes to the house. In this way the bet is riding for half its original value. However, in some casinos, the player is given the option of simply taking half their bet back.
In addition to the above rule, there are some variances when zero is spun on two consecutive spins. In most casinos the bets that were in prison are lost when zero spins again, but in a few casinos the bet simply remains in prison for a second spin. However, the in-prison bet can also be treated as a win, but this is rarer still.
Regardless of whether a French roulette game uses En Prison or La Partage, the player’s odds on even-money bets remains at a disadvantage of just 1.35%. Many players do prefer to immediately receive half of their original wager back.
If you enjoy playing roulette online, you need to be even more diligent about checking the rules of play (and the rules for clearing bonuses). Online casinos have many choices for roulette games, as many as a dozen at some sites. Choices include live tables, 3D, European, American, Premium European and French, and even mini roulette.
The mini roulette is usually no more than a game with a reduced set of numbers on an animated display. If the game offers twelve numbers, even-money bets may be a much worse bet if there is a single zero for just a dozen numbers – since it will hit nearly three times as often.
Some websites also offer multi-table roulette play, where players can choose to have bets on as many as six different layouts simultaneously. While this may sound like fun, the house edge, especially if you choose American roulette, is going to be quickly banging at your door. Your bankroll is likely to take a quick beating, because while you are winning on one or two tables you are likely to be losing on the other four.
If you want to test a betting strategy, this will give you quick (and probably expensive) results. However, you should keep in mind that the outcome is likely to be tainted, because most roulette systems require a refinement of your bets as your results become known on a single wheel. You are unlikely to be able to make these adjustments while playing six tables simultaneously.
Furthermore, any flaw in your system of play is going to be multiplied by the extra tables (and bets). For your own peace of mind, and out of respect for your bankroll, be very careful when it comes to playing any multi-table roulette games. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking they are a great way to clear your bonus quickly. They are, in reality, but are also likely to clear your bankroll at the same time.
It is worth remembering that live roulette is generally seen as a leisurely pursuit. You can sit for a time and have a drink while enjoying around 30 spins per hour. If you play online, you’ll find that the bet timer goes off after about 15 seconds and the spin of the ball to outcome is quick, so you are likely to get two spins per minute. In the real world, that’s four times as many outcomes (and bets) per hour.
That heavy increase in outcomes means you are betting a lot more money and your bankroll will take a significant beating if you are having a bad streak in a much shorter period of time. Make sure you are enjoying your play, because it may become expensive.