There are plenty of ways to enjoy roulette, even if the standard wheel game isn’t offered in your location. If you’re a punter, you know there are plenty of fruit machines to play, and roulettes have made their way into shops all over. Those same video roulettes are also found in casinos, but the larger electronic games designed by manufacturers like IGT are popular too.
Although many people think of roulette as a French game (it is), gamblers in France are known to play the slots too, which were not legal in the country until 1988. So, while there may be a number of beautiful French roulette tables in action at a casino, there’s also a chance video and electronic varieties of roulette being available too.
More than 100 years ago, early slot machine manufacturers sold roulette-style games in the United States. In 1907, the Caille Brothers introduced their Peerless Roulette, a beautiful wooden game with many colored slots for the spinning metal ball to land in. The machine had a house edge of over 20%. Today, video roulette games are more generous, but players should check carefully to ascertain the actual payoff they are getting for winning bets.
Initially, in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, video roulette was available in single zero as well as double zero varieties. Unfortunately, most games these days have reverted to double zero only. Bally, which makes a popular roulette video game, allows each casino to set their own odds, and it can be confusing. The first thing to note is whether the machine is paying 35 to 1, or 35 for 1 for a single number hit. On a standard roulette table, the casino pays 35 chips for a winning wager on a single number, and the bet stays up. That’s a 35 to 1 payoff.
Video roulette slots often pay 35 for 1, so the total return to the player is 35 credits and the bet is removed. That little sleight-of-hand means you are actually getting 34 chips in winnings, so the double-zero wheel has a 7.89% house edge. Unfortunately, that’s not the end of it!
In Florida, at the Hard Rock casino, the machines pay only 32 for 1. Similar payoffs are found on the same machines at the Venetian and Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip. The attraction to the machines is that they can be played inexpensively compared to the regular roulette games in the casino pit. However, those lower odds can make players feel like something is wrong with the game.
The Bally roulette machines use a RNG (random number generator) to produce each winning number, so the machines can seem more like a slot machine than a roulette game. In addition, since the payoff is lower, players who use an inside-number system such as The Law of the Third or Pivot, may find the math just doesn’t add up and their system that usually provides hours of entertainment is unplayable.
For players who use systems that concentrate on outside wagers, using a system such as d’Alembert or Oscar’s Grind may work as well at video roulette as on a standard wheel. Sometimes we have to play under less than perfect circumstances. When the wheel can’t be beaten, it’s better to pass on the play altogether. Machines at Grosvenor casino in London do offer full payoffs, so players in the UK may find a more palatable video game than their counterparts in the US.
Electronic roulette wheels have been produced for nearly 20-years now, but those offered by Organic and IGT are certainly the favorites at the present time. The Organic roulette version is a grouped series of video screens and chairs around a roulette wheel. The wheel itself has a plastic dome over it, and the ball is forced through a small tube to keep it spinning. Once it settles into a number, the next spin is likely to be just 20 or 25 seconds away, so players must bet quickly. All wagers are made on the video screen and payouts are handled via ticket.
IGT makes a very popular electronic roulette game called Roulette Evolution. The game is found in many jurisdictions, with standard payoffs and automatic results. The layout for Roulette Evolution is slightly different, with individual kiosks for each player, a wheel with a dome, and a large screen showing the wheel itself.
This game can be found at many of Caesars/Harrah’s casinos. At the Rio in Las Vegas, the game has two dealers answering questions and cashing players out. Although each player has their own video screen to place wagers, and money is inserted directly into the machine, payoffs are made in regular casino chips, prompting a trip to the cashier’s cage, or maybe a stop at another table game.
The best thing about the machines is that European wagers can be made (location dependent) for Series wagers, Finales, and Neighbors. The games are found in both single and double zero varieties. For players who like to clock the wheel, these games have an automatic spin system which is regulated, but not consistent. In other words, the pulse of air that sends the ball spinning is not constant, so the velocity of the ball varies.
However, these wheels produce standard results with standard payoffs. There is no reason a player using a system like Green-Black Attack or Six Pence Plus won’t experience similar results to a regular wheel in the casino pit.
Other Roulette Options
As technology evolves, new ways to wager are constantly being introduced. Software manufacturers have produced beautiful roulette games for online casinos, and those games often have expected results, although they too are run with outcomes produced by an adapted RNG. These games are now available on Mobile devices, often via Android Apps. Keep in mind that the games go very quickly, and while they may use virtual money, that’s still money you are risking. Play at know, well-established casinos and your experience is likely to be fine.
TCS John Huxley, which has a long history of producing beautiful roulette wheels, is also on the cutting-edge of other technology such as automatic-spin roulette wheels, automatic result tracking, and now Tablet gaming.
Huxley’s new Xia Tablet is a server-based solution for driving revenue from usually non-revenue locations such as bars and restaurants. The 10-inch Tablet is connected wirelessly to a live roulette game in the casino pit and live pictures and results are transmitted to players who now won’t miss the next streak of good numbers.
The player simply goes to the cashier’s cage, places a deposit for virtual (real money) chips, and is issued a Tablet they can take anywhere on the premises. As with live, online-dealers, the play is on a real wheel, with real spins, for real money. The results will obviously be real for the player who has placed the virtual chip wagers.