Approaching the game of roulette intelligently is a rare event. Although it’s known worldwide for its sophistication, most of the people who bet on roulette do so because it’s simple to know what you’re betting on, and to know if you’ve won. No mystery, no taking anybody’s word for anything, no crazy roulette systems and strategies to try, just good old fashioned betting. So people take advantage of the fact that it’s a simple game at face value, and often just bet on the outside bets for a while as alternate entertainment from whichever game they play predominantly.
Knowing how you can play roulette better is more about being familiar with the game conditions than it is about knowing one bet from another. In the extremely opposite vein from craps, roulette offers the same house edge on all but one of its bets, and in American roulette that house edge stands at 5.26%. The first thing you’ll want to do in development of a roulette strategy is seek out a good roulette table. If you’re unaware of the difference between American and European roulette, it’s really quite simple. On an American roulette wheel there are two green pockets, one a zero, the other double-zero. European roulette on the other hand has only one green pocket, and no double-zero. Since the added pocket on an American roulette wheel makes it harder to hit any red or black numbers it has an effect on the house edge. Without the double-zero the house edge in European roulette drops right down to 2.7%.
So if you’re not in Europe, and can’t find a single zero wheel anywhere (check out our page on single zero roulette wheel locations), your next best bet is looking for the surrender rule. In many Atlantic city casinos, surrender is an addition to the ligaz888 roulette set which substantially increases the players chances on certain bets. Ask at the table before you play to see if this rule is in effect. The change to house edge only applies to outside even money bets (including red/black, even/odd, high/low). When the ball lands on a zero or double zero and you have placed an outside even money bet, surrender dictates that you receive half of your even money bet back. Since we know it’s the extra green pockets that thwart our chances in the first place, any rule that lessens their blow can certainly help us. The house edge on outside even money bets when surrender is in effect is only 2.63%.
European roulette games may add an extra punch that’s good to keep an eye out for. If a rule called ‘en prison’ is active at the table, our outside even money bets are given an even better chance. Say your placing a bet on Red and the ball falls in the dreaded 0 pocket. If En prison is offered, the bet will not be swept away after the rest of the bets, but it wont be returned to you either; the bet is said to be ‘in prison’ and remains on the board to have it’s fate decided on the next spin. If on the next spin the bet ‘wins’ (a red # comes up), your money is returned to you as was, with no extra winnings. If the number next spin is a loss for your imprisoned bet, it gets swept away. If 0 comes up again, the bet remains in prison (this last rule varies from table to table, sometimes the bet remains for two zeros, sometimes it is taken away). With this rule in effect the house edge on outside even money bets drops right down to 1.35%. So your roulette strategy should include a keen eye for the ‘surrender’ rule, any European tables you can find (there are some online too), the ‘en prison’ rule, and always remember which bets these rules are beneficial to, as they often don’t cover inside bets.