Apr 20th 2007
The first thing that you must know about playing roulette is that the rules vary from one table to another. The basic rules are the same though, and if you are familiar with the basics of the game you should not have any problems catching on to various rule variations as you play along. But if you have any problems understanding the rules you can always ask the dealer or croupier. He is there to help you and make your gaming experience as pleasurable as possible. Sometimes he may even appreciate the conversation.
Roulette is a game of chance. The dealer will spin the ball in the roulette wheel and you are basically betting on where the ball will stop. The roulette wheel has 38 slots that represent the numbers 1 to 36, 0 and 00. All these numbers are colored red or black. All the even numbers are red and all the odd numbers are black. 0 and 00 are green. There are various types of bets that you can make. You can bet on one number, on number combinations and on number spreads, depending on the table rules.
First of all let's have a look at the roulette table and all the people around it. The dealer or croupier stands on one side of the table while the players stand on the other side. The roulette wheel is placed at the opposite end of the table. Usually there is just one dealer, but sometimes there are more than one. Most of the players stand around the roulette table. There are a few seats, but only the players that are first to arrive will get to sit. The down side of sitting and not sanding is that the standing players will lean over you when placing their bets. Pay special attention to your chips, especially if some player gets too close to you.
Let us take a look at the roulette wheel now. The roulette wheel manufacturing process is truly amazing. Every detail is closely checked and re-checked. The roulette wheel must be perfect; it must not have any biases. Land based casinos do frequent checks on their roulette wheels to make sure that they do not have any biases. Some casinos even make day to day checks.
There are several reasons that lead to a table being biased and they vary from someone tampering with the wheel to simple wear and tear of the roulette wheel. If a roulette wheel has a bias then the spins are no longer random. Some numbers will have a better chance of coming up, and if a player picks up on such a bias he can win bundles. It has been done before, and that is why casinos nowadays make sure the wheels aren't in any way biased.
Placing late bets is not an option when playing roulette. This is because someone could predict the winning number as the ball comes to a stop. Consequently they could place a bet on the number that they think will come up. The 35-to-1 payout on a single number bet can make this very tempting indeed. Teams of players could take the casino for all it's worth if late betting were allowed. It has been done, and people have put in a lot of time and energy into developing this skill. Spotting any biases is a piece of cake for such players.
Online roulette tables on the other hand do not need good engineering. Since they are nothing more than random number generators all they need is good programming.
Because of the frequent bias checks and because of the no late betting rule we cannot take advantage of the flaws of the roulette wheel. None the less, we should get to know it better.
The first thing that you must know about the roulette wheel is that all the numbers displayed on it have the same chances of coming up. All the spins are completely random. This is ensured by the way the numbers are spread across the wheel. Roulette rules state that pairs of even numbers must alternate around the wheel with pairs of odd numbers. Also each odd number on the wheel is placed directly across from the next highest even number. There is a certain balance between red and black, odd and even and high and low numbers that is achieved on every roulette wheel.
But if the outcome of a spin is not influenced by the outcome of a previous spin, why is all this number arrangement necessary? The roulette wheel must have such a balance because you can place bets on any number combination that you want and also on black, red, odd, even, high, low or even columns and rows of numbers. Just imagine what would happen if the wheel had a concentration of even numbers on a certain part of it, for example. The odds for an even bet would far surpass the odds on any other bet. The casino would not be able to accept such a bet.
With all that out of the way, let us now take a look at the chips. Most of the times you do not get to use cash, you will use chips. You can buy chips from the dealer. But this is where beginner roulette players get confused. After buying-in you will receive chips. For the dealer to keep track of all the bets on the table he will give you chips of a certain color. You get to choose the color.
All the chips will have the same color, regardless of their denomination. Most players do not know that only roulette tokens are called chips. The tokens used when playing other casino games like craps for example are called cheques, not chips. Those gaming cheques have different colors, according to their denomination.