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Apr 19th 2007
The player should understand that over the longer term the house is expected to win. Remember that the odds usually favor the house at 5.26 percent, and higher, depending on the type of the bet made. Therefor, a prudent roulette player will look for a wheel, a table, and a casino where he is offered the best odds of winning. It sounds rather obvious, but it is almost the only way for a player to improve his game. For the different odds available in roulette here are some examples of what you should look for.

Single Zero Roulette Wheels Tables using a single zero wheel have a total of 37 numbers, as your return from a single straight up bet is 36 (including your original bet) you can see that the casino takes a cut of 1 chip in 37:

Total percentage return is (36/37) * 100 = 97.2972973

Therefore the house edge is = 2.7027027

For better odds you should look for the En prison rule or for the La Partage rule. The En prison rule is applied to even-money bets only, and by some casinos (not all). When the outcome is zero, some casinos will allow the player to either take back half his/her bet or leave the bet (en prison = in prison) for another roulette spin. In the second case, if the following spin the outcome is again zero, then the whole bet is lost.

The la partage roulette rule is similar to the en prison rule; only in this case the player loses half the bet and does not have the option of leaving the bet en prison for another spin. This refers to the 'outside' even-money bets Red/Black, High/Low, and Odd/Even and applies when the outcome is zero.

When the casino uses the en prison rule and also the la partage rule, the percentages are reduced as follows:

Total Percentage return is (36.5/37) * 100 = 98.6486486

Therefore the house edge is = 1.351351

Double Zero Roulette Wheels Tables with double zero wheels have 38 numbers, as the payout is the same as a single zero wheel the casino takes a cut of 2 chips in 38:

Total percentage return is (36/38) * 100 = 94.736842

Therefore the house edge is = 5.263158

One of the rules you should look for is the Surrender rule. This rule applies only to outside bets that pay even money. Those are: red/black, even/odd, and high/low. If the ball lands on 0 or 00 (double zero) you only lose half of your bet instead of all of it. The casinos edge then drops to about 2.63%, still not in your favor, but a heck of a lot better.

The numbers looks like this:

Advantage = [18/38 x 1] + [18/38 x (-1)] + [2/38 x (-0.5)]

= -1/38

= -0.0263

or a house edge of 2.63%

Another rule you should look for is the En prison rule (the same like in the case of single zero wheels). When the casino uses the en prison rule, the percentages are reduced as follows:

Total Percentage return is (37/38) * 100 = 97.368421

Therefore the house edge is = 2.631579

The five number bet that covers 0, 00, 1, 2, 3 on a double zero wheel is the only bet that does not follow the rule that all bets return the same payout (it returns 35 chips not 36), the percentages for the five number bet are:

Total Percentage return is (35/38) * 100 = 92.105263

Therefore the house edge is = 7.8947368

A double zero roulette wheel played with the en prison rule is very hard to find, almost impossible but you still have a choice to improve your odds with the surrender rule. However, your main choice should be to look for single zero wheels and if possible played with the rules described above.

One of the distinct advantages of online gambling is that the better odds are easier to find. While most live casinos employ the North American wheel, most online casinos offer the European wheel and more generous rules.

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