The problem with trying to develop proper roulette strategies is that
all of the bets on the table calculate out to the same house edge of 5.25%
in American roulette. The only exception to this rule is the five number
bet, which has an even worse edge of 7.29%!
So what do we suggest should be your chosen roulette strategies? Simply
paying attention is the most valuable strategy you can have. Knowing roulette
is more about knowing what aspects of a roulette game can change the 'unchangeable'
house edge. Now of course in a game so rigid and non-interactive as roulette
we can do little as players to lower the house edge, but we can be on
the lookout for casinos who offer special rules which accomplish the same
The first rule you should look for in the casino is called 'surrender',
which if you're a blackjack fan is a familiar term, but doesn't exactly
mean the same thing here as it does in the game of blackjack. The rule
applies to outside bets which pay even money only. These include red/black,
odd/even and the high/low bet. The benefit of 'surrender' being available
is that if the ball lands on a 0 or 00 you only lose half of your bet,
instead of all of it. As you might already know, it's the 0 and 00 that
ramp the house edge up so much in American roulette, so surrender does
a good job at significantly lowering the house edge. The house edge on
these even money bets is now only 2.63%, not too shabby. Although even
money bets are now twice as nice as their inside counterparts, you have
to sacrifice any potentially big payoffs to gain the benefit of a lower
house edge. Only inside bets pay off with great odds. It's not perfect,
but it's one of few workable roulette strategies you can count on. You
can find surrender in many Atlantic City casinos, and a few other places
in the world. Single zero roulette wheels rarely offer surrender, if you
know of one that does, email me, if you ever walk away from it that is.
The next most important difference in tables that you should have an
eye out for is European wheels, or single zero wheels. These tables are
the same as regular roulette, but the wheel is missing the double zero
you find on most North American wheels. True to its name it is much easier
to find European roulette wheels across Europe than it is anywhere else.
Things can be different playing over there. The table is quite often run
by two croupiers, a rake is used to clear bets, and players use normal
casino chips instead of proprietary ones. The only difference truly worthy
of note though, is the fact that there are only 37 pockets on the wheel!
This simple change drops the house edge on all bets (not just the even
money outside bets) to a much more attractive 2.70%. Payoff amounts are
the same as an American table, so you aren't just having the wool pulled
over your eyes. If you're a hardcore fan, your roulette strategies may
very well include statements like 'do all of my gambling in Europe'.
The last, but not least (in fact, it would be first but it's next to
impossible to find anywhere but Europe) thing to include in your roulette
strategies, is a search for the added rule called 'En Prison'. This is
a very neat rule you can find on some European roulette tables, but usually
only in Europe itself (hence my foolproof roulette strategy of only gambling
there). It works like this: say you're placing an even money outside bet
(yup, that's all this rule applies to) and the stupid ball falls in the
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', 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.
With this nice little rule the house edge on even-money bets is sliced
right down to 1.35%, a level nobody in the casino could speak of too badly,
especially when their lack of any roulette strategies leave them stranded
with a higher house edge.
Okay so I don't exactly want you leaving here thinking 'my strategy should
be to move to Europe', that's a little excessive. Your roulette strategy
should start by looking up where single zero roulette wheels may be located
near you. You also have the option of gambling at an online casino that
offers single zero roulette.