At its very essence, gambling is a very simple procedure; you’re betting on an outcome, that’s it. The hope is that the outcome will favour you. As human beings though, we’re always looking for new ways to experience something we’ve become accustomed to, and I think this is because while we like it, we also quickly develop a sense of familiarity. This is why we watch certain genres of movies all the time. This is why we explore new hiking trails, try new wines and beers, and this is why we sometimes ask our sexual partners if they’d like to try something new in the sack. I think that as a species we’re prone to boredom and while it has its place, we’re also prone to seeking new highs and new thrills within a space of familiarity.
This is why the regulated gambling market offers such diversity. This is why you can choose to play slots or video poker, or blackjack, or baccarat or craps or roulette. Each game has the exact same outcome but each provides a different way to get there. In terms of real diversity, slots are probably your best bet. The technology being deployed in these games have made sure that players most often flock to them. In terms of table game popularity, I think that blackjack and roulette are on equal footing. However, from the outset, roulette seems more intimidating and for that reason, I’m going to focus on and unpack this one.
The game of roulette is quite old and dates way back to 18th century. Some smart Frenchman was trying to create a perpetual motion machine and wound up inventing the roulette wheel. The game has some Italian heritage as well and since 1796 has existed as it is now in its present day form – well, mostly anyway. Along the way there were some minor changes, but nothing dramatic. An extra slot, an extra number, a colour change, but on the whole the game has remained the same.
The general perception of roulette is one of prestige, sophistication and class, and that is the image that the game wants to give off. I think it’s more about intimidation than anything else, and yes, like anything that can become a vice, one needs to respect it and treat it with vigilance and distance. Roulette, thanks to the way it is designed and looks actually forces the player to approach it with caution, and this ultimately is a good thing. However, the game itself is not hard to understand and thus play. Once you learn it, you’ll break the perceived barrier and likely get quite comfortable with it. But don’t get cocky. Play it with respect and understanding.
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Nowadays roulette is available in a number of formats, we have technology and the internet to thank for this. You can opt to head on down to your local casino and play it there. This, to my mind, is still the most intimidating way to play it, especially if you’re new to it all. I know we’re on a casino blog, but there’s no hurt in telling you I’d recommend online roulette because A) it’s convenient and B) you can play it for free before you start. This means you can literally learn before you play to earn! If you’re a seasoned player and tech savvy and what have you not, then I would recommend you try mobile roulette. This is basically just roulette on your smartphone. Finally there’s live dealer roulette, a real game changer because it lets you play real roulette as you would view it in a brick and mortar casino, on your PC or your phone.
All these versions that I’ve made mention of operate by the same rules. In a nutshell there are three versions of roulette than you can play, namely European Roulette, French Roulette and American Roulette. Of these three American Roulette is the least popular because it gives the house a slightly higher edge.
Roulette consists of nothing more than a wheel and a table. The wheel has black and red slots, and goes from the numbers 1 to 36. There’s also a zero slot. Upon looking at the table, do not let it intimidate you with all its numbers and columns. It all comes down to the following betting options:
- Corner Bets
- Colour Bets
- Column Bets
- Dozen Bets
- Even/Odd Bets
- High/Low Bets
- Line Bets
- Split Bets
- Straight Up Bets
- Street Bets
It looks like a lot, all this terminology, but it can all be summarised as nothing more than colour, number and group bets. Betting on a number carries the potential for the highest returns. It’s also the most unlikely win. However, if you do bet on a number and you win, you’ll be getting a 35 to 1 payout. In a group bet you’ll be betting on more than one number at a time and the bet that carries the best possibility of winning is a colour bet. It needs to be noted though that a colour bet requires more money and it’s almost on par with flipping a coin. I can personally account for colour bets, basically double or nothing bets. That’s literally electing to bet on if the ball will land on black or red.
Beating the System
So this is a question that often comes up – “Can I beat the system?” And the answer is no, you can’t. Gambling is regulated and over the years the industry has figured out how to cover all the angles. Lots of literature has been dedicated to tips, cheats and tactics. The books themselves are more of a money-making scheme. YouTube is loaded with vids of people claiming to know how to cheat the system. Let me tell you something, if cheating worked, every gambler would be doing it. Let’s not forget that if you get caught cheating at a casino, you can face legal action. Anyway, my thoughts aside, here are three systems that some players have sworn by:
- The Martingale System
- The Reverse Martingale System
- The D’Alembert System
The Martingale system is mainly applicable to colour bets and dictates that you increase your bet after each loss. The reverse system asks that you increase your bet after each loss. I think the thinking behind all this is that somewhere along the way you’re sure to bag a big win. And finally we have the D’Alembert System that says you should increase your bet by one credit after each loss.
I think that at the end of the day, if you’re going to play roulette, get fully acquainted with the game. Do some reading and practice it, something best done online. Then, once you’re at ease, give it a go. Either that or go in blindfolded and let beginners luck do its work. You might laugh, but there’s a lot to be said for beginners luck and betting on a game of which you have little understanding. I’ve seen people bet randomly and come up tops. The problem with beginners luck is that it’s once off, then what?
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