Roulette is a casino classic – since Blaise Pascal in the 17th century, and the Parisian gambling houses of the late 18th century, the ‘little wheel’ has been a fixture on the casino floor and in the popular imagination.
The man who raised roulette up to be the ‘King of Casino Games’, Francois Blanc, was popularly thought to have wagered his soul upon the wheel that made his fortune. Perhaps it is a coincidence that the numbers on the wheel add together to 666.
Perhaps it is a coincidence that Blanc left behind him, at his death in 1877, a fortune of some 200million francs – close to US$900billion by modern reckoning...
Whatever their methods, Blanc and his brother created the elegant world of Monte Carlo gambling, and roulette was at the heart of it. Blanc’s genius was to reduce the house edge by removing one of the ‘0’ slots on the wheel, immediately increasing the odds of a win, and getting the Monte Carlo crowds flocking to the tables.
European roulette wheels have that same single ‘0’ slot today, and that’s where we recommend you start (it is the European wheel that is used in most countries around the world, including Australia). Roulette has always been immensely popular in European casinos, but the guests in casinos in America have tended to favour craps and blackjack – this is most likely because American Roulette tables have an extra ‘00’ slot, increasing the house’s edge.
There is a massive range of online Roulette tables available to gamblers in Australia, and later in the article we’ll consider some of the best casinos to visit, as well as sharing our tips for walking away richer.
But our first piece of advice is this: play European Roulette. The payouts (as you’ll see below) are the same on American and European style Roulette tables, but the odds of winning are better on European tables. So, all things being equal, you will win more often on a European style table...
The next of our online roulette tips is this:
Know the roulette bets you can make; know the roulette odds.
Most online Roulette tables will share the same format – you will be able to see the wheel at one end, and also a grid of numbers where you’ll place your bets. Here we’ve laid out the basic types of bets you can make on most Roulette tables (some will vary between online casinos), along with their odds and what you will win.
Bets on the numbers themselves are often referred to as ‘inside’, where those in the marked boxes around the edge of the grid of numbers are ‘outside’. We have calculated the odds for a European-style Roulette wheel (odds will be longer on American wheels). The casino’s payout will not be the same as the basic chance of your bet turning up a win – therein lies the house edge...
We’re not suggesting that you need to memorise the odds for each of the bets – but it pays to know where you are with the statistics. In Roulette, the online casino will likely pay out at the standard rates, so you know what you’re up against, and what you stand to win.
You know that a punt on the day of your birthday is a long-shot, and that it will pay out at 35 to 1. Reds or Blacks are much safer, but the casino will only match your stake. The thing with Roulette is that you can place bets around the table:
Online casinos will typically have minimum and maximum bets, and the appeal of betting on Roulette is in the combination of bets you can make – there are lots of ways to win. Be aware that a Roulette table has balanced play to payout ratios – meaning that you would win the same for placing 12 chips on the first dozen as you would placing a chip on each of the first twelve numbers separately.
The next of our online roulette tips is this:
Pick the right Online Casino for you.
Online gaming has grown from modest beginnings into a massive industry – but that means that there are lots of casinos out there for online gamers in Australia to choose from.
You want to find an online casino where you are comfortable wagering your money, in confidence and in safety, and where you will enjoy the experience of gambling online. You also need to be happy with the format on your screen if you’re intending to play regularly.
Make sure you choose an online casino that lets you deposit in Australian dollars, to avoid exchange fees. A lot will come down to personal preference, of course, but we’re happy to give you the benefit of our own experience and recommend these casinos:
Spin Palace Online Casino is a glossy online venue powered by Microgaming, and you can expect a wide range of excellent games, including plenty of Roulette (with some pretty good graphics, and sounds, too!).
We were particularly impressed with their loyalty scheme – when you wager, you earn loyalty points that you can exchange for more credits. What we liked was the way they added up and gave us the chance to work our way up to Platinum membership.
Their Roulette tables come with some nice extra features to help keep track our your progress, and they promise to match your first deposit, as well. This is an online casino that is well worth a look...
Jackpot City Online Casino is another online casino that offers a tempting sign-up bonus. You could get as much as AU$500 on top of you first couple of deposits, really sweetening the deal on what is already an attractive online gaming experience.
This is an online casino that caters directly to gamers in Australia, and it is one of the safest places to gamble online, with transactions going through the DataCash group.
Gaming Club Online Casino was one of the first online casinos around, and has flourished since 1994.
Well established and offering a seriously wide range of online games (as well as a mobile casino available on your iphone or smartphone), the Gaming Club Casino will match your first two deposits, and offers 24/7 customer service as well as a loyalty scheme and a programme of monthly and weekly offers to tempt you. This is an online casino that has been successful over more than a decade, and you’ll see why when you head over there...
The next of our online roulette tips is this:
See if there’s a Roulette Betting System that works for you
We’ve focussed on more general tips so far, and tried to give you an idea of the game of Roulette and the challenge it presents to the online gambler in Australia. But there are those who swear by one betting system or other.
The maths can get quite complex, but there are a few that you might find interesting. Bear in mind a couple of things, though: anyone who tries to sell you a system should not be trusted – if the system worked they wouldn’t need your money, would they? And there is an element of luck involved in Roulette, so things might not always turn out as the statisticians predict!
First off is the original, the Martingale System, which was very popular in the 18th century. The rule is this: after a losing bet the gambler doubles his stake, and after a win returns to his original stake.
The theory here is that a win will recoup all the previous losses – but consider that the system was created with simple coin-tosses in mind, and the exponential growth of bets can quickly mean that a gambler runs out of money. The Anti-Martingale reverses the system, doubling winning bets to take advantage of a winning streak, or ‘burner’.
The D’Alembert System takes a more cautious approach, suggesting losing bets be increased by one unit, and winning bets decreased by a single unit, too. This system works best with the shorter-odds outside bets on the Roulette table, and is good for long sessions of play, in which you might start to spot patterns in the results.
Andres Martinez (LA Times editor and author of the excellent ‘24/7’, a novel about gambling in Vegas), advocates the ‘Dopey Experiment’. This is a system that divides your available money into 35 portions, and plays them one after the other on your favourite number – if the number is hit within the 35 spins the player can keep playing ‘with the house’s money’ (the chance of a number coming up inside 35 spins are about 60%, by the way).
None of these systems is by any means fool-proof. Because the house edge stays constant on a Roulette table, you will ultimately have to rely on luck to walk away richer. So some of the best tips we can give you are these: settle on a system that works for you.
Seven might be your lucky number – go with it. Bet on the wife’s birthday if you like. It’s rarely a bad strategy to spread some ‘outside’ bets on the table to make the most of the shorter odds. It’s always fun to put yourself in with a chance at winning 35 to 1 on a single number.
There will be days when your luck isn’t in. On those days you can’t fight the fates – but you can hopefully take comfort from the fact you’ve chosen your online casino carefully, and you’ve got some perks like loyalty points and matched deposits to soften the blow. Think about setting yourself a limit before you start an online session – if things aren’t going your way, then don’t be afraid to simply call it a day and come back another time.
There will be days when your luck is in, and everything you touch turns to roulette gold. On those days, we hope you enjoy yourself as much as you deserve, and we’ve only got one more piece of advice (it’s our best):walk away while you’re up...
Best of luck, online roulette gamblers of Australia!