Online roulette is a common casino table game. It appears in pop culture all the time. The characteristic roulette wheel has become a well-known icon even to non-gamblers. Today, roulette on the internet has made the game even more popular. Players can find roulette games at tons of legal online casino websites.
Roulette means “little wheel” in French. The game was actually first popularized in France in the late 1700s. Blaise Pascal is credited with inventing the earliest form of the game.
Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, and inventor. He created an early version of the roulette wheel. However, he wasn’t trying to make a fun gambling game. Instead, he sought to create a perpetual motion machine. Out of this, we got the earliest roulette wheels.
Ultimately, Pascal failed to make a successful perpetual motion machine. However, he did successfully create the template for modern roulette. His work might not have met his goals, but it gave us one of today’s most popular casino games.
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Casinos Love Roulette
Roulette is undoubtedly popular in casinos. Players seem to love the simplicity and excitement the game brings. However, casinos love this game too. That’s because it gives casinos one the highest hold percentages of any casino game. That basically means casinos make a lot of money on roulette games. It’s no wonder that almost all online casinos offer this game.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) keeps detailed statistics of casino activity in Nevada. That includes revenue numbers broken down by game and by year. Based on UNLV data, we can determine how much money casinos make on different game types. This data clearly shows that more money is held on real money roulette tables than any other casino table games in Nevada. This does not include internet real money roulette games. There is no online casino gambling in Nevada.
Real money roulette games beat out blackjack, craps, and baccarat in terms of casino revenue per game. It beats these games by a few percentage points too. One of the biggest reasons for this is the high house advantage in real money roulette games. Usually, the house advantage is 5.26 percent. This is much higher than blackjack or craps.
Some also argue that roulette games trigger the gambler’s fallacy in many players. This logical fallacy basically says that one can make back the money they lost. In roulette games, it seems so easy to make back lost money because the game is all chance. If you lost $5 on black, then shouldn’t the odds give you black on the next spin? In this sense, it seems just like flipping a coin. However, even something as simple as that isn’t predictable. It’s impossible to predict how a coin will land. It’s also impossible to predict how the wheel will spin.
Roulette Online Basics: How to Play
Roulette is one of the simplest casino games out there. As the web version of the game has grown more popular, more and more people are learning how to play.
Players can make a few different bets in real money roulette games. There is some complexity to this part of the game. However, actual gameplay is very straightforward. Ultimately, players spin the wheel and a ball is dropped inside the wheel. Eventually, the wheel stops and the ball lands on a number that’s either red or black.
Wagering in roulette games is an interactive experience. A large part of the table is the betting area. Laid out on the table is a grid of numbers and colors. Players place their bets directly on the table. They place chips or markers inside the squares they wish to bet on. Players can place their chips directly on the table to mark a bet. Conversely, players can ask to use a marker chip instead. This is commonly called a lammer.
Usually, players opt to use lammers instead of chips. These lammers are intentionally very colorful so players know which is theirs. Players will exchange money with the dealer or croupier for a few lammers of various values. For a $20 payment, players can get 10 lammers at $2 each, or five lammers at $4 each. In some games, players can assign any value they like to their lammers. Ask the croupier for specific details on this.
When a player wins a bet, they are then paid with lammers. When a player is ready to cash out, they exchange the lammers with the croupier for casino chips. These chips can then be cashed out at the cashier window.
Common Roulette Bets
Here are a few common roulette bets and their payouts:
- Exact Number: 35:1
- Color (red or black): 1:1
- Even or Odd: 1:1
- Thirds / Column: 2:1
Roulette Basics: Know the Odds
Overall, real money roulette has a pretty high house advantage. This is true for web roulette as well as live casino roulette when you play for real money. That means the casino has a bit of an edge over players in terms of winning odds. Usually, real money roulette has a house advantage of 5.26 percent. To put that in perspective, imagine you wagered $100 on a spin. With that house advantage, the average return the player should expect is $94.74.
Roulette hold percentage also favors the casino. This is essentially the number of wins divided by the drop, or the amount a player has exchanged for chips. Over time, a player could tip this in their favor, but most can’t. It would require lots of playing time and a large bankroll.
Roulette does give players many ways to win multiples of their wagers. Specifically, certain types of bets can return three, eight, or even thirty five times the wagered amount. However, players can lose their money just as quickly. Among regular gamblers, roulette is known as a game that will quickly bleed players dry.
Keep in mind that even the seemingly “easy” bets in this game have a disadvantage for the player. Whether you bet on 00, or red, or even numbers, each bet has the same player disadvantage.
Why is Roulette so Popular?
The simple fact is that the game is fun to play. It’s easy for new players to learn. It’s fun for regular gamblers to take a few spins. Overall, it’s enjoyable for players and spectators alike. With the introduction of real money roulette on the web, more players can join in the action.
There’s a lot of nostalgia inherent in the game. It’s been popularized by TV and movies. Certainly, it’s one of the classic casino games.
Additionally, there’s a lot of excitement in this game. Players can bet at the last minute while the ball is spinning in the wheel. Eventually, the croupier will close betting and everyone will eagerly watch the ball. Once the ball lands the round ends, players resolve their bets and move to the next round.
While this game is popular, it can’t be found in every casino. It cannot be found in places that don’t offer full Class II Las Vegas style gambling. However, you can almost always find real roulette online at internet casinos.
In the United States today, gamblers can find lots of roulette tables in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Players in the US will also find this game at tribal casinos across the country. Additionally, roulette is widely popular in Europe.
However, certain places in the USA don’t allow roulette live games. California does allow legal cardrooms, but the state doesn’t allow roulette. The same goes for Florida, where many tribal casinos legally operate. In both states, gambling regulations have prohibited these games.
The New Face of Online Roulette Games
Obviously, the latest and greatest development for this game was the invention of internet roulette. However, casinos have also tried to modify the game recently. Players can now find a few new versions of the game at select casinos. These new versions might seem flashy and new, but they really just bring in more profits for casinos.
For example, Las Vegas Sands has added a third zero to a few roulette tables at the Venetian. The new version of the game is called Sands Roulette. The casino wants you to think it’s a brand new game with better odds. However, it’s basically just the same classic game with a higher 7.7% house advantage.
Roulette Basics: House Edge
There’s no way that players can change the house advantage in their favor when playing roulette. However, playing European roulette is a good way to give yourself the best odds. This is the best roulette casino game for the player.
In European roulette, there is only one single zero which players can bet on. Conversely, American roulette has a single zero and double zero. This is also true for the web versions of these games.
Let’s do a quick calculation of the house advantage of both game types. In American roulette, there are 38 numbers on the felt which can be bet on. A winning bet on exactly the right number (number and color) pays out at 35:1.
The House Advantage for American Roulette
Here’s how we figure out the house advantage for American roulette:
- With 35:1 odds there are 36 parts in total
- Divide odds by total numbers on felt: 36/38 = .9474
- Subtract that from one: 1 – .9474 = .0526
- Multiply by 100 to get the final percentage: 100 x .0526 = 5.26%
The House Advantage for European Roulette
In European roulette, there are only 37 numbers on the felt. A bet on the exact winning number also pays out at 35:1. Now let’s do the same math for this version:
- With 35:1 odds there are 36 parts in total
- Divide odds by total numbers on felt: 36/37 = .973
- Subtract that from one: 1 – .973 = .027
- Multiply by 100 to get the final percentage: 100 x .027 = 2.7%
As you can see from the math above, European roulette has a lower house advantage at 2.7 percent. That’s about half the 5.26% house advantage of American roulette. These advantages also apply to online roulette real money games.
Remember that Sand Roulette game with 7.7% house advantage? We recommend that you avoid it.
Keep in mind that every spin is an independent event. That means no previous spins or outcomes affect upcoming outcomes. There are always 38 possible outcomes in a typical American roulette game with a double zero. Additionally, there are 18 red spaces, 18 black spaces, and 2 green spaces.
In each spin, there is a 18/38 or 47.4% chance that the ball lands on either red or black. This applies for every single spin. It’s nearly 50/50 odds, similar to flipping a coin. Previous flips of the coin never influence the outcomes of future flips. The same is true for roulette spins. It doesn’t matter if it’s web-based roulette, live roulette, or online live roulette.
Roulette Wheel Bias
We don’t encourage any type of cheating. In fact, we are strongly against cheating in any casino games. However, it’s worth mentioning an old method players once used to influence roulette games.
Presently, roulette wheels are manufactured on computerized assembly lines. The computers ensure that every wheel is made to the exact same specifications. Every one is balanced properly. All gaming wheels today are even and identical.
However, in the past this wasn’t the case. The wheels used to be made with less precision. This allowed eagle eyed gamblers to exploit imperfections in the wheels.
Roulette Basics: Playing the Game
In practice, roulette can get a bit hectic. It’s a simple game on the surface, but things move quickly. Inexperienced players might get overwhelmed. Keep these few things in mind to keep yourself ahead of the game.
- Always pay attention to every round. The croupier is watching the betting and the players, but you should be too. Keep an eye on your own bets. If you ever have a question or concern, ask the croupier. They are there to help. Additionally, they enjoy helping new players understand the game.
- Use lammers instead of chips. Lammers are great because it’s easy to tell them apart by player. They are brightly colored and unique for each player. It can get confusing if multiple players are using chips because all chips look alike.
- Keep your lammers or chips organized. That means keeping them stacked neatly in your own little area. This can help you keep track of your chips. Additionally, it will prevent undue losses and misplaced chips.
Online Roulette Games and Mobile Gaming
Roulette is one of the world’s most popular casino table games. Consequently, roulette on the web has become very popular too. This game was one of the easiest to convert to a digital gaming platform. That’s because the basic mechanics are so simple.
Real money roulette on the internet feels and works just like live roulette. The main difference is the interface. With the online game, everything is digital on a screen. You lose the interactive element of betting on the table. However, you get the freedom of online play and faster game times. A real money roulette casino with live roulette games brings the best of both worlds together – we’ll talk about that more later.
Real money roulette works great on desktop web browsers. However, it was a bit tricky to convert to a mobile game. Mobile games have to fit into a small space on a device’s screen. Developers have found ways to make it work for phones, but it’s best played on a tablet.
Web-based roulette moves at a fast pace, but this is up to the player. Players can choose to skip the spin and go right to the outcome. Consequently, players can go through many rounds very quickly.
Roulette Games Online in Different US states
Players in the USA looking for online roulette gambling will find the best options in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Both of these states have legal, licensed online casinos. Players need to be over the age of 21 and located inside either state. Here, players can play roulette online for real money.
Outside of those states, US players can play free online roulette at sweepstakes casinos. Additionally, some of the best online roulette for real money can be found at sweepstakes casinos. These are legal in almost every US state. The games work just like they do at licensed casinos. The difference lies in the betting and cash out methods.
Online Roulette FAQ
We are experts with years of gambling experience both online and offline. Also, we have put a lot of time into reviewing and recommending the top online roulette websites. We know what makes the best online roulette casino sites. During our research, we’ve come across a few common questions that players have about roulette. We’ve tried to answer them all below.
Is Online Roulette Legal in the USA?
It is as long as you play at the right online casino! Specifically, there are a few US states which allow online casino gambling for players within their state lines. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are two of the best states for online gambling in general with tons of legal online casino options. Outside of those states, you can legally play online roulette for real money at US-friendly international casinos that accept US players. Just make sure the casino is licensed by a reputable jurisdiction like Curacao or Malta.
What Do I Need to Play Roulette Online?
You really don’t need much. At a minimum, you need either a computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Most sites offer both desktop games and mobile games via a roulette app. If you want to play roulette for real money, then you’ll also need a payment method like a credit card or e-wallet to make deposits.
How Do I Win a Roulette Game?
Roulette really doesn’t have any skill associated with it – the outcomes of each round are pretty much totally random. That said, there are some ways to increase your odds. Playing variants like European Roulette that don’t have a double zero give you better odds. Additionally, knowing the odds associated with every number and color can help you place smarter bets. It pays to find a site with a free roulette game online so you can practice.
Can I Win Real Money Playing Online Roulette?
Yes you can! There are hundreds of real money online roulette casinos out there today. The game is actually quite popular for real money gambling. It’s a fan-favorite among online gamblers and typically has a high payout rate. Additionally, a real money roulette app will let you play on your mobile device while on the go.
Do I Need to Download Software to Play Online Roulette?
In most cases, the answer is no. The majority of online casino sites let you access and play all their games in web browsers with no downloads required. Sometimes, mobile casinos have mobile apps that you can download for a smoother playing experience but this isn’t required. Most online casinos have great mobile websites where you can play mobile casino games. Some sites do have downloadable software clients for gaming, but this is also usually not required for any online roulette simulator – you can still play in your web browser.
Can I Play Online Roulette for Free?
At most online casinos, you can play games for free in practice or demo mode. Many online casinos let you play roulette for free. Free American roulette online is one of the most popular free versions of this game. This is a great way to learn the game and get some free roulette practice before you risk your own real money.
Is Online Roulette Fair?
Overall, as long as you play at a licensed online casino, then these games are totally fair. Licensed online casinos must adhere to strict rules governing fairness and transparency. If they do not provide a fair gaming environment, then they lose their license. This is the biggest reason to only play at licensed casinos. All of the roulette casinos we recommend are licensed and fair.
What is the Minimum Bet in Roulette?
This is different for every casino. In some cases, you can find online roulette game real money bets as low as 10 cents bet per round. Obviously, you won’t get huge payouts at these low bets, but you can still win some real money without much risk. Some online casinos offer high stakes roulette with much higher minimums. Just be sure to only gamble within your financial limits.
What is the Difference Between American and European Roulette?
The rules for these two roulette variations are the same. There is really just one difference between American and European roulette but it’s an important one. In European roulette, there is no double zero (00) – the only zero in play in this variant is a single zero (0). American roulette has both single and double zero spaces which does lower your odds of winning quite a bit. It might not appear to be a big deal, but it can have a big impact on your winnings. When you play for real money, we always recommend playing the European variant over the American one if you have the option. Most roulette sites offer both of these common roulette variations.
How Do I Find the Best Online Roulette Table?
If you use our website to search for a roulette wheel online, then you’ll automatically be choosing from the most popular online roulette casinos! We only recommend the most reputable online roulette sites. We look at everything involved in these games like graphics, versions available, payouts, and bonuses.
How Do I Play Roulette Online?
Casino roulette is a relatively simple table game since there isn’t much skill involved. Once you know the rules, playing roulette is easy. To start a round of roulette play, you place a bet on a number or color that you think the roulette ball will land on. When you play online roulette, the wheel itself is digital. You spin the wheel by clicking on it. These games are still totally fair because they rely on Random Number Generators to determine the outcomes of all spins.
What is the Best Online Roulette Site?
It’s pretty much impossible to pick just one top online roulette site. However, we’ve put together a list of all the best online roulette sites we could find. We’ve done all the research for you. If you pick one from our list, you really can’t go wrong. There is also a live roulette casino or two on our list offering live dealer roulette games. You will find both roulette for real money and free roulette games at the sites we recommend.
Can I Play Live Dealer Roulette Online?
Yes you can, but not every site offers live dealer roulette games. We have included a few live dealer roulette sites in our recommendations on this page. The best part of live dealer games is the interactivity. With a live dealer, you play the game with a real human controlling the wheel and bets. The live dealer is streamed to player computers over the internet. Players watch everything the live dealer does in real time. Players can even chat with the live dealer and other players. Live dealer games bring some of the fun of in-person casinos to the internet.