History fans know that all-too-often, discoveries do not come through pure genius, but rather accidentally while looking for something else, well. Electricity, X-rays, penicillin, dynamite; these and many more remarkable findings are nothing but the product of persistence and timely occurrence.

Roulette shares such auspicious company as may seem odd. As the story goes, the first form of the game was conceived by famous French mathematician Blaise Pascal in the 17th century who inadvertently fathered it while trying to create a perpetual motion machine.

Though his original objective remains elusive to this day, his creation of a “small wheel” has been thrilling casino gamblers for centuries.

Roulette Basics

Roulette Basics: Playing the Game Despite its intricate appearance, roulette is in fact one of the easiest online casino games to master. A croupier spins the wheel in the game, which has 37 numbered slots (or 38 depending on which version you are playing) that correspond to the layout of the table as shown below.

The main pockets are numbered from 1 to 36 as you can see, and alternate between black and red. Note also that in the case of an American roulette wheel, a 00, there is a special green pocket numbered 0 which falls outside the general betting field. The game starts when a player makes their choice and places a bet. Such bets can be on individual numbers, numerals, ranges, percentages, evens, and colors combinations. Once a wager is placed, the “croupier” will spin the wheel, then launch the ball into play. The ball drops onto the wheel in short order, with the result being determined by the ball’s final resting place— that is, which slot it landed in.

The following table explains the different types of bets, as well as their payouts.

Simple Roulette: Bet types

Bet Description Pays
Any single number Bet placed on number 0 to 36 35-1
Split bet Bet placed between two numbers that covers those numbers 17-1
Street bet Bet placed at the end of a row to cover three numbers 11-1
quare bet Bet placed on four adjacent numbers 8-1
Five-number bet Bet placed on 0, 00, 1, 2, 3 6-1
Line bet Bet placed at the end of a line between two rows. Covers those six numbers 5-1
Low number bet An 18-number bet covering numbers 1-18 1-1
High number bet An 18-number bet covering numbers 19-36 1-1
Dozen bet Bet placed on fields “1st 12” “2nd 12” and “3rd 12” covering 12 numbers 2-1
Column bet A 12-number bet covering the field at the end of a vertical column 2-1
Odd number bet Bet placed on odd numbers. Does not include zero 1-1
Even number bet Bet placed on even numbers. Does not include zero 1-1
Color bet Bet placed on “Red” or “Black” and covers 18 numbers. Zero is not covered. 1-1

Variations on a Theme Considering this game’s enduring international appeal, it’s not surprising that there are several roulette variations with rules based on some combination of traditional and regional preferences. While such differences frequently result in less desirable changes (at least for the player), in the case of roulette it is more of a godsend, particularly if you are used to playing in U.S. casinos where the double-zero grinds off the bankroll at a moderately high 5.26%. Fortunately, websites such as Royal Vegas offer every of the most popular variations, allowing patrons to select their ideal version.Below is a breakdown for every version of the rule differences.

Common Roulette Version (Web) Adjusted American Roulette

The most common roulette game found in U.S. casinos, both “0” and “00” slots are featured in American roulette. The house edge is the strongest in the roulette family in this version of the game: 5.26 percent.

European Roulette

One of the oldest and most common game types, European Roulette uses a single zero wheel offering a 2.70 percent reduced house edge.

French Roulette

French roulette uses a single zero wheel and offers the traditional European surrender rule where players lose only half of any money bet (red, black, odd, even, 1-18, 19-36) if the ball lands in zero. The edge of the house on even money bets is a low 1.35 percent, making it the best roulette game on the Internet quite possibly.

For Better or Worse: Roulette Strategy Gamblers have been trying for years to quantify the perfect strategy to guarantee stable roulette returns. Although always enjoyable and sometimes very lucrative, roulette is resistant to any sort of “foolproof” program because of its very nature. Note, roulette is a mere chance game; it depends on random action to determine the outcome, and there will be no genuine technical ability or player involvement affecting the outcome of the match.

But that is not keeping them from trying.

Over the years, a range of clever little tactics have been created for beating the game (and marketed to naive players), with none offering any real benefit. One recurring method that has been many a roulette player’s demise is called the Martingale system. This “strategy” requires players to continually double their even cash bets with each successive loss until a win, thus recovering all previous losses while earning a small profit — the initial wager value.

This strategy sounds plausible on the surface but is in fact flawed (it doesn’t take too many consecutive losses until you reach the table cap or exhaust your bankroll) and inevitably leads to debilitating losses.

Another questionable technique which roulette players frequently reference is the Fibonacci scheme. This method, based on the “Fibonacci Sequence” developed in 1170 by the Italian mathematician Leonard Pisan, involves a system which calculates a score and action based on the results of previous events. The sequence is: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 etc.

The next number in the series in the Fibonacci sequence is the sum of the two preceding numbers. When used in gambling players start by betting on an even-money game with a single unit. The player records the action for each loss, and proceeds to bet the number of units with the next number in the game. So the second bet in the series is one unit as well, while the third one is two, the fourth three, and so on until a win. The player crosses the previous two numbers in the sequence when that happens, and continues until all numbers in the sequence are eliminated and a profit is secured. This looks like:

Bet/outcome Sequence Accumulated loss/win
Bet 1 unit and lose -1 units
Bet 1 unit and lose 1-1 -2 units
Bet 2 units and lose 1-1-2 -4 units
Bet 3 units and lose 1-1-2-3 -7 units
Bet 5 units and win 1-1-x-x -2 units
Bet 2 units and lose 1-1-2 -4 units
Bet 3 units and win 1-x-x -1 unit
Bet 1 unit and win End of sequence +1 unit
Once the sequences has been won, players start over

Although the Fibonacci scheme is not as violent as the Martingale system, it is similar in that it does not change the result and does not guarantee a profit over time. Finally, in the series, you’ll just be too far down to make any additional bets.

No “machine” would effectively allow a roulette player to surmount the edge of the house in the long run. The best strategy is simply to exercise sound money management techniques and choose the game’s best possible version— that is, the lowest aggressive one.

And although it’s a tough game to beat, you can often walk away a winner by playing smart, keeping a tight reign on your bankroll, and taking advantage of the reduced vigorous games found online.