Roulette is an attractive option for those new to casino games, and perhaps its most appealing characteristic is its simplicity. But roulette can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Experienced roulette players often use complex strategies, both to try to improve their odds and to make the game more interesting. There is also a wide range of different bets, including combination bets that can seem daunting to the newcomer.
Although there are many common casino myths about the effectiveness of this or that strategy, it’s recommended that newer players go with their initial impression and embrace the straightforward simplicity of the roulette game. The simplest bets are often the safest and provide the best odds of success for beginners who want to make their bankroll last for as long as possible.
Know your game
Although the essential quality of roulette remains the same, whether you’re playing in a Las Vegas resort or at an NJ online casino, some important variations exist. To give yourself the best odds, you should know which version of roulette you’re playing before you begin.
US vs Europe
The most significant distinction is between an American roulette wheel, which has both ‘0’ and ‘00’ pockets besides the numbers 1-36, and the European wheel, which has just the one 0. This means that on an American wheel, there are 38 possible pockets for the ball to end up in, compared to just 37 on a European wheel. European roulette, therefore, offers better odds, as well as a much lower house edge: 2.63% compared to 5.26%.
If a European roulette game applies the optional En Prison rule, then the house edge drops to just 1.35%. This only applies to even money bets, as discussed below. When the ball lands on zero, it doesn’t count, and your bet is held over till the next spin. If you “win” on this spin, then you get your money back, but no winnings. If you lose, then you lose just the same.
The best roulette odds for beginners come from the outside bets. These include the either/or bets, on either red or black, odd or even, high or low, which give you an almost 50-50 chance of winning, although they only pay out 1:1.
The other types of outside bet are columns and dozens, which give you a one in three chance of winning and pay out 2:1. In these cases, you bet that the number which the ball lands on will be from one of three groupings of numbers, arranged either in three columns or by the dozen (1-12, 13-24, 25-36).
Outside bets offer the best odds of winning by far, but you won’t win much. Betting on a single number in an inside bet gives you just a one in thirty-eight chance of winning, with a payout of 35/1 (taking account of the house edge). Betting on more than one number at once can increase the odds in your favor, but because only one number can win at a time, the amount you make back will be correspondingly lower.
Beginners should stick to outside bets and consider combining an even bet with one on dozens or columns. This could give you the best chance of a winning spin with a decent return as well.