When you think about roulette, you likely think about the spinning wheel, the ball, the large lighted boards displaying the results of past spins, etc. Many people forget that there is a table where all of the bets are placed. Understanding the roulette table strategy is one of the most important parts of the game.
There are three main components to a standard roulette table strategy. There is an understanding of the table itself, the placing of bets, and the calculation of the odds.
The Role of the Table in the Roulette Table Strategy
In roulette, the table is the place where the bets are placed. It contains much of the same information as the roulette wheel with each of the black and red numbers in a grid on the center of the table. Since there are 36 numbers on the roulette wheel, there are 3 columns of 12 numbers on the table. Each number on the table corresponds directly to the number on the wheel. At the top of the columns are the places to bet on the green zero (and double zero if you are playing on an American wheel). Closest to the players are boxes labeled “Even” and “Odd” and a Red and Black diamond. Next to these areas are boxes to bet the first 18 numbers and numbers 19-36. Between these outermost “even money” bets are areas to place “2 to 1” bets on a horizontal third of the numbers (12 numbers) at the bottom of the grid are areas to bet the 12 numbers in a vertical column. The boxes are simply labeled 2-1.
To understand a roulette table strategy, it helps to know how to place bets on the table. Bets are placed in one of 3 ways based on casino rules. Not all three methods are used at all casinos. The first way to place bets is to put your chips on the table based on the bet you want to make. The outside bets are self-explanatory. You simply put your chips on the area you want to bet. Inside bets are bets placed on the number grid. There are three main bet types. You can bet a single number by putting chips directly on the number. You can bet two numbers by putting a chip on the line separating the two numbers. You can use this strategy to bet any two numbers that are touching whether side by side or one on top of another. The third method is a corner bet where the chips are placed on the intersecting lines that join four different squares. A corner bet is a bet that covers each of the four numbers whose “corners” meet at the intersection. There are other “exotic” combinations of bets like street bets, trios, and the six line bet, but you are not going to increase your odds of winning by learning all of the exotic combos.
You can also make an “announced bet”. This bet does not require you to put your chips on the table, but rather to announce your bet to the croupier. Once the dealer has verbally acknowledged your bet, you need to put the proper amount of money down. The announced bet is typically used for advanced betting strategies that cover large sections of the boards.
The third style of bet is not common and is illegal in many countries. Known as a “called bet”, it is this same as an announced bet, but the player does not back the bet up with money. Since this bet is dependent on a line of credit (no money has been placed on the table) it is frowned upon by all but the high roller casinos and not allowed by most.
What Are the Odds
Understanding roulette table strategy requires a knowledge of how roulette odds work. In the simplest of terms, your odds of winning are simply the number of possible winning numbers divided by the number of total numbers. If you were betting a single number, the odds would be 1 to 38 on an American wheel and 1 to 37 on a European wheel. If you were betting any even money bet your odds would be 18 to 38 or 18 to 37 (there are 18 red, 18 black, 18 even, 18 odd, 18 numbers 1-18, 18 numbers 1-36). To put these numbers in percents you just do the division: number of winning possibilities divided by the total possibilities.
You will find that when balanced with the payouts, the odds are nearly identical for all bets and leads to a house advantage of 5.26 percent on American wheels and 2.7 percent on European wheels. (The extra green space really does make that much difference.)
The Bottom Line, What Works
When you take the time to analyze the wheel, the board, the bets, and the odds, you will likely come to the same understanding that people have found over the centuries: it does not matter what roulette table strategy you use, the house has the same advantage no matter what you do. The only way to win at roulette is to get lucky, cheat, or have a way to change the odds.
When put that way, the best roulette table strategy is one that does not depend on fancy bets or standardized odds, but on a system that beats the odds. Lucky for you that system exists and it is not secret. In fact, people have been using it for hundred of years. It is called science. Physics to be exact. When you understand the physics behind the game, you can increase the chances of you number or numbers hitting, turn the odds in your favor, and win. Granted, you still have to understand the wheel, the table, the bets, and the odds. You still have to put in the time and effort at the casino. Science is not a get rich quick scheme or way to break the casino overnight. It is a way to make a great living playing the game that you love.