House edge when
Perhaps the most 'romantic'
and exciting of casino games, roulette is what we tend to see in
the movies, with fortunes won and lost at the spin of the wheel.
so many betting options and such a busy table the game also
looks good on screen, being quite an entertaining and popular
way to try our luck online. There are a few important
attractions from the customer's perspective, the most important
being that it is rather easy to play, with no need to invest
time and energy learning the complicated strategies that might
be appropriate if we are to improve our chances of success with
some of the other casino games. We can simply place our money on
the chosen bets and wait to see what Lady Luck has in store.
Depending on our budget and how long we
intend to play, the host of betting options affords considerable
flexibility compared with Blackjack, for example. Going for
glory with a bet on a single number can be a relatively
inexpensive way to try for the 'jackpot' - albeit a little
boring, perhaps, while the even-money bets such as red or black
and odd or even lead to more wins but at obviously single unit
paybacks. As is so often the case the House edge is a major
factor with roulette.
With the 38-number US wheel the house
has a big 5.26 percent edge thanks to the zero and double-zero
additions, while the 37-number European version is much more
player-friendly as the house advantage is therefore reduced to
2.7 per cent. There is also the so-called en prison rule which
allows the player, in the event of a zero coming up, to keep
half the (even money) bet or, alternatively, let the bet ride on
the next spin - effectively producing a possible 1.35 per cent
house advantage. But this is where the 'good' news ends and,
from a purely expectation point of view, we are dealing with
generally poor odds for the player.
Of course this is all relative given
that it is what we are used to, and it is quite within the
realms of possibility that we beat these odds, but making a
habit of playing roulette should lead to only one long-term
result - the wrong one. Nevertheless, if this is the kind of fun
game you prefer to invest your bank roll in, then all that
matters is that you are aware of the house edge and prepared for
it to take its toll somewhere along the way.
Note that despite the relative
simplicity of roulette it is worth spending some time taking in
the layout and nature of the betting options before playing for
real, so here is another example (like craps) of trying out the
casino's 'play money' facility in order to become properly
acquainted with how the game works.
Published on 08/04/2007
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