Whether it’s a night out with the girls, a bachelor party with some betting mixed in, or a bit of online gambling fun on your mobile phone, roulette can be a fun game with plenty of action. But just a word to the wise, roulette is strictly a game of chance and player decisions don’t really affect winning or losing.
A bet on a certain number or choosing a certain wager type can’t determine success at roulette like it can in games like blackjack or poker. However, there are some wagers that are better than others and keeping an eye on how to bet can affect your bankroll in the long run. As you plan that next trip to the casino, on the strip or online, here's our casino advice on getting the most out of a trip to the roulette tables.
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1. Take the smart bets.
Those single numbers may seem like a huge payout, but hitting them (even your birthday) is tough — with long odds. Try some splits and squares to have a better chance and make that bankroll last. They make for a decent payout without siphoning off cash like single bets.
2. Find the right table.
Definitely avoid any wheel with the new trend of adding a 000 to the board. In a game that already heavily favors the house, this tips the scales even more. A single-zero table (also known as European roulette) is the best option when possible, but also look for betting limits that fit within your bankroll. When playing online, odds are payouts may be even better than at a live casino. Be aware of standard odds so that you can look for — and take advantage of — those favorable games when playing online.
3. Careful with the cocktails.
While roulette may seem like a game that lasts a long time and offers a great way to enjoy some free drinks, getting carried away obviously works in the house’s favor. Players who imbibe too much tend to gamble more and exceed their limits. Have a few drinks, but don’t go overboard. And definitely call an Uber if you do!
4. Know the edge.
The casino always has at least a 2.7 percent advantage at the roulette table. Even though you may hit that single number, with odds of 38 to 1, the house only pays a player 35 to 1. Cut those house edges by placing money on those even-money bets like red/black or odd/even. While those aren’t 50-50, they do offer a better chance to win in the long run.
5. Know the numbers.
Beyond splits and squares, players looking for more action should place some chips on the columns and dozens (groupings of 12 numbers). They pay 2 to 1 and give a player several numbers to look for when that wheel cranks up. For a little better payout but with fewer numbers, the avenue bets offer a player six numbers with a chance of collecting 5 to 1 on your money.
6. Don’t be a sucker.
One bet stands out as particularly bad: the basket bet, which covers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. It’s the only bet on the board for only five numbers, and pays 6 to 1. However, it has a hefty 7.89 percent house advantage. Like single numbers, casinos are happy to see gamblers throwing a few fivers on this sucker bet.
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7. Luck counts.
Despite what you may read, there are no foolproof money-making roulette strategies to beat the house. Simply put, it is a game of luck no matter what bet you make. Sure, there are better bets than others and players do notch nice wins some nights and overcome that house edge. But realize that the house always has an edge in this game. The best thing you can do in roulette is find a strategy to make that money last and just have fun.