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Roulette is a casino game named after the French word meaning little wheel. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number, various groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19–36) or low (1–18). You may learn more about the Roulette rules and strategies further on this page.
Roulette has multiple table variations, but the most common is European Roulette. Other popular variations are American Roulette, French Roulette, Mini Roulette, Multi Wheel Roulette, Lightning Roulette, and many others.
But for now, let’s get down to our list of Free to Play Roulette Games for fun.
American roulette is amongst the table games that enjoy the biggest popularity in casinos throughout the United States. The game tends to become more popular at casinos in Asia and the United Kingdom but is somehow avoided by players in Europe, as their focus is primarily on the European version of roulette.
The American roulette wheel has 38 divisions including numbers from 1 to 36, 0, and 00. Numbers from 1 to 36 are alternately colored red and black, while the single zero and the double zero are marked in green.
European Roulette is 37 (numbered 1 to 36) and a green pocket marked “0”. The game is very similar to a real-world casino table. The difference is that it is offered in the comfort of your home. The game can be played on a personal computer or mobile phone. The goal of the game is simplified to just choosing the number on which the ball will settle.
Played quite frequently at casinos in Monte Carlo, French roulette is a bit different than the other roulette variations we’ve already discussed, because it features a unique table layout. In addition, in this casino table game players are faced with the lowest house advantage of any other roulette variation, as due to one additional gameplay rule, the edge is reduced to 1.35%.
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Next, let’s dive into the history and rules of the Roulette game.
The first kind of roulette was devised in 18th century France. Many historians assume Blaise Pascal introduced a primitive form of roulette in the 17th century in his search for a continuous motion machine. The roulette mechanism is a hybrid of the gaming wheel invented in 1720 and the Italian game Biribi.
The game has been played in its modern form since as early as 1796 in Paris. An early description of the roulette game in its current form is found in a French novel La Roulette, ou le Jour by Jaques Lablee, which describes a roulette wheel in the Palais Royal in Paris in 1796.
The description included the house pockets, “There are exactly two slots reserved for the bank, whence it derives its sole mathematical advantage.” It then goes on to describe the layout with, “…two betting spaces containing the bank’s two numbers, zero and double zero“.
The book was published in 1801. An even earlier reference to a game of this name was published in regulations for New France (Québec) in 1758, which banned the games of “dice, hoca, faro, and roulette”.
The roulette wheels used in the casinos of Paris in the late 1790s had red for the single zero and black for the double zero. To avoid confusion, the color green was selected for the zeros in roulette wheels starting in the 1800s.
In 1843, in the German spa casino town of Bad Homburg, fellow Frenchmen François and Louis Blanc introduced the single 0 style roulette wheel in order to compete against other casinos offering the traditional wheel with single and double zero house pockets.
In the 19th century, roulette spread all over Europe and the US, becoming one of the most famous and most popular casino games. When the German government abolished gambling in the 1860s, the Blanc family moved to the last legal remaining casino operation in Europe at Monte Carlo, where they established a gambling mecca for the elite of Europe.
It was here that the single zero roulette wheel became the premier game, and over the years was exported around the world, except in the United States where the double zero wheels had remained dominant.
In the United States, the French double zero wheels made its way up the Mississippi from New Orleans, and then westward. It was here, because of rampant cheating by both operators and gamblers, that the wheel was eventually placed on top of the table to prevent devices being hidden in the table or wheel, and the betting layout was simplified.
This eventually evolved into the American-style roulette game. The American game was developed in the gambling dens across the new territories where makeshift games had been set up, whereas the French game evolved with style and leisure in Monte Carlo.
During the first part of the 20th century, the only casino towns of note were Monte Carlo with the traditional single zero French wheels and Las Vegas with the American double-zero wheels.
In the 1970s, casinos began to flourish around the world. By 2008, there were several hundred casinos worldwide offering roulette games. The double zero wheel is found in the U.S., Canada, South America, and the Caribbean, while the single zero wheel is predominant elsewhere.
The sum of all the numbers on the roulette wheel (from 0 to 36) is 666, which is the “Number of the Beast”.
Roulette players have a mixture of betting options. Placing inside bets is either selecting the exact number of the pocket the ball will land in, or a small range of pockets based on their vicinity on the layout. Players wishing to bet on the ‘outside’ will select bets on larger positional groupings of pockets, the pocket color, or whether the winning number is odd or even. The payout odds for each variety of bet are based on its probability.
The roulette table regularly imposes minimum and maximum bets, and these rules usually apply separately for all of a player’s inside and outside bets for each spin. For inside bets at roulette tables, some casinos may use separate roulette table chips of various colors to distinguish players at the table. Players can continue to place bets as the ball spins around the wheel until the dealer announces no more bets or rien ne va plus.
When a winning number and color is defined by the roulette wheel, the dealer will place a marker, also known as a dolly, on that winning number on the roulette table layout. When the dolly is on the table, no players may place bets, collect bets, or remove any bets from the table. The dealer will then sweep away all other losing bets either by hand or rake and prepare all of the payouts to the remaining inside and outside winning bets. When the dealer is finished making payouts, the marker is removed from the board where players collect their winnings and make new bets. The winning chips remain on the board.
Over the years, several people have tried to beat the casino, and turn roulette—a game designed to turn a profit for the house—into one on which the player supposes to win. Most of the time this comes down to the use of betting systems, strategies which say that the house edge can be beaten by simply exercising a special pattern of bets, often relying on the “Gambler’s fallacy”, the idea that past results are any guide to the future (for example, if a roulette wheel has come up 10 times in a row on red, that red on the next spin is any more or less likely than if the last spin was black).
All betting systems that rely on patterns, when applied on casino edge games will result, on average, in the player losing money.
In practice, players using betting systems may win, and may indeed win very large sums of money, but the losses (which, depending on the design of the betting system, may occur quite rarely) will outweigh the wins.
Certain systems, such as the Martingale, described below, are extremely risky, because the worst-case scenario (which is mathematically certain to happen, at some point) may see the player chasing losses with ever-bigger bets until he runs out of money.
The American mathematician Patrick Billingsley said that no betting system can convert a sub fair game into a profitable enterprise. At least in the 1930s, some professional gamblers were able to consistently gain an edge in roulette by seeking out rigged wheels and betting opposite the largest bets.
The numerous even-money bets in roulette have inspired many players over the years to attempt to beat the game by using one or more variations of a martingale betting strategy, wherein the gambler doubles the bet after every loss, so that the first win would recover all previous losses, plus win a profit equal to the original bet.
The problem with this strategy is that, remembering that past results do not affect the future, it is possible for the player to lose so many times in a row, that the player, doubling and redoubling his bets, either runs out of money or hits the table limit.
A large financial loss is certain in the long term if the player continued to employ this strategy.
Another strategy is the Fibonacci system, where bets are calculated according to the Fibonacci sequence. Regardless of the specific progression, no such strategy can statistically overcome the casino’s advantage, since the expected value of each allowed bet is negative.
The Reverse Martingale system, also known as the Paroli system, follows the idea of the martingale betting strategy, only reversed as the name suggests. Instead of doubling a bet after a loss the gambler doubles the bet after every win.
The system creates a false feeling of eliminating the risk of betting more when losing but in reality follows the same problem as the martingale strategy. By doubling bets after every win, one basically keeps betting everything he has won until he either stops playing or loses it all back again.
The Labouchère System is a progression betting strategy like the martingale but does not require the gambler to risk his stake as quickly with dramatic double-ups. The Labouchere System involves using a series of numbers in a line to determine the bet amount, following a win or a loss.
Typically, the player adds the numbers at the front and end of the line to determine the size of the next bet.
When he wins, he crosses out numbers and continues working on the smaller line.
If he loses, then he adds his previous bet to the end of the line and continues to work on the longer line.
This is a much more flexible progression betting system and there is much room for the player to design his initial line to his own playing preference.
This system is one that is designed so that when the player has won over a third of his bets (less than the expected 18/38), he will win.
Whereas the martingale will cause ruin in the event of a long sequence of successive losses, the Labouchère system will cause bet size to grow quickly even where a losing sequence is broken by wins. This occurs because as the player loses, the average bet size in the line increases.
As with all other betting systems, the average value of this system is negative.
The system, also called montant et demontant (from French, meaning upwards and downwards), is often called a pyramid system. It is based on a mathematical equilibrium theory devised by a French mathematician of the same name. Like the martingale, this system is mainly applied to the even-money outside bets, and is favored by players who want to keep the amount of their bets and losses to a minimum.
The betting progression is very simple: After each loss, you add one unit to the next bet, and after each win, one unit is deducted from the next bet. Starting with an initial bet of, say, 1 unit, a loss would raise the next bet to 2 units. If this is followed by a win, the next bet would be 1 units.
This betting system relies on the gambler’s fallacy—that the player is more likely to lose following a win, and more likely to win following a loss.
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Online roulette free play modes are aimed only at adults, and you must over 18 years old to play roulette games even for fun. Free roulette simulator can be addictive and lead to problem gambling.
So whether you are here to play free roulette games for fun, or practicing your roulette strategies before hitting the real money table, please play responsibly.