Real money online roulette games all look the same, but they’re not all the same. They all use a table with bet options, a wheel, and a ball, but if you take a closer look, you see that some wheels are different from others, and the rules aren’t all exactly the same from table to table.
These are all important things to know if you want to play winning roulette. The wheel and the rules make a big difference in how much you can win or lose.
You’re going to learn more about these things and more in this article about how to play winning roulette.
1 – The Odds of 37 and 38 Slots
Roulette wheels traditionally come in 1 of 2 configurations. These 2 configurations can be explained in a few different ways, but the main thing that it comes down to is that one wheel has a total of 38 spaces or slots, and the other wheel only uses 37.
While a difference of one space doesn’t sound like much, the truth is that this makes a huge difference to you and the casino. Casinos want gamblers to play on wheels that use 38 spaces, and smart roulette gamblers only play on wheels that have 37 spaces.
The odds of winning a bet on black on a wheel with 38 spaces are 18 out of 38. The odds on a wheel with 37 spaces are 18 out of 37. The odds of winning a bet on 17 or any other single number on a wheel with 38 spaces are 1 out of 38.
The same bet on a wheel with 37 spaces produces odds of 1 out of 37.
The pay amounts are the same, but your odds of winning are better on a wheel with 37 spaces. This is the number one reason why you should only play on roulette wheels that have 37 spaces.
2 – En Prison
Now you know the difference between the two main types of roulette wheels. But this is only part of the battle. Now you need to learn about a rule that makes some 37 space roulette tables better than others.
This rule is called en prison. It’s also called in prison some places, but both names mean the same thing.
En prison is a rule that applies to all bets made on even money spaces at the roulette table. The even money bets are the ones that pay 1 to 1 when you win and include odd, black, even, first 18, red, and last 18.
When a roulette table uses the en prison rule when you make a bet on an even money wager and win, it’s the same as when you make the same wager at a table that doesn’t use the rule. But it’s different when you lose one of these wagers.
When you lose your total wager amount is put aside or put in prison. If you lose the next wager, you lose the money in prison. But when you win the next wager, you get your money back that’s in prison.
What this means in real world dollars is that the house edge on a roulette game using en prison is half the house edge in a roulette game that doesn’t use this special rule. But this only applies to bets on even money options.
3 – How to Use Mobile and Online Roulette Bonus Offers
When you play roulette in an online or mobile casino, the odds are good that you’re going to be offered a bonus. As a general rule, getting a roulette bonus is better than not getting a roulette bonus. But there are a few things that you need to be aware of about roulette bonuses.
Some roulette bonuses are cashable, which means that if you have money left after you clear the bonus, you can cash it out. Other roulette bonuses are not cashable. These bonus amounts are deducted from your playing balance before you cash out.
In the long run, these requirements don’t make a huge difference because they don’t change the return of the game, but you still need to know what they are.
4 – Are Roulette Comps Worth the Hassle?
Some gamblers view comp programs as a hassle. You have to join the club and remember to use your card when you play roulette. And the amount of comps you earn is small unless you bet a large amount.
But roulette comps are worth the hassle. You’re not going to overcome the edge at the roulette table with normal play, so getting comps is the best way to help come close to evening the odds.
In fact, comps are about the only thing you can do when you play roulette in a casino other than playing at tables using the en prison rule.
In the next section, you’re going to learn about an old trick that some roulette gamblers use to win for short periods of time. But even if you decide to use this trick, you’re still better off getting comps than not getting them.
Here’s how I look at comps. I rarely earn more than a free meal at the buffet when I gamble because I’m not a high roller. But if I get a free buffet comp, at least I don’t have to buy a meal.
This isn’t quite as good as getting cash, but I need to eat, and I don’t have to spend my money on the meal.
5 – Short Term Wins and Long Term Ruin
Some roulette players use a gambling system called the Martingale. This is an old system that’s simple to use. It works ok with roulette because of the even money wager options. And it can deliver short term profits.
But you need to know about the most important thing before you continue. This system always ends in losing money. This doesn’t mean that it loses money sometimes or only 98 or 99% of the time. If you use this system, you’re eventually going to lose. I guarantee this is 100% accurate.
You can win for a while using this system. And you might start believing that you can’t lose after you secure some wins. But this isn’t going to last. You’ve been warned.
The system works like this: You make a table minimum bet on an even money option. Every time you win a wager, you place another minimum, even money wager. Every time you lose, you double your bet.
Every time you win a wager, you win an amount equal to the minimum bet. Every win makes up for all of the losses in the series. The problem comes when you face several losses in a row, which destroys your bankroll.
6 – Long Term Roulette Outlook Issues
The long term outlook for roulette games isn’t good. Fewer gamblers are playing roulette, and the casinos are trying to do away with the best tables.
This has driven many roulette players out of the casinos to mobile and online casinos. Many mobile and online casinos offer tables with en prison and 37 spaces. But even the popularity of online and mobile roulette isn’t as high as most other casino games.
In many land based casinos where I play, the only roulette table or tables available use 38 spaces. These tables are almost always empty. If you want to continue playing roulette, your best option is to find a good mobile or online casinos.
Roulette games almost all come in 1 of 2 options. You need to understand what the odds are for each option so that you know which option is the best.
The next step in playing winning roulette is learning what en prison means and learning how to find roulette tables that use this special rule.
You can win a simple strategy that often provides short term wins, but it’s dangerous and costly over time. Use this strategy at your own risk.
The long term outlook for roulette games isn’t great, but for now, you can use roulette comps and bonuses when you play.