There are very few more beautiful signs in the casino than that of a spinning roulette wheel.
Flashes of black and red as that silver ball dances around it, there is that unique moment of suspense as you wait for it to trickle into a pocket. Invented in France during the 18th century, the game of ‘Little Wheel’ as roulette translates to from French, is beloved all over the world.
You can play the game in pretty much any casino, be it the traditional physical game hosted by a dealer, a virtual version on a screen or indeed, through your own mobile device’s phone screen via an online roulette games casino. The nature of the game is always the same, even if it means swapping a martini in a casino for a cup of tea on your own sofa.
However, with such a long running game, it is only natural that there are some misconceptions about it. So many gambling pastimes have their myths and the roulette wheel is no different in this respect. A simple game of odds on paper, the roulette has casted many myths and rumors since its invention way back when.
What is roulette?
As mentioned, roulette is a fairly simple game of odds.
Played on a unique wheel that has 37 or 38 pockets depending on other you are playing an American roulette wheel or a European one, the players must predict where the ball will land. There are several ways to bet, including simply predicting red or black or odds or even – there are an even amount of each, after all.
You can also bet on the table of options before you, placing your bets or your chips on several numbers at once or on certain corners of the board. The wheel also has either one or two green zero pockets, helping the casino gain the all important house edge that it needs.
This house edged is crucial in debunking a couple of the common myths about the roulette wheel, which we will now get into.
A winning run
A common phrase heard at the roulette wheel, should one player be on a bit of winning streak, is that they are on a winning run.
As if to say that they are more likely to win than usual, players will often risk their winnings and hope the winning streak continues. However, roulette is purely a game of luck and past results bear no indication on what the outcome of the next spin will be.
It is this intangible nature that makes roulette so captivating in many ways, with no element of skill really possible in affecting the result.
Martingale is a good strategy for roulette
Despite the game being all about luck, many strategists and mathematicians have had a crack at curating a method or formula that increases the players chances of winning.
Once such method is applied is the famous Martingale method. A gambling strategy that is very simple and actually best applied – or only applicable – to games where only two outcomes are possible, it is commonly applied to the roulette wheel.
The thinking is that, by betting on red or black, odds or even over and over, you will eventually have to be correct, due to the perceived 50-50 chance of winning. As such, the player should double their bet every time they lose. This insures covering one’s losses and gaining profit when a win comes in.
However, there are no guarantees for a win and casinos often have minimum and maximum bets at their tables, meaning that you can only double your bet so many times. You would need a lot of money to use the Martingale method at roulette wheel should you lose a few in a row.
You have a 50-50 chance of winning with an evens bet
In roulette, despite the chance to double your money, there is never a 50% chance of winning.
Betting on red or black offers evens odds that will double your money, but the chance of getting this bet correct is actually more like 48%. This is because of those green zeroes on roulette wheels. Should the ball land in these, the bet does not come in and it is these zeroes that give the house an advantage.
Not only is this evidence of a lack of a 50-50 chance of winning an evens bet, but it also further debunks the myth of the Martingale strategy being useful in roulette. The same logic of betting on red or black also applies to odds or even bets, as the green zero would result in a loss of anyone who bet on these outcomes, too.
In American roulette, the presence of not one but two green zero pockets – 0 and 00 – means you are even further away from that perceived 50-50 chance of winning.
You can’t win at roulette
Despite all this negativity, one myth that needs debunking is that you can’t win at roulette.
Believed by some thanks to an infamous quote from the great Albert Einstein, it is of course not true. Einstein famously said that ‘your best chance of winning money art the roulette table, is to rob the dealer for money’ – or something along those lines at least, presumably in his famous German accent.
However, winning at the roulette wheel is of course possible and many people have won big and small amounts at the wheel. Einstein’s quote was more a dig at the house edge than it was about literally not being able to win at roulette.
With odds from 38/1, to evens, bets can be very creative in a game of roulette and as a result there are so many ways to win.
Good luck charms
Finally, this final myth is about those lucky underwear that you have been wearing every time you visit the casino.
On behalf of everyone, give them a wash and wear a clean pair, as they will not affect the outcome of the roulette wheel.