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The Dark Side of Roulette

23 May 2024

CINDY: Roulette has been played in some form of casino since the mid-to-late 1600s. It was invented by the philosopher, scientist, and theologian Blaise Pascal.

ABBY: Blaise was trying to invent a perpetual motion machine, a centuries’ old desire of many people – who so far have all failed.

CINDY: But Blaise did invent something that has become a staple of casinos for centuries, the game of the “little wheel,” which is called roulette.

ABBY: Today there are basically three types of “little wheels” being played in casinos around the world. We have the single-zero wheel (0), called the French or European wheel with a house edge of 2.70 percent. We have the double-zero wheel (0,00), called the American wheel with a house edge of 5.26 percent. And now an awful one has been introduced into the casinos, the triple-zero wheel (0, 00, 000) called the “yuck” wheel (by us) with a house edge of 7.69 percent.

CINDY: Each roulette wheel has 36 numbers from 1-36, and either one, two, or three usually green zeroes. Players can bet on one number, two or more numbers directly on the layout and they can also wager on the green zeroes. Although there are so many choices, the payout on all the games for a hit of a single number is 35 to one.

ABBY: That’s how the casino gets its edge, by not paying back the full worth of a winning bet. On the single-zero wheel, there are 37 numbers and a true winning bet should get 36-to-1. The casino does not pay that. Instead, it pays that 35-to-1. This holds true for the double-zero game that should pay 37-to-1 and the triple-zero game which should pay 38-to-1.

CINDY: Withholding the true payout from a winning player gives the house its edge on the games.

ABBY: You have a host of bets you can make at roulette. You have those inside bets right on the numbers individually.

CINDY: And you have groups of numbers that you can bet on with a single bet. Some of these are the dozens, the columns, the even-money bets of red/black, odd/even, and high/low. There are also combinations you can put right on the inside, still with a single bet.

ABBY: All bets will face the house edge because they are paid by withholding the full payment. Keep that in mind.

CINDY: So, what are the traps of roulette?

ABBY: Betting straight-up on the inside numbers, especially if you bet only one number, can lead to very long losing streaks since you have a one in 37 or 38 or 39 chance of hitting your selected number.

CINDY: Waiting for a hit can be a long wait for you.

ABBY: Yes, you could hit right away, and get that 35-to-1 payout, but the chances of that are slim.

CINDY: If a player finds him or herself in a long losing streak that player may decide to increase the numbers of inside bets he or she makes – all coming in with the same house edge. A person could lose a lot of money by spreading the total number of bets he or she makes.

ABBY: Players are much better using the single-bet groupings as mentioned above. Yes, you can have losing streaks but they will never be as long as betting a single, individual number on the inside.

CINDY: Losing streaks will often cause players to throw caution to the wind and these players will often get blown away.

ABBY: You do have a choice concerning what wheels you play in certain casinos but make sure the minimum bets are affordable. You do not want to lose more money because you are playing a better game!

CINDY: In future weeks we’ll tackle betting systems but for now, play cautiously.

ABBY: And tip your cap to Blaise for inventing a fun game!
Royal Flushes

Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.
Royal Flushes
Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.