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If one game had to be chosen to represent the 'look' of gambling, it would be roulette. This game of chance has been a constant presence in the casino industry for hundreds of years and is a popular choice for millions of online gamblers. The popularity of roulette can be put down to a number of features, including its fast pace, simple rules and the chance to win big. Roulette is a classy addition to any casino – be it land or online – and attracts players from all over the world. Players simply bet on the roulette table, watch the croupier spin the wheel and then enjoy the payouts if their prediction is correct.

History of Roulette

The very basic premise of roulette (a chance game of numbers played with a wheel) probably originated in Ancient Rome, when soldiers used their chariot wheels to play a very primitive version of the game. However, the roulette that we are most familiar with today originated with the creation of the roulette wheel by the French scientist and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, in the 17th century. By the 1720s, the roulette wheel was being used as a gaming device, especially in the game of Roly Poly so popular among English royalty. Gaming was soon banned in England, and the popularity of the roulette wheel picked up again in the late 18th Century when it was sought out by French nobility. A single 0 was added to the game by the French Blanc brothers in 1842.

In the late part of that century, the roulette wheel was introduced to gambling houses and casinos in Paris with all the current elements (ie. numbered slots from 1 to 36 and the red/black alternating patterns already in place). Roulette stretched to other parts of Europe and landed on US shores in the mid 1800s through the arrival of French settlers to Louisiana. US based gambling houses added an extra zero to increase the House Edge and saw the creation of what is known today as American Roulette. Most players naturally still prefer European Roulette due to its low edge.

The popularity of roulette has remained constant throughout the years, and is a good choice for players to casinos around the world today. In the middle of the 1990s, when online casino sites began popping up on the internet, online roulette became an instant hit and is available today at top gaming sites such as Ireland in different variants, betting limits and skill levels.

Online Roulette Odds

As noted, online roulette is a game of chance, where luck determines who wins and who doesn't. However, because online roulette offers players the chance to win up to 35 times their wager, it remains a popular choice. The odds of roulette actually depend on which variant is being played. A European Roulette wheel comprises 37 slots (36 numbers and a single zero), while an American Roulette wheel comprises 37 slots (36 numbers and two zeroes). As such, even without going into too much detail about how the odds of roulette are calculated, it is plain to see that there is more chance of winning a game of European Roulette than it is American Roulette. The latter has a house edge of 5.26%, while simply removing one of the zeroes brings the house edge down to 2.7%. Playing European Roulette with en prison rules and other unique rules can bring the house edge even lower.

Players win at online roulette depending on the type of bets they place on the roulette table. Some wagers have better payouts than others, however the chances of predicting them are naturally smaller.

Betting on a single number while playing either American or European Roulette will result in a 35 to 1 payout. The difference is, however, that the chances of getting this right will be 37 to 1 playing American Roulette, and 36 to 1 playing European Roulette.

A general rule of thumb is that players should avoid single number wagers and, only in the case of American Roulette, a five number bet, as these types of wagers have the biggest disparity between true odds and what you're actually paid out.

To enjoy the best online roulette odds, players should choose bets that pay out 1 to 1 (even money bets), such as Even, Odd, High, Low, Red or Black bets.

Online Roulette Game Rules

Roulette is a particularly easy game to play, with very simple rules. It involves placing bets on a roulette table and spinning a wheel with numbered pockets to see where the ball lands. Correct bets result in payouts, according to where the betting chips are placed on the betting table, ranging from 1:1 and up to 35:1.

A roulette betting table is designed with numbers (excluding 0 or 00) arranged into 3 twelve-number columns. Surrounding these columns are different types of bets (eg. Even, Red, Odd) which players can wager on.

There are other, less common variations of the online roulette game that are available. These include:

Players purchase chips and place their bets on the table. After the bets have been made, the croupier spins the roulette wheel and throws the ball in the opposite direction of the spinning wheel. The ball lands in the slot and the croupier announces the winning number. Payouts are then made according to the payout table and based on the wagers placed.

Online roulette game rules differ when it comes to American Roulette or European Roulette, and not only because an extra zero has been added. European Roulette usually also offers the option of the En Prison rule, which means that should a zero come up, players can surrender half their outside wager or, alternatively, leave them on the roulette table for the subsequent roulette wheel spin. This rule could actually bring the house edge down to just 1.35%.

Another rule is the La Partage rule which is similar to the former En Prison rule in that players stand to lose half their bet but cannot leave their wager 'in prison' for the next spin.

Roulette Game Buttons Information

Online roulette games feature buttons which allow players to place their bets, spin the wheel and claim their winnings. While buttons will differ depending on the game variant played and the software casino provider used, it is safe to say that most online roulette games feature similar functions.

Chip Size Selection: By clicking the Increase (+) or Decrease (-) button, players can choose to increase or decrease the chip size they wish to bet on their game.

Bet: Clicking on desired chip number will see one chip placed on the roulette table.

Regular Mode: Clicking on this button will take players to the simplified version of the roulette game.

Expert Mode: This will display a more sophisticated layout of the game and replace regular mode.

Spin: This button starts the wheel spinning after bets are placed and is considered the 'start' button of online roulette.

Auto Play: The game will restart itself for the number of times pre-determined by the player, using the same wagers.

Stop: Stops the auto-play feature.

Clear: Removes all wagers made since the last bet was placed.

Online Roulette Glossary

American Roulette: Played on a wheel with 38 numbers, ie. 1 – 36, 0 and 00.

Black: A wager on the black numbers.

Block Bet: A set of numbers on a particular section of the roulette wheel.

Column Bet: A bet that incorporates a group of 12 numbers at a time.

Corner Bet: A bet with an 8:1 payout where a bet is placed on four numbers simultaneously.

Croupier: The 'dealer' at the roulette table.

Double Zero Bet: A bet on the 00 number in American Roulette.

En Prison Rule: The player surrenders half the wager or has the bet 'imprisoned' for another spin.

European Roulette: Classic roulette played on a 37 number wheel (1 – 36 and 0).

Even Bet: A bet on all the even numbers on the roulette table with a 1:1 payout.

Five Number Bet: A wager unique to American Roulette, made on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3.

French Roulette: AKA European Roulette

Green Numbers: Zero and Double Zero

High Bet: Betting on the group of numbers from 19 – 36, with a 1:1 payout.

Inside Bet: Any bet placed inside the layout of the roulette table.

Line Bet: A wager comprising of six adjoining numbers with a payout of 5:1.

Low Bet: Betting on the group of numbers from 1- 18, with a 1:1 payout.

Red Bet: A wager on the red numbers in the game, with a 1:1 payout.

Single Number: A bet on a specific number on the roulette wheel with a 35:1 payout.

Split Bet: Betting on two inside numbers simultaneously.

Straight Up Bet: Wagers on one number.

Street Bet: A wager on any three numbers in a column with a payout of 11:1.

Trio Bet: Betting on three numbers simultaneously.

Opening an Account and Playing Online Roulette for Real Money

Leading online casinos such as Ireland offer players the opportunity to play quality online roulette from the comfort of their own homes. To do so, players need to open an account at the casino and follow a few simple steps. Whether players choose to download the software onto their computers or play instant online roulette using Flash technology, the steps to creating an account and playing online casino games for real money are simple.

While it is possible to create an account and play in practice mode only, in order to start winning at online roulette, players need to open a real money account. To do so, they first click 'Play for Real Money'. The next step is to click 'Create Account'. They are then led to a page where they are required to fill in a few important fields (eg. Name, contact information), before they are requested to read and agree to the terms and conditions. The final step is to click the 'Create' button and account will be set up. Ireland customer support is on hand 24/7 to help players should they require assistance to create a real money account, as well as queries they may have about making a deposit into their account to fund their gaming sessions.