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Reduce the House Edge at Online Casinos With a Roulette Strategy

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games. It involves a spinning wheel with numbered compartments, and players place bets on which red or black numbered compartment the ball will drop into as the wheel spins to a stop. The game emerged in the 18th century and gained popularity throughout Europe. Fanciful theories about its origin abound, including claims that it was invented by 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal and by a Dominican monk.

The basic rules of roulette are easy to understand, but serious players can apply a strategy to reduce the house edge. In addition to betting on individual numbers, players can make bets on groups of numbers (streets and corners), on odd or even, or on red or black. The odds of winning a bet are based on the probability that the ball will land in the chosen compartment, and the amount paid for a winning bet is based on the number of chips placed on the bet.

Each table carries a placard with the minimum and maximum bets allowed, so it is important to choose a table within your budget before placing your first bet. Once all bets are placed, the dealer spins the wheel and the winning number is determined in a matter of seconds. After the losing bets are cleared off the table, the winning bets are paid and the cycle begins anew.

A basic roulette wheel has thirty-six red and black pockets arranged in three rows of twelve, alternately numbered 1 through 36. A single green pocket carries the sign 0 on European wheels and two green pockets on American ones, adding to the house edge. The symmetrical arrangement of the numbers allows you to bet on a group of six numbers called a “dozen” with a very high chance of winning.

Some online casinos offer additional rules that improve the house edge even further. The en prison rule, for example, pays half your even-odds bets that lose to the zero, so you’re not out the full amount of your money. This is especially helpful for those playing with small bankrolls. You can also try out a few variants of the game, such as French roulette, which offers the la partage rule and an added third green pocket with the sign 0 to further lower the house edge to 1.35 percent or less.

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