Internet roulette may not offer the same allure as its land-based counterpart, but it remains a popular option for anyone who enjoys classic casino gaming. In addition to 22 generous betting options, roulette also features the iconic wheel that’s become synonymous with class and high-stakes gambling. The sound of this spinning piece of game equipment can be strangely hypnotic, and those moments when the ball is clattering between pockets is sure to raise the pulse of even the most seasoned punter.
This article is meant to cover the basics of online roulette, from the essential rules to the best virtual destinations. While the information included below won’t eliminate the strong house edge, you’ll at least come away with a better understanding of your available options.
Playing Roulette for Cash
It’s a simple matter to find real money roulette online, as almost every casino offers it as part of their basic package. This speaks to the enduring popularity of the game, especially when you consider that the “basic package” also includes classics such as blackjack and craps.
The roulette payouts are usually the same from one online establishment to the next, so the main thing to look for is a virtual casino that best meets your needs. With most players, this usually comes down to the look and feel of the casino, the selection of games, ease of withdrawal, and overall security. My favourite option under these parameters is Royal Vegas, although I’ve also had good experiences with Vegas Palms, 7 Sultans, and Platinum Play.
Thanks to the continual growth of Internet technology, an increasing number of online casinos now offer their games for mobile devices. Whether your favourite gizmo is powered by Android or Apple, you’ll be able to download the software and enjoy portable gaming. I once won $150 at roulette while standing in line at the pharmacy, and that provided a bright spot in an otherwise miserable day.
Finding Free Roulette Online
For those who want to learn the basics of the game before risking their bankroll, it’s easy to find free versions of online roulette. This game functions exactly the same, except the money you play with isn’t real.
Most Internet casinos offer free versions of their games, and this is an excellent way to sample the general ambience of the establishment while you play. If you like what you see (and hear), then you always have the option of graduating to real-money play. If not, you can search for your roulette fix elsewhere.
There are also a wide range of stand-alone sites that provide virtual roulette games for free. Some offer hundreds of casino classics and video games, while others are a single-page site with basic sounds and graphics. In either case, you’ll have a chance to sample the various betting options without the pressure of playing for cash.
Busy players may also want to look into roulette apps for their mobile devices. These simulators are often free, and they can be found by conducting a quick search at Apple’s App Store or one of their competitors.
Fun vs. Real Money
The primary difference between fun and real-money play is a financial one, as only one option allows you to step away from the computer with extra cash in your bank account. Of course, the argument could also be made that only one option prevents you from losing cash. It’s all a matter of perspective, really, and this decision is likely to be governed by your current monetary situation.
Thanks to advances in online technology, there’s otherwise little difference between the two versions. Free roulette plays just the same as the real thing, and the sights and sounds are indistinguishable. This is great for players, as they can hone their knowledge of the game for free before making a seamless transition to the cash tables.
Playing Internet Roulette
When it comes to gaining the attention of other patrons, roulette is one of the more popular games in the casino. This is due to a combination of frequently large wagers, multiple betting options, and the mesmerizing effects of the wheel. While online roulette players won’t have to deal with noisy crowds cheering them on, they’ll still be able to enjoy all the basics of this casino classic.
The centrepiece of roulette is a large wheel with coloured pockets that alternate between red and black. The European version of the game offers 37 pockets, while the American counterpart features 38. Due to the presence of the extra pocket, the odds are even greater for the house in American roulette (5.26% vs. 2.70%).
The roulette table contains a layout where available wagers can be viewed. These bets are normally classified as “inside” or “outside,” with the latter having better odds and smaller payouts. Players can elect to make simple choices such as black/white or even/odd, or they have the option of betting on an entire series of numbers. Most casinos impose both minimum and maximum bets at the roulette table.
Once all wagers have been placed, the wheel is set into motion. A white ball is then spun along the wheel is the opposite direction, and the diminishing momentum of the wheel eventually results in it falling into one of the pockets.
When the ball comes to rest in a pocket, winners and losers are determined. In order to win, the pocket must match the number or colour predicted by the player. If this occurs, then the punter is awarded with a payout equal to predetermined odds. For example, successfully wagering on a single number pays 35 to 1 odds, while correctly choosing between black or white results in a 1 to 1 payout.
As you can see, roulette is a simple game to learn, although its random nature makes it impossible to master. Advantage players often consider it to be a “sucker’s game,” but this has done nothing to diminish its popularity over the years. From Monte Carlo to Macau, roulette is still sought after due to the chances of winning a bundle, as well as the communal nature of the experience. While Internet roulette may lack the societal advantages, it still provides an entertaining gaming option that can leave a player flush with cash.