Strategy

STARTING WITH THE BASICS

Strategy is critical if you want to increase your odds of winning. The first time you play roulette, the players sprinkling the layout with chips may look as if they’re heaping pepperoni slices on a pizza. You can make many different bets as long as you stay within the table’s maximum limits. Consequently, few players make just one bet at a time.

Of course, the more bets you make, the more complicated and challenging it is to follow all the action. Here are two possible plans of attack to simplify matters

  • Stick to the table minimum and play only the outside bets. For example, bet on either red or black for each spin. This type of outside bet pays 1 to 1 and covers 18 of the 38 possible combinations.
  • Place two bets of equal amounts on two outside bets: one bet on an even-money play and the other on a column or dozen that pays 2 to 1.For example, place one bet on black and one bet on Column Three, which has eight red numbers. That way, you have 26 numbers to hit, 4 of which you cover twice. You can also make a bet on red and pair it with a bet on Column Two, which has eight black numbers. Again, you cover 26 numbers, and 4 of them have two ways to win. Pairing a bet on either red or black with Column One (or on one of the three dozens) covers 24 numbers, and 6 numbers have two ways of winning. Spreading bets like this won’t make you rich, but it does keep things interesting at the table.

PLAYING A EUROPEAN WHEEL

If you happen to find a single-zero European wheel, you greatly improve your odds: The house edge is half that of roulette with the American wheel — only 2.63 percent. You may see a European wheel at one of the posh Vegas casinos, such as Bellagio, Mirage, or Caesars Palace. If you can’t find one on the floor, it’s probably tucked away in the high-limit area along with the baccarat tables, so you may need to ask. You can also find the single-zero wheel at some other upscale casinos around the country.

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