RESPECT FOR ROULETTE PERCENTAGES
On an American roulette wheel, you will find 36 numbers, half of them red and half of them black. You will also find a green single zero and a green double zero. This makes a total of 38 numbered slots the ball can drop into. On the European wheel there are also 36 numbers but only one green zero; a total of 37 possible numbers.
All payoffs are the same and all of the quoted odds are the same whether you play a single zero wheel or a double zero wheel. The only difference is in the percentage “bite.” Whereas the American style wheel has 2/38ths (or 1/19th) advantage against the player for a percentage of -5.26%, the European wheel has just 1/37th advantage against the player, or -2.7%.
European LIVE casinos also give the “outside” even money player another break. Should the green zero come up, the player can either pay half of his lost OR get one more spins for free! This cuts the negative expectation in half from -2.7% to -1.35%. This negative 1.35 percent is actually less risk than the best bets on a crap table where the least percentage is -1.4% (The MGM Grand is rumored to have one single zero wheel in the baccarat pit with the “en prison” rule as is new Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi).
To the even money player who likes to make RED/BLACK, HIGH/LOW, ODD/EVEN bets, the difference between American and European roulette is a whopping 4%. Now, if you don't think 4% is a tremendous amount, you just haven’t learned to respect percentages yet!
YOU MUST LEARN TO RESPECT PERCENTAGES
The house lives on it and every little fraction of a percentage point is a big deal because you “interest in reverse” it compounds itself and contrives a grind away at your bankroll. Although most American casinos do not treat a hit on the green zero like they do in Europe (with their “en prison” rule) -2.7% on a single zero wheel is still a much better proposition than a -5.26%.
On all the bets in a roulette table, the “green percentage” is constant. It is not like a dice table where the percentage against the player varies according to the propositions covered. Roulette also has many facets or avenues for systematic play.
Starting with the simplest one (even money - red or black) the player would have a 50/50 chance of winning a bet if it wasn’t for the percentage the house takes when the ball lands on the green. The same “green percentage” applies to the other simple “outside” bets on the layout including other even money bets.
The 2 to 1 propositions are considered “outside” bets also. These include betting the dozens, dividing the board three ways across and playing by columns of one dozen numbers each, or by dividing the board three ways lengthwise.
“Outside” bets have a higher minimum requirement than bets placed inside the numbered area. “Straight up” numbers have a lower permissible maximum bet. It is very important that you know the table limits of all types of bets before you start playing.
Many players think all gambling games are pure luck and they can ignore the percentages. In all casino games, you see a constant disregard on the part of uninformed or indifferent players. It is also extremely important that you realize that danger of the insidious grinding of percentages. In fact, if you are not constantly thinking about percentages, you are a hopeless case.
You must always avoid the bad bets on a crap table. Avoiding the “big six” upright wheels. Leave the slot machines for the tourists and learn to play a good game of roulette.
We are going to assume you have some working knowledge of the game of roulette. If not, there are usually free flyers to be found in most casinos that will explain the basics. After you understand the basics, you must then learn which systems to avoid.