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Roulette Strategy

Learning the game of roulette is far from difficult, but finding a strategy that actually optimizes your game-play is about as difficult as tasks come. The math behind the game is straightforward. Consequently, many people have proposed a roulette strategy, such as the Martingale system, that professes to exploit this simplicity. The problem with trying to develop a proper roulette strategy is that all of the bets on the table calculate out to the same house edge of 5.25%. The only exception to this rule is the five-number bet, which has an even worse edge of 7.29%!

So what do we suggest for a roulette strategy? Simple attention. Knowing roulette is more about knowing what aspects of a roulette game can change the 'unchangeable' house edge. Now of course in a game so rigid and non-interactive as roulette we can do little as players to lower the house edge, but we can be on the lookout for casinos that offer special rules that accomplish the same thing.

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The first rule you should look for in the casino is called 'surrender', which should not be confused with the similar term used in the game of blackjack. The rule applies to outside bets which pay even money only. These include red/black, odd/even and the high/low bet. If the ball lands on a 0 or 00 you only lose half of your bet, instead of all of it. As you already know, it's the 0 and 00 that ramp the house edge up so much in American roulette, so surrender does a good job at significantly lowering this house edge. The house edge on these even money bets is now only 2.63%, not too shabby. Although even money bets are now twice as nice as their inside counterparts, you have to sacrifice any potentially big payoffs to gain the benefit of a lower house edge. It's not perfect, but it's a workable roulette strategy.

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The next most important difference in tables that you should have an eye out for is European wheels, or single zero wheels. These tables exclude the double zero you find on most North American wheels. True to its name it is much easier to find European roulette wheels across European casinos than it is anywhere else. The table is quite often manned by two croupiers, a rake is used to clear bets, and players use normal casino chips instead of proprietary ones. The only difference truly worth noting though, is the fact that there are only 37 pockets on the wheel. This simple change drops the house edge on all bets (not just the even money outside bets) to a much more attractive 2.70%.

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