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Blaise Pascal basically did casino a massive favour back in the 17th century. The talented Frenchman laid the foundation for the game of roulette with his early concepts for a perpetual motion machine. Fast forward 100 years - and the first roulette game was born. It became an overnight sensation in the Parisian casinos of the 18th century - and practically exploded in global popularity during the 19th century.

Even in the present day, roulette (which is also French for little wheel) is still considered to be one of the main lures of any casino floor. But why is this game so popular? And how exactly does it work?

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What is roulette?

Roulette is a game of odds and chance that is played throughout casinos all over the world. A game of roulette has two main components - the betting table and the spinning wheel. The betting table is where players will place their bets; there are a range of different options that link to the numbers and colours on the spinning wheel. Players can place their bets just about anywhere on the betting mat - single number bets, odds, evens, reds or blacks - each respective position on the board has its own payout.

To determine the results of the game, the roulette wheel will be spun (typically by a croupier) and a ball will be spun in the opposite direction. The ball will spin around the circumference of the wheel, slowly losing momentum. Eventually, the ball will settle in one of the roulette wheel holes. Once the ball has come to a stop, the croupier will award the various winnings and collect what the house has earned.

The game on the surface seems quite simple - and that is indeed true. However, there’s a hidden depth to this spinning wheel game which has contributed to its massive success and popularity.

What types of roulette can I play?

First of all, it's important to establish what kind of roulette player you are - there are two main styles of roulette, both of which appeal to different players. Want to jump into a game quick and don’t really care much for interacting with people? Then you can choose virtual roulette games. Want a more social experience with higher betting limits? Then you will probably enjoy live roulette more.

What’s the difference between these two styles? Virtual roulette is a computerized version of roulette; the results from every spin are generated at random via an RNG (also known as random number generator) algorithm. Virtual casino games nowadays can be played on just about every device including your iPhone or iPad.

Live roulette is not computer generated in any way; a real dealer is streamed live to your playing device. With built in live chat, players can actually interact with the dealer and hold a real conversation. Usually, these tables have bigger betting limits and tend to be far more flexible than their virtual cousins.

Styles are just the tip of the iceberg - there are also regional variations of the game that need to be mentioned. Most classic games of roulette are played with a French roulette table; the wheel has 36 numbers in total and just one green 0 pocket. The house edge of this roulette game is just below 3%.  Then we also have American roulette - a game which doubles the house edge over French roulette. American roulette wheels have an extra green 00 place, making the game far more volatile.

How much can I win with online roulette?

Roulette can be one of the most rewarding games on the casino floor and can make instant millionaires. The highest paying bet on the whole table is the straight up bet (or single number bet) - a single number pays a staggering 35 to 1. Attractive potential winnings, but it must be kept in mind that hitting a single number has incredibly low odds. The outside of the table while nowhere near as rewarding, can provide a slow and steady stream of regular wins - especially if you stick to the 50/50 bets,

Are there any online roulette cheats?

Save telekinetic or magnetic powers, you’re pretty much out of luck trying to cheat a roulette table. Not only is the eventual position of the ball impossible to predict accurately thanks to the movement of the wheel - but casinos make rigorous checks to both the live games and virtual games.

So there may be a lack of roulette cheats - but you could try a roulette strategy instead. Out of all the various tactics out there, the Martingale remains by far the most popular. This betting system was designed to be used with games that have a near 50/50 outcomes and a red/black, odd,even or high/low is almost a fifty fifty shot depending on whichever you bet on.

The system works like this; every time you lose, you double your original bet. If you lose a second time, you double your bet again. When you win, you will receive back all of your last bets plus a little extra on top. In theory, it’s a great strategy - but in practice it doesn’t work, purely because technically, you could play subsequent roulette games and win nothing. And for those with a limited bankroll - that poses a problem.

There are many other strategies to try if the Martingale doesn’t suit, including the Reverse Martingale and the D’Alembert. Whichever strategy you choose, we would recommend avoiding the American roulette tables like the plague. There is no advantages of playing the American version ahead of the French version as nothing in the game changes. Yes, an extra 2% house edge doesn’t seem like a big deal - but when you are playing with hundreds of pounds, you want to make sure all your bases are covered.

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