When people think of casino gaming, they usually think of either craps or roulette. These are the two most well-known table games. And they have both been highly romanticized in popular fiction and media.
Of the two games, roulette is the easiest to understand because it has fewer rules than craps. But roulette is popular and exciting because it offers potentially higher payout odds than most other gambling games.
Whether you live in or travel to Pennsylvania, most of the state’s casinos now have a website you can enjoy without having to drive to the casino. This is a great option for state residents who want to stay home and the millions of people who pass through the state with limited time.
As long as you are located anywhere inside Pennsylvania state lines you can always find a roulette game if you’re in the mood to try your luck.
Americans can register accounts with Pennsylvania online casinos from any state in the country. You can also play the online games for free. Only if you want to play for real money do you need to be inside the state lines.
Download Pennsylvania casino mobile apps to manage your accounts
If a Keystone State casino has a website then it has a mobile app you can download. You cannot play for real money on the apps but you can check your balance and read casino news.
Most of the mobile apps also allow you to play a few games for free. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with both the game designs and the game options each casino provides.
The mobile apps support both Android and Apple iPhones. If you use a tablet PC you should be able to download either the Android or the Apple iOS app. You may be able to use a web browser from a tablet to visit the desktop versions of the casino sites but you need to test this on your device.
You need a desktop or laptop computer to play for real money online
For the time being – to avoid creating conflicts with federal wire transfer laws – Pennslyvania’s casinos require that you use a desktop or laptop computer to play for real money on their websites.
While this may inconvenience some players, there isn’t anything you can do about it.
But you’ll find that you have a greater selection of games from each site. The desktop site is easier to use as well. If you have a touchscreen computer then you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Choose from several styles of roulette
Each online casino offers games provided by 1 or more gaming platforms. IGT and NetEnt are the two most popular game platforms used by Pennsylvania’s casinos.
You’ll find standard versions of American (double zero) and European (single zero) roulette on all the casino websites. In addition to the number of slots on the wheel, each version of roulette has a few custom rules you should be aware of.
Each version of roulette also has its own unique design. You may decide to play a game because of how it looks.
The differences between American and European roulette
American roulette is distinguished by the addition of a second green slot to the wheel – the “double zero”. The house edge – the percentage of total wagers the casino expects to keep over time – is larger in American roulette than in European roulette. This is why gambling experts recommend playing European roulette whenever possible.
Some players mistakenly assume that European roulette also has a second table of numbers, usually called the “Racetrack” because it is laid out in an elliptical pattern like a racing track. The racetrack can be used on any table and it is used to represent “call bets”.
If you see a racetrack on the table in an online roulette game then you can place chips there for additional bets.
How French roulette differs from American and European roulette
French roulette uses a single zero on the wheel but it allows two special rules. The table is also labeled in French and the outside bets are laid out differently. All the basic roulette betting options are available in French roulette but the table design is very different.
La Partage (which means “splitting” or “parting”) allows players to retain half their even money wagers if the ball lands on the green zero.
En Prison gives a player a chance to keep their bet. With the en prison rule, the croupier places a special marker on an even money bet that loses. If the bet wins on the next spin the player’s wager is returned (but no more).
To illustrate, suppose a player bets $100 on all odd numbers. The ball lands on zero. Normally the player would lose this bet. But the croupier places the en prison marker and spins again.
If the next spin lands on an odd number the player’s wager is returned, but if the ball lands on an even number or the zero again then the player forfeits the wager.
If you don’t see options for la partage or en prison wagers in online roulette games, assume they are not available. They are still more common in land-based casinos.
How to bet in roulette
As in any gambling game you’ll need to pay attention to the house rules or table rules. House rules are set by the casino. They may only apply to a single table or to all the games the casino offers.
Common house rules set minimum and maximum bet amounts, restrict when you can make more bets, and may offer or forbid special types of wagers.
Roulette is famous for offering a high payout of 35-to-1 on single numbers but as gambling experts like to point out, there is a catch. This is the least likely outcome for any roulette game. It’s the safest bet for the house and the riskiest bet for the player.
The probability of the ball landing on any given number is determined by the number of slots on the wheel. A single-zero game like European or French roulette only has 37 slots on the wheel. American roulette has 2 green slots and therefore 38 slots in all.
Some gambling experts say you’re more likely to come out ahead if you place all your money on a single wager than if you only make minimum wagers on every spin of the wheel. This is an unpopular – even somewhat controversial – point of view.
A more popular rule of thumb is to make larger wagers on low-risk bets (the so-called “outside bets”) and smaller wagers on riskier bets.
The outside bets consist of the red and black, odd and even, high (19 to 36) and low (1 to 18), and “dozen” bets. These bets pay the lowest odds but they cover the most numbers.
The inside bets are any bets placed on the table of 37 or more numbers (that includes the green numbers) in the middle of the table.
You’re allowed to bet on any combination of numbers your chips touch – 1 number, 2 numbers, 4 numbers, 6 numbers, etc. Placing a wager on the outside boundary of the table means you want to bet on all the numbers in the rows or columns the wager touches.
You can make multiple bets at the same time, thus covering more numbers. Making multiple bets puts more money at risk and you can only bet a total of what the table maximum allows.
Best bets to make in roulette
Whether you bet on single numbers, combinations, or outside bets, the game is designed keep the odds about the same all the way through. There are some statistical variations and experts say that some of the mid-range bets offer highest risk for lowest potential reward.
In other words, either bet on the outside or go for broke and bet on individual numbers. The outside bets pay more often but pay less, while single number bets pay less often but pay more.
There isn’t much volatility in a basic roulette game. This is because the ball and wheel spin move in opposite directions, making their final positions fairly random. Online roulette games – which use random number generators to simulate the motions of ball and wheel – do a good job of being truly unpredictable.
Even so, statistical anomalies occur and are expected. The same number may come up several times in a row, or the same even money bet may happen frequently.
Although opinions remain divided on the best bets in roulette, all gambling experts agree that no roulette betting system works as intended. In other words, no matter how hard you look you won’t find a 100% accurate and reliable betting system.
Many people promise to tell you the secret of winning in roulette but no one can guarantee you’ll win.
To make your money last longer only make small, outside bets. But this may be boring for some people. They prefer to take greater risks.
The way to maximize volatility in roulette is to increase the amount you wager on each spin. The so-called dozens bets (made either from the bottom of the table or the side) can be combined to cover all but a few numbers on the wheel.
However, if you feel that making multiple bets is confusing then you can bet the maximum on any bet. Betting the maximum on an outside, even money bet is more likely to pay off than betting the maximum on a single number.
Make consistent wagers
Roulette players are betting on a long game – that they can keep making wagers with the ultimate goal of winning more than they lose.
The house is also betting on a long game – that players will gradually lose more and more money as they keep playing.
When the player stops playing decides the issue. Consistent betting makes it easy for you to watch your bankroll change over time. If you start with a $500 bankroll and it rises to $1000, you are a winner if you stop playing right there.
You cannot predict how the next spin ends but you can project how long your money will last if you stick to consistent wagers. You can adjust your wagers up or down to learn what works best for you but keep track of how much you’re wagering, winning, or losing.
Other things you should know about Pennsylvania online roulette
Pennsylvania players have a good selection of options to choose from for playing online roulette. Each variation of the game offers more than just slight rule variations. The games all have unique interface designs.
Choose a game that is visually pleasing to you, and which is easy for you to play. The controls and denominations are larger in some roulette games than others.
Before you begin playing the game, study the screen to see where your balance is displayed. This location changes from game to game and the inconsistency may confuse some people.
You should also study the controls because the games may use different button designs.
Some of the games allow you to change visual aspects or “skins”. You may be able to lighten or darken the screen or change color combinations.
You should also locate the audio controls and test the sound for each game.
Online gaming should be both fun and convenient. Even if you cannot play for real money, if you enjoy practicing roulette Pennsylvania’s online casinos provide many good choices for players.
The desktop website is better for gaming than the mobile app, but if you have never played casino games on a mobile app they are all worth checking out. The additional features mobile apps offer – especially news about upcoming events and promotions – will help you plan your future entertainment activities.
Should the day come when Americans can gamble for real money online in every state, Pennsylvania’s online casinos are in a great position to offer a fun roulette experience to everyone.