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Best of John Grochowski
A shuffle through the gaming mailbag12 July 2012
A. Each casino sets its game mix to optimize its profits and keep players coming back. If there was a bigger demand for roulette at a high enough betting level, there would be more wheels.
The high enough betting level is a key. Roulette moves more slowly than most table games. It takes time for that wheel to spin and players to get their bets down, and it takes time for the dealer to clear away losing chips and pay the winners. Since each player at a roulette wheel gets his or her own color chips, the chips have to be sorted and stacked.
The result is that there are more rolls of the dice per hour in craps and more hands per hour in blackjack than there are spins of the roulette wheel. Roulette earns its place on the floor because most players make multiple bets per spin, and the house edge is higher than it is on blackjack or on the best bets at craps. To expand its space, though, roulette would need more demand from players willing make those multiple bets.
As for the house edge, roulette isn't really a pretty even bet. When you bet red or black, one's going to win and one's going to lose -- except when the ball lands in 0 or 00. Then both red and black lose.
That doesn't make for a game that's pretty even. It makes for a game that has one of the highest house edges at the tables. Payoffs are such that this would be an even game if there were 36 numbers on the wheel. But there aren't. There are 38 -- 1 through 36, plus 0 and 00. The house has a 5.26% edge -- it'll keep $5.26 of every $100 you wager in the long run. There is one exception. On the five-number combination bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3, the house edge soars to 7.89%.
The house edge is lower -- 2.7% -- on wheels with a single 0, but those are not common in the United States.
A. Both are good, solid methods for playing when you can't afford to take the free odds. You'll get a slightly lower house edge with the pass plus two comes. House edges are 1.41% on pass, the same 1.41% on come, and 1.52% on placing either 6 or 8. Despite the higher house edge, some players like the place bets simply because 6 and 8 are the most frequently rolled numbers other than 7, and the players like to have those numbers working.
There is one more factor weighing in favor of the pass-come method: It takes more rolls to decide a come bet than a place bet, giving the house edge fewer chances per hour to work against you.
The place bets essentially skip the come-out portion of a come bet, establishing the 6 and 8 as your points. With no come-out equivalent, place bets are decided in fewer rolls, increasing your exposure to the house edge.
Your expected average loss per hour is lower with your friend's method, but it's really up to what you want out of the playing experience.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John Grochowski