Published on 16/01/2020
Caption: Roulette and poker are just two of the table games that add to the hustle and bustle of the casino floor.
Roulette and poker are two of the best-loved table games found in land-based and online casinos around the world. They both offer entertainment and plenty of thrills and spills based on the turn of a card or the spin of a wheel. Ask anyone in a casino which game they prefer out of roulette and poker and you’ll get a broad spectrum of answers.
Nevertheless, personal preferences don’t make one game better than the other. If you’re keen to find out more about the nuances of roulette and poker and whether there are more similarities to these classic casino games than meets the eye, read on as we delve deeper into the concepts and approaches to each game.
The rules are simple and typically easy for beginners to grasp. You have a roulette wheel fitted with red and black slots, numbered 1 to 36. You’ll also have one or two green zero slots, which depends on the type of roulette game you are playing – more on that shortly.
Aside from the roulette wheel, the roulette table is where all the betting action takes place. Here, players are required to place their betting chips on the next winning number. Players can bet on however many numbers and combinations as they wish. Whether it’s odd or even numbers, numbers in the last third of the table or even a red or black number, the choice is yours. That’s really it in terms of game rules. Another main stipulation casinos set is that you must wager at least the minimum bet displayed on the table. This could be £1, £5 or even £10, depending on where you play.
Once the dealer spins the wheel and the ball is running, no more bets can be placed, and the ball eventually lands in one of the slots in the wheel. If you bet on the winning number, you’ll receive a payout, and if you didn’t, you’ll lose your initial stake to the casino.
The real twist with roulette is that casinos offer multiple variations of roulette. There are three forms of roulette tables that are most played:
Arguably the most common form of roulette, European Roulette operates with just one green zero slot on its roulette wheel, creating a casino house edge of 2.7%.
American Roulette wheels feature not one but two green zero slots – a single zero and a double zero. This almost doubles the casino house edge to 5.26%, which means you should only play this version if European or French tables aren’t available.
French Roulette offers the best odds. Not only does it have just one green zero, it also gives players the best chance for even-money bets like odd or even, and red or black. If you make an even-money bet on a French Roulette table, you’ll receive half your stake back if the ball lands on the green zero slot.
There should also be a nod to live-streamed roulette games that are increasingly available at online casinos. These feature HD streaming and blue-screen technology, with games managed by professionally trained human dealers.
Caption: Poker certainly falls into the category of games that are easy to play and difficult to master.
When some people think of poker, it conjures up visions of Wild West movies like Tall in the Saddle and tense encounters played out in busy saloons, complete with swing doors. The reality is that poker is now one of the most commonly played card games around the world.
The primary objective in poker is to win money over time by capturing the pot, containing the wagers made by your opponents during the various rounds of betting during a hand. Players will add funds to the pot when they believe they have the strongest hand at the table, or they get the impression that a player has a weak hand and isn’t prepared to add any more funds to the pot.
That’s why many people say that mastering poker is about learning how to play your opponents as well as the cards on the table.
Texas Hold’em is almost certainly the best known and most played form of poker today. It is typically played six or nine-handed, but regardless of how many opponents you have, it is one of the hardest but most rewarding variants to master, as you play the players as well as their cards.
Omaha Hi is similar in some respects to Texas Hold’em in terms of the blinds and the various rounds of betting, but it differs in terms of the number of hole cards dealt.
Another popular variant of Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi/Lo, sees each pot split between the player with the highest-ranking hand and the player with the lowest-ranking hand.
It is very true that winning at either roulette or poker requires players to be patient and pick their moments to strike. With every hand or spin of the wheel brings pressure and uncertainty. Those that can remain cool, calm and collected and wait until they have the right conditions to play their hand or wager on the right numbers tend to stay the course.
Both roulette and poker players can call upon a plethora of strategies to deploy, helping to maximize their bankroll and give themselves the best possible chance of landing that big winning hand or spin. The best roulette and poker players will have mathematical minds, capable of calculating statistical probabilities of every scenario quickly and accurately.
Roulette is designed to have a house edge – a tiny percentage that land-based and online casinos can make on each spin of the wheel that funds their operations. The edge in roulette is normally calculated based on the number of numbers active on the roulette wheel and the number of zeros – the more zeros the greater the house edge. Unlike roulette, poker does not have a distinct house edge as it is a case of player versus player. Instead, casinos will take a tiny fraction of every pot that’s played for, known as a rake.
The real beauty of poker is that even if you are dealt one of the lowest-ranking hands, it’s still possible to win the pot by executing betting strategies and physical deception; exuding confidence in your hand to your opponents and forcing them to fold their better hand. This simply isn’t possible in roulette. The outcome of roulette games is binary – the ball either lands on a number you bet on or it doesn’t