7 Reasons Not to Play Roulette at the Casino

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6 Minute Read

The first time I played roulette, I was fascinated. Watching the ball spin around the wheel, jump around, and finally settle in a pocket was plenty interesting enough to me. But over time, this fascination was quickly replaced by boredom.

Once I learned about how bad the odds are on most wheels, I quickly found other games to play. When I run across a decent roulette table though, I still play a few spins. But roulette is close to the bottom of my preferred games in the casino.

Here are seven reasons not to play roulette, including some of the things that I just mentioned.

1 – It Costs Too Much to Play

If I could walk into a casino and play roulette for $5 a spin, I’d take a shot at getting lucky every once in a while. But it’s hard to find a table where I can place a $10 wager, with many tables using a $20 or higher minimum. And to make matters worse, the only tables with a fairly low minimum are American wheels.

You’re going to learn more about different roulette wheels in another section in this article. The main thing you need to know is that American Roulette wheels have a return to player percentage that is much worse than European and French wheels.

When I decide to play real money roulette, I play online. You can play mobile and online roulette at many casinos for $1 per spin. And it’s much easier to find a European or French wheel when you play online.

If you do find a land-based casino with a European or French wheel, these wheels are either in the high roller area or have a higher minimum bet amount. The amount you’re going to lose in the long run betting the minimum on a $40 European wheel is about the same as betting $20 on an American wheel.

2 – Roulette Is Slow

Roulette is interesting for about five minutes. Then, all you really do is wait for everyone to place their bets, for the ball to start spinning round the wheel, then watch it bounce around until it lands. Next, the losing wagers are collected, and the winning wagers are paid out.

This all takes time, and this is why roulette is slow.

Of course, there are two sides to this coin. Roulette’s slow-paced game is actually a good thing when you consider how much you’re losing when you play. But if you’re a gambler because you like the action, roulette is sure to disappoint.


I mentioned online and mobile roulette in the last section. If you want to play faster roulette, then these two options are right up your alley. You can play as fast as you want. But you do have to be careful about playing too fast, because you can lose just as much money as playing live, even if you make smaller wagers.

The best thing to do is play online or mobile roulette with a small wager and play at close to the same pace as you play roulette in a live casino. This isn’t easy to do, but the main statistic to watch is how much you’re risking in total over a set time period, like an hour.

3 – Only a Few Good Wheels Available

While there are some newer versions of roulette that are slightly different, there are really only two types of roulette wheels. Some wheels have a 00 space, and some don’t. The first thing to know is that if a roulette wheel has a 00 space, you need to avoid it.

When you see a roulette wheel that doesn’t have a 00 space, it has a total of 37 spaces. These wheels are better than the wheels with 38 or more spaces, which all have 00 spaces.

Every roulette wheel without a 00 space isn’t the same. The actual wheels are the same, but the rules used at the table can be different.

Most 37 space roulette wheels use European rules. But a few of them use French rules. The casino edge is half on a French wheel of what it is on a European wheel. But a European Roulette wheel has an edge close to half of the edge on an American wheel.

The main point is that there aren’t very many good roulette wheels available. It can be challenging to find a European wheel, much less a French wheel. You should always try to find a French rules roulette wheel if you’re going to play, but a European wheel is okay for a short time.

4 – Even Good Wheels Are Terrible

I just spent an entire section explaining why some roulette wheels and tables are better than others. And I explained that a French Roulette wheel and table is the best available. While all of this is true, there’s an important fact that you need to know.

Even if you can find a French Roulette wheel, it’s still worse than many other options in the casino. When you compare casino games and gambling options, you need to use something to compare them fairly. The easiest way to do this is to use the return to player or casino edge for each option.

French Roulette has a return to player of 98.65% on the even money wagers. This is better than many games, but there are better options. Here are some of the better options in the casino.

  • Blackjack has a return to player of 99% or higher, depending on the table rules and how you use strategy.
  • The baccarat banker wager has a return to player of 98.94%.
  • Some video poker machines with good pay tables and correct strategy return 99.5% or higher.

5 – Strategy and Systems Don’t Work

Roulette strategy really doesn’t exist. If you want to put a strategy in place for roulette, the entire strategy is to play on a French rules table and make even money wagers. And this strategy isn’t going to help you win, it just helps you lose less.

You can find some roulette systems that look like they can help you win, but they don’t work in the long run. They always work out to losing the same amount in the long run that you’re going to lose by betting the same amount of money without using the system.


To make things worse, most roulette systems make you risk more than if you would just stick with minimum bets every time you play. Don’t fall for the lie that a roulette system can help you win. They don’t work any better than the basic strategy advice I just gave you.

6 – Boring Is an Understatement

It doesn’t matter if I play roulette in a live casino or online, the game quickly becomes boring to me. This might have something to do with the inability to use strategy, but I have a hard time staying interested when I play roulette.

I also understand the odds and payments, so I know that no matter what I do when I play roulette, I’m losing money. Even when I get lucky and leave the roulette table with a little more than I started with, I’m still losing in the long run.

This makes it hard to stay interested at the roulette table.

7 – Double Chip Exchange

This isn’t a huge deal, but it still irritates me when I play roulette in a live casino. I go to the casino and exchange my cash for chips. Then, if I want to play a little roulette, I have to exchange my chips for different chips. And when I’m done playing roulette, I exchange those roulette chips for regular casino chips. And when I leave the casino, I have to exchange my chips for cash.

I understand why busy roulette tables use different chips for each player. It helps them keep track of which player bets on each option. But the multiple chip exchanges are something that I hate.

You can skip all of this when you play mobile or online roulette, but sometimes, I like to watch a real ivory ball spin around the wheel.


The only time I play roulette now is when I need to switch things up. The main reason for this is because there are simply too many things that I dislike about the game.

Most casinos have a higher table minimum to play roulette than I want to risk, and once you start playing, it’s one of the slowest games in the casino.

Systems don’t work in the long run, and the only strategy you can use is finding a good table. The casino has many better options when you gamble, so if you hate craps as much as I do, you still have other choices.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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