If you are new to online roulette, or even if you are a seasoned player, it is worth having a think about how these games actually work before you play them. Knowledge is power!
It's easy to understand how a physical wheel works in a casino. You can see the design of the wheel, there's a croupier, there's a white ball and there's a betting table. The croupier spins the wheel (there are 2 main designs: American and European Roulette). You make a bet on the table with chips (French tables look slightly different from European and American tables, but the differences are mainly in the lay out), and the casino pays out based on a set number of rules that are advertised on the betting layout. It's relatively easy to understand, and things only start getting more complicated when you start making more exotic call bets like.
There are also many companies that claimed to have developed roulette software to help you beat the wheel. We maintain a healthy scepticism on this one.
When you play online, you have 2 options. Virtual roulette- which is a computer simulation (like a video game), and live roulette which is played on a physical wheel (try live roulette Betfair for this). You just watch the action on a remotely on a webcam. We are going to be covering Virtual Roulette here which you can play as a flash roulette game or as a downloadable game.
How Does an RNG Work
In order for an online casino to mimic aan actual wheel accurately, it has to be able to generate random events with the same probability, so if there are 37 pockets on the wheel, the casino software has to generate a random result with a probability of 1 in 37. That is not as easy as it sounds. Casino software is programmed by humans- so how do they generate a random result?
RNGs use highly sophisticated algorithms (i.e. mathematical equations) to generate sequences of numbers. Although it is theoretically impossible for a computer to be 100% random, the RNGs can sequence so many numbers that for all intents and purposes it as about as random as you can get, and probably more random than a physical wheel that may have a pattern bought on by wheel bias or dealer signature, for example. Each sequence of numbers is "seeded" by an individual number, (which is called the seed), which has also been generated off an RNG. So there are multiple levels.
RNGs do not "think" and don’t use previous results to generate future results (an important point if you know anything about the Gambler's Fallacy).results based on previous outcomes. So probability has the same function in online roulette games as it does in land-based roulette. There will be variance in the short and medium term, (you might see 10 reds in a row), but over the course of 1000 spins you should see roughly the same amount of blacks as reds.
Can Online Casinos Rig the RNG?
Well, theoretically, I guess they could. But ethical casinos like the ones we feature on OnlineRoulette.org.uk are audited by third parties, and actually, they don't need to. The house already has an edge in roulette. They have to strike a balance between making money for their business and players winning. No-one is going to return to a casino that doesn't have winners whom they pay out fast. And word gets around quickly, especially online.
Types of Roulette Software
We cover quite a few of the best roulette software developer here like Microgaming, Playtech (eg their Age of the Gods roulette game), IGT and Net Ent. These are the big ones, then you get others such as Open Bet who are behind variants like Deal or No Deal roulette and Real Deal. These companies license their games to different online casinos. The main types of games are as follows;
Roulette Download Games
For the richest experience, you'll need to download the roulette software onto a desktop or laptop. This is changing as more people play mobile roulette games, but for now, you'll find the greatest choice when you play download roulette software.
Think of it as an app. You download the casino lobby on to your computer, and from there you can download as many games as you like. Because the software sites on your computer, you only have to communicate with the casino's servers to get the random results, so it's fast, and the quality is high.
Roulette Flash Games- No Download
You can also play roulette in a web browser on your laptop or desktop (Windows and Apple Macs). Some people prefer not to download software on to their machines, so this option enables you to "stream the game" and download individual roulette games as a Flash file. The quality may not be quite as good as the downloadable games. Increasingly, there is not much difference as player's connection speeds have increased to hundreds of MBs- more than enough for a high quality flash roulette game.
HTML5 Roulette Games
Flash doesn't work on mobiles or tablets, so to cope with the burgeoning popularity of mobiles, phablets and tablets like the Nexus 6P, and the Ipad Air 2, the casino software developers are producing more and more games in HTML5, which does work on all of those devices. These are very similar to flash roulette games in that you play them in your mobile browser. However, they are often adapted to fit the smaller screens. You are unlikely to find so many betting options like the Orphans bet, for example. There just isn't enough room on the screen.
Last (but definitely not least as this is a growing area), are roulette apps for your mobile and tablet- mostly for iPhones running iOS and devices running Android. Windows Mobile is growing, but it's still playing catch up. Apps on your phone are th emobile equivalent to the roulette download games on your desktop. The software sits on your device, so there is less chance of your session going "choppy". Paddy Power and bet365 mobile apps both have great roulette games on them.