Among the four big table games (“21,” baccarat, craps, and roulette), roulette is usually the game that trails the group, but has recently enjoyed a rediscovery by casino customers. In fact, the month of May was a historically rare event – roulette revenue in Nevada exceeded craps’ revenue. And, the trend points to a very strong likelihood that roulette will pass the crap in the production of annual revenue within Nevada casinos this year.
But what is driving its growth, especially when games are generally considered old-fashioned, with one of the highest percentages for casinos? The base bet on the roulette table with “00” is expected to make a 5.26% return for the house, roughly four times the optimal bet on 21, baccarat or craps visit JoniQQ.
Even on the single 0 version of roulette (traditionally called European roulette) the house maintains a 2.7% lead, still more than twice the house advantage for the optimal bet in the other mentioned games.
The feel, the payouts, the layout really hasn’t changed much since its introduction back in 1796 – yes, over two hundred years ago. Yes, mechanics, some light features, some historical number tracking has improved over time, but not much has changed. In fact, if any modern-day player went back in time or a player from two hundred years ago advanced in time, they would have no problem recognizing or playing roulette immediately.
In speaking with the Pit floormen and its players, growth appears to stem from the Millennial demographic. These players seem to have embraced the social opportunities of gaming, and they like the absence of the need for significant game skills or knowledge. After all, how simple is it – walk, buy chips, pick numbers and / or colors, bet, win or lose, repeat. Plus, all your friends can join you too.
Easy entry, easy exit, pure luck and cheering and shouting with your friends. Nothing is controlled, there are no special rules; there are no good or bad decisions; just pick and bet.
Unlike 21, baccarat and craps where there are specific rules, protocols and their own language in the game – roulette is also very simple, and there is practically no limit to the number of friends you can join.
As the game became popular again, it also caused some of the smarter operators to steal lessons from the Big Six Wheel. Properties that have highly profitable and productive wheels usually have a dealer overload of personality. They use the customer as a pass, draw them verbally into the game, then continue talking to keep the customer at the game. Using the same practice in roulette, the dealer personality keeps the player in play for longer periods of time adding to the party feel and making it appear more interactive rather than clinical as is often the case in games like baccarat and 21.
As roulette resurfaces in popularity and technology allows new creativity for an old game, start looking for new side bets and bonus bets on the game. For example, a typical wheel rotates in one direction and the ball rotates in the opposite direction. When the ball starts falling towards the numbers it bounces it ends up landing in the pocket in front of the winning numbers. The numbers are always on the outside edge of the pocket where the ball lands, and not on the inside edge.
Now draw a number or symbol on the inner edge that spins against the spin of the wheel and stops when the ball falls, creating side betting odds. I was recently shown a modification in such a way that the inner edge has four quadrants: one heart, one spade, one club and one diamond which rotates in the opposite direction of rotation of the wheel. Its purpose is to provide an additional bonus bet by betting on what symbols match the numbers for higher odds payouts or letting the player bet which symbols match the winning numbers.
While the growth of roulette will undoubtedly stimulate other creative flanks and bonus bets, the real point to take is that roulette is enjoying a revival due to the ease of play, and perhaps more importantly, it is a socially embracing game that is more important than the possibility of winning attractive and holds the attention of Millennial casino patrons. These are all lessons that game designers should pay attention to when creating games for the Millennial Generation!
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