Turning the Tables – Section II: Roulette Tips

Other things to note about American Roulette include the use of “checks” and “buy-in minimums.” For its part, a check is a non-value token used only at a roulette table in place of regular casino chips, with each player receiving a different colored stack to help delineate his bets from the other players’. Often, there is a minimum amount of money you can spend on checks at one time (i.e., the “buy-in minimum”), but you can assign your checks whatever individual worth you want as long as you bet the “table minimum” (or the least amount of money you are allowed to bet on one proposition). You could very feasibly, for instance, buy in for checks worth a penny each. The only determining factor is whether the table has enough checks of one color to accept that denomination.

If you do decide to buy in for checks at a lower or higher denomination than the basic table minimum, the dealer will take one unused check of you color and a “lammer” (a small metal or plastic disk with a value printed on one side) and stack them on a rack on or near the wheel. This lets him know how much your checks are worth when you cash out, which you must always do because checks have no monetary value away from the table that issued them.

Some American Roulette tables will also allow you to bet regular casino chips or cash as long as no other player is betting with the same bill or chip denomination. Essentially, this is only a matter of crowd control because American casinos don’t want a fight erupting over whose money’s whose. If there are no more check colors to go around, you must always ask the dealer if you can bet this way so he can make sure no one else is using $5 bills or $25 casino chips. However, we highly advise you don’t do this so since many systems require a ratio of bets on multiple propositions and high-value denominations tend to make maintaining these ratios difficult.

Finally, some American Roulette tables in Atlantic City (and only in Atlantic City) have what’s called “Surrender.” This rule dictates that whenever a player loses an “even-money outside bet” (i.e., those that pay 1-1) because the ball landed on zero or double zero, he only loses half his bet. This reduces the house advantage on even-money bets to 2.63 percent, and gives many systems a decided edge over the house. However, before you go praising the Donald for his magnanimity, keep in mind that most boardwalk casinos have higher minimums than anywhere else in the U.S., making some betting systems nearly impossible.