Last Updated: June 4, 2013

San Diego Roulette

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Reason #3 why the Wizard likes Bovada: Excellent Odds

In my opinion many online casinos are too stingy when setting the odds on their games. They think they will make more money that way but I believe they are misguided, because when players lose too quickly it's not fun, and those players might not come back.

Bovada is one of the few casinos that understands this. They offer generous odds to let you play longer and get you a better chance of winning. Among their generous offerings are Full-Pay Jacks or Better returning 99.54%, five other video poker games paying over 99%, single-zero roulette, and my favorite, Double Jackpot Poker, returning 99.63%!

Kudos to Bovada for not being afraid to give their players a good gamble.

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The California Constitution states that the ball and wheel alone may not determine the outcome in roulette. Here is what they are doing in San Diego County, to comply.


A single-zero roulette wheel is used, the only one in the San Diego area. There is also a 37-card deck, numbered 0 to 36. Three cards are dealt from the deck and placed in regions on the table identified as "1-12", "13-24", and "25-36". The range the ball lands in (0-12, 13-24, or 25-36) determines which card is flipped over, which is used to resolve all bets.


Harrah's used to

A bingo hopper is used, containing 76 balls, two each of every ball numbered 1 to 36 plus 0 and 00. A ball is drawn which corresponds to the spin for betting purposes.


The roulette wheel has 38 slots, identified by color only. The distribution of colors is 12 red, 12 white, 12 blue, and 2 green. There is also a 38-card deck, with one card each for all 38 possible outcomes in double-zero roulette. Four cards are dealt from the deck and placed on colored regions of the table, one for each color on the wheel. The color the ball lands in determines which card is flipped over, which determines the spin for betting purposes. There is an additional bet called "Super Green", which pays 275 to 1 if the ball lands in green and the 0 or 00 card is drawn. The probability of winning is (2/38)*(2/38) = 0.28% and the house advantage is 23.55%.

Pauma, Sycuan

One card dealt from a 38-card deck, to represent a double-zero roulette wheel.

Harrah's Rincon, Pechanga, Valley View, Viejas

38 cards are placed in a horizontal big six type of wheel. Dealer pulls out card where the flapper stops.

The information on Pechanga is unconfirmed. Please don't write to me and say that Harrah's uses a hopper and numbered balls. They got rid of that in lieu of the card wheel.

La Posta, Golden Acorn, Santa Ysabel, Pechanga, Valley View

No roulette offerred.

San Diego County Roulette House Edge Summary

Between November 30 and December 1, 2008, I surveyed all 11 casinos in San Diego County for the odds offered in craps, among other things. The following table shows my results.

San Diego County Roulette Survey

Casino Zeros House Edge
Barona 1 2.703%
Viejas 2 5.263%
Pauma 2 5.263%
Sycuan 2 5.263%
Harrah's 2 5.263%
Pala 2 5.263%
Valley View 2 5.263%
La Posta No roulette N/A
Golden Acorn No roulette N/A
Santa Ysabel No roulette N/A
Pechanga No roulette* N/A

* I have an unconfirmed report that the Pechanga now has roulette, drawn in the same was as at Valley View and Viejas.

Disclaimer: The Barona Casino hired me to perform surveys of San Diego casinos for backjack, roulette, and craps. The table above summarizes my findings.

Other Games Surveyed in San Diego

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