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Last Updated: July 15, 2014

Riverboat Roulette

Introduction



I first noticed Riverboat Roulette at the Golden Gate casino in Las Vegaas on July 7, 2014. It is played on a standard roulette wheel, except each number is assigned two colors. Various new bets are added on the second color of each number.

Rules

  1. The game is based on a standard 38-number roulette wheel.
  2. Each number is assigned two colors. For purposes of this explanation, I will call them the "outer colors" and "inner colors."
  3. The outer colors can be red, black, or green in the same numbers are conventional roulette.
  4. The inner colors are distributed as follows:

    Color Distribution

    Color Number
    White 8
    Green 2
    Red 2
    Black 2
    Yellow 3
    Teal 3
    Pink 4
    Purple 4
    Blue 5
    Orange 5
    Total 38



  5. On the betting layout there are fields to bet on the following colors: Yellow, Teal, Pink, Purple, Blue, and Orange. A bet on one of these colors will win if the ball lands in the chosen color before it lands in white. Any other outcome shall push. The following table shows how much each bet pays.

    Pay Table

    Color Pays
    Yellow 2
    Teal 2
    Pink 1.6
    Purple 1.6
    Blue 1.4
    Orange 1.4

  6. There is also a single spin bet on white, which pays 3.5, and loses on any other outcome.




Analysis

The following table shows my analysis of the Yellow and Teal bets. The lower right cell reflects a house edge of 5.26%, the same as conventional double-zero roulette.

Yellow and Teal Analysis

Outcome Pays Numbers Probability Return
Win 2 3 0.078947 0.157895
Push 0 27 0.710526 0.000000
Loss -1 8 0.210526 -0.210526
Total 38 1.000000 -0.052632


Note: If we define the house edge as the expected loss to bet resolved, as it is defined for place bets in craps, the house edge would be 18.18%.

The following table shows my analysis of the Pink and Purple bets. The lower right cell reflects a house edge of 4.21%.

Pink and Purple Analysis

Outcome Pays Numbers Probability Return
Win 1.6 4 0.105263 0.168421
Push 0 26 0.684211 0.000000
Loss -1 8 0.210526 -0.210526
Total 38 1.000000 -0.042105


Note: If we define the house edge as the expected loss to bet resolved, as it is defined for place bets in craps, the house edge would be 13.33%.

The following table shows my analysis of the Blue and Orange bets. The lower right cell reflects a house edge of 2.63%.

Blue and Orange Analysis

Outcome Pays Numbers Probability Return
Win 1.4 5 0.131579 0.184211
Push 0 25 0.657895 0.000000
Loss -1 8 0.210526 -0.210526
Total 38 1.000000 -0.026316


Note: If we define the house edge as the expected loss to bet resolved, as it is defined for place bets in craps, the house edge would be 7.69%.

The following table shows my analysis of the White bet. The lower right cell reflects a house edge of 5.26%, the same as conventional double-zero roulette.

White Analysis

Outcome Pays Numbers Probability Return
Win 3.5 8 0.210526 0.736842
Loss -1 30 0.789474 -0.789474
Total 38 1.000000 -0.052632


Since the White bet has no pushes, the house edge is 5.26% no matter how you calculate it.

Strategy

My advice is to bet on the Blue and Orange bets only. On a per spin basis, these bets offer the best value, including the conventional roulette bets. However, if you feel that the house edge should not include pushes, then the White bet and the conventional roulette bets would offer a better value.

Riverboat Roulette — Official web site.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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