What Is California Roulette GemdiscoPH Bonus? Should You Play It?
Many different roulette variations have been invented over the years. Some variants offer mini wheels while others put multiple balls in play (online).
But as radical as these games sound, none of them are as different from the classic version as California roulette. The latter uses completely different equipment in some respects.
You can keep reading to find out more on California roulette’s odd features and if it’s worth playing. But first, you can check out why the Golden State offers a different version of roulette in the first place.
California’s Take on Roulette and Other Casino Games
If California tribal casinos and cardrooms could have their way, they’d just offer normal roulette games.
However, they can’t due to the state’s gambling laws. Games of skill are approved while anything that involves balls or dice aren’t.
Obviously roulette doesn’t make the cut. All of its outcomes are decided by a ball landing in a numbered pocket.
Here’s a full list of games that are banned in California:
- Fan tan
- Rouge et noire
*Games with dice or cards.
If you’re wondering what some of these games are, then don’t feel bad. I’ve been writing about casino gambling for years have no idea how hokey-poker, lansquenet, and some of these other banned games work.
But if you can look past the games that probably died along with the Gold Rush, you’ll notice that roulette is the most-relevant exclusion.
Luckily, roulette aficionados caught a break in 2004. The state legislature ruled that a game called California roulette was illegal.
How Does California Roulette Work?
This roulette variation loosely resembles the classic version that’s offered in casinos. It features a normal roulette table and board.
However, the key difference is that the traditional wheel is replaced with a spinning deck of cards. Here are the characteristics of this setup:
- A spinning wooden wheel with slots that hold playing cards.
- 38 slots/cards on the wheel (meant to represent the American wheel).
- The cards alternate between black and red suits (like black/red pockets on regular wheel).
- Cards are also numbered 1-36, 0, and 00.
Other than the cards and funky looking wheel, California plays much like standard roulette. Each round starts with players putting their chips on the board.
The dealer will eventually spin the wheel and call out “no more bets.” When the wheel stops, a pointer will indicate the winning card.
The croupier takes this card out of the slot and shows the table. Winning cards feature both a number and a color (red/black).
What Are Your Chances of Winning with California Roulette?
Given that this game is based on American roulette, it has a 5.26% house edge. This figure comes from the wheel’s two house-friendly pockets, including zero and double zero. Here’s the math:
- 2 pockets that favor the house
- 38 total numbers
- 2 / 38 = 5.26%
You’ll be facing a 5.26% house advantage with almost every bet on the board. The only exception is the “basket” wager, which carries a 7.69% house edge.
This bet is made on 00, 0, 1, 2, and 3. You obviously want to keep your chips out of this area due to the high house advantage.
But even if you make regular wagers, a 5.26% casino edge is nothing to get excited about. Most games give you a much better chance to win than this.
However, you can improve your odds by choosing a game with the la partage rule. This rule allows you to get half of your money back (even-money wagers only) when the ball lands on zero or double zero.
Assuming la partage is in play, then the house edge is cut down to 2.63%. The catch is that you must place even-money wagers to take advantage.
By and large, though, most California roulette games feature an American wheel. The same is true of standard roulette games found in Vegas and Atlantic City.
Is Roulette Treated Unfairly in California?
Roulette did get some favoritism when the card-based version was approved in 2004. However, it’s still far from the darling among state politicians.
The list of approved and excluded games is somewhat confusing. Baccarat, a game that involves no more skill than roulette, is somehow approved.
The only real skill in baccarat is choosing the banker hand to win. As long as you do this, then you’re guaranteed to achieve the lowest house edge of 1.06%.
Roulette involves fairly similar strategy. If you choose the European or French version, then you’ll lower the house advantage to 2.70% and 1.35%, respectively.
I can understand how blackjack and Texas hold’em make the cut as skill games. However, baccarat is a perfect example of why roulette is treated unfairly.
The only solace is that politicians at least approve of California roulette. Otherwise, there’d be no way to legally enjoy this casino classic.
Pros of California Roulette
Since being introduced to tribal casinos, California roulette has been a pretty popular game. Here are some key reasons why it holds players’ attention.
Interesting Roulette Variation
If you’re a big roulette fan, you may feel like you’ve tried every variant. However, the California version brings something totally fresh to the table.
Rather than dealing with the same type of wheel that’s been used for centuries, you get to watch a spinning card holder. Results are determined by numbered cards, rather than numbered pockets.
No other roulette variation in the world has a setup that’s this different from the norm. Assuming you’re looking for something new, then you should appreciate this game.
Offers a Way for Californians to Enjoy Roulette
Roulette falls under the category of being a house-banked game with a ball. Therefore, it’s technically illegal in the Golden State.
However, California roulette was concocted as a means of getting around this law. It’s just different enough to qualify as a legal casino game.
State residents don’t have to travel to Nevada just to enjoy roulette. Instead, they can play something similar right in their backyard.
Sometimes Offers Favorable Odds
Some California roulette games feature the la partage rule. La partage allows you to get half of your even-money bets back if the ball stops on zero.
This rule lowers the house edge to 2.63%. While this isn’t the lowest house advantage in the casino, it still gives you a much stronger than to win than American roulette.
Cons of California Roulette
This game has a lot going for it. However, California also has some notable downsides that must be considered before you jump into the matter.
Doesn’t Satisfy Fans of Classic Roulette
Part of roulette’s charm is its classic feel. This game debuted in Paris in the late eighteenth century and has remained largely unchanged ever since.
Everything from the wheel’s polished wood to the sound of the rattling ball create something that’s totally unique from other games.
California roulette doesn’t have quite this same charm. In fact, the slotted piece of spinning wood looks downright ugly.
High House Edge in Most Cases
Some tribal casinos offer the la partage rule to draw true gamblers who want better odds. However, the average gambling establishment knows that they can draw players without this rule.
Most California roulette tables are based on the American wheel. As a result, they carry a high 5.26% house edge.
Only Available in California
California roulette is aptly named after the state where it was founded. This variation is still only available in the Golden State. Are you prepared to visit California just to play this game?
Odds are that you aren’t so infatuated with it to make a special trip. Realistically, you’ll only play this version if you live in or near the state.
California has strange gambling laws that only allow specific casino games. Roulette, unfortunately, isn’t one of the approved games.
However, it does exist in some legal form within the state. The legislature approved California roulette in 2004.
The California version offers a nice mix of the familiar and something new. Its board and rules are mostly the same as traditional roulette.
But the main difference is that it uses a slotted piece of wood as the wheel. Each slot represents a number and color.
The mechanics of California roulette hardly differ form the regular game. Only the equipment and look of the wheel differ.
You may really appreciate the chance to try a really unique roulette variant like this. You’ll especially feel this way if you’re tired of the classic version.
But the biggest barrier to trying California roulette is location. It’s only available in land-based casinos in the Golden State.
I certainly don’t recommend that you travel far just for this game. But you might consider trying it if you either live in/near California or will be vacationing there.
With any luck, you’ll find a version that features the la partage rule. This is preferable to playing the American version (5.26% house edge), because it only features a 2.63% house advantage.