Does roulette need to evolve to keep up with the changing casino trends?

Roulette wheel
“Roulette wheel” by Håkan Dahlström (CC BY 2.0)

 

The online casino world has expanded massively over the last couple of decades, and during this time a lot of games have transformed to suit new audiences and the latest technology. This can be seen in particular with slot machines, which now have hundreds of varying themes and ways to play them. They have evolved to attract different types of player, and take advantage of the technology available.

One game that seemingly hasn’t changed that much over the years, though, is roulette. Roulette has always been one of the most famous and popular casino games and continues to be. But does it need to evolve soon like slot machines have, in order to keep up with the ever-changing casino trends?

Appeal

There are a number of reasons why roulette has, and always will be appealing. First of all, it is one of the simplest games the casino has to offer and this often serves to attract newcomers with little knowledge of how to play all the games. Even if someone is not familiar with the rules of roulette, after watching a few rounds they will have a good idea of how it works. Not to mention that many believe that the rush of roulette is unparalleled by any other casino game. So how has the roulette game changed and adapted to the growing online market?

Different ways to play

Roulette was one of the first games to be represented in online casino. At first, it was an exact replica of the traditional game, but instead of having a croupier spin the wheel there were virtual videos with random number generators determining the outcome. As competition between online casinos grew, developers began trying to attract greater clientele with slightly more creative twists on the game – but the essence of roulette remained the same.

Players have to bet on a certain number and if the ball lands on that number then winnings will be paid. The rules differ only slightly depending on which game you are playing, but it is important to check the detailed instructions available to players on a site’s pages before playing. The formats are generally the American, European, French, and Premier.

One of the greatest innovations of the online casino was to incorporate live links to real roulette tables in casinos, where players could watch the croupier spin the wheel, and in some circumstances even chat and tip them. This has enabled the sites to really bring the casino experience directly to the player’s home. And of course, there are casino bonuses, which changed the way casinos engage potential players: welcome bonuses including deposit matches and free bets entice new players, while ongoing players have the chance to participate in prize draws. These are quite unique to online – as opposed to land-based – play.

Virtual Reality Demonstrations
“Virtual Reality Demonstrations” by Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, University of Texas at Austin (CC BY 2.0)

The future

One element of technology has been touted as the next biggest thing in iGaming for a while: virtual reality. But despite this, it’s yet to have truly taken off. It seems that it could spell big alterations in the way in the way roulette will be played in the future, though. The live links to real casino tables have served to give players the feeling that they are actually playing in a casino, but virtual reality could take this one step further and allow players to put on a headset and actually walk around in a virtual casino. There has been speculation that online casino sites may start to feature some massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) aspects, where players will be able to socialise with other VR users in the same virtual setting. Players would be able to actually walk up to the roulette wheel, see where other users have placed their bets, and physically place their chips on the numbers themselves. So it could turn out that roulette’s evolution will go full circle and players will be playing it in the same format in which it has always been played.

Ultimately, though, roulette has retained popularity without needing to change much over the years, so it looks set to stick around for many years to come.

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