A patent application for a hybrid table game known as Riverboat Roulette was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in July of 2014.
The game was invented by brothers Kent and Kevin Luck, owners and operators of a casino game equipment company called Double Luck Gaming.
The underlying premise of Riverboat Roulette is simple: along with the alternating red and black color scheme found on the traditional roulette wheel (plus the green “0” and “00” house spaces), this game adds a secondary wheel which assigns several different colors to the 38 total numbers.
Similar in spirit to roulette variants like Double Ball Roulette and Alphabet Roulette, Riverboat Roulette expands on the classic version of the game by including a new gameplay dimension. With two independent wheels turning on every spin, players can stick to the traditional roulette bets, or have some fun by betting on the multicolored secondary wheel.
Shortly after receiving approval on their patent claim, the Luck brothers made their American debut of Riverboat Roulette at the Golden Gate Casino in Downtown Las Vegas. At the time, the Golden Gate Casino installation was said to be exclusive, meaning Riverboat Roulette could only appear at that particular venue.
Prior to the American debut, Riverboat Roulette enjoyed a brief period of popularity throughout the United Kingdom, particularly in the Grosvenor casino chain.
At the time of the American expansion, Mark Brandenburg, president, and co-owner of Golden Gate Casino offered his own take on the partnership between his casino and Riverboat Roulette:
“We have a unique history of roulette in the casino so Riverboat Roulette was a perfect fit for us.”
Brandenburg’s co-owner and Golden Gate Casino CEO, Derek Stevens, echoed those sentiments:
“As Las Vegas’ original casino, we strive to be at the forefront of change in the gaming and hospitality industries. We’re excited to introduce an exciting new approach to one of the most popular games of all time. Because the game functions as traditional roulette and also offers a unique multiple spin option, we’re confident the game will be well received by many different players.”
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Since the debut installation commenced, Riverboat Roulette has yet to expand out of its exclusive arrangement with Golden Gate Casino, so the game is effectively confined to a single venue.
Even so, millions of gamblers make their way to Downtown Las Vegas each year, so we decided to put together an authoritative page on Riverboat Roulette to help players prepare. This page begins with a detailed description of the rules and gameplay procedures, which is followed by a guide to finding the game in your nearest brick and mortar casinos. To conclude, we’ll offer the most effective strategy tips available to help you play the game properly.
How to Play Riverboat Roulette
Readers who have little to no experience with the classic wheel spinning game, should start with our main page for regular roulette. After you gain an introductory knowledge of casino roulette, you’ll be better prepared to understand the nuances of Riverboat Roulette Online.
More importantly, this game includes two distinct betting systems: one for the regular roulette wheel and one for the multicolored secondary wheel. If you choose, you can bet on basic roulette wagers alone, while avoiding the new bets which give Riverboat Roulette it’s flair. For that reason, knowing how to play traditional roulette is essential.
This game is played using the standard 38 number, double zero “American” roulette wheel. That means you’ll be playing with the numbers 1 36 in alternating red and black colored spaces, along with “0” and “00” spaces, which are both colored green.
Riverboat Roulette Two Wheels
What differentiates Riverboat Roulette from its age-old predecessor is the inclusion of a second spinning wheel. This wheel, which features several colors to supplement the usual color scheme, spins on the inside hub, while the traditional red/black/green numbered wheel spins on the outside.
As a result, whenever the ball finds a final resting place, it will always connect to both the red/black/green numbered outside space, and one of the multicolored inside spaces.
One thing to keep in mind: these wheels do not spin independently. This means that as the wheel spins, the same multicolored spaces will always be “connected” to the same red/black/green numbered spaces.
Colors And Frequency
The colors and frequency of the inside wheel, which will henceforth be referred to as the “secondary” wheel, can be broken down as follows:
|Riverboat Roulette Secondary Wheel|
|Yellow||3||6, 18, 31|
|Teal||3||5, 17, 32|
|Pink||4||8, 12, 19, 29|
|Purple||4||7, 11, 20, 30|
|Blue||5||3, 15, 22, 24, 34|
|Orange||5||4, 16, 21, 23, 33|
|White||8||1, 2, 9, 10, 13, 14, 27, 28|
Essentially, the white spaces are the “craps” in this game, so if you bet on any of the secondary wheel colors, the objective of the game is to land the ball in that color before landing in a white space. If the ball lands in any other space, instead of losing, you’ll simply see your bet returned as a push. Combining elements of craps and ordinary roulette, Riverboat Roulette includes a series of bets on these secondary wheel colors that can produce one of three results: win, loss, or push. Unlike normal roulette bets, which are either won or lost, bets on the secondary wheel can result in “ties” which cause your bet to be returned.
When you do happen to land in the secondary color that you’ve bet on, payouts are awarded on an escalating scale according to the pay table below:
|Riverboat Roulette Secondary Wheel Bet|
|Yellow||2 to 1|
|Teal||2 to 1|
|Pink||1.6 to 1|
|Purple||1.6 to 1|
|Blue||1.4 to 1|
|Orange||1.4 to 1|
Playing Riverboat Roulette
Step #1: Make Your Bet Selecting The Wheel Spaces
As an example, let’s imagine we’ve wagered $5 on the Red bet for the basic roulette wheel, and $10 on the Orange spaces for the secondary wheel, which cover the numbers 4, 16, 21, 23, and 33.
Step #2: Wait For The Ball to Land And Check Your Bet
The dealer launches the ball and it revolves around the wheel before landing on the 23, which is red on the regular roulette wheel, and orange on the secondary wheel.
Step #3: Match The Wheels Color
This means we’ve won even money on our standard Red/Black bet, profiting by $5 on a $5 wager. For the secondary wheel bet on Orange, we’d earn a payout of 1.4 to 1 on the $10 wager, for a profit of $14.
Remember, though, when making secondary wheel bets, unless the ball lands on a White space, you won’t lose for missing the chosen color. Instead, your bet will be returned as a push.
So if you take Orange like in the previous example, and the ball lands on Teal, you wouldn’t lose the $10 – it would be returned as a push to be wagered again.
Betting On The White Spaces
You can also bet on the White spaces specifically, and in this case, the ball landing on any other secondary color will result in a loss – not a push. But when you bet on White and happen to hit the right color, you’ll earn a payout of 3.5 to 1 on your money.
The “catch” with the secondary wheel bets is simple enough to grasp: on each color, you’ll always have more losing spaces on the wheel than winners: The breakdown of winning spaces, losing spaces, and push spaces for each secondary wheel bet can be reviewed below:
|Riverboat Roulette Secondary Wheel|
|Yellow or Teal||3||8||27|
|Pink Or Purple||4||8||26|
|Blue Or Orange||5||8||25|
Best Places to Play Riverboat
Despite the game’s early success, both in the U.K. and Las Vegas, it seems highly likely that Riverboat Roulette has joined the hundreds of failed casino game concepts to come and go over the last two decades.
Searches on the Golden Gate Casino website show no current mentions of Riverboat Roulette, and no other American casinos offering the game can be documented.
Furthermore, the game is no longer active in U.K. based casinos.
Today, it may very well be impossible to find active Riverboat Roulette tables in the brick and mortar casino setting.
And with the game never being adapted for online casino play, at this point, Riverboat Roulette can safely be considered as an “extinct” casino game.
Riverboat Roulette Strategy
In a non-skill game like roulette, where players have no ability to influence the action, assessing the role of strategy can be easily
You only have one choice to make: which numbers, colors, or wagers to take. After that, it’s up the to the random spin of a wheel to determine the result.
With that said, riverboat roulette roulette strategy can be boiled down to a basic comparison of the house edge rates offered by each available wager. Simply put, the lower the house edge, the better the bet, and sound roulette strategy dictates taking the best bet at all times. In case you would like to learn more about the many theories around roulette strategy, be sure to check our reviews on Roulette Books.
Breakdown Of Win Percentage
In traditional roulette, every bet found on the double zero wheel (save one, the “first five” 5 number bet) offers the exact same house edge: 5.26 percent. This parity between the various bets was inserted into the game to ensure that players always face the same odds/payout ratio, no matter what choice they make. And for that reason, regular roulette effectively has no strategic elements whatsoever.
But Riverboat Roulette is a different story, as each of the bets included on the multicolored secondary wheel carries different house edge rates. Complicating matters further, the secondary wheel bets offer a threefold payout system, with wins, losses, and pushes (or unsettled bets). Because of this, the normal house edge calculations (referred to as the “BJ house edge” on this page) aren’t entirely reflective of the risk carried by each wager. Instead, experienced casino game analysts prefer to use the house edge calculations used for craps bets, most of which can result in either wins, losses, or unsettled bets.
Comparing The House Edge
By comparing the house edge percentages for each color bet, and only betting on the most favorable bets, you can play Riverboat Roulette according to optimal strategy.
Take a look below to see how the house edge rates for each secondary wheel bet stack up, both in terms of BJ house edge and craps house edge:
|Riverboat Roulette Secondary Wheel Bets|
|BET||BJ HOUSE EDGE||CRAPS HOUSE EDGE|
|Yellow or Teal||5.26 percent||18.18 percent|
|Pink or Purple||4.21 percent||13.33 percent|
|Blue or Orange||2.63 percent||7.69 percent|
|White||5.26 percent||5.26 percent|
We’ve bolded and italicized the best possible bet on the secondary wheel in Riverboat Roulette: Blue or Orange, and White. If you would like to get additional insight into these rates, check out the Wizard of Odds page on Riverboat Roulette.
If you must make the secondary wheel bets, the most player friendly option available is by far the Blue or Orange spaces. No matter how you choose to examine the house edge, either incorporating the pushed bets or not, the Blue or Orange spaces offer the most favorable odds on the secondary wheel.
You can also bet on the White spaces on the secondary wheel, but when you do, the house edge is identical to the bets offered by the regular roulette wheel bets. In other words, there’s no reason to bet on the White spaces, as you can simply bet on Red/Black, Odd/Even, or any of the other ordinary roulette bets to play against the same house edge rate.