You’ve probably heard of a bookie. You haven’t? Well, here’s a quick rundown of things. A bookie – short for bookmaker – is defined in Wikipedia as a person or group that takes bets on sports and gambling events like horse races at odds both they and the bettor agreed upon. In the United Kingdom and other countries where they are legal, bookies are known to set up shops known as betting shops.
The Bookmaker’s Betting Shop
You may simply imagine a betting shop as a place where middle aged blue collar workers gather to bet in front of an old cathode ray tube television that shows live footage from a race track. If that’s what you are thinking, then you are wrong. Betting shops are now catching up with the times and have acquainted themselves with electronic gambling.
While many bookies tore down their shops and went online, some retained their brick and mortar attribute, and instead invested on automated betting systems that don’t even have to connect to the Internet. These machines are specifically called fixed odds betting terminals or FOBTs, a very common sight in British and Nevada betting shops. As the name suggests, the odds in these machines are set up by the bookie and not the one originally found in whatever game is played in the machine.
An Overview of Roulette Machines
The most common game being played in FOBTs is no other than the casino gamblers’ favorite game and the gambling establishments’ favorite cash cow, roulette. Indeed, playing roulette is no longer just limited to casino-goers and those with access to the Internet, but also to those living in areas where bookies can operate legally.
The fixed odds betting terminals that host roulette are simply called roulette machines. With respect to hardware, these machines certainly vary in design. Some look like they can be surreptitiously sneaked into a video game arcade without causing a public uproar. Others meanwhile, comprise of interactive screens where the players can input their bets surrounding a single roulette wheel. Still some are designed such that they’d look pretty much like the typical roulette table found in the casinos.
Regarding its gameplay, playing in a roulette FOBT is just the same as playing in online or live casinos, the only difference being the game’s odds. You place your bets, have the wheel spun, and then hope for the best. However, it is said that roulette machines are pre-programmed such that you are given a fixed probability of winning and is not totally random. For example, when you make three bets in a row, the machine can only let you randomly win one spin and lose in the remaining two. This is the reason why many are advised to simply stay away from roulette FOBTs and bet on actual tables instead. However, statistics depicting the number of roulette FOBT players indicate that these friendly warnings simply don’t work at all.
In summary, roulette played on fixed odds betting terminals is just the same as online and live casino roulette, but with altered odds. Don’t trust that this game is random however. If you want to play a purely chance-based roulette game, it’s best that you do it in land-based or online casinos.