How to Play Roulette


Roulette

Roulette is a casino game of pure chance which is one of the most popular European gambling games. Roulette involves a spinning wheel with special numbered pockets, a ball thrown into the wheel and a betting table on which chips are placed. Depending in which pocket the ball lands, the player can be payed out between 1:1 and 35:1 on their bets.

Roulette became popular in France in the 1700's and 1800's especially in the luxurious gambling parlors of Monte Carlo. The rulers of the time reinstated gambling in Monte Carlo in order to relieve economic pressure and the game became the greatest hit amongst the nobility and aristocracy from all around Europe who used to visit Monte Carlo.

Roulette made its way to the shores of the United States in the early 1900s but was not met with as much enthusiasm as it experienced in European casinos. One of the major differences was the fact that American roulette wheels had an extra slot, numbered 00, which altered the house from 2.7% to 5.26% - a big difference for one little slot. Click for information on history and terminology.

The Roulette Wheel

To win at roulette, a player has to correctly predict where the ball will land after each spin of the wheel. Players are paid out according to the location of their betting chips on the roulette table. Basic bets are payed out 1:1 while numbered bets are paid out as much as 35:1.

Roulette is played on a wheel consisting of 37 (European) or 38 (American) slots, each with its own number. The numbers are from 1-36; European wheels will have a single 0 while American wheels will have a single 0 and a double 00. The numbers alternate between pairs of odd numbers with pairs of even numbers, and also between black and red colored slots. The zero number slots are always green. A small ball is rolled in the opposite direction of the spinning wheel and drops into one of the slots when the spinning ends, determining the winning number.

American Roulette Wheel   European Roulette Wheel
     
American Roulette Wheel   European Roulette Wheel

The Roulette Table

The roulette table is where the player places his/her chips regarding the predicted outcome of the ball spinning in the wheel. The table is designed with the numbers (not 0 and 00) arranged into three columns of twelve numbers. The first row across is 1,2,3; second row is 4,5,6 etc. The rest of the table is dedicated to the different types of bets that a player can make for groups of numbers.


American Roulette Table Layout

American Roulette Table Layout
A
Straight Bet - 1 number, pays 35:1
G
Column Bet - 12 numbers, pays 2:1
B
Split Bet - 2 numbers, pays17:1
H
Dozen Bet - 12 numbers, pays 2:1
C
Street Bet - 3 numbers, pays 11:1
I
Red or Black - 18 numbers, pays 1:1
D
Corner Bet - 4 numbers, pays 8:1
J
Even or Odd - 18 numbers, pays 1:1
E
Five Number Bet - 5 numbers, pays 6:1
K
High or Low - 18 numbers, pays 1:1
F
Line Bet - 6 numbers, pays 5:1


European Roulette Table Layout

European Roulette Table Layout
A
Straight Bet - 1 number, pays 35:1
G
Column Bet - 12 numbers, pays 2:1
B
Split Bet - 2 numbers, pays 17:1
H
Dozen Bet - 12 numbers, pays 2:1
C
Street Bet - 3 numbers, pays 11:1
I
Red or Black - 18 numbers, pays 1:1
D
Corner Bet - 4 numbers, pays 8:1
J
Even or Odd - 18 numbers, pays 1:1
E
Four Number Bet - 4 numbers, pays 8:1
K
High or Low - 18 numbers, pays 1:1
F
Line Bet - 6 numbers, pays 5:1
   

Types of Roulette Bets

Inside Bets

  • Straight Bets: Betting that one particular number on the wheel will come up. This is done by placing a chip on top of the number’s square on which a player wants to bet. The payout for this bet is 35:1.
  • Split Bets: Betting that one of two numbers that are adjacent on the table will win. A player places their chips on the line that separates the two numbers and wins if the ball lands on either two numbers. The payout is 17:1.
  • Street Bets (Trio or Three Number Bets): Betting that any number in a particular row will come up. This bet is made by placing the chips on the outside line of the row on which one wants to bet. If any of the numbers in the row come up, the bet is a winner and the player is paid out 11:1.
  • Corner Bets (Square or Four Number Bets): A bet that one of a group of four numbers will come up in the next spin. The numbers are all touching on the table and the player places the chip in the central point of the four numbers. If any of the four numbers comes up, the player is paid 8:1.
  • Five Number Bets (American roulette only): A bet that either the 0, 00, 1, 2 or 3 will win. This bet is done by placing a chip on the outside line the separates the 0 and 1. If any of these numbers come up, the player is paid 6:1.
  • Note that on the European roulette table layout, E is a Four Number Bet and is paid out 8:1.
  • Six Line Bets: A bet that one of six numbers on two adjacent rows will come up in the next spin. The chip is placed in between two rows on the outside line and a player is paid out 6:1 if any of the numbers come up.

Outside Bets

  • Column Bet: A bet that a number in a specific column will be spun and is made by placing the chip at the bottom of the desired column where it is marked “2-1”. The player is paid out 2:1.
  • Dozen Bet: A bet that divides the table into three sections: 1-12; 13-24; 25-36. This bet is made by placing chips in one of the three boxes titled “1st 12”; “2nd 12” or “3rd 12”. The player is paid out 2:1.
  • Red Bet: Betting that the next number to come up will be red. This bet is played by placing a chip on the ‘Red’ box and if a red number comes up, the player is paid 1:1.
  • Black Bet: Betting that the next number to come up will be black. This bet is played by placing a chip on the ‘Black’ box and if a black number comes up, the player is paid 1:1.
  • Even Bet: Betting that the next number to come up will be even. This bet is played by placing a chip on the ‘Even’ box and if an even number comes up, the player is paid 1:1. This bet does not include the 0 or 00 numbers.
  • Odd Bet: Betting that the next number to come up will be odd. This bet is played by placing a chip on the ‘Odd’ box and if an odd number comes up, the player is paid 1:1.
  • High Bet: A bet that the next number to come up will be between 19-36. This bet is made by placing chips in the “High” box and if the number comes up, it pays 1:1.
  • Low Bet: A bet that the next number to come up will be between 1-18. This bet is made by placing chips in the “Low” box and if the number comes up, it pays 1:1.

Betting Chips: Every player has to buy special chips to play on a roulette table. In American roulette players are given different colored chips so that it is easier to track which bet belongs to which player on the board. In European roulette, however, memory skills are relied on greatly and all the players’ chips are of the same color. The chips come in different denominations and depending on the roulette table’s minimum requirements, specific chips are used. Once a player has finished with the chips, they need to be exchanged for cash – roulette chips can generally not be used in other casino games.

Placing Bets: A player places bets on numbers (including the zero) inside the table layout or outside the table layout – these are known as inside or outside bets. Once everyone at the table has had a chance to place their chips on the table, the croupier will announce ‘no more bets’ and everyone has to remove their hands from the table. The croupier then spins the wheel and throws the ball in the opposite direction. The ball lands in a slot and the croupier will place the dolly over the winning number and clears away all the losing bets. Only once this is done, can players place new bets while the croupier pays the winners.

American Roulette vs. European Roulette

There are a number of differences between American roulette and European roulette:

  • The major difference between the two forms of the game is the wheel. The European roulette wheel only has one 0 while the American roulette has a 0, and a 00. This change in the wheel numbering transforms the house edge in favor of the gambler in European roulette. European roulette’s house edge is 2.7%, while American roulette’s house edge is 5.26%.
  • In American roulette, players are given different colored chips to place on the table, in order for the croupier to distinguish one person’s bets from another. In European roulette, the croupier’s memory is heavily relied on and all the chips are of the same color.
  • European roulette offers players the option of the En Prison rule. This rule allows the player the option, if a zero comes up, to surrender one half of their outside wager or to leave them on the table for the next spin.
  • When the En Prison rule is offered, the house edge for European roulette drops to an even more attractive 1.352% - a big difference to American roulette’s 5.26%.

Some Roulette Rules

If a table’s minimum wager is $5 and a player is using $1 chips, then the chips may be placed in one or more of the inside spots, as long as the total bet makes up the table minimum. A player may place as many inside bets as he wants, as long as he doesn’t top the table maximum.

When making outside bets, a player cannot divide the minimum bet over a number of fields – the entire amount must be placed in one field. Of course, more wagers may be placed in other fields, as long as they do not exceed the table maximum.

En Prison Rule: This rule, generally offered in European casinos, works for outside even-money bets. If the spin shows a zero, the player is given to option to either take back half his bet or to leave it ‘en prison’ for another spin. If the spin shows a zero for a second time, then the bet is lost.

La Partage Rule: This rule is similar to the ‘en prison’ rule except that in this case, the player loses half his bet and is not given the option of leaving the bet ‘en prison’ for another spin. Again, this rule is only applied to even-money bets, when the spin result is zero.

Roulette Tips

While roulette is 99,9% a game of chance and there is not much one can do to alter the outcome of the results, below are a number of tips which might make a slight difference:

  • Keep track of the numbers being hit on the roulette wheel. If a number is repeated a few times within 100 spins, the wheel might be biased and this fact could turn the house advantage to the player’s favor.
  • A player should watch out for the ‘dealer’s signature’ which is when the dealer spins the wheel and releases the ball at the same speed and curve at every spin. As long as the metal stops do not deflect the ball too much, a player should be able to predict where the ball will drop.
  • A player should remember to cash in their chips before leaving the table as roulette chips can not be used at other casino games.
  • The five-number bet covering 0,00,1,2,3 is the least profitable of all the bets, with a house advantage of 7.89%.
  • Players should play the European wheel if at all possible because this gives the player more favorable odds than the American wheel.
  • Play with the ‘en prison’ option when offered as this brings down the house edge even more on European wheels.

Summary

Roulette is certainly one of the most fun casino games. The excitement of the rotating wheel and ball whizzing around has always attracted people to this game. The alternative form of betting, away from the usual card games, has also added to its attraction; as well as its ‘noble’ roots.

Roulette is a game that is simple to learn, fun to play, fast-paced and also offers some great odds. Online players can easily choose between European roulette and American roulette, despite their geographical location. If you want to feel like a French noble in the late 19 th century, hop over to a roulette table today.

Posted by CCJ Team

Roulette Resources

Click for a full range of Roulette resources like the history of the game, how to play, glossary and much more: