How to Play Roulette

Roulette is a fun game to play, especially when you know the rules, the bets, and how you win. The word roulette simply means “small wheel” and that is what is used in the game. A small wheel is divided by colors and numbers and a small ball is introduced into the wheel while it is spinning. The ball will then fall into a slot that is numbered and colored as the wheel slows. There are 37 slots on a European roulette wheel because there is only a single 0 and 38 slots on an American roulette wheel because there are 0 and 00 slots. The players place their bets before the wheel is spun and may bet on one number, multiple numbers, odd or even numbers, or on a color. The slots are alternating red and black in color.

Table Layout

In roulette there is a wheel and there is also a “layout”, which is the betting area. The American roulette layout will include 0 and 00 while the European layout will have only 0 just like the roulette wheels. Many casinos use American style roulette tables with the wheel situated at the end of the table.

Betting on Roulette

The way players win or lose playing roulette is by betting. There are many bets that may be made in this game and players should educate themselves on the various bets before playing the first time. Inside bets are placed when players choose a range of numbers or a single number that the ball will hopefully land on. Roulette wheels have specific layouts as do the boards and players choose the block of numbers they want to bet on. If the ball lands on one of the numbers in the block then the player wins the payout for that bet.

Roulette usually has maximum and minimum bets and these rules apply to both inside and outside bets. Some casinos use varying colors of chips to help separate inside and outside bets. Also, bets may be placed until the croupier yells “no more bets” and then betting is stopped until the next round.

When the wheel slows and the ball lands in a slot there is a specific color and number that wins every time. On the roulette board layout the croupier will mark the winning number/color combination for all players to see. While the marker is in place it is against the rules to place bets, collect bets, or remove bets from the table. The croupier will sweep the losing bets off the roulette board with a rake or his hand. At this point the payouts will be determined by the croupier for the outside and inside winning bets. When the payouts have been determined by the croupier then the marker will be removed from the board and new bets may be placed.

Inside Bets

The following bets are considered inside bets in roulette:

Split Bets

Split bets refer to betting on two numbers that are located beside each other either vertically or horizontally. Betting on a split is achieved by placing a chip in between the two numbers.

Straight Up Bets

A single number bet is a straight up bet. Place the chip on top of the selected number. This bet has the highest odds and the biggest payout.

Street Bets

Horizontal line bets of three numbers are called street bets. Place a chip at the number’s edge at the end of the three number line for a street bet. Depending on the table’s layout the chip will be on the right or left.

Six Line Bets

Betting on adjoining streets is a six line bet. Place chips at the intersection of the two streets for a six line bet.

Corner/Square Bets

Betting on four numbers in a square on the layout is a corner/square bet. For example, 11-12-14-15 makes a square on the layout so this is a potential corner/square bet. Place a chip in the middle at the vertical and horizontal intersection of the four numbers.

Trio Bets

A trio bet is made by placing a chip on the intersection of 00, 2, and 3 or 0, 1, and 2.

Outside Bets

The payouts for outside bets are usually lower, but the odds of winning are better with each spin of the roulette wheel. Outside bets are low, high bets, which are either bets on numbers 1-18 or bets on numbers 19-36. Players may also place outside bets on color, black or red. Even/odd bets are also outside bets. Dozen bets, betting on the ball landing on either 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36, is an option, as well as column bets. Column bets are on a single column consisting of 12 numbers.

House Edge

Roulette players should understand the importance of house edge and keep in mind it is governed by law. The house edge is either 35 to 1 or 34 to 1. This means that on a $1 bet you will be paid out at $35 or $34 on a winning bet on those odds. Basically, the house edge is what the players should expect to lose for each bet. For example, on an American roulette wheel if a player bets on a single number that pays out 35 times his original bet his probability of winning is 1/38. That means on a single bet players have a 37/38 chance of losing their original bet. It would be 36/37 on a European wheel.

The house edge is technically only the green squares on the wheel. However, if a 0 or 00 appears outside bets will lose every time. Also, players should keep in mind that the house edge applies to every single bet, not the total bankroll the player has. So, the house edge of 5.26% (American roulette) should not be applied to the total amount of money a player starts with but should be kept in mind for each and every bet. Of course, when players bet and lose all of their money they are giving the house a 100% hold.

Getting Started

When getting started with roulette it’s best to watch a couple rounds and start off with the minimum bet. The reason you want to start slow is to make sure you understand the game and the betting structure. Remember, too, that different rules may apply at different casinos. Because of this players should always watch a few rounds, read the posted rules, and then get started slowly.