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How to Play Roulette

S. Stoynova (editor) |

Roulette Rules – Understanding the Basics

How to Play RouletteRoulette is an old game, which is still present and even popular in every casino. It is impossible to overlook the dozens of people, who are gathering around the roulette table. This exciting game has survived through the ages to become one of the most preferred casino games, especially in Monte Carlo and Monaco, which are considered to be its centers.

The reason why the game nails the attention of so many people is because of its simple rules. Here, you don’t need to follow the cards or apply some complicated mathematical strategies. You just need to focus on the game itself and to make the right bet. Of course, luck is the other big contributor to your success in this game.

The current publication will shed some light on roulette’s basic rules, types of wheels, the variety of bets, as well as some popular betting systems.

The Basics of Roulette

Roulette Wheel Spinning BallThe game is available in online, as well as in brick-and-mortar casinos. No matter where do you prefer to play it, the structure of the game is the same. A wheel is placed on a long table next to the imprinted betting area. The spinning device is an integral part of the game. Even the name of the game means a small wheel. The purpose of every player is to make the right prediction on the number the ball will land on. Of course, you can place your bet on a whole group of numbers, but the winning number should be a part of that group.

The roulette table is supervised by a croupier who is responsible for spinning the ball and handling the bets. Bets are made with chips that are unique to this game. The chips used in the different variants of roulette are also different. Players buy their chips directly from the table. As the game starts, the croupier spins the wheel and sets the ball rolling along the track, above the number slots. Players may place bets until the ball slows down and the croupier calls “no more bets”. As the winning number is announced, the croupier pays the winners and collects all lost bets. The new round starts as soon as all bets are handled.

The house edge is the profit of the casino, so the lower, the better for the player.

Types of Wheels

Roulette Type of WheelsRoulette is of French origin, but over the years it has undergone several changes. Thus, we can outline three main variations of the game, which have some slight differences. But do not be discouraged, since the game is pretty much the same, except for some subtle details.

Let’s start with the French variant since the game is considered to be French. In French roulette, you will see that the table is arranged in a different way. The wheel is placed on one side and the betting section, also known as layout, has two main sections for the two types of bets. What is different is that the French layout for outside bets is split and located along both sides of the betting area. This allows more people to join the game.

The wheel itself is the same as in European roulette. There are 37 numbered pockets, which contain numbers from 0 to 36. The pockets are alternating between red and black color, where the zero pocket is in green. At first sight, the numbers on the wheel are arranged in a random way, which is not the case in fact. The numbers on the French and European wheel are following a pattern: next to every high number (19 to 36) is placed a low one (1 to 18), with the exception that 5 is next to 10. The presence of one zero pocket is advantageous to the player, since it provides a house edge only of 2.7% (and in some special cases, which will be mentioned below, the house edge can reach even 1.35%).

Number Sequence in Single-Zero Roulette Variants

0, 26, 3, 35, 12, 28, 7, 29, 18, 22, 9, 31, 14, 20, 1, 33, 16, 24, 5, 10, 23, 8, 30, 11, 36, 13, 27, 6, 34, 17, 25, 2, 21, 4, 19, 15, and 32

The American wheel, though, is a bit different, since it consists of two zero-pockets, which increases the house edge to 5.26%. The wheel has 38 pockets, which cover the numbers from 1 to 36, one-zero and double-zero pockets. The order of the digits seems to be a bit more systematic, since two consecutive numbers are placed opposite each other. The table layout is the same as the European one, with the exception of the additional square, that represents the double-zero pocket.

Number Sequence in Double-Zero Roulette Variants

0, 2, 14, 35, 23, 4, 16, 33, 21, 6, 18, 31, 19, 8, 12, 29, 25, 10, 27, 00, 1, 13, 36, 24, 3, 15, 34, 22, 5, 17, 32, 20, 7, 11, 30, 26, 9, 28

As you can see, the way numbers are arranged on the wheels is not determined by their arithmetic value. With this in mind, the roulette wheel is exceptionally well-balanced, and the numbers are arranged in such a way in order to achieve several things. First off, the way numbers are distributed is thought out in order to confuse gambling enthusiasts. At first, it will be challenging for players to find any connection between the wheel sectors and the available bet types, things get even more complicated for total roulette novices when the betting layout is added.

No matter if players will choose a single or double-zero roulette variant, they should keep in mind that in either case, red and black sectors will invariably alternate on the wheel.

As we mentioned already, high and low numbers should also alternate all the time, and the only exceptions are the sectors for 5 and 10 in European Roulette. As for American Roulette, the wheel is not as balanced as the one in the single-zero games namely because high and low numbers often stand next to each other. As for the distribution of odd and even numbers, they are also uniformly spread across the wheel, and what players should pay attention to is that no more than two odd or even numbers are featured together, no matter the chosen variant.

It is interesting to point out that two asymmetries can be observed in single-zero versions of the table game. The first thing to pay more attention to is that when the wheel is divided into two parts from the zero sector, the right one will only contain all red low numbers and black high numbers. On the left side, however, gambling enthusiasts will spot all the red high numbers and black low numbers. The other asymmetry is that sector 29-32 does not contain a number from the second dozen.

The Best Strategy is the Proper Bet

You can influence neither the wheel nor the ball. Thus, the only thing dependent on you is to make the most appropriate bet. What is best is that players can place bets not necessarily on one particular number. Gamblers can play also with a group of numbers, which increases the chance of winning. The two sections of the layout represent the two main types of bets- “inside” and “outside”.

European Roulette Table Layout

The Inside Bets in Roulette

These types provide players with the opportunity to place bets on one digit or a whole group. But the point is that the bet is on the digits themselves. Depending on the combination of numbers, we differentiate the following types of inside bets:

Straight Bet

It is placed on one specific number. To make a straight bet you need to set your chips in the middle of the square on the betting layout. The chances are not very high and thus the payout is 35:1.

Split Bet

It is placed on two adjoining numbers on the betting section, no matter if horizontal or vertical. To make a split bet you need to set the chips on the line in-between the numbers. The payout is 17:1.

Street Bet

It is placed on three numbers in a row. You need to place the chips on the intersecting point of the three numbers. The payout is 11:1.

Corner Bet

It is placed on four adjoining numbers. To make a corner bet, you need to set the chips on the intersection part of the four numbers, which visually forms a square. The payout is 8:1.

Five Bet

It is a typical American bet, placed on numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. You need to set the chips on the intersection part of the two rows. These are the only numbers, on which you can place five bet. But this type of bet is referred as the worst in roulette, because here the house edge is the highest of all the other bets. It is highly recommended to avoid the five bet. The payout is 6:1.

Sixline Bet

It is placed on six numbers on two adjacent lines. Visually, it resembles two “neighboring” streets. The payout is 5:1.

Straight Bet

Straight Bet

Split Bet

Split Bet

Street Bet

Street Bet

Corner Bet

Corner Bet

Sixline Bet

Sixline Bet

The Outside Bets in Roulette

These can be described as the simplest, or just “flip a coin”. You place your chips on “either… or…”. The outside bets are subdivided into:

Column Bet

It is placed on all numbers included in one of the three columns on the betting area. You need to set the chips on the box at the end of the column. The payout is 2:1.

Dozen/ Group Bet

It is placed on all numbers included in some of the dozens on the betting section. The payout is 2:1.

Black/ Red Bet

Here you try to predict if the winning number will be in the black or the red section. The payout is 1:1, also known as even money.

Odd/ Even Bet

Similar to the black/ red, but here you try to predict if the lucky number will be even or odd. The payout is even money.

High/ Low Bet

Here you need to predict if the winning number will be from the low (1-18) or high (19-36) section. You need to place the chips on the low or high box. The payout is again even money.

Column Bet

Column Bet

Dozen Bet

Dozen Bet

Black/Red Bet

Black/Red Bet

Odd/Even Bet

Odd/Even Bet

High/Low Bet

High/Low Bet

The French Exotic Bets

If you happen to play on a French table, you will notice that all signs and the layout are in French. This should not disturb you, since the game is absolutely the same, but it provides some extra possibilities, which are a real advantage to the player. The first possibility is one additional betting option, which is provided even by some European tables (this is dependent on the rules of the casino in which you play).

French Roulette Call Bets

The main idea of this additional bet is that the wheel is divided into three sections and you place your bet on one of the three sections. Thus, we can outline the three different options:

Voisins du Zero Bet

It is placed on 17 numbers of the wheel, which are neighboring the zero pocket from the both sides. In other words, these are the following numbers: 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2 and 25. The bet costs 9 chips, since it is played with a combination of one corner (2 chips), one trio (2 chips), and 5 split bets (5 chips).

Tiers du Cylindre Bet

It is placed on 12 numbers, which are opposite the “neighbors of the zero” from the Voisins du Zero Bet set. So, briefly said these are 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33. Since it is a split bet, it costs 6 chips.

Orphelins Bet

This group includes all the numbers, which are not included in the other two main sets. The group involves the following numbers: 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, and 34. It can be played as a combination of split bets and then it will cost you 4 chips, or as straight up bets, which will cost you 8 chips.

You can also place your bet on the so-called Finales en Plein, which is betting on all the numbers, which are ending on a digit of your choice. For example, your lucky number is 6 and you bet on 6, 16, 26, and 36.

The other type is called Finales a Cheval Bet. It is very similar to the Finales en Plein, but here you place your bet on two digits of your choice. For example, you bet on 2 and 6 and all the numbers ending in these digits.

The French Advantageous Rules

In fact, playing on a French table is not a tragedy, because of the following rules, which increase your chance to win. Moreover, namely these are the aforementioned rules, which halve the house edge to 1.35%. Every gambler should take into account that these are valid only with the even-money bet and in case that the ball lands on the zero pocket.

En Prison Rule

Your bet stays on the same outside position for the next spin. You can lose your bet only if the ball falls again on the zero pocket.

La Partage Rule

Then you give half of your bet to the house and you get back the other half. For the next round, you can bet the way you would like to.

Tips for Being Successful in Roulette

Tips for Being Successful in RouletteFor most players, roulette is a game of chance. Many people consider that it does not requre any specific skills to win or lose. Bet on whatever digit you like – your birthday, anniversary or a special number, but the chances are equal. That is true to a great extent, but having a plan is always good. You may be surprised to know that even the position of the croupier and the angle counts.

The betting system is what really matters

The betting system is what really mattersOver the years, people have tried to apply various methods, but in some cases “it all went wrong” as people say. Some of the systems led the players to significant financial damages and these are known as a negative progression system. With these, you can lose a large amount of money very fast, because every time you lose, you stake more money. Of course, the negative progression can bring you a fortune, but you rely on luck, which may lead to serious damage to your finances. Nobody can predict when a losing streak will come to an end. Every spin provides equal chances for every number and color.

That is why it is preferable to use positive progression system. The main idea behind it is to increase the stake the more you win, and decrease it when you lose. It makes sense since in a long session of losses your bankroll will not be harmed that much as in the negative progression. It is worth noting that certain systems do not intend to increase your chance to beat the wheel but to protect your bank account.

Of course, no matter what kind of system you use, you need to play with money, which you can afford to lose. Do not be misled by the idea that by applying certain strategy you can increase your chances to win. The only thing you can do is to protect yourself from bankruptcy. The biggest mistake of all gamblers is the dream that they can bet small amounts and look for a great return. Shake off this idea and start to manage your money the right way! That is the way to win, even when you lose!

FAQ: How to Play Roulette

The player’s goal in roulette is to correctly predict the number or group of numbers the ball will land on after it loses momentum and settles in a wheel pocket. Players can place bets on a specific number, a range of numbers, colors (red or black), and number parity (odd or even), among others.

There are three primary versions of roulette: French, European, and American. French and European roulette have a single-zero wheel, offering a lower house edge, while American roulette features a double-zero wheel and has nearly twice as high house edge.

Bets are placed on the roulette layout, which corresponds to the numbers and colors on the wheel. Inside bets are made on specific numbers or small groups of numbers. Outside bets cover larger groups, such as red or black, odd or even, and high (19-36) or low (1-18) numbers.

While no strategy can guarantee wins as roulette is a game of chance, systems like the Martingale or the Fibonacci are used by some players to manage bets. However, the outcome of each wheel spin is random, and strategies primarily focus on money management.

Yes, some roulette variants have rules that can lower the house edge. For example, the “La Partage” and “En Prison” rules in French roulette offer players a second chance to recover their losses on even-money bets when the ball lands on zero, reducing the house edge to 1.35% for those bets.