Roulette Basics

Roulette is the oldest and one of the most popular casino games in existence.  The object of the game is simple: pick the winning number or color.  Although the goal seems simple, there is much more to this game.  Here is a break down on all the key elements of roulette.

The Roulette Wheel

There are essentially two types of roulette wheels: the European wheel and the American wheel.  The European wheel has 36 slots numbered 0 to 36 and an extra 0.  The American wheel has 38 slots numbered 0 to 36 with a double 00.  This addition gives the house a significantly higher edge when playing American roulette.

Table Layout

The roulette layout is composed of two betting areas.  The inside area is where you bet on individual numbers of the layout.  The outside area contains columns for the colors of red and black, odd and even and different number groups.  The individual numbers within the layout are organized in 12 rows and three columns, with the 0 and 00 located at the top of the columns.

The Buy In

In order to play roulette, you must first “buy in” by purchasing your chips.  For each table, there is a minimum and maximum bet.  Take note that your inside and outside bets cannot be combined to make the table minimum.  For example, if the minimum bet is $10, you have to bet this amount on both the inside and the outside.

Inside Bets

The game of roulette allows you to make a number of different inside bets.  For instance, you have the option of betting the number straight up or choosing a group of numbers.  The payouts for inside bets are follows:

  • Straight Up A bet on a single number that pays out 35 to 1.
  • Split Bet – A bet on two numbers that pays out 17 to 1.  This wager is made by placing your chip so it rides the lines and falls between any two given numbers.
  • Line Bet Pays out 11 to 1.  This wager is made by placing your chip on the line that separates the inside betting area from the outside betting area.
  • Four Corner Bet – Pays out 8 to 1.  This wager is made by placing your chip so it touches all four corners of the numbers you have decided to bet on.
  • Basket Bet A five-number bet that includes 0, 00, and the numbers 1, 2 and 3.  This wager pays outs 6 to 1.  This is one of the worst bets you can make in roulette because it raises the house edge tremendously.
  • Double Street Bet A six-number bet that pays out 5 to 1.  This wager is made by placing your chip on the line that separates the outside betting area from the inside betting area.  This one is similar to the line bet, but the chip is also allowed to straddle the row above or below.

Outside Bets

The game of roulette allows outside bets to be made in any boxes surrounding the individual numbers.  These bets are as follows:

  • Red/Black and Odd/Even These are all known as even money bets.  These wagers can be made by simply placing your chips in the outside boxes.
  • Dozens Bet – This is a twelve-number bet made on 12 sequential numbers, 1 to 12, 13 to 24, or 25 to 36.  Dozen bets pay out 2 to 1 but if the 0 or 00 comes up, you lose.
  • Column Bets – This is also a twelve-number bet.  However, instead of 12 sequential numbers, this wager includes the numbers in one of the three columns and is made in the boxes at the bottom of the layout.  Like dozen bets, column bets also pay out 2 to 1.

A Few Tips for Game Play

When playing roulette, it is important to note that you are still allowed to make wagers after the dealer spins the ball.  Once the ball slows down and comes to a complete stop, you will know the betting round ends when the dealer calls out, “no more bets!”  Roulette is truly a game of chance and one where the house edge is considerably higher than other games.  While some claim to teach a proven roulette system, for a fee of course, you would probably be best trying your luck and just having fun with the game.

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