How To Play Roulette

Roulette is one of the easiest casino games to play, as there are no complex strategies to memorize or complicated rules to worry about. However, the multitude of bets and the wide range in odds and payouts can be somewhat confusing for many new players.

The following guide should help you quickly grasp everything you need to know to play roulette. Take in just a little bit of information and watch a handful of spins, and you should be ready for real-money roulette play.

Basic Roulette Rules

Basic Rules of Roulette

Roulette is a game played with a large wheel that contains either 37 (in European roulette) or 38 (for American roulette) pockets. These stops are numbered from 0 to 36, while the American roulette wheel also contains a 00 pocket. All the pockets are all colored; the zeroes are green, while the other spots are evenly divided between 18 red and 18 black pockets.

The croupier (or dealer) spins a ball on the outer rim of the wheel, after which it will eventually fall into one of the numbered spaces. The object for the player is to guess what number the ball will land in.

Before each spin, players have the opportunity to place bets around the roulette table. Players can bet on individual numbers or virtually any combination of numbers – most of the available bets are outlined below.

In a live casino each player will have to exchange cash or casino chips for special roulette chips, with each player being given a unique color that can be used to distinguish who made each bet. Of course, in online casinos, this isn’t necessary.

Players may continue to place bets until the croupier puts the ball into the roulette wheel. Even after the ball is in play, players generally have the ability to place wagers for a few more seconds until the croupier calls off all bets.

Once the ball falls into a pocket and rests there, the croupier will call out the winning number as well as the color of the pocket it landed in. Markers are typically used to protect winning bets, after which all losing bets are swept off the table. Then the croupier will pay all winning bets and, once all of the payouts are completed, players may place bets for the next spin.

Types of Roulette Bets

american roulette wheel

There are many different bets that can be made on a roulette table. In general these bets can be divided into “inside” and “outside” bets. Inside bets are made on a single number of a small selection of numbers, while outside bets are those that cover large groups of numbers.

First and foremost, players are free to bet on any individual number that might be hit on a given spin. If such a bet should win, it pays out at 35-1.

Players may also wager on pairs of numbers that are adjacent on the roulette table (17-1), a row of three numbers (11-1), a square of four numbers (8-1) or two rows comprising six numbers (5-1). Players are permitted to make any combination of such bets they like.

Outside bets give players a better chance of winning on each spin, but at lower odds. Players can bet on any given dozen numbers to hit on the next spin (2-1), or on a variety of other wagers that pay out even money. For instance, they can bet on if the next spin will result in an odd or even number, or if the color of the pocket will be red or black.

When making bets players must adhere to the minimum and maximum bets at the roulette table. Maximums generally apply to each individual bet, though there may also be a table maximum that governs the total amount a player may wager on each spin.

For inside bets, the total of all bets made by the player must equal the table minimum. For outside bets, on the other hand, they must each be for at least the minimum betting amount.

Roulette Odds and Strategy

Since roulette is a game of chance, there’s very little that players can do to improve their odds of winning. However, there are many strategies designed to increase a player’s chances of winning over the course of a session (at the cost of the occasional very large loss), or maximize their chances of scoring a big win. While these strategies may not change the house edge in roulette over the long run, they can have a pretty large impact on the types of short term results players see at the tables.

Different roulette games can have very different advantages for the casino. On an American roulette wheel with two zeroes, the house edge is approximately 5.26%. European roulette is much better for the player, offering just a 2.70% house edge (with an even lower house edge on even money bets if they use the “en prison” rules that allow players a chance to rescue those wagers should a zero hit the wheel).

Article written by Al Moe