How to Play Roulette

Roulette is easily one of the most popular and addictive casino games of all time. Not many people know that roulette has been around as early as the 18th century, making it one of the oldest casino games in history. As of today, it is actively played in both land based and online casinos, and continues to attract large crowds, especially new players.

It is quite easy to learn how to play roulette once you have familiarized yourself with the rules. Whether you want to play roulette online or in land based casinos, the rules are pretty much the same. Let’s get started with the basics of roulette followed by a how to play the game.

The Basics

The primary objective of roulette is to pick a winning number on which the ball will land once the roulette wheel has stopped moving. You are allowed to bet on a combination or numbers, or to choose the colour, or between odd and even numbers.

Typically, there are two different types of roulette wheels. The American wheel has 38 numbers with double zeroes, whereas the European and French wheels have 37 numbers from 0 – 36. In American roulette, the house advantage, which is the fixed amount the casino maintains on a particular game, is 5.26%, whereas in European roulette it is 2.63%. Now that we know the basics, let’s find out more about how betting works in roulette.

Different Types of Bets

While there is still some debate whether roulette originated from France or the UK, there is agreement over the fact that the modern variant and the betting system is influenced by the French variation. There are two betting areas in a roulette table. The inside betting area consists of individual numbers in the layout. The outside betting area consists of columns and groups of red/black and odd/even numbers.

The numbers that featured in the inside betting area are sorted in 12 rows of three numbers, which form three vertical columns. As such, the 0 and/or 00s are found on the top of the columns. To start playing, you need to purchase roulette chips that are to be only used on the table you intend to play. Hence, when you are done playing, you should cash in your chips in the form or regular casino chips.

Each roulette table will have a minimum and maximum bet size. As a standard rule, you cannot combine the inside and outside bets to meet the minimum table requirement. For instance, if the minimum bet size is £3, then you have to bet £3 on inside and outside bets. On the other hand, betting £2 inside and £1 outside will only make your tablemates laugh.

Roulette Inside Bets

There are various inside bets that you can place with varying payouts. Here are some inside bets that you can place:

  • Betting A Single Number – This is known as a straight up bet, where you place a wager on a single number. The payout with this type of bet is 35:1, which means if the ball lands on the lucky number you get 35 chips or the chip you used.
  • Betting Two Numbers – This is known as a split bet, where you place a wager on two numbers with payouts at 17:1. To place this bet, put a chip covering two numbers, which will divide the value of the chip on each number. If either one of them is the lucky number, you get £17 on a £1 bet.
  • Betting Three Numbers – This is known as a street bet, or basket where the chip is placed along the vertical line that separates the inside and outside betting areas. If your chip splits 1, 2, 0, or 0, 00, 2, or 00, 2, 3, will cover three numbers with a payout of 11:1.
  • Betting Four Numbers – This is known as corner or square bet, where you want to cover four numbers like 4, 5, 7, and 8. You will place the chip in the middle of four, and if one of the four numbers is the lucky guess, you will get a payout of 8:1.
  • Betting Five Numbers – This is also known as a basket bet where five numbers are covered by one chip on the top line. You can do so by placing the chip at the corner of 0 and 1, or the corner of 00 and 3. This bets gives you a payout of 6:1, and has the highest house advantage, making it the worst bet in the game.
  • Betting Six Numbers – This is known as Double Street where you can bet by placing the chip between 1 and 4 and half of it in the 1 – 12 section. However, you are only paid if the 1 – 6 is spun.

Roulette Outside Bets

Outside bets, on the other hand, is where you place a bet in the boxes that surround the numbers. Red/ black and odd/ even area all even money bets where you place the chips in the boxes. Here are some examples of outside bets:

Dozens Bet – This is where a player bets on 12 consecutive numbers by placing the wager in 1 – 12, 13 – 24, or 25 – 36 boxes. If the zero or double zeroes come up, you will lose, and if you win, the payout is just 2:1.

Column Bets – Just like dozens bet, column bets are also placed on 12 numbers. However, instead of 12 numbers in consecutive order, column bets consist of number in one of three vertical columns and are placed on boxes at the bottom of the layout. Like dozen bets, column bets also payout at 2:1.

The Dealer 

The dealer holds a very important role in the game of roulette. They are required to keep the wheel moving at all times, even during spins. The dealer spins the ball in the opposite direction of the wheel, which is why the ball jumps and spins before it lands on a number. The winner number is then marked by the dealer, which has to be removed before you can place a bet on the next wheel spin. Hence, make sure that you wait for the dealer to pick up the marker from the winning number before wagering.

Bear in mind that the dealer is handling a lot of stuff all at the same time. They are handling bets, actions, requests, wheel spins, and much more. Unlike blackjack where the table accommodates six or seven players, there are many more players that can play roulette and squeeze around the limited space. Hence, make it a habit to not get pushy or lean on the glass when you are playing on a roulette table.

Once you approach a roulette table, the dealer will ask if you want a colour, which is a group similar to coloured chips. These are offered at the lowest chip value, unless you are specific. In other words, the chips may be of 25 pence or more, so don’t be shy and ask!

If you feel that the dealer has been ignoring you, it most probably is not the case. The dealer has to finish the spin, clear the chips and the payoffs before he/she hands new colour. Unless the dealer has paid for the current winning bets, don’t place a new bet. Remember to wager carefully since there are other players who are also covering numbers with their bets. There is no point in tossing the chips if you can’t reach a number. Simply ask the dealer to place the wager for you. If the dealer waves off, or notifies you that no more bets can be placed, then wait until the next spin. Do not be afraid to challenge a dealer and keep an eye on them. They are only human and do make mistakes. Look here for a big blunder by a dealer.


Best Roulette Tips

Roulette is a game where the house edge is typically higher than most casino games. However, because of its popularity it is still going strong as one of the best casino games of all time. If you are playing at a full roulette table, the maximum spins that you can get in an hour are 30. As a result, this reduces the time that your money is exposed to the house advantage, which increases your comp time.

There are many systems or strategies that players use while playing roulette. For instance D ‘Alembert system and Martingale system are two of the most commonly used betting systems in roulette that help in improving the probability of winning in quick succession and reducing the probability of incurring losses during a short term play. This is as far as a betting system can take you, so if you ever get to hear about a sure fire system that will make you a guaranteed winner at roulette, just turn away from it.

Always remember that roulette is a fun game where your luck plays a major role in your earnings. Hence, taking roulette as a serious hobby to earn a sustainable income is not the best idea, because you never know how much you will end up making or losing.

Check out our FAQ for more questions and answers regarding roulette.