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How to Play Roulette

To play roulette you need nothing more than a table, a layout, a roulette wheel, some colored chips and a dealer to take you money. The game is a pretty straight-forward one; you choose a number, place a bet and against an odd of 2.63% (5.26% in American roulette) play against the house. The numbers themselves are selected at random via a roulette wheel (the word ‘roulette’ comes from French and it actually means ‘little wheel’) and go from either 0 or 0/00 to 36, depending on the type of roulette played. Players can place as many different bets as they wish, but they do have to keep in mind that not all bets are paid equally.

Bets that are low in probability (inside bets) pay much more than bets that encompass a larger group of numbers (outside bets) and thus are more likely to come up. Roulette is by no means a complicated game; but that doesn’t mean it is easy to beat the odds. The player is free to bet on any of the 36/37 numbers available, with ‘zero’ and ‘double zero’ being the house numbers. You can of course bet on zero, which would pay an odd of 36 to 1, and it would be treated as a regular bet. But before we look at the betting system, let’s get familiarized with some of the basics.

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The Chips

Just like in any casino game, a player needs to purchase chips before sitting at a table. But unlike poker and other chip-based games, the chips themselves do not represent a given denomination but rather the player placing the bet. This way there is be no dispute over which player made which bet. Both you and the dealer would know how much money you are betting by the number of chips on the table. If 1 chip represents $10 in real life, then 10 chips would be $100 (no need for identification on the chips themselves).


The Wheel

The purpose of the roulette wheel is to select 1 number out of all 37 numbers, using nothing more than simple physics. The numbers alternate between red/black pockets, and one green ‘zero’ pocket (plus one 00 pocket in American roulette). The croupier (dealer) spins the wheel using one hand, while tossing the ball in the opposite direction. The wheel is often spun clockwise, while the ball is thrown counter-clockwise.


The wheel rotates slowly; while the ball rolls along the side for good 8-10 rotations. Please note that you can only place bets shortly after the dealer had spun the wheel. When he raises his hand, this means ‘no more bets’, and you can no longer make or change your bet until the next spin.

The Layout

Now that we have gone over a couple of basics, let us see what a standard roulette layout looks like. The design itself might differ greatly depending on the casino, but the basic elements will remain the same.


Remember this layout well; for explaining bets would be pretty difficult without this sort of visual aid.

Placing Bets and Odds of Winning

When it comes to placing bets, roulette is all about convenience. As you can see, the layout is pretty straight-forward and intuitive; all you need to learn are various combinations and how to use them to get the most out of your bet. Inside bets are specific number or order of numbers, whereas an outside bet would cover even odds, like red/black, odd/even etc.


Inside Bets

Straight – Any single number (regardless if it is black/red, odd/even, 0/00). You can make as much single bets as you wish and the odds will still be the same for each number – 36 to 1. The chips are placed in the center of the square.
Split – Any two neighboring numbers, regardless of their affiliation (let’s say 11 and 12). The chip is placed on the line between the two numbers and the odds of winning a split are 17 to 1.
Street – Any three numbers in a horizontal line (as it is with 7, 8, 9, for example). The dealer will lay the chips on the edge of the horizontal line either on the left or the right side. The odds here are 11 to 1.
Square or Corner – Any four numbers in a grid (making a square). Such numbers would be 10, 11, 13 and 14. The chips are placed in the center of the four numbers. Odds of winning are 8 to 1.
Six Line – Also known as a “double-street”, this bet is placed in 2 adjacent streets, or two neighboring horizontal lines. An example of this would be 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. And of course odd of winning are 5 to 1.

Outside Bets

High/Low – The numbers are split in half – ‘low’ refers to the numbers 1-18, and ‘high’ to the numbers 19-36.
Red or Black – You guess whether the number would come up red or black. And of course, the odds are 1 to 1.
Odd/Even – Again, you can bet on either an odd or an even number and the odds remain 1 to 1.
Dozen Bets – The numbers are grouped into three dozens: from 1-12; 13-34 and 25-36. Betting on a dozen will pay 2 to 1.
Column Bets – Just like the name suggests, the bet is placed on one of the three columns – [1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34]; [2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35] or [3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36].

How to play the game

Now that we know what’s what on the table it is time to move on to actually playing the game. Please keep in mind that all rumors regarding any sort of a “winning ‘betting’ strategy” are purely a work of fiction and nothing more. There isn’t any ‘sure’ way to win at roulette; it is all about mathematical probabilities. That is why the only real advice I can give you is to play in an European/French style casino, where the house has a significantly lesser chance of winning.


How To Play Roulette
History of Roulette
Interesting Facts About Roulette
Roulette Variations
Roulette Evolution
European Roulette
French Roulette
American Roulette
Roulette Bets and Odds
Roulette Outside Bets
Roulette Call Bets
Roulette Betting Strategies
Roulette Wheels

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