A Beginner’s Guide To Roulette

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Are you ready to start playing roulette but a bit confused? Look no further – we have the guide you need. We will look at how to play, useful terms to know, betting, and the different kinds of roulette there are.

What is roulette and how is it played?

Roulette, or “little wheel” in French, is a casino table game that many believe was introduced by Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. Players choose to place bets on numbers, black or red, and other criteria. Then a croupier spins a wheel in one direction and a ball in the opposite around the outer edge of the wheel. When the ball falls into one of the 37 pockets on the wheel (38 for American style), the winning number and color are revealed.

For the numbers 1-10 and 19-28, odd numbers are red and evens are black. For the ranges 11-18 and 29 to 36, evens are red and odds are black. The 0 (and 00) is green.

Different kinds of roulette

French Roulette, or European Roulette, is the original version and the one most often found in land-based and online casinos throughout the world.

American Roulette is the most commonly played version of the game in the Americas. There are 38 pockets on the wheel: the numbers 1-36, a zero, and a double-zero. The American version has a higher house edge than the French/European.

Russian roulette is not actually a roulette game at all, but rather a deadly game of chance played with a revolver and a single round. The spinning of the revolver’s cylinder is reminiscent of a spinning roulette wheel, but this is one game of chance you’d best stay well away from!

Useful terms to know

  • Action: the amount of money wagered at the table
  • Ball track: the outer rim of the wheel where the ball is spun
  • Biased numbers: numbers on the wheel which hit more often than others based on statistical long-term analysis
  • Croupier: the casino employee running the table
  • En prison: this rule applies only to even-money wagers and online casinos. If a zero is hit, the casino allows the player to make a choice between taking back half their bet or leaving it for another spin (“in prison”). If the next spin is zero again, the whole bet is lost.
  • Marker: used by the croupier to mark the winning number after each spin. New bets for the next spin cannot be placed until the marker is removed from the table.
  • No action: a croupier may call this once during a spin, canceling all bets and restarting the play. If no action is called, bets can be removed.
  • Parlay: double the bet after winning.
  • Pockets: the areas on the wheel in which the ball may end up. Each pocket has a different number and half are red, half are white, and the zeros are green.

All about bets

Inside bets = the bets you place on the numbers themselves

  1. Straight or Single = covers only one number. Simply place your chip inside the number square to place this bet.
  2. Split = covers two adjacent numbers on the table. To choose this, you place your chip on the line shared by the two numbers.
  3. Street = bet on three consecutive numbers on the same line. For this bet, you need to place your chip on the outer corner of the chosen row.
  4. Six Line = bet on two adjacent lines. You’ll place your chip on the outer corner shared by the two lines.
  5. Corner or Square = covers four numbers in a square on the table. You place the chip on the corner shared by the numbers you choose.
  6. Trio = betting on three numbers that includes the zero/zeroes. To choose this, place your chip on the line shared by the zero box and the other two numbers (either 1 & 2 or 2 & 3).
  7. Basket = bet on 0 (00), 1, 2, and 3. You’ll place your chip on the corner of the zero box and the first line.

Outside bets = those you place on the other sectors

  1. Red or Black = place your chip on the color you think will win.
  2. Odd or Even = choose whether you think the winning number will be odd or even.
  3. 1 to 18 or 19 to 36 = bet on whether the winning number will be low or high.
  4. Dozens = the numbers are divided into groups of 12 and you choose which dozen will contain the winning number.
  5. Columns = the numbers are divided into 3 columns of 12 and you choose which you think the winning number will fall in.

Announced bets = special betting combinations in French (European) Roulette

  1. Voisins du Zéro (neighbors of zero) = a bet that covers 15 numbers, the zero and the seven numbers on each side of it. Nine chips are needed to make this bet: 2 chips for a trio, one chip each for five splits, and two chips for one corner.
  2. Le Tiers du Cyclindre (third of the wheel) = a bet covering 12 numbers, those opposite the Voisins du Zéro. Six chips are needed to make it and are all placed on splits.
  3. Orphelins (orphans) = a bet covering the eight numbers not covered by Voisins du Zéro and Tiers du Cylindre. Five chips are needed, one straight bet on the number 1 and four on splits.
  4. Jeu zéro / zero spiel (zero game) = covers the three numbers on either side of the zero slot, with one straight on the 26 and three splits on the 0/3, 12/15, and 32/35.
  5. Neighbors = very common in online games and covers a spread of five numbers on the wheel. There must be a special “racetrack” betting area in order to place this bet.
  6. Finals = for this one you beat on the last digit of the winning number. For example, a Finale 3 would be a bet on 3, 13, 23, and 33.

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