Over the past few weeks we’ve covered Baccarat, Craps, Black Jack and Poker. This week we focus on Roulette, where a lucky spin of the wheel can win you a fortune. We don’t encourage gambling and by no means will you be an expert after reading this article, but hopefully you’ll have a better understanding of how to play the game, should you decide to…give it a whirl!
Roulette is a casino game named after a French diminutive for “little wheel”. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. To determine the winning number and color, a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then spins a ball in the opposite direction around a tilted circular track running around the circumference of the wheel. The ball eventually loses momentum and falls on to the wheel and into one of 37 (in French/European roulette) or 38 (in American roulette) colored and numbered pockets on the wheel.
Rules of play against a casino
Roulette players have a variety of betting options. Placing ‘inside’ bets is either selecting the exact number of the pocket the ball will land in, or a small range of pockets based on their proximity on the layout. Players wishing to bet on the ‘outside’ will select bets on larger positional groupings of pockets, the pocket color, or whether the winning number is odd or even. The payout odds for each type of bet is based on its probability.
The roulette table usually imposes minimum and maximum bets, and these rules usually apply separately for all of a player’s ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ bets for each spin. For ‘inside’ bets at roulette tables, some casinos may use separate roulette table chips of various colors to distinguish players at the table. Players can continue to place bets as the ball spins around the wheel until the dealer announces “no more bets” or “rien ne va plus”.
When a winning number and color is determined by the roulette wheel, the dealer will place a marker also known as a dolly on that winning number on the roulette table layout. When the dolly is on the table, no players may place bets, collect bets, or remove any bets from the table.
The dealer will then sweep away all other losing bets either by hand or rake, and determine all of the payouts to the remaining inside and outside winning bets. When the dealer is finished making payouts, the marker is removed from the board where players collect their winnings and make new bets. The winning chips remain on the board.
Roulette wheel number sequence
The pockets of the roulette wheel are numbered from 1 to 36.
In number ranges from 1 to 10 and 19 to 28, odd numbers are red and even are black. In ranges from 11 to 18 and 29 to 36, odd numbers are black and even are red.
There is a green pocket numbered 0 (zero). In American roulette, there is a second green pocket marked 00. Pocket number order on the roulette wheel adheres to the following clockwise sequence:
Single-zero wheel: 0-32-15-19-4-21-2-25-17-34-6-27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33-1-20-14-31-9-22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26
Double-zero wheel: 0-28-9-26-30-11-7-20-32-17-5-22-34-15-3-24-36-13-1-00-27-10-25-29-12-8-19-31-18-6-21-33-16-4-23-35-14-2
The cloth covering with the betting areas on a roulette table is known as a “layout.” The layout is either single zero or double zero. The French style layout is a single zero, and the American style layout is usually a double zero. The American style roulette table with a wheel at one end is now used in most casinos.
Types of bets
Straight-up: a single number bet. The chip is placed entirely on the middle of a number square.
Split: a bet on two adjoining numbers, either on the vertical or horizontal (as in 14-17 or 8-9). The chip is placed on the line between these numbers.
Street: a bet on three numbers on a single horizontal line. The chip is placed on the edge of the line of a number at the end of the line (either the left or the right, depending on the layout).
Corner (or square): a bet on four numbers in a square layout (as in 11-12-14-15). The chip is placed at the horizontal and vertical intersection of the lines between the four numbers.
Six Line: a bet on two adjoining streets, with the chip placed at the corresponding intersection, as if in between where two street bets would be placed.
Trio: a bet on the intersecting point between 0, 1 and 2, or 0, 2 and 3 (single-zero layout only).
Basket: a bet on 0, 1, and 2; 0, 00, and 2; or 00, 2, and 3 (double-zero layout only). The chip is placed at the intersection of the three desired numbers.
Top Line: a bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 (double-zero layout only). The chip is placed either at the corner of 0 and 1, or the corner of 00 and 3.
Outside bets typically have smaller payouts with better odds at winning.
1 to 18: a bet on one of the first low eighteen numbers coming up.
19 to 36: a bet on one of the last high eighteen numbers coming up.
Red or Black: a bet on which color the roulette wheel will show.
Even or Odd: a bet on an even or odd number.
Dozen Bets: a bet on the first (1-12), second (13-24), or third group (25-36) of twelve numbers.
Column Bets: a bet on all 12 numbers on any of the three vertical lines (such as 1-4-7-10 on down to 34). The chip is placed on the space below the final number in this string.