Quick guide to Roulette
Roulette is one of the most popular table games found at both land-based and online roulette casinos alike. The name literally means ‘little wheel’, which is somewhat apt because your fate is held within the spin of the wheel.
Founded in France, there are now three main versions of roulette played throughout the world:
● French Roulette
● European Roulette
● American Roulette
The French and European games are played on the same wheel set-up, with 37 numbers, marked 0 to 36 on red and black notches, and a green zero position. The American version of the wheel holds one extra position of 00.
Before trying your hand at the tables, it’s wise to familiarise yourself with some of the more common terms used in the game of roulette. Here’s a list to get you started:
● Biased Numbers: These are the numbers that frequently appear due to a biased wheel.
● Parlay: When a player bets in one round, and then adds to his wager on the next spin.
● Five Number Bet: A wager placed on the specific numbers of 0, 00, 1, 2, 3. This is a bet only available on the American version of roulette.
● Inside Bet: This is a bet placed on specific numbers between 0-36.
● Outside Bet: This is a bet placed on non-specific groups on the table like 1st 12, 2nd 12, 3rd 12, Black/Red, or Odd/Even.
Rules for Roulette
After getting to grips with the jargon, it’s time to learn the game dynamics and rules:
● The Wheel
The wheel contains numbered positions, each of which is coloured red or black alternately, with a green zero position (and an additional green 00 position on American wheels.) After all the bets are placed, the croupier will spin the wheel and release a small white ball onto it. When the wheel stops, the position the ball finds itself in determines the win.
● The Table
Next to the wheel there is a large table with a numbered and grouped grid on it. The numbers 0 to 36 will be found on the inside of the table (representing the inside bets), usually in three groups called the 1st 12, 2nd 12, and 3rd 12. Around the outside, there are other betting options (representing the outside bets). These are labelled black/red, and odd/even. The odds of winning when wagering on outside bets are far better than if you placed an inside bet, but the payout ratio is much smaller.
Be sure to know what the minimum and maximum bets at the table are. This information is usually printed on the felt. There are various betting positions on the table, each with a different payout ratio:
o Straight Up Bet: When you place your chips on a number between 0 and 36. If landed, this pays 35:1.
o Split Bet: You can bet on two numbers; it pays 17:1
o Street Bet: Betting on three numbers pays 11:1
o Corner Bet: Betting on four numbers and it pays out 8:1
o Line Bet: Bet on six numbers and receive a payout ratio of 5:1
o 5 Number Bet: This is only available on American roulette, and incorporates a bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. It has a payout ratio of 6:1
o Outside Bets: All outside bets are paid out at 1:1
Your bet must be placed by putting your chips onto the various rows or positions prior to the wheel spinning.
● Green Zero Position
Two rules can be played from table to table at European and French casinos if the ball lands on the green zero position:
- EN PRISON: The term means ‘in prison’. It pertains to all even outside bets. If the wheel lands a zero, all outside bets will be marked by the dealer and held ‘in prison’ on the table for the next spin of the wheel.
- LA PARTAGE: This rule also pertains to even outside bets. Should the wheel land a zero, all bets on the odd/even, or black/red positions will be split between the house and the respective player. In other words, you lose only half of your bet.
Valuable tips for beginners
● Take a seat at the table with a fixed strategy in mind. Be sure of how much money you are willing to play with and stick to it.
● Start with stakes that you are comfortable with, and enjoy the game. This will allow you to build experience, which will lead to confidence at the table.
● Familiarise yourself with the rules and general gameplay.
● Play the European and French Roulette games to start with, as the house edge is far lower than in the American version, so you have a better chance of winning.
● Stick to placing outside bets at first, until you build up some experience.