Roulette Guide for Gaming in Casinos Online and Down the Street
Roulette is one of the most popular games inside of a casino. There’s always excitement around the wheel, and people want to see where the white marble is going to drop. There are 36 numbers in total to choose from, as well as an array of betting options that are involved. Those options mean that there are plenty of betting strategies to explore when playing the game.
Whether the game is inside a physical casino or one of the dozens of online casinos offering roulette, there are some various things to know.
The Differences in Roulette Wheels & Layouts
Roulette has three variations: American, French, and European. At a quick glance, they all look the same. However, some differences impact gameplay as well as what the chances of winning are.
American roulette involves a layout on felt that includes the numbers 1 through 36, scattered between red and black squares in order. There are also two green numbers at the top.
On the wheel, the two green numbers are on directly opposite sides from each other. These are the 0 and 00. It provides an additional house edge in comparison to the French and European wheel.
Despite being called “American” roulette, finding this game in casinos throughout Canada, the Caribbean, and South America is easy.
American and French roulette have many similarities, except the felt layout is slightly different. Even and odd bets are on one side while high and low bets are on the other side. The wheel also has one green number, which is the 0.
European roulette is nearly identical to French roulette regarding wheel layout because it only has one green 0. The felt design is closer to that of the American layout, however, with the betting opportunities found all on one side.
Entering the Game of Roulette
At a casino, the roulette wheel is within the area with all the table games such as blackjack and craps. It is identified quickly as the large wheel as well as a long rectangular digital board (in most instances) that shows the most recent numbers where the marble has landed.
There needs to be room at the table to sit down (or stand). If there is already a large crowd and all the colored markers are in use, it is necessary to wait until someone leaves. One advantage to playing online roulette is that it’s possible to play always without having to wait.
The markers are the colored chips that the dealer provides a player to keep track of the bets. The standard casino chips which indicate $1, $5, $25, and so on, are not used for those who are playing the game. Their use is if someone comes up to make a quick one-time wager and then leaves.
The term is to “color in,” which tells the dealer that the person would like to stay awhile and play the game. The player is then assigned a color. No one else will have that color until a player chooses to “color out” and turn their colored chips in for the various denominations as issued by the casino. They will be given as many colored chips as is handed in to start play.
For example, if a person places $50 down for the dealer to take, the dealer will, in turn, slide 50 colored chips over. A player can put more money down and request more of their color chips.
When a number comes up, the dealer will mark a number on the felt board with a marker. The dealer will then clear away all bets that don’t involve paying on the number. Putting the winnings around the board is how the croupier pays out the various odds.
If someone has won a large amount and there aren’t enough colored chips, the dealer can give the player casino chips, such as a $25 or $100 chip in conjunction with colored chips to equal the total amount of winnings.
Basic Roulette Etiquette to Know
- Don't set your drink on the felt; there might be drink holders on the table itself
- Never try to hand the dealer cash; place it in front of you
- Never touch someone else’s chips
- Stop placing chips on the felt once the dealer’s hand has passed over the table
- Don’t remove winning chips until the marker is lifted on the winning number
- If there’s a question, ask the dealer
Inside bets are the bets within the lines of squares that include the 0 as well as the 1 through 36. There are various opportunities for players to choose the number or numbers that they feel are going to come up.
There is the ability to place a chip on a single number. A single chip can also be placed to include two numbers side by side, three numbers in a row, four numbers in a cluster, or a row of six numbers.
When making an inside bet, it is important to follow the minimum limit on the table. If the table has a $10 minimum, this means that there must be a total of $10 placed within the inside. Each chip is worth $1, so that means that 10 chips are to be placed before the dealer saying, “No more bets.” If there are less than 10 chips, the dealer will remove all the chips, and the player will not have a stake in place during that spin.
It is possible to put more than one chip on some combination of numbers.
Outside bets in roulette cover everything else including everything that’s not within the blocks of 1 through 36, but directly impact as there is only one marble and it will land on a number. Included are the red/black, odd/even, and 1-18/19-36. It will also include the first 12, second 12, and third twelve along with the first column, second column, and third column of numbers.
The columns are where the majority of players go, especially when they are new, or they don’t have a lot of time to stand at the table.
When making an outside bet, the table minimum is in effect. These do not get added with any inside bets. They are considered to be completely separate from inside bets, so even though a player might have inside bets, the outside bets have to be calculated away from that. Further, if the minimum bet is $10, it means that each outside bet has to be at least $10. They cannot be broken up as the minimum bets can be.
It is also possible to make multiple outside bets to cover the possibility of one number hitting. However, because outside bets will cover 12 or more numbers at once, there are lower odds than what the inside bets entail.
A Note About Outside Bets
The downside to an outside bet is that regardless of where you place the chip, it will never cover the 0 or 00. All bets are lost if the marble does land in a green pocket. Some real casinos will offer an “En Prison” rule that provides an opportunity to get a bet back when the green number comes up. However, it’s a rule that’s quickly going away, so it’s harder to find a casino that offers it.
Strategies for Winning at Roulette
Anyone who plays roulette wants to walk away with more money than when they started. While roulette is a game of chance, there are strategies to employ.
Know the Odds
Most importantly, establishing a strategy for winning at roulette is to know the various odds that are in place. In doing so, will determine how many chips are slid over upon a winning number appearing on the wheel.
The American roulette odds are as follows:
- a) Single number – 35:1
b) Combination of two numbers (split) – 17:1
c) Combination of three numbers (a street) – 11:1
d) Combination of four numbers (quarter) – 8:1
e) Combination of six numbers (double street) – 5:1
f) Combination of 1-2-3-0-00 (basket) – 6:1
g) Column Bet – 2:1
h) Odd, Even, Black, Red – 1:1
European and French roulette odds are slightly different because there is no second 0, which also eliminates the basket bet. Every casino provides the odds paying on the wheel, whether it’s a physical casino or an online one.
Cover a Cluster of Numbers
If a player has a feeling about a certain number or it is their lucky number, it makes sense to cover a cluster of numbers near it as well. Betting on the number 5 for example, the minimum inside bet has to be met. Rather than placing all 10 chips on the 5, it’s often best to cluster around the number.
This could include a few chips on the 5 alone, one split between the 2 and the 5, one split between the 5 and the 8, a street to include 4, 5, and 6, as well as a quarter bet to include 5, 6, 8, and 9.
This way, if the 5 comes up, it wins with several 35:1 odds as well as two 17:1, an 11:1, and an 8:1. If the 5 doesn’t come up, but a 6 does, it’s not a complete loss. The player would still win on two chips.
Making Multiple Outside Bets
The outside bets don’t have high odds like the inside bets do. However, it’s possible to make bets so that there is a greater chance of winning with each spin. Players can make money slow and steady as opposed to hitting one number spot on and getting 35:1 odds.
For example, players can bet red and odd. These both pay at a 1:1, meaning, example, 7 comes up, it is both red and odd. This means that a player would get 1 extra chip for each bet that is out there. If it is red but not odd or it is odd but not red, then one chip would be lost, and one would be gained, thus ensuring that the player has not lost any money for that spin.
Another option for multiple outside bets could include a column and a “12 bet” which would be first, second, or third twelve. These are a 2:1 bet, so you get 2 chips for each win. A player could choose a desired column and 12. If the marble drops in one of the four numbers including where the column crosses over on the 12, then the player will get 4 chips (2 for each of the bets). However, if the number is within the column and not the 12 or the other way around, a player will win two chips and lose two chips, meaning that there is no money lost.
Watch Past Numbers
There is always a screen above the wheel with a list of numbers that have recently come up. Two columns list the reds and the blacks. Advanced screens will then put any 0 or 00 in green on one of the columns.
Players can watch the past numbers to try and find patterns. Let's say the last five numbers are red, then there’s a greater probability of it being black. The same is true for odd versus even which can help to weigh on how a person makes their bets, whether they are making inside or outside bets.
Those that play with inside bets will often dedicate one chip to the number that previously played as it is common for the marble to land in the same pocket twice in a row.
Double the Bet
Roulette strategists suggest doubling the bet when the last one lost, particularly in playing the outside bets. If a player loses when betting black and the last several numbers have been red, then a player doubles their bet and bets black again. If it comes up red, then double the bet again and bet black. Eventually, it will go black and double each time will allow a player to win back their losses from the previous hands.
Tipping Your Dealer
Tipping a croupier is customary in the United States, but not in the UK and Australia. Give a tip when the game is over regardless of winning or losing, many choose to tip more if they have won a significant amount or if they were asking the dealer to place bets on the felt for them.
How much to tip is discretionary. Place the tip on the felt outside of the betting lines and tell the dealer that it is for them.
Playing Online Roulette
Playing online is very similar to playing in a brick and mortar casino. There is no need to handle the chips physically, and the rules don’t apply regarding etiquette. Every online casino will operate differently regarding making bets, whether by clicking or dragging.
Some casinos will also offer a mobile app. Apps allow playing on the go. As long as the account has funds, it’s possible to access the account anywhere and from any internet device.
Playing online roulette is the easiest way in getting familiar with betting standards. The computer will often erase a bet if it doesn’t meet the minimums. Further, some of the roulette games have sound and will use the terminology that a real dealer would say.
The best thing to do when playing online is to read through the rules and instructions provided by the individual game making it easier to know what to do.
The Advantages of Online Roulette
While Roulette is a favorite game in real casinos everywhere, real money roulette online provides many of the same benefits. The same betting strategies but the games are much faster. There’s no longer the need to wait for all players to place their bets. Further, there is no reason to try and reach across the table to place all of the necessary bets.
Additionally, there are often no minimums in place on the outside, which means it’s possible to make a $1 outside bet. Trying different strategies is easier without having to worry about losing a lot of money if the numbers don’t work in the player’s favor.
Finding an Online Casino to Play In
When selecting an online casino, it is important to look at several things.
Payout Rate. The payout rate varies from casino to casino regarding how often a player would win. These are different with almost every site, so it’s important to look at what a casino offers before signing up on the site.
Look at Bonuses. Many casinos will offer bonuses for signing up. Bonuses include “Free Money” after making a deposit. Some casinos will match a deposit by 50% while others will match by 150%. Obviously, the higher bonuses are more desirable because of having more money to use within the casino.
Roulette was created in France during the 18th century using the Pascal roulette wheel which was a perpetual motion machine produced in the previous century. This is nothe the first factor that roulette borrowed from previously known games including the English games of Ace of Hearts, Roly-Poly and Reine, and the Italian games known as Biribi and Hoca.
Roulette became popularized in 1796 and was played primarily by the wealthy upper class since they were the only ones who had enough money to enjoy the game. The early wheel's single zero was colored red and the double zero was colored black. In the 1800s these two numbers were changed to the color green because of the confusion they added being the same color combinations as the rest of the selections.
The roulette wheel was brought to Germany in 1843 where the double zero was removed by Louis and François Blanc in hopes of using it to compete against the French casinos which had two zero options. In 1886 the United States got their first roulette wheel which also had the double and single zero, the numbers 1 through 28, and the American Eagle as an additional slot.
The eagle was also added to give the game some flare and differentiate it from other games. If the ball who land on the American Eagle all the chips on the table would be removed save the winner and he would receive twenty-seven chips for each one that is placed. The eagle was removed after a short time and the United States roulette wheel then only contained numbers. This was the form of the game which stuck the longest and is now seen all around the world. Just like in France the game was an instant success because it was easy to learn and most places didn't have a high betting minimum.
In 1860s Germany abolished gambling and the Blanc family had to move their invention to one of the last standing casinos in Europe, Monte Carlo. This caused the location to become a hub for gambling and casinos, many of which still stand today. The single zero roulette wheel attracted numerous people and became a premier game in Monte Carlo.
There wasn't a day that went by that roulette wasn't played and once the laws against gambling were removed from Germany the game was re-introduced and happily welcomed back by the locals. During the same time, the American double zero version of the game had spread across most of the country, moving quickly from New Orleans, up the Mississippi and then heading west.
On its travels, it became a custom to sit the wheel on top of a table to prevent both gamblers and operators from cheating. Eventually, a table layout for the game was made, simplifying the rules and making every game more alike. By the time the roulette wheel settled in Las Vegas the game has been completely standardized. Even though the quick American style and the slow French style of the game were polar opposite the American style won out in the end and can be found in many European countries.
The layout of the roulette table and wheel are basically the same wherever the game is played. The table is cloth covered and has marked locations with all the numbers and blank spaces where bets can be made. The table is usually red to contrast the color of the betting chips. The wheel is normally located at one end of the table where the croupier will stand, though there are a few, rare models where the wheel is in the center of the table.
The wheel has the double zero and the single zero in green and the rest of the numbers in black and red. The two zeroes will be across from each other and the rest of the numbers alternate black and red, two evens and two odds at a time. A white or gold ball is rolled around the outside of the wheel and it will land in one the numbered slots. A player's chips are normally color-coded to help indicate who's chips belong to who.
There are a variety of options for the players when it comes to betting. Bets can be put onto a color, evens or odds, a specific number or any number of those options. Betting in certain number ranges are allowed as well, meaning that the chances of winning can be anywhere from very high, 50%, to as low as 3%. Choosing even, odd, black, red, and the number ranges of 1-18 and 19-36 have a payout of 1:1. Choosing the number ranges of 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36 have a payout of 2:1 and all single numbers have a payout of 35:1.
Of course the higher the payout the less likely it is for the ball to land on. Players are able to continue placing their bets until the ball stops or the croupier calls the betting to stop. Once the ball lands on a number the croupier will mark the winning number on the table with a dolly which delays any plays, including betting or collecting bets. All the losing bets will be removed from the table and all the winning bets will be converted based on the ratios of winning.
The marker is removed after all payouts are made and betting can resume again with the previous winning bets remaining on the table. This whole process can be done in under a minute. There are maximum and minimum bets but each place has there own rules on what they are.
California Roulette is a newer form of the game that was created in 2004. Instead of using a wheel with slots it uses cards as the betting options. When the card is selected it is removed after payouts are finished. Red and black colors are used but numbers are optional and there hasn't been much regulation yet. The winning ratios are about the same. This version of the game is mostly found on the western coast of the United States. It is not very popular in many other places.