How To Play Roulette

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Learn How to Play Roulette
This little guide will cover the rules, explain the different possible bets as well as the variations of Roulette styles and the way it affects the odds as well as the prize money in case you win.

Different Types of Roulette
The different styles are very similar, the main differences are the following: The American Roulette features what is called ‘double zero’ that is, two different pockets, the ‘0’ and the ‘00’ as well as normal numbers, while the French/European Variation, which is normally used in UK, has only one zero pocket.

The consequences to the odds are not much relevant, but they do exist. 

The other numbers are 1-36, and they have different colours, alternating between black and red. The zero pocket is red, or both zeros in the American version.

Inside and Outside Bets
These are related to where the chips are placed, within or outside the board of numbers.

Types of Inside Bets

Straight / Single Bet – Bet on a Single Number, including the zero(s). To do that the bettor or the dealer needs to place the chip entirely inside the square of the number chosen

Split – A bet in two numbers, the chip is placed in the line between these numbers. Numbers can be adjacent to each other horizontally or vertically, combinations such as 8-9 or 14-17 are possible, the odds and the pay-outs are the same regardless the combination of numbers (i.e. just because the numbers are like 14-17 for example, they don’t pay higher than 8-9).

Street / Trio Bet / Tree Number Bet – Bet on a line of 3 numbers, such as 1-2-3, the chip is placed outer edge of the number at either end of the line.

Corner / Square – Bet on four numbers that share a common corner, the chip is placed exactly over this corner. 

Six Line or Double Street – this bet is made by placing the chip over a corner shared between two lines of 3 numbers, and it effectively bets on 6 numbers simultaneously.

There are a few other ways to call bets involving zero or double zero depending on the Roulette variation (American or European) but the essence of Inside Bets are the Straight, Split, Street, Corner and Line bets.

Outside Bets
Outside bets tends to pay lower odds and offer lower risk, let’s have a look at them:

High or Low – A bet on the nature of the numbers, if they will comprise the higher part of the board or lower, that is, a high bet is on numbers 19-36 and a low bet on 1-18, but the odds and pay-outs are similar regardless the game variation.

Red or Black – As simple as it sounds, it is a bet on what will be the colour of the next pocket where the ball will drop.

Odd / Even – A bet regarding the nature of the number where the ball will drop. 

Dozen – A bet on which of the 3 groups of dozens, i.e. 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36 where the ball will drop.

Column – A bet on the vertical column, i.e. the number where the ball will drop must contain one of the numbers of this column, they are comprised of twelve numbers too therefore the odds and pay-outs are the very same of the Dozen bets at both variations of Roulette (American and European).

Snake Bet – A special bet allowed by some Casinos, on the numbers 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34, it kind of resembles the zig zag movements of a snake.

Odds and Payouts
The Casino may impose minimum and max bets depending on many factors, but in general big Casinos have clear rules and the potential profits and the risk involving the bet are related to how many numbers are comprised by the bet. Little math is involved in the determination of risk and the usual profit margins of the Casino comparing to games like slots.

The payouts are similar at both variations and the winning chances (odds) are also very similar, so let’s focus in the potential profits, because they are also quite close to the odds, the profit margings of the Casinos are quite low, close to on-line slots RTPs (Return to Player) of most renowned operators (average 95% to 96.3% of the bets being returned to the players as prize money).

The value offered by the French/European Roulette is of circa -2.7% and the American one -5.3% which means the very most of the money (chips) placed over a board are paid back as prize money. Of course, if many players bet on the same numbers or outside bets during the same round of bets, and no one wins, the house wins it all, but the Casinos deal based on statistics so these would be the expected long term profits over each bet placed.

In general, bets like dozens/columns have lower potential profits, of 2 to 1.

Straight bets, i.e. a bet on a specific number offers a profit of 35 to 1, regardless the number – While some beginners may think the 0 or 00 numbers pay more because they are painted in green and sort of highlighted by contrast, the payout is the same comparing to any other number of the board

Street bets offer a payout of 11 to 1, while Six line bets pay 5 to 1.

Last but not least, the least risky bets would be red or black and odd/even and they pay 1 to 1 (100% of profit) in case you are lucky with your bet. The high/low bets, that is, the bet on whether the number will be between 1-18 or 19-36 have similar risk and return, so they also pay 1 to 1.

Depending on the game variation some other bets including the 00 and 0 with the first numbers are available, but the basic concept a gambler needs to understand is the more numbers involved the lower the risks and the payouts.