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Roulette is a game of European
origin that still remains largely popular in Europe.
Internationally speaking, it is one of the most popular
gambling games in the casino. And although the game
does not afford one of the lowest House Edges for its
best bet, it nonetheless remains the game of choice for
many players. In actuality, the lowest House Edge for
initial bets at the roulette table is approximately
2.6%, which is not that bad at all, especially when
compared to other bets in the casino. There is also a
situation at some roulette tables (called en prison)
that will return a House Edge of approximately 1.35%.
Be advised that the Single Zero European version of the
game gives the lowest casino advantage, as opposed to
the American version, which offers a 5.3% House Edge.
That being said, even though there is no strategy that
will lower the House Edge at roulette, the game still
affords good chances at winning bets and having a good
time. Perhaps it is the activity of the game that draws
players. The action around the table itself is quite
laid back, and the speed of play is rather slow. And
although the online casino experience is sped up a bit -
thanks to a faster and shorter spinning wheel programmed
into the software - it is exciting to wait for the
winning number. Again, aside from ill-founded rumors
regarding fixed wheels, perhaps it is the inherent trust
the game gives players, owing to its mass appeal.
Everything happens directly in view of the player at the
roulette table, as opposed to a deck of unexposed cards,
which will always inherently never reveal everything
that is taking place.
The way the game operates is rather
simple - Bets are placed and a ball is dispersed into a
spinning wheel. Depending on what number the ball
rests, bets are won or lost accordingly. Therefore, the
two factors a player needs to be familiar with are the
layout of the table itself and the different kinds of
bets that can me made. Beginning with the table, three
columns intersecting with three rows take up the bulk of
the playing space. The resultant boxes are numbered 1
through 36, each box alternately colored red and black.
(Incidentally, these numbers correspond to the amount of
numbered slots in the roulette wheel as well) Within
these boxes and on the lines separating them are where
inside bets (straight up, street, corner, split,
five-number and line) are placed. All other
areas on the table are commonly referred to as
outside bets. Flanking the left side of the
numbered columns will be either one or two boxes with a
0 and/or 00, depending on whether the table is a
European or American version. Flanking the right side
of the numbered columns are three boxes (one for each
column) labeled "2 to 1". This is where column bets
are placed, which as the boxes imply, pay 2 to 1 odds on
winners. Flanking the first column of numbers nearest
the player are three adjacent boxes labeled "1st 12",
"2nd 12" and "3rd 12". These boxes are where the wagers
called dozens are made. The remaining column of
six boxes at the immediate front of the table correspond
in pairs. The two most outside boxes labeled "1 to 18"
and "19 to 36" are referred to as Low or High
Bets. Immediately to the inside of these boxes are
two boxes labeled "Even" and "Odd". As the names imply,
this is where even bets and odd bets are
made. The two centermost boxes are marked with the
words "Red" and "Black" with their corresponding color.
This is where chips for the Red or Black Bets
2 to 1
2 to 1
2 to 1
1 to 18
19 to 36
Such is the format of the roulette
table. In the table above, all boxes are printed
horizontally so they can be easily read. (The boxes in
a true table will be printed horizontally and
vertically). However, the shape of the table does not
The potential roulette bets are as
This bet is akin to lottery or keno. The wager
is made by placing chips on any one of the thirty-five
numbered boxes, zero or double-zero. If the rolling
ball lands on the corresponding number of the wheel, the
bet wins. Straight-up bet payout odds are 35:1.
The split wager is made by mouse-clicking a
chip on the line separating any two numbers. It is
predicting that one of the two adjacent numbers will be
landed by the ball in the wheel. Split bet payout
odds are 17:1.
This bet covers one of the twelve columns,
also called streets, composed of three numbers in
numeric order. It is predicting that one of the three
numbers in the chosen 'street' will be hit be landed by
the rolling ball. The bet is made by placing chips on
the horizontal line separating the outside bet boxes
from the first column of numbers, centered with the
first number of the desired row or street. Street
bet payout odds are 11:1.
This bet covers four numbers at one time.
The bet is made by mouse-clicking a chip(s) on the
common corner of four boxes, which is the centermost
point between all four boxes. The bet wins if the ball
settles in any one of the four numbered slots
corresponding to the box values. Corner bet payout
odds are 8:1.
The line bet covers
six consecutively adjacent boxes in numeric order. It
predicts that any one of the six chosen numbered boxes
will by landed by the ball in the wheel. To place the
bet, chips are set on the line dividing the first column
of outside bet boxes from the first column of numbered
boxes starting with 1 and ending with 34. On this line,
the chip is placed where a single line dividing two
numbered rows intersects with it. For instance, the
numbers 7 through 12 are bet by placing a chip on the
bottommost common point between the number 7 and 10 and
the line of the "1st Twelve" box. Line
bet payout odds are 5:1.
As the name says, this is a bet covering
five numbers - the 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. It is made by
placing a chip(s) on the outside left corner point of
the line separating the 0 and the 1. This bet is also
called the House Special, which is ironic, considering
it has a very high House Edge.
Red & Black
This is a bet placed on either a red or
black number. It is predicting that either a black or
red number will come up. Obviously, this bet is quite
simple and has a 50/50 chance of winning, since there
are an equal amount of black and red numbers. To make
the bet, a player will place chips in either the box
marked "Red" or "Black".
Odd & Even
Similar to the red and black bet, this bet
is on one of two outcomes - Whether the roulette ball
settles in an even-numbered slot or in an odd-numbered
slot on the wheel. The bet is placed with chips in
either the "Odd" or "Even" outside bet box.
Odd or Even bet payout odds are 1:1.
Low & High
Another 50/50 wager, the Low wager predicts
the ball will fall on a number from 1 to 18 (the low
half) while the high wager predicts the ball will land
on any number from 19 to 36 (the high half). It too is
made by placing chips in the corresponding box marked
either "High" or "Low". Low
and High bet payout odds are 1:1.
Taking note of the roulette table layout,
there are three boxes on the bottom end of the three
columns of numbers labeled 2 to 1. Each column
corresponds to the column box adjacent to it. Paying 2
to 1, the bet predicts that any number in the selected
column will be landed by the ball in the wheel. Bets
are made by simply mouse-clicking chips in the "2 to 1"
box adjacent to the desired column. Column bet
payout odds are 2:1.
Paying the same odds as the column wager,
the dozens wager is structured the same way as the
High/Low bet, except that it divides the playing numbers
into three groups instead of two. The three boxes
nearest the first column of numbers is where chips are
placed depending on the desired number coverage. The
box labeled '1st Twelve' covers numbers 1 through 12,
the box labeled '2nd Twelve' covers numbers 13 through
24, and the bottommost box called '3rd Twelve' covers
the numbers 25 through 36. Dozen bet payout odds
This rule, or condition, applies on a casino
to casino basis, and only on the even money wagers
(Red&Black, Odd&Even, Low&High). The way it works is
that if the ball rests on the zero. all even money bets
do not lose, but rather, are entitled to either stay on
the board or be taken back by the player. Since 0 is
neither red nor black, odd nor even, nor low nor high,
some casinos will permit players this gesture which
lowers the House Edge.
This condition is the same as En Prison with
one exception. It does not permit even money wagers to
be returned or to stay on the board after a 0 is landed,
but rather, returns half of the players original bet.
Learn these bets and their
corresponding odds, and you will be well armed at the
roulette table, even if you are after a social
experience and more of an entertaining time than
anything else. Remember, online roulette is a different
experience altogether, even though it still rightly
offers the anticipation a land-based casino can. The
play is much faster online, so sometimes it is wise to
write down every wager you make...at least until you see
the software's player history log is doing its job. To
read up on the odds of the various roulette bets, see
the roulette strategy tips section on this site.
More Roulette Tips, Rules