Introduction to Roulette

Roulette is among the most recognisable casino games to have ever existed. Considered a game of chance, it is hugely popular in web-based and brick-and-mortar casinos alike. In fact, the very mention of the word “casino” is enough to evoke the image of the spinning wheel in one’s mind. The game is relatively easy to play as in fact, one is not even required to be a seasoned gambler in order to join the roulette table, place a few bets and win.

But what is the secret to the game’s popularity? The answer is simple – roulette easily ranks as one of the most dynamic games to play in a gambling venue. As there are numerous betting options available, it offers players excitement and thrills like no other. But make no mistake – roulette may revolve around chance, yet to a great extent it is a strategic game. A good amount of disciple, a proper strategy and adequate bankroll management are all required in order to walk away from the roulette table on profit.

Brief History of Roulette

Over the years, there have been numerous debates on where did the game of roulette originate. The disputes remain unsolved to this day but according to some theories, the roulette wheel was accidentally invented by French physicist and mathematician Blaise Pascal in 1655, while he was attempting to create a perpetual motion machine.

The earliest recorded references of a game of this name date back to 1758, when regulations for New France (present day Quebec) prohibited the populace to participate in games of “dice, hoca, faro, and roulette”. A version of the game has been played in Paris since 1796. In 1801, Jaques Lablee described a roulette wheel and a table layout in his novel La Roulette, ou le Jour. Lablee’s description bears a striking resemblance to what one would see at a roulette table today – he describes a wheel with “pockets” numbered from 1 to 36 as well as a zero pocket.

Later on, in 1843, the first single-zero roulette wheel was officially introduced in a casino in the German town of Homburg to improve the pay-off to players. It was Frenchman Francois Blanc, who came up with the idea after supposedly selling his soul to the Devil in exchange for learning the secrets of winning at roulette. Seventeen years later, gambling was abolished in Germany and the Blanc family was forced to move to Monte Carlo, where they established a gambling venue for the elite.

The game was quickly gaining in popularity and by the mid 19th century, it had already made its appearance in the United States. The double-zero wheel was introduced on American soil, in the city of New Orleans.

At the time, the roulette wheel used in American gambling venues had 28 numbered pockets, three zero pockets for the house, one double-zero pocket and an eagle. The American table layout was significantly simplified which allowed for a more dynamic game and quicker bets.

To this day, the double-zero wheel remains the American style while the single-zero wheel is considered the European (or French) style. Fans of the game are provided with the opportunity to play both the French and the American variations of roulette from the comfort of their homes, in one of the numerous online casinos that emerged in the past decade.

The online version of roulette differs in one major aspect from the game played in landbased venues – the pace. In brick-and-mortar casinos, the game is much more dynamic as the wheel is in perpetual motion. This is not the case with online roulette since it allows one to play at their own pace.

Rules of Play

Being a relatively simple game, roulette poses as a suitable option for novices and seasoned players alike. The objective is pretty straightforward – players are expected to accurately predict in which numbered pocket the ball will land when the wheel loses momentum and comes to a stop. The game is played against the casino, players do not compete against each other.

There are various bets that can be placed, some riskier than others. More importantly, players can wager on single numbers as well as on a combination of numbers. The wheel contains red and black pockets numbered from 1 to 36 as well as one or two zero pockets, depending on the game’s variation. The same numbers in their respective colors are displayed on the table layout.

When placing their bets, players use chips of different colors to avoid confusion as to which bet belongs to who. After all participating players have placed their chips on their numbers, the croupier throws the ball on the outer rim of the spinning wheel and announces “No more bets” to indicate wagers are no longer accepted for this spin. When the ball lands in one of the pockets, the croupier announces the outcome and places a marker next to the winning number.

Roulette Buying In

As it seems, the number of players that do not make heads or tails of the process of buying in at the roulette table is quite large. What is even more surprising is that sometimes, players shy away from betting on roulette namely because they are unaware of what they should do.

Some roulette novices might be in for a surprise when they find out that regular casino chips are not employed at the roulette table. Instead, when gambling enthusiasts want to start betting, they will need to leave their money on the table layout and tell the dealer what amount they wish to play with. Then, the dealer will give them a pile of chips that have the same colour. It is of vital importance to remember that you need to leave your money on the table as dealers are not permitted to take money straight from the hands of players.

The player will only be given chips with identical colour so that it could be easier for them and the dealer to keep track of their wagers. To make sure that no disputes will arise between players, casinos do not allow roulette fans to share chips. At each roulette table, the maximum number of colours players will see are 8.

Roulette Buying In

Please note that when casino enthusiasts request their chips, the dealer will ask them to make up their mind what value they would like to attach to them. As soon as this decision is made, gambling enthusiasts will notice how the dealer lays a marker in order to indicate what value they have settled for. This is done so as to avoid any confusion and to indicate what denomination is attached to each specific colour for the duration of the particular gaming session.

Players should not be swayed into opting for a higher value of their chips just because the other players who are sitting at the table have done so.

Roulette newbies should also know that the chips that are used in the game have no value when they are taken down from the table. What this means is that even if players take their roulette chips to the casino cage, they should not expect to receive cash in exchange for them. Additionally, these coloured chips cannot be used while playing any of the other games the casino boasts.

If they feel like leaving the roulette table, casino enthusiasts simply need to tell the dealer that they would like to cash out their remaining chips and winnings so that they could receive their equivalent in regular casino chips.

House Edge and Payout

The house always has an advantage in terms of odds – such is the case with all casino games and roulette is not an exception. The term “house edge” is used to describe the mathematical advantage the gambling venues have over players as they play over time. In this instance, it all depends on whether one is engaged in a game of European roulette, where there is a single-zero wheel or American roulette, where the wheel has two zero pockets.

The overall house edge in European roulette is estimated to be 2.7% while that in the American variation stands at 5.26%. This means the gambling venue will collect £2,70 for every £100 bet the player places on European roulette and £5,56 for every £100 wagered on American roulette. The more time players spend on the table, the bigger the house edge gets.

European Roulette House Edge and Payout
Bet Type Bet Payout Bet Probability House Edge
Straight 35/1 2.70% 2.70%
Split 17/1 5.41% 2.70%
Street 11/1 8.11% 2.70%
Square or Corner 8/1 10.81% 2.70%
Six Line 5/1 16.2% 2.70%
Column 2/1 32.4% 2.70%
Dozen 2/1 32.4% 2.70%
Red / Black 1/1 48.64% 2.70%
Odd / Even 1/1 48.64% 2.70%
High / Low 1/1 48.64% 2.70%
American Roulette House Edge and Payout
Bet Type Bet Payout Bet Probability House Edge
Straight 35/1 2.63% 5.26%
Split 17/1 5.26% 5.26%
Street 11/1 7.89% 5.26%
Square or Corner 8/1 10.53% 5.26%
Five Line 6/1 13.16% 7.89%
Six Line 5/1 15.79% 5.26%
Column 2/1 31.58% 5.26%
Dozen 2/1 31.58% 5.26%
Red / Black 1/1 46.37% 5.26%
Odd / Even 1/1 46.37% 5.26%
High / Low 1/1 46.37% 5.26%
French Roulette House Edge and Payout *
Bet Type Bet Payout Bet Probability House Edge
Straight 35/1 2.70% 2.70%
Split 17/1 5.41% 2.70%
Street 11/1 8.11% 2.70%
Trio (0,1,2 / 0,2,3) 11/1 8.11% 2.70%
Four-Number (0,1,2,3) 8/1 10.81% 2.70%
Square or Corner 8/1 10.81% 2.70%
Six Line 5/1 16.2% 2.70%
Column 2/1 32.4% 2.70%
Dozen (P12, M12, D12) 2/1 32.4% 2.70%
Red / Black 1/1 48.64% 2.70%
Impair (Odd) / Pair (Even) 1/1 48.64% 2.70%
Manque (Low) / Passe (High) 1/1 48.64% 2.70%

* In French roulette, when even money bets are placed and the ball ends up in the zero pocket, only half of the bet is returned to the player. This is known as the “half-black” or “en prison” rule and reduces the house edge for even money bets to 1.35%.

Types of Bets

Roulette bets can be divided into two major categories, namely inside and outside bets. Outside bets are more popular among beginners and can be subdivided into several categories – Red or Black, Odd or Even, High or Low, Dozen and Column bets. While outside bets have better odds of winning, their payout is generally much smaller than that of inside bets.

Highlighted Roulette Outside Bets position – Red or Black, Odd or Even, High or Low, Dozen and Column bets.

Inside bets, on the other hand, are riskier but experienced players place them because they have higher payouts. Straight Up, Split, Street, Square and Line bets all belong in this category.

Highlighted Roulette Inside Bets position

There is a group of wagers which covers more unusual patterns of numbers. These go by the name of Call bets and include Orphelins, Voisins de Zero and Tiers. With Call bets, players do not place any chips on the table but simply call the bet they wish to make and the croupier marks it on the layout. Some gambling venues do not allow Call bets because this practice is regarded as playing on credit. Many casinos do accept Announced bets, however – the player can still announce their wager out loud, but is required to have sufficient amount of chips on the table to cover the bet.

Highlighted Roulette Call Bets position – Orphelins, Voisins de Zero and Tiers.

Voisins du Zero

The name of Voisins du Zero is pretty much self-explanatory as it is translated as neighbours of the zero. What is specific about this wager is that when the single-zero roulette variation is concerned, it will take in all the numbers that are close to 0. The included numbers are 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, and 25.

Bear in mind that to make this bet, players will need to stake nine chips at a minimum. The reason why this specific number of chips will be needed is that two chips will be positioned on the trio 0, 2, 3, one chip will be split between 4 and 7, another one will be split between 12 and 15, 18 and 21, and 19 and 22. Two chips will be moved to the corner between 25, 26, 28, and 29, while the last one should be put between 32 and 35.

Voisins du Zero bet

Jeu Zero

Jeu Zero is one more of the called or announced bets. The name of this roulette wager is translated as “zero game”, and the numbers it covers include 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, and 15. Four chips will be needed so as to make a Jeu Zero bet because one chip will be placed straight on 26, while the remaining ones will be split between 0 and 3, 12 and 15, and 32 and 35.

Jeu Zero

Tiers du Cylindre

Tiers du Cylindre in practice means “one-third of the wheel”, which perfectly describes the way in which this wager functions as it comprises 12 of all 37 numbers the roulette wheel features, namely 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, and 33. By closer inspection, it comes clear that these numbers stay on the opposite side of the numbers that are incorporated into Voisins du Zero bets.

This wager can be laid with six chips or multiples of six as they will be split between 5 and 8, 10 and 11, 13 and 16, 23, and 24, and 33 and 36. With such wagers, players will get a payout only for the number on which the white ball has landed, and will need to part with the amount that was staked on the rest of the numbers.

Tiers du Cylindre

Neighbour Bets

Neighbour bets can be made on just about any number from the roulette wheel, but what is specific about this wager type is that in addition to the preferred number, two of its adjacent numbers that lay on each side of the roulette wheel will be added as well. Thus, in practice, players will wager on 5 numbers simultaneously.

Thus, if we assume that players prefer to lay their wager on 5, this will mean that 24, 16, 10, and 23 will also be covered.
Neighbour Bets

Final Bets

Gambling enthusiasts can only settle for a final bet, provided that they are playing European or French roulette. This roulette wager is all about betting on all numbers that end in the same digit. Thus, if we assume that the preferred digit is 6, the numbers players will ultimately bet on will be 16, 26, and 36.

The final bet options are a total of 10, and they include 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. In terms of the number of chips that should be staked, it will be determined by the preferred final. What gambling enthusiasts should know is that sometimes, they might be permitted to opt for split final bets as well.
Final Bets

Full Completes

This wager type is hugely popular among high-roller roulette players because the staked amount hits the table upper limit, which comes to explain why it is also known as a maximum bet. The reason why it might be hard for players to make heads or tails of this bet is that in practice, they need to pick one number and lay all inside bets on it.

What is worth mentioning about full completes is that this wager type is not displayed on the roulette table.
Full Completes

En Prison Rule

This rule only applies to the cases when players have settled for an outside bet and the white ball has landed on 0 or 00. What should be noted, however, is that the casinos that offer this move are not that many.

If we presume that you have staked £10 on red, but the white ball comes to rest on 0, the dealer will ask you if you wish to be imprisoned or in other words, to get back half of the staked amount, which in this case is £5. If you agree, however, a marker that reads “En Prison” will be positioned on the top of your wager.

Now, the possible scenarios are three as you will lose the £10 you have staked if black, 0, or 00 shows up on the next spin of the roulette wheel. If red shows, however, the dealer will remove the marker, thus allowing players to do whatever they wish with the staked amount.

Roulette Table Etiquette

Playing roulette is now as easy as it has never been before as it only takes logging into your gaming account at the preferred online casino, adding some funds to your bankroll, and launching the preferred variant of the game.

Yet, when playing roulette at a brick-and-mortar casino, things are not that simple. That is the reason why we recommend reading up on the proper way in which roulette fans should conduct themselves at land-based casinos.

Roulette Table Etiquette

Joining the Roulette Table

Firstly, players should make sure that they will join the roulette table at the appropriate time. As we mentioned above, one of the things roulette is distinguished for is the fact that it is not played using regular casino chips. If you wish to buy in, but a spin is already underway, you will need to wait until it draws to close in order to request your chips.

Bear in mind that you should never attempt to hand your money to the dealer as instead, you need to leave it on the table so that it can be visible what amount you have given. As soon as you are provided with your own unique colour of chips, you will be prompted to pick a denomination for them. Before you do so, make sure that you have checked the betting limits of the specific table so as to avoid any confusion.

Keep Up with the Pace of the Game

It is of crucial importance for roulette mavens to keep up with the pace of the game and to make sure that they will place their stakes quickly and on time. If you do not want to miss your chance to place a stake, you should attempt to make up your mind about the wager type you want to opt for and the amount you wish to put on the line while the dealer is wrapping up the wagers from the previous round.

Players can easily figure out when the time to place their wagers has come as the dealer will remove the marker from the number that came out in the previous round. Once you hear that the dealer announces “no more bets”, and you are still wondering what to do, this will mean that you have missed your chance to place a bet for this round. It is important to note that this will also mean that touching your chips is not permitted. Still, if you are unsure what to do, you can always ask the dealer for help as most of the time, they will be eager to assist.

Collecting Payouts

Hardly there is a more thrilling thing than collecting your winnings, and this does not only apply to roulette, but to casino games in general. Yet, when it comes to roulette, gambling enthusiasts should make sure that they will not get overly excited by the payout they have won, thus attempting to collect their wins before the dealer has allowed them to do so.

As it seems, trying to collect their winnings earlier than they should actually do is a mistake many total roulette novices tend to do. As it was already mentioned, a marker will be placed to indicate the winning number. Remember that if the marker is still on the table, this should hint you that the dealer has not handled all payouts yet, even if your chips are already set out. When you notice that the marker is removed, you will know that this is the exact time to get your winnings.

Collecting Payouts

Be Considerate of Other Players

Being considerate of the other players who have joined the table is certainly a must. When it comes to smoking at the roulette table, players should be rather careful as they should make sure that they will not flick ashes onto the floor or the table and that they will keep the smoke away from the other fellow players.

Roulette newbies should also be aware that they will only be permitted to hold their chips on the table, and not their drinks or the ashtrays.

Tip the Dealer

Finally, in spite of the fact that tipping the dealers is not mandatory, roulette lovers should not forget to do so, especially if they have been on a winning streak or if they have already spent quite some time at the table, and they are about to leave it.