In this article we will be looking at the game of roulette and explaining how the game works and how it is one of the best casual gambling experiences.
The first thing that any roulette player needs to know whether you are a beginner or an expert is that the game is pure chance. There are no strategic ways in which you can increase the probability of victory, and if you come across any that claim it then ignore them.
The great thing about roulette is that it is possibly the simplest of all the casino games to learn, and in fact can be picked up in a matter of seconds. It is basically a game of choice and selection, and even kids can be familiar with the concept as it is similar to a toss of a coin in that the outcome is predetermined to be one of a set amount of options.
In the case of roulette you play against the house and bet on the outcome of colors on a spinning wheel. The wheel is made up of 37 or 38 numbers, and each number is indented into the wheel, with the numbers 1 to 36, zero and sometimes double zero represented. Odd numbers in the wheel are black while even numbers are the color red (Hence the famous red or black choice) and any zero section is green.
You will essentially be playing against a casino representative who may be known as the dealer, croupier, or banker, and it is he or she who will be spinning the wheel and handling any monetary transactions. After bets are placed the dealer will spin the wheel and then spin a white ball in the opposite direction to the already spinning wheel. Where the ball places itself at the end of the wheels revolutions will determine the winner of the game. The aim is to predict where the ball will end if you are to claim a victory.
There could be as many as 6 to 8 fellow players, which is the limit a roulette table accommodates, and each will place their predictions before the wheel is spun. Remember that it means little how many people are involved because it will not increase or decrease the chance of winning, roulette is decided purely by chance. If the ball lands on red 10 times consecutively, there is no guarantee that the next time it will land on black, it will again be a 50/50 chance. This makes roulette one of the few casino games that cannot hold a guaranteed win percentage, meaning that in theory during an hour of roulette there could be payouts on every spin, or conversely there could be no money won in that hour.
As the players align, they will each have a different color chip to bet with, this is done simply to keep track of which player has bet on which outcome. Being assigned a colored chip is mostly for those who intend to play for a while, but if you are just mulling around the casino and fancy placing a bet quickly it is perfectly fine form to put down cash or a regular house chip.
There are a fair amount of different bets available in roulette but for an absolute beginner you just need to know that these constitute either an inside bet or an outside bet.
At the start of each game there is a minimum bet posted, so if you are to participate you will need to at least match this low bet before proceeding. Next all the players will place their bets. The croupier/dealer does not do this and the player is allowed to place the wager on their own by simply putting their chips or cash into the center of the betting square or circle of their choice. There is a betting table that houses all of the numbers and betting options, and this counts as the gaming surface.
The dealer will now spin the wheel and then shortly after will “drop the ball”. This stage signifies the end of betting, any changes in bets can be made at anytime prior to the ball drop, however once the dealer has placed the ball all bets are closed. The dealer will signal this by waving his or her hand across the table and declaring “no more bets”, if you attempt to change anything now your placed bet will be immediately deemed as void.
When the wheel stops spinning and the ball comes to a rest on a specific number and color, the dealer will place a plastic marker on the gaming table where the winning number is represented. Next any losing bets will be collected by the dealer, and any player winnings will be issued. Beware not to retrieve your own winnings until the plastic marker has been removed, there is etiquette in roulette and it is one of the more leisurely gambling games. If you were lucky enough to win then claim your winnings at the appropriate time and decide to either chance your luck again or walk away with what you have won.
Now we will look at the specific bets that can be placed and the chance of winning off of each separate bet. There are two forms of roulette betting, and they are called inside and outside betting, and are named because of their relation to numbers on the table. Here we will look at inside betting, which is not the most commonly used betting system, but is the most famous when thinking of roulette.
A roulette table is set up as a place to bet on the outcome of the spinning wheel. Each number of the wheel is represented on the table with the numbers 1 to 36 displayed in three vertical columns and twelve horizontal rows. Each row contains three numbers, so row one would consist of 1-2-3, and row two of 4-5-6, and so it continues over the twelve rows. There is also a green section which represents the zero. This whole part of the table is called the inside betting area.
There are various number bets which increase in both potential winnings and probability of success.
A six number bet is where you choose six numbers from two adjacent rows in sequence, for example 4-5-6-7-8-9. This is also called a line bet with odds of success at 5 to 1.
There is also a five number bet when you can choose numbers in combination with a zero, and this carries odds of 6 to 1.
A four number bet is where you choose a group of four intersecting numbers, for example 5-6-8-9. This is also known as a corner bet with odds of success at 8 to 1.
A three number bet is when you select three numbers on a row, for example 4-5-6. This is also known as a street bet and the odds of success are 11 to 1.
A two number bet is when you choose two numbers from a row, for example 1-2 or 4-5. This is more commonly known as a split bet, and the odds of success are at 17 to 1.
A single bet is where you place the chip on any possible number in the inside betting area. This is the largest potential win in roulette but also the one with the lowest odds, with a 35 to 1 probability of success.
Inside betting carries greater risk as you are lowering your chances of success significantly in the hope of getting a big win. For the casual roulette player inside betting can be the most fun if you are not too interested on the outcome, but for the serious player these bets carry a risk. Although sometimes the reward can be landing that high risk bet and winning big.
As a beginner in roulette you will want to feel the exhilaration of victory, and although the rewards from inside betting can be higher, more often or not you will find yourself disappointed and out of pocket. With outside betting you will be increasing your chances of winning a game and also tasting the delight of the victory.
Outside bets are also easier to make than inside bets, and are a good way to do a spread bet and increase the probability of success. The outside betting area runs along the outside (hence the name) of the inside betting area, along the left flank and underneath.
There is one outside betting column for each group of four inside betting columns consisting of three numbers. So if you look at the four inside betting columns that house 1-2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8-9, 10-11-12 below it there will be one outside betting section that encompasses the twelve numbers. A bet in one of these outside betting sections means that you are gambling on any one of the 12 numbers landing, with odds at 2 to 1.
The remaining outside bets sit to the left of the inside betting area, and this is where the dozens bets lie. This is similar to the above outside bet option, but here the numbers table is split into three sections of 12, and you place a bet in one of these sections. If any one of the 12 numbers in your section lands then you win the game, with a payout of 2 to 1.
The remaining outside bets are classic choice games, and one is the famous red or black bet, where you make a choice between red and black. If you bet red and the ball lands on a red of any number then you will win the game, but if it lands on any black then you lose.
Even or odd is similar to red or black in that you make the choice between the ball landing on either an even number or an odd number.
Yet furthering the split chance scenarios on the roulette table is the high or low number option. A low number would be any number from 1 to 18, where as a high number would be any number from 18 to 36. If the ball lands on zero you lose.
These may seem like 50/50 games but in reality they are not because of the chance the ball will land on the zero. However, these split choice bets still offer a great chance for you to win the game.
That concludes our roulette school, and we hope that you can now enter the world of roulette with confidence. Just remember it is all chance and nothing you can do will change the outcome, so just enjoy the experience of playing this casino classic.