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How to Play Roulette


If roulette is your game, you're in luck. The game is featured at most if not all casinos online. If you think roulette may be your game, but you don't know how to play or aren't sure how it would work online, read on.

How to Play Roulette

When you approach a roulette table you see a layout with the numbers 1 through 36 plus a zero (0). In American roulette you also have a double zero (00).

The numbers alternate between black and red and the zeros are green.  The wheel next to the layout has corresponding numbers and the object of roulette is to guess where the ball will end up on the next spin.

You can bet on red or black, a single number or a group of numbers.

True Roulette Odds

A roulette layout is numbered 1 though 36, meaning each number should show up on average once every 36 times.

For every time any specific number comes up, that number should not come up 35 other times.  Therefore, the odds on a number should be 35-to-1, which is exactly the payoff for hitting one number.

Similarly, hitting one of a two-number spread is 17-to-1, and a four-number spread 8-to-1. Hitting a number in one of the three columns pays 2-to-1. Hitting red or black pays even money for a 50-50 shot.

It all seems fair.

Casino Roulette Odds

But wait. We don't have a complete picture yet. We've failed to account for the presence of the green zero (and double zero) spaces on the wheel.

It’s there the casino house edge is found. The green zero is where casinos make money off roulette.

Because of these spaces the odds of hitting any individual number is actually 37-to-1, not 35-to-1, and so on throughout the layout.

Betting Options in Roulette

In many casino games, different bets have a different return on investment. In craps for instance, a certain bet can offer a house edge around 2% whereas other bets have house advantage over 10%.

In roulette, however, the house advantage is always the same whatever bet you make. But that doesn't mean the odds of winning are the same for all bets.

If you bet black, you almost win half of the times but if you bet on a single number you only win one time in 37 or 38 depending on which wheel is used. Bets with higher odds pay off better but in the long run the result is the same wherever you put your chips.

So what are your betting options in roulette? Let’s go through them.

In the list below we show the odds of winning on both American and European roulette wheels as well as the actual payouts. As you can see, the true odds of the European games are always closer to the actual payouts.

Straight Up: A bet on one, single number
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 37 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 37 to 1
Payouts:  35 to 1

Two-number split: A bet on two numbers
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 18 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 17.5 to 1
Payouts:  17 to 1

Street bet: A bet on three numbers
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 11.67 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 11.33 to 1
Payouts:  11 to 1

Square bet: A bet on four numbers
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 8.5 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 8.25 to 1
Payouts:  8 to 1

Five numbers: A bet on five numbers
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 6.6 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): N/A
Payouts:  6 to 1

Line bet: A bet on six numbers
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 5.33 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 5.17 to 1
Payouts:  5 to 1

Dozen bet: A bet on the first, middle or last twelve numbers
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 2.17 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 2.8 to 1
Payouts:  2 to 1

Even/Odd bet:  A bet that the number is odd or even
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 1.05 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 1.01 to 1
Payouts:  1 to 1

High/Low bet:  A bet on either the first or last 18 numbers
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 1.05 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 1.01 to 1
Payouts:  1 to 1

Red/black bet:  A bet on the color of the number
Odds of winning (Am wheel): 1.05 to 1
Odds of winning (Eu wheel): 1.01 to 1
Payouts:  1 to 1

How to Play Roulette Online

To play roulette online, just click and drag the amount you want to bet onto the number or group where you want to place your bet.

Online roulette is really one of the easiest games to learn. Simply drag the chips and spin the wheel. After that, luck is all you can hope for.

As always, playing towards a bonus obviously helps you and decreases the house edge since you will clear money “outside” the actual game.

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