Beginners Guide

A Beginner’s Guide to Roulette

Beginners Guide to RouletteRoulette is a casino game that originated in 18th  century France, its popularity quickly spreading throughout Europe.  These days roulette is played in physical and online casinos all over the world.

For the novice, it can look very complicated and quite intimidating.  It’s a fast-paced game, there’s a lot going on and you might be scared of doing the wrong thing and embarrassing yourself.  This article should serve as an introduction to roulette and will give you all the information you need to get you started.

Before you start, you should determine what version of the game you will be playing:  American roulette or European roulette.  This is very easy to ascertain.  Simply count the number of green slots on the wheel.  These are the zeros.  An American wheel has two: 0 and 00.  A European wheel has only one zero.  Given a choice, you should only ever play European roulette.  Adding that one extra zero almost doubles the house edge from 2.7% to 5.26%.

They object of the game is to try to guess what number the ball will land in.  With each spin, the croupier will alternate the direction of the wheel and spin the ball opposite to the wheel.  While the ball is spinning, players may place their bets on the table, or “layout”.  You can place as many bets as you like.  The more numbers you cover, the better your chances of picking the winner.  Bear in mind that covering many numbers costs more, so your profit will be reduced.

You might be wondering how players keep track of their bets.  After all, there can be hundreds of chips spread all over the layout.  If possible, when you buy your chips at the table, you should ask the croupier to give you color chips, or “wheel checks”.  These chips are different colors and each player gets their own color.  If you are given blue chips, you will be the only player at the table playing that color.  That way there should be no confusion.  Just remember that wheel checks can only be played at the table where you buy them.  They usually have a number or letter identifying which table they belong to.  When you are ready to leave, just ask the dealer to “cash you in” and they will swap your color chips for cash chips, which you can play anywhere, or take to the cashier to exchange for cash.

When is the right time to bet?  Just listen to the croupier.  When they have finished paying all the winners they will announce:  “Place your bets!”  You can then start betting.  The dealer might spin the ball while you are betting, but that’s fine, you can still keep placing more bets.  When the ball is getting close to dropping the dealer will announce:  “No more bets!” at which point you must stop betting.

Don’t forget, part of the croupier’s job is to help you.  If you want to place a bet, but can’t reach the number, ask the croupier to place it for you.  Just watch to make sure there is no misunderstanding and they actually place it correctly.  All bets will be paid “as they lie”, so if a bet is misplaced when the ball drops, it will win or lose according to where it is placed.  Similarly, it is important to make sure you place your bets neatly.  If you meant to place a bet on a number, but it accidentally touches the line between two numbers, it will instead be paid as a split.  This means you might only get paid 17 to 1, instead of 35 to one.

Roulette has many different betting options.  There are two categories of bets:  “outside bets” and “inside bets”

Outside Bets

Red or Black – There are 18 red numbers and 18 black numbers.  You can bet on red or black, covering slightly less than 50% of the wheel.  If your bet wins, the payout is 1 to 1, or even money.

Odd or Even – Odd numbers are 1, 3, 5, 7, and so on.  Even numbers are 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.  There are 18 numbers covered by each bet, paying even money.

1 to 18 or 19 to 36 – Fairly self-explanatory, these bets again cover slightly less than half the wheel and pay even money.

Columns – These bets are placed at the end of the table, furthest from the wheel. There are three columns, each paying 2 to 1.  Each column covers 12 out of the 37 possible numbers.  It covers all the numbers in the row adjacent to the betting area.  For example, the 1st  column covers 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31 and 34.

Dozens – As with the columns, there are three dozens, each covering 12 numbers and paying 2 to 1.  The betting areas are just inside the “even chance bets”.  The first dozen covers the numbers 1 to 12.  The second covers 13 to 24 and the third covers 25 to 36.

Something to note:   if zero (or double zero) comes up, ALL “outside bets” lose.

Now that you know the “outside bets”, let’s move on to the “inside bets”.  These are the bets in the area of the layout where all the numbers are.

Inside Bets

Sixline – Covers 6 numbers and pays 5 to 1.

Fiveline – If you are playing an American wheel with 0 and 00, you can bet on both zeros plus the numbers 1, 2 and 3.  This bet pays 6 to 1.

Corner – Covers 4 numbers and pays 8 to 1.

Street – Covers 3 numbers and pays 11 to 1.

Split – Covers 2 numbers and pays 17 to 1.

Straight Up – Covers just one number and pays 35 to 1.

The zeros are considered to be numbers just like all the others.  You can bet on them and get paid 35 to 1 just like any other straight up.

You can bet just one chip or as many as you like, provided you don’t go over the table maximum.  Every table should have a sign stating the minimums and maximums for all bets.  The outside bets usually have a higher minimum than the inside bets.  Check the table limit sign to be sure.

You should now have all the knowledge you need to get started playing roulette.  There are many different strategies you can employ but that is beyond the scope of this article.  For now, have fun and never bet more than you can comfortably afford to lose.  Good

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