How to Play the Roulette Wheel

The spinning wheel with all the numbers in black and red.

The white ball bouncing around before settling into a slot under one of the numbers while cheers, gasps, and groans occur.

These are the sights and sounds you often hear at a roulette table within a gambling casino. The game may be the ultimate when it comes to gambling your chances at victory or defeat.

Named after the French term “little wheel”, roulette is one of the mainstay games within a casino. Gamblers place their bets on numbers and a croupier spins the wheel. Wherever the ball lands on the wheel, that is the winning number and all bets are collected and paid out accordingly.

There are two versions of the game based on the amount of numbers on the wheel. In the European version, there are 37 numbers. The American version has 38. Bettors who get the winning number receive 35 times the bet amount, leading to a solid house edge for the gambling casino.

The game of roulette got its origins in the 17th century and it began to be played in its present form around the start of the 1800s within the city of Paris. American roulette added some numbers, including both single zero (0) and double-zero (00).

How to Play and Payout

One of the reasons for the popularity of the game is because of the relative ease to play it. Unlike poker or even blackjack, beginners have just as good a chance of winning in the game compared to veterans because it truly is a game of chance.

Players can place bets before the balls drop – or when the croupier actually drops the ball onto the spinning wheel. The wheel will have anywhere from 36 to 38 slots and there is a correlating spot on the board. Players have a variety of ways to place bets so long as they do it in time. Once the ball gets dropped then, then the wheel eventually stops spinning while the ball stops bouncing around. The croupier will call out the winning number and the color. Then, the bets either get collected by the house or the winners get their payout.

Make sure you know about the board layout as there usually 36 numbers in 12 rows of threes with red or blue shading for each number.

Inside Bets and Odds

The straight up bet is to place your bet on a single number. While it generates the highest return at 35-to-1, the odds are also the longest.

However, you can place the coins on your bet on the line of adjoining numbers and make a split bet. In this, you are betting on the two numbers on the board that share this line. This is a “split” bet and the payout is 17-to-1 and almost doubles your chances on a single bet.

A “street” bet refers to placing a bet on any row of the three numbers. Usually, they are arranged in order so you could be betting on 1, 2, and 3 or 25, 26, and 27. The payout is 11-to-1 for this.

A “corner” bet occurs when you place your betting chips on the corner which abuts four numbers such as 13, 14, 16, and 17. You place it at the intersection of two lines involving the four numbers in hopes of an 8-to-1 payout.

There is also a “six line” bet in which you are betting on six numbers – or two rows stacking up against other. For instance, you bet not only on the row 19, 20, and 21 but also on the row 22, 23, and 24. This gives you six numbers and payout odds of 5-to-1.

Some American roulette wheels have the Row 00 bet for numbers 0 and 00 for 17-to-1 payout odds and a five-number bet for 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 for a potential 6-to-1 payout.

Outside Bets and Odds

However, there are other bets that can be placed – outside the board.

Color betting is about choosing either the red or black numbers. It has a 1-to-1 payout, meaning if you bet 10 chips on red and win, you get 10 additional chips in addition to keep your original 10-chip bet.

Also, there is even-or-odd betting. You can bet on odd numbers (1, 3, 5, etc.) or even numbers (2, 4, 6, etc.). Again, the payout is 1-to-1.

Other outside betting opportunities include high-or-low betting. Sometimes, the board has a space for 1-18 and 19-36. You can bet on the low numbers or the high numbers. As with the color bet, the payout is 1-to-1.

Also, there is column betting or dozen betting for a 2-to-1 payout. Similar to street betting, you choose one of the three columns consisting of 12 numbers. The dozen betting is choosing one of the group of 12 numbers ranging from 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36.

To have success in roulette, make sure you understand the odds. If you are betting small and hoping to hit it big, go with the single-number bet. However, if you plan on spending some time at the wheel, consider making some of the better bets such as choosing on color, even or odds, or a column.

However, roulette is a game of about pure luck so there isn’t too much other strategy involved save for wishing yourself good luck.