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Once upon a time, a French inventor tried to create a perpetual motion machine. While he didn’t succeed in that, he did invent something that has been spinning every since – the roulette wheel.
Today, roulette is played in casinos all over the world. A ball is spun inside a horizontal wheel which is also spinning (in the opposite direction of the ball). Friction will gradually make the ball lose speed, and eventually the ball will settle in one of the numbered slots located around the edge of the wheel – thereby determining the winning number of that round.
The three main roulette variants is the French roulette, the European roulette and the American roulette. The French and European versions use the numbers 0-36. The American version have added an additional possibility by not just having a zero but a double-zero (00) as well.
If you play roulette in online casinos, you might find more novel roulette games in addition to the three staples.
If many different players around the roulette just put normal casino chips on the table, it could quickly create a confusing situation where it would be difficult to know who is the rightful owner of each bet. Because of this, the croupier can ask you to exchange your casino chips for special roulette markers. The croupier have access to roulette markers with various color combinations and can assign each specific color combination to a specific player, thus lowering the risk of confusion at the table.
When you don’t want to play at this table anymore, you simply tell the croupier and she will give you ordinary casino chips in exchange for your roulette markers.
These bets are found in the centre (inside) of the roulette table’s betting area.
Inside bets are suitable when you are willing to take a big risk. The chance of winning is low, but if you win – you get paid well.
Here are some examples of inside bets:
|Name of the bet||Chip placement||Info|
(also known as Single)
|Fully inside the square of the selected number, not touching any of the lines.||A bet on a single number.|
You win of the ball ends up on this specific number.
|Split||Across the line shared by the two selected numbers.||Your bet will be spread over two numbers.|
You win if the ball settles on either of the two numbers.
You can only select numbers that are adjacent to each other on the roulette table (their squares must share a line).
|Street||On the outer line of the selected street.||There are twelve streets on the roulette table, each street consisting of three numbers. The first street is comprised of 1-2-3, second street of 4-5-6, and so on.|
Select one of the streets and bet on it, and your wager will be spread over the three numbers included in that street.
You win of the ball settles on any of the three numbers included in the selected street.
|Trio||Where the squares of the three selected numbers touch each other.||This is a bet on three numbers, of which at least one is a zero.|
At a French or European roulette table, two different Trio bets are available: 0-1-2 and 0-2-3.
At an American roulette table, three different Trio bets are available: 0-1-2, 00-2-3 and 0-00-2.
(also known as Square)
|Where the squares of the four selected numbers meet.||This bet is spread over four different numbers.|
You can only select numbers whose squares share a common point at the table, such as 1-2-4-5 or 16-17-19-20.
(also known as First Four)
|Two different placements are possible:||This is a bet on the four numbers 0-1-2-3.|
This bet is only available on French and European roulette tables. For a similar bet on the American table, see Top Line.
|Top Line||Two alternatives are available:||This is a bet on the five numbers 00-0-1-2-3.|
This bet is only available on American roulette tables, not on French and European ones.
|Six Line (also known as Double Street)||Across the outer line of the streets, straddling both streets||This is a bet spread over six numbers found in two streets located next to each other.|
1-2-3-4-5-6 (first street + second street)
25-26-27-28-29-30 (ninth street + tenth street)
These bets are found on the outskirts (outside) of the roulette table’s betting area.
Outside bets are suitable when you want to have a comparatively high chance of winning, even if it means not getting a huge payment on your wager if you win.
Here are some examples of outside bets:
|Name of the bet||Chip placement||Info|
|First dozen||The field|
|Your bet is spread over the numbers 1-12, i.e. the first dozen of numbers.|
|Second dozen||The field|
|Your bet is spread over the numbers 13-24, i.e. the second dozen of numbers.|
|Third dozen||The field|
|Your bet is spread over the numbers 25-36, i.e. the third dozen of numbers.|
|First column||The field at the bottom of the first column||Your bet is spread over the twelve numbers in the first column, i.e. the numbers 1-4-7-10-13-16-19-22-25-28-31-34.|
|Second column||The field at the bottom of the second column||Your bet is spread over the twelve numbers in the second column|
|Third column||The field at the bottom of the third column||Your bet is spread over the twelve numbers in the third column|
|Red||The field for red, usually marked with the word RED or with the color red||Your bet is spread over all the red numbers|
|Black||The field for black, usually marked with the word BLACK or with the color black||Your bet is spread over all the black numbers|
|Even||The field that says EVEN||Your bet is spread over all the even numbers in the 1-36 range|
|Odd||The field that says ODD||Your bet is spread over all the odd numbers in the 1-36 range|
|High||The field that says 19-36 or HIGH||Your bet is spread over all the numbers within the 19-36 span|
|Low||The field that says 1-18 or LOW||Your bet is spread over all the numbers within the 1-18 span|
Below are a few examples of common payouts for common roulette bets, but you should always check the payout schedule for the specific roulette table that you wish to play at.
Examples of inner bets
|Straight Bet||35:1||You bet $10, you are paid $350.|
|Split Bet||17:1||You bet $10, you are paid $170.|
|Street Bet||11:1||You bet $10, you are paid $110.|
|Corner Bet||8:1||You bet $10, you are paid $80.|
|Basket Bet||6:1||You bet $10, you are paid $60.|
|Double Street Bet||5:1||You bet $10, you are paid $50.|
Examples of outer bets
|Dozen||2:1||You bet $10, you are paid $20.|
|Column||2:1||You bet $10, you are paid $20.|
|High||1:1||You bet $10, you are paid $10.|
|Low||1:1||You bet $10, you are paid $10.|
|Odd||1:1||You bet $10, you are paid $10.|
|Even||1:1||You bet $10, you are paid $10.|
|Red||1:1||You bet $10, you are paid $10.|
|Black||1:1||You bet $10, you are paid $10.|
Examples of French roulette bets
|Bet name in French||Engelish equivalent|
|Premiere 12 (P-12)||1st dozen|
|Moyenne 12 (M-12)||2nd dozen|
|Derniere 12 (D-12)||3rd dozen|
|Manqué (1-18)||Low (1-18)|
|Passé (19-36)||High (19-36)|
|Voisins du Zero||Voisins du Zero = Neighboors of the Zero|
This is a bet on zero and the sixteen numbers on the roulette wheel that is closest to the zero: 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25.
|Tiers du Cylindre||Tiers du Cylindre = A Third of the Wheel|
This is a bet on the twelve numbers that are the farthest away from the zero at the roulette wheel: 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33.
|Orphelins||Orphelins = Orphans|
This is a bet on the eight numbers that are neither Voisins du Zero nor Tiers du Cylindre: 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, 34
|Finales en Plein||This is a bet on the numbers that end with a specific number (of your choice).|
Example: Finales en Plein Deux (deux = two) is a bet divided over the four numbers 2, 12, 22, 32.
|Finales a Cheval||This is a bet on the numbers that end with two specific numbers (of your choice).|
Example: Finales en Plein Deux et Trois (deux et trois = two and three) is a bet divided over the eight numbers 2, 3, 12, 13, 22, 23, 32, 33.
This is how the numbers are placed at the French and European roulette wheels (clockwise): 0-32-15-19-4-21-2-25-17-34-6-27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33-1-20-14-31-9-22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26
Number 1-10 and 19-28 are red if odd and black if even. For 11-18 and 29-36 the opposite applies, meaning that red numbers are even and black numbers are odd. The zero (0) is green.
On a traditional French roulette table, the numbers are only red and black on the wheel, not on the table. As a player, you are expected to know which numbers that are red and which numbers that are black without the table telling you.
This is how the numbers are placed at the American roulette wheel (clockwise): 0-28-9-26-30-11-7-20-32-17-5-22-34-15-3-24-36-13-1-00-27-10-25-29-12-8-19-31-18-6-21-33-16-4-23-35-14-2
Number 1-10 and 19-28 are red if odd and black if even. For 11-18 and 29-36 the opposite applies, meaning that red numbers are even and black numbers are odd.
The zero (0) and the double-zero (00) are both green.
En Prison and La Partage are two features that makes even-odds bet a bit more interesting, since they give you a chance to not lose your entire bet on even-odds (red/black/even/odd/high/low) when the ball settles on green.
It is fairly common for French roulette tables to employ the La Partage rule, while En Prison is associated with European roulette tables. Always ask before you start playing; never assume that La Partage or En Prison will be available. American roulette tables hardly ever offer La Partage nor En Prison, but there are exceptions – including a few well-known Las Vegas establishment such as MGM Grand, Wynn, Bellagio and Mirage – where you can find American roulette with La Partage or En Prison.
So, what happens if the ball drops on 0 again? That depends on the rules of the house. It’s a good idea to check in advance before you start playing.
In the olden days, the standard European roulette set-up would have the wheel in the centre of the table. In the United States, a set up with the wheel placed at one end of the table was much more common. Today, more and more casinos world wide – including casinos in Europe – have adopted the U.S. style, even for European and French roulette. One of the places that still keep with the old tradition is Monte Carlo, where the French roulette tables still have the wheel in the centre of the table.
Traditionally, French roulette tables have a red table cloth while European and American roulette tables have green table cloths.
Since the American roulette wheel have both a zero (0) and a double-zero (00), it gives the house a higher statistical advantage than the European and French roulette wheels. With a French or European wheel, the statistical advantage is 2.7%. With an American wheel, it is 5.5%.
Please note that the rules La Partage and En Prison will have an impact lower the casino’s statistical advantage. American roulette tables hardly ever employ these rules. La Partage is fairly common at French roulette, while En Prison is chiefly associated with the European roulette.