Roulette

rouletteOnce 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.

Roulette chips

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.

Roulette bets

Inside bets

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
Straight

(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.

SplitAcross 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).

StreetOn 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.

TrioWhere 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.

Corner

(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.

Basket

(also known as First Four)

Two different placements are possible:

  • The outer corner shared by the squares of number 0 and number 1
  • The outer corner shared by the squares of number 0 and number 3
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 LineTwo alternatives are available:

  • The outer corner shared by the squares of number 0 and number 1
  • The outer corner shared by the squares of number 00 and number 3
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 streetsThis is a bet spread over six numbers found in two streets located next to each other.

Examples:

1-2-3-4-5-6 (first street + second street)

25-26-27-28-29-30 (ninth street + tenth street)

Outside bets

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 dozenThe field

1st 12
Your bet is spread over the numbers 1-12, i.e. the first dozen of numbers.
Second dozenThe field

2nd 12
Your bet is spread over the numbers 13-24, i.e. the second dozen of numbers.
Third dozenThe field

3rd 12
Your bet is spread over the numbers 25-36, i.e. the third dozen of numbers.
First columnThe field at the bottom of the first columnYour 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 columnThe field at the bottom of the second columnYour bet is spread over the twelve numbers in the second column
Third columnThe field at the bottom of the third columnYour bet is spread over the twelve numbers in the third column
RedThe field for red, usually marked with the word RED or with the color redYour bet is spread over all the red numbers
BlackThe field for black, usually marked with the word BLACK or with the color blackYour bet is spread over all the black numbers
EvenThe field that says EVENYour bet is spread over all the even numbers in the 1-36 range
OddThe field that says ODDYour bet is spread over all the odd numbers in the 1-36 range
HighThe field that says 19-36 or HIGHYour bet is spread over all the numbers within the 19-36 span
LowThe field that says 1-18 or LOWYour bet is spread over all the numbers within the 1-18 span

What can I win?

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

BetPayout Example
Straight Bet35:1You bet $10, you are paid $350.
Split Bet17:1You bet $10, you are paid $170.
Street Bet11:1You bet $10, you are paid $110.
Corner Bet8:1You bet $10, you are paid $80.
Basket Bet6:1You bet $10, you are paid $60.
Double Street Bet5:1You bet $10, you are paid $50.

Examples of outer bets

BetPayout Example
Dozen2:1You bet $10, you are paid $20.
Column2:1You bet $10, you are paid $20.
High1:1You bet $10, you are paid $10.
Low1:1You bet $10, you are paid $10.
Odd1:1You bet $10, you are paid $10.
Even1:1You bet $10, you are paid $10.
Red1:1You bet $10, you are paid $10.
Black1:1You bet $10, you are paid $10.

French roulette bets

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
PairEven
ImpairOdd
Manqué (1-18)Low (1-18)
Passé (19-36)High (19-36)
RougeRed
NoirBlack

Examples of French call bets

Name Info
Voisins du ZeroVoisins 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 CylindreTiers 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.

OrphelinsOrphelins = 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 PleinThis 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 ChevalThis 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.

Numbers and colors at French, European and American roulette wheels

French & European

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.

American

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 & La Partage

Eroulette onlinen 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.

En prison

  1. You make an even-odds bet and the ball drops on 0.
  2. The croupier offers you to let your bet be imprisoned (“en prison”) instead of you losing it.
  3. You agree and the croupier places a special marker on top of your bet.
  4. If your bet wins the next round, you get the wager back. If your bet loses the next round, you lose your wager.

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.

La Partage

  1. You make an even-odds bet and the ball drops on 0.
  2. You only lose half of your bet; the other half is given back to you.

Wheel placement

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.

Table colors

Traditionally, French roulette tables have a red table cloth while European and American roulette tables have green table cloths.

The casino’s statistical advantage over the player

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.