Roulette is one of the best-known casino games, and is available in two main forms - American or European Roulette. The differences between the two are small and will be discussed later. Roulette is a table game, and is based solely on luck. There is no skill involved in Roulette. The Roulette table is generally green, and sports an elaborate layout for placing bets as well as wheel. To determine the winning number on the roulette table, a small ball is dropped into the wheel, while the wheel is turned rapidly. The ball comes to rest on one number, and that number is the winner.
The Roulette Wheel
Both the European Roulette wheel and the American Roulette wheels contain the numbers between 0 and 36, while the American wheel also includes a double-zero. Each number is marked either in red or in black, except for the zero and the double-zero. Those numbers are marked in green, and are often referred to as "house numbers," because punters rarely bet on them, meaning that when these numbers are spun, the house wins. Since American Roulette has two house numbers and European Roulette has only a single house number, it is generally better to select a European Roulette table if it is offered.
Types of Bets when Playing Roulette
To play roulette, you'll need to select your bet. There are several common types of bets:
- Evens and Odds: You can wager that the roll will come out either even or odd. This bet pays 1:1.
- Reds and Blacks: This wager is on the color, rather than the number. It pays 1:1
- First Half and Second Half: This is just what it sounds like. It is a bet that the number will be 1-18 or 19-36 and pays 1:1.
- Dozens: There are two kinds of bets on dozens. You can either bet on the first, second, or third column or you can bet on the first, second, or third dozen. These bets pay 2:1
- Six-Number Bet: This bet is made by placing a chip on the line between two rows of numbers at the leftmost part of the numbers column. It bets on two rows of numbers, and pays 5:1.
- Five-Number Bet: This is an unusual bet, and can only be made on an American Roulette table. This bet is on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3, and pays 6:1
- Four-Number Bet: There are two kinds of four-number bets. The first is on a European Roulette wheel, and is on 0-3. The second is a bet placed on the intersecting corner between four numbers. Both bets pay 8:1.
- Three-Number Bet: This is a bet on a row of numbers, and pays 11:1.
- Two-Number Bet: A two number bet is placed on the line between two numbers, and it pays 17:1.
- Single-Number Bet: This is called a Straight-Up. You simply place the chip on the number you want, and if you win, it pays 35:1.
At a land-based casino, you'll get to play roulette with a group of people. Each person has his or her own color of chips. After everyone is finished placing their bets, the croupier will announce that you may not place any more bets, and then he or she will spin the Roulette wheel. The number will come up fairly quickly. The croupier takes a metal marker, marks the winning spot, and clears all the losing chips off of the table. After clearing all the losing chips, the croupier pays off all the winning chips.
At an online casino, the spin is generally very short, but you do get to watch the wheel spin, as this adds to the tension and excitement. The casino will automatically pay off the winning bets, which might mean that you'll miss it, and not see what you win. To counteract this problem, most online casinos tell you how much you won in a separate area of the screen.