Roulette is one of the easiest games to play and understand in the casino. At the heart of the game is a spinning wheel with 38 slots numbered 0 – 36, with a double zero added for good measure (well, actually it was added to give the casino an additional edge!) Half of the numbers from 1 through 36 are “red” numbers, and half are “black.” Zero and double zero are neither red nor black. As the roulette wheel spins, the roulette dealer (or “croupier”) will spin a ball in the opposite direction in the wheel — your goal is to guess which numbered slot the ball will land in.
The roulette table layout
Basically, the roulette table has two main betting areas: the inside area and the outside area. The inside betting area is a grid with 38 numbered boxes corresponding to the 38 numbers on the wheel. This inside betting area is where you will bet on specific numbers. The outside betting area is where you can bet on groups of numbers, such as whole columns of numbers, groups of 12 or 18 numbers, all the even or odd numbers, and all the “red” or “black” numbers. We describe all the different bets you can make below.
Placing your bets
The letters in the illustration on the right show you where to place your chips to make any of the bets described below. First lets talk about the “inside” bets.
A – The Straight Up bet. This is a wager on a single number. It pays 35 to 1 (if you bet one chip directly on the number and that number is the winner, you’ll win 35 chips).
B – The Split bet. This is when you place your chip so that it straddles the line between two numbers. If either of those numbers come up, you win. This bet pays 17 to 1.
C – The Street bet (or “Line” bet). Place your chip on the line at the end of one of the rows of 3 numbers, and if any of those 3 numbers in come up, you win. This bet pays 11 to 1.
D – The Corner bet (or “Quad” bet). Place your chip so that it’s touching the corners of 4 adjoining numbers. If any of those 4 numbers come up, you win. This bet pays 8 to 1.
E – The Basket bet. This is a five number bet on 0, 00, and 1, 2 and 3. Place your chip as indicated in the illustration above, and if any of those numbers come up, you win. This bet pays 6 to 1.
F – The Double Street bet. Place your chip on the line at the end of the rows of 3 numbers as you would for a Street bet, but make your chip also straddle the line between two rows. If any of the 6 numbers in those 2 rows come up, you win. This bet pays 5 to 1.
Ok, now lets go over the “outside” bets you can make.
G – Column bets. Place your chip in one of the boxes marked “2 to 1” at the end of one of the 3 columns of numbers. If any of the 12 numbers in that column come up, you win. This bet pays 2 to 1.
H – Dozens bets. Place your chip in one of the boxes marked “1st 12,” “2nd 12” or “3rd 12.” Depending on which box you choose, you’re either betting on numbers 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36. This bet pays 2 to 1. If 0 or 00 comes up, you lose.
i – Red/Black bets. Place your chip in either the blank red box, or the blank black box, and if the winning number is also the color you chose, you win. This bet pays 1 to 1 (even money). If 0 or 00 comes up, you lose.
J – Even/Odd bets. Place your chip in either of the boxes marked “Even” or “Odd,” to bet on whetehr the winning number will be an even number or an odd number. This bet pays 1 to 1 (even money). If 0 or 00 comes up, you lose.
K – Low 1-18/High 19-36 bets. Place your chip in either the box marked “Low 1-18” to bet on all the numbers from 1 to 18, or in the box marked “High 19-36” to bet on all the numbers from 19-36. This bet pays 1 to 1 (even money). If 0 or 00 comes up, you lose.
Other things you should know
The chips. When you sit down at the roulette table, you’ll need to trade in some regular casino chips for unique roulette chips. Each player at the roulette table plays with different colored chips, so you can easily see which bets are yours.
Stack ’em up! If you want to bet on a number that someone else at the table has already bet on, just stack your chip (or chips) right on top of their chips. You’ll know whose is whose — you each have different colored chips.
The wave. When the croupier spins the ball in the wheel, he will allow you to continue to place your bets on the table as the ball spins — but only for a few moments. Once the momentum of the spinning ball slows down and it’s moments away from dropping into one of the numbered slots, the croupier will wave his hand across the table and announce “no more bets.”
The marker. Once the ball has landed in a numbered slot, the croupier places a “marker” on that number on the table layout (see photo on right). He then proceeds to remove all losing bets from the table, and then pays all winning bets. Do not take your winnings (if any), and do not place any new bets, until the croupier removes the marker.