One of the big attractions of casino games is undoubtedly the simplicity of actually playing them. Possibly the easiest of them all is Roulette, a dynamic and stylish game of chance that epitomises the glamour of the casino tables and needs next to no knowledge whatsoever to enjoy.
The object of Roulette is to correctly pick the correct number on a large rotating Roulette wheel that has a ball spun around its outer edge. As the ball slows down, it lands in a small pocket next to the winning number. Players that have selected that number as part of their bet win money at fixed odds depending on the type of individual bet they have placed.
These bets are placed on a large baize table adjacent to the Roulette wheel by placing chips on the number the player thinks the ball will land on. Players can also bet on combinations of numbers, colours of numbers and whether the number will be odd or even.
There are a number of basic bets available. These are named inside bets as they are made on the inside of the special grid printed on the baize table:
- Straight Bet – A bet on a single number that pays odds of 35/1.
- Split Bet – A bet placed on the line between two numbers that covers them both. A split bet pays odds of 17/1.
- Street Bet – A bet placed on a vertical line of numbers paying odds of 11/1. The chip is placed on the top line of the grid next to the first number in the row you are betting on.
- Corner Bet – A bet made by placing a chip on the point where a group of four numbers meet and covers them all. This bet pays odds of 8/1. Basket Bet – A four or five number bet including zero, double zero and 1-2-3. On an American-style Roulette wheel this gives the house an edge of 7.89% and is a particularly poor value bet. This bet pays odds of 6/1.
- Double Street Bet – Similar to a street bet but covers six numbers instead of three. Odds of 5/1 are offered.
There are also a series of outside bets which are placed outside the grid of numbers. These are simple bets to make but pay significantly lower odds because of the increased chances of laying a winning bet:
- Red/Black Bet – Even money bet that is determined by the colour of the winning number. Landing on either of the zeros results in a loss.
- Odd/Even Bet – Even money bet determined by the winning number being either odd or even. Landing on either of the zeros results in a loss.
- Dozen Bet – A bet made at odds of 2/1 where the result is determined by the ball landing in one of three different ranges marked 1 to 12, 13 to 24 and 25 to 36. Landing on either of the zeros results in a loss.
- Column Bet – Another twelve number bet that is made by placing a chip on a horizontal column at odds of 2/1. Landing on either of the zeros results in a loss.
Roulette wheels will have either one or two ‘zeros’. The European version has just one zero while the American wheel has two. This gives the house an edge of 5.26% on American wheels compared to 2.7% on the European version.
Roulette also has an assortment of rules that vary from casino to casino such as La Partage and En Prison. These are quite rare and shouldn’t affect most online casino games.
On some tables, there is an extra grid for outside bets when playing French Roulette rules. Although these are being seen more frequently in recent years, they shouldn’t have much influence on the traditional American and European styles.