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Casino Games - How to Play Casino Roulette

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Roulette Rules

Game Summary

Roulette is played by spinning a small ball on a round wheel. When the wheel stops, the ball comes to rest in one of the numbered slots. Object of the game is to predict which number out of possible 37 the ball will land on.

Roulette wheel has thirty-seven numbers, including 1 to 36, and a 0 ("zero").

How to Play Roulette

There are many different ways to place roulette bets. Each bet covers a different set of numbers and has a different distribution, as shown in the Payoffs section.

Player has the option to bet on:

  • Certain number
  • Combination of numbers
  • Pick whether the number will be red or black, even or odd.

The following roulette bet types are available:

  1. Straight Up - You can bet on any number, including 0 and 00, by placing the chip on the center of a number.
  2. Split Bet - You can bet on two numbers by placing a chip on the line that divides the two numbers.
  3. Street Bet - You can bet on three numbers by placing a chip on the inner left boundary line of the roulette table that is next to the corresponding row of three numbers.
  4. Corner Bet - You can bet on four numbers by placing chips at the corner where the four numbers meet.
  5. Five Bet - You can bet on the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 by placing your chip on the boundary line, where the line between 0 and the first row intersects it.
  6. Line Bet - You can bet on two street bets (i.e., the six different numbers in two rows of three numbers), by placing your chip on the inner left boundary line where the line dividing the two rows intersects it.
  7. Column Bet - There are three boxes labeled "2 to 1" at the bottom of a column of numbers. You can place bets for all of these numbers by placing your chip in one of these boxes. If any of the numbers in your column is hit you get paid 2:1; 0 and 00 are losing numbers.
  8. Dozen Bet - You can bet on a group of twelve numbers by placing your chip in one of the three boxes marked "1st 12," "2nd 12," or "3rd 12." If one of your 12 numbers is hit, you are paid 2:1; 0 and 00 are losing numbers.
  9. Red/Black, Even/Odd, Low/High Bets - You can place a bet in one of the boxes on the left, long side of the table that covers half of the roulette table numbers (excluding the 0). Each box covers 18 numbers. You win even money (1 to 1) on all of these bets; 0 and 00 are losing numbers.

Notice: You can place bets that involve three, four or even five numbers. For example, using the zeros, you can place bets on: 1+0, 1+2+0, 2+0, 3+00, or 1+2+3+0+00.

The "Surrender" rule

This option can be found on some Roulette tables. Outside bets are not lost on a zero and double zero but you lose half of your bet. With this rule the house edge on the even-money bets is only 2.63% compared to 5.26% on other bets.


  • 1 number
  • 2 numbers
  • 3 numbers
  • 4 numbers
  • 5 numbers
  • 6 numbers
  • 12 numbers
  • 18 numbers
  • Straight Up
  • Split Bet
  • Street Bet
  • Corner Bet
  • Five Bet
  • Line Bet
  • Dozen Bet or Column Bet
  • Red/Black, Even/Odd or Low/High Bets
  • 35 to 1
  • 17 to 1
  • 11 to 1
  • 8 to 1
  • 6 to 1
  • 5 to 1
  • 2 to 1
  • 1 to 1

Roulette Strategy

It's a proven fact that roulette systems that rely on probability have failed to produce consistent successful results. At roulette, each spin is a new spin and the outcome is never determined by prior spins. Therefore, the probability for a possible outcome is the same for each spin of the roulette wheel and a probability advantage cannot be predicted.

For example: Which outcome has a higher probability after eight successive Blacks, Black again or Red? Most people would say Red. Most people would be wrong.

After eight successive Blacks, a Black is as likely to come as a Red. The roulette wheel has no memory and it does not remember what it just did. This is what many gamblers find hard to believe. This misconception has been around for many years and will probably be around for as many more years. It is known as the notorious gambler's fallacy. In theory, roulette may be looked at as a game of probability and that the casino advantage of 5.26% with a double zero wheel makes the player a definite loser. In practice, as far as the player is concerned, roulette is a game of luck and the player has a chance to win.

If you were to bet £5 on Black for 37 spins on a roulette wheel, in theory you would win and lose every other spin and after 37 spins (which is about an hour of play at a busy roulette table) you would lose £5 for the zero outcome. In practice, during an hour of roulette play, at some stage, if you were lucky you would be up and if you were unlucky you would be down by more than £5, and deciding when to quit will determine the amount of your winnings or losses.

If there was no casino advantage and you were paid 37 to 1 instead of 35 to 1 on numbers and didn't lose on the outside bets when the outcome was zero, during the past several times that you have played the roulette, would you now be even with your money? Chances are it would not make much difference. You would still be either winning or losing and by much more than 5.26%.

The reason is that at roulette by far the two major factors that determine how much you win or lose are:

Your luck on the day and
Deciding when is the best time to quit.
Therefore, for a roulette system to have a degree of success it has to be linked to luck and tell you exactly when to quit. Bearing this in mind, here are a couple of popular systems which some punters have found useful in the past.

Red/Black System

The Red/Black system is a form of Martingale (double up on successive bets) system and is one of the better known roulette systems around. Your bets for this system are on either red or black, with your pay out 1 to 1 (i.e. double your money for a win). It is worth bearing in mind that your chances of winning each bet are just under 50/50 (remember the 0 and 00 that gives the casino its advantage).

You begin by choosing a colour and placing your bet on either red or black. Be sure to make your first bet a small one. If you win, keep your winnings and place your starting bet again. If you lose, double your stake and place a bet on the same colour again. If this bet wins, your net result after two bets is the same as if you had one you initial bet. Keep your winnings and begin with your starting stake again. If your second bet loses, double your stake again, and continue doing this until your colour does come up, at which point your net win from the string of bets will be the same as if you won your starting bet.

Now you know why it is important to start with a small bet. It doesn’t take too many losing bets in a row for your bet amount to climb to quite a big number. But keep your nerve; the key is being prepared to continue to double up until you have a win. Also be very aware of the table bet limit - if you reach this before you have a win then you stand to lose a considerable amount.

Five Number System

This strategy calls for straight-up inside bets where you get paid 35 to 1 if you win. You will place your bets on five individual numbers. Don’t forget 0 and 00 are part of the inside numbers you can wager on. Pick any five numbers, they all have the exact same chance of winning. Find a game where the minimum bet is no more than £5 and buy forty £1 chips (£40). If you limit yourself to relatively small stakes you can’t get badly hurt. With this system you hope to get lucky two consecutive times. Start by placing one chip on each of your five chosen numbers. Repeat this same wager until you win - you have enough chips for eight tries. When the ball comes to rest on one of your numbers, you win 35 chips. Divide the 35 chips over your five number fields, seven on each. If you hit again the pay off will be 7 x 35 = £245. No matter what the outcome, this was your last spin. Smart gamblers know when to quit.