Roulette is one of the easiest casino games to learn, and the gameplay is relatively straightforward. Roulette is played in American casinos using a spinning wheel that is divided into 38 spaces numbered 0 through 36 along with a 00 space. The European version of the game uses 37 spaces instead, with only a single 0 space.
You’ll begin by purchasing special roulette chips from the dealer. These chips are distinct to roulette tables, aren’t used in any other games, and can’t be exchanged at the cashier’s cage for actual currency.
The chips you purchase will be one color, while other players at the table will have different colors. This helps the dealer determine who has won and lost after each spin. After you’re finished playing, the dealer will exchange your roulette chips for actual casino chips. Every roulette table will have minimum and maximum bets posted for players, but for the sake of this discussion consider the game to be a $5 minimum.
Roulette tables are divided into two areas, one for inside bets and one for outside bets. The inside betting area contains the numbers 1-36 in sequential order, and you can place wagers on a single number, several individual numbers, or on groups of numbers.
Depending on the house rules, with a $5 minimum, you don’t have to bet $5 on a single number. You could choose $1 bets down on five different numbers, or bet $2 on one number and $3 on another – any combination that meets the minimum.
For inside bets made on a single number, the payout is 35 to 1 for winning wagers. Another common inside bet is the split bet (a wager on two different numbers at once, made by placing your chip so that it straddles the line dividing the squares containing those numbers). A winning split bet pays out at 17 to 1.
A street bet is a wager on any three consecutive numbers (10-11-12 or 28-29-30), and a winning street bet pays out at 11 to 1. You can also make corner bets (on four different numbers at once, made by placing your chip at the intersection between four squares), and a winning corner bet pays out at 8 to 1.
Other inside bets include the basket bet (on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3) which pays out at 6 to 1, and the double street bet which involves two simultaneous street bets (10-11-12 and 13-14-15) and pays out at 5 to 1.
The outside betting area includes spaces for red and black bets, and these wagers require the ball to land on any number of the corresponding color. As the red and black bets are essentially even money propositions (actually slightly lower due to the 0 and 00 spaces), winning wagers pay out at 1 to 1.
Another outside bet is the dozen bet, and this places a wager on the number sets 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36. Winning dozen bets are paid out at 2 to 1. The last outside bet is the column bet, which involves any of the three columns forming the inside betting area. For example, a column bet on the first column includes the numbers 1, 4, 7, and so on. A winning dozen bet pays out at 2 to 1.
After selecting your bets, the dealer spins the wheel while launching a small ball. You’ll have a few more seconds to place additional bets, but when the dealer waves and announces “no more bets,” all action is final.
When the ball lands on a particular number, the dealer calls it out and places a marker on the winning number, before paying out all winning wagers and collecting losing wagers for the house.