There are two main types of roulette, European (single zero) and American (double zero). The European roulette table has a spinning wheel divided in 37 slots. The slots are numbered from 0 to 36. Each number on the wheel can be either red or black, except for number zero that is green.
The American roulette spinning wheel instead is divided in 38 slots similar to the European Roulette, with the addition of the “00” which also comes in green. In order to win at this game players have to predict on which number of the wheel the ball will land. The combination of bets is numerous but for convenience divided as: inside bets and outside bets.
The most simple bets such as red or black offer even money (1:1 payouts), higher odds are paid for column or row bets. Most online casinos will offer a number of additional betting options that allow players to bet on specific combinations with a variety of odds. It’s definitely worth checking out the special bets available. Frequently these will pop out from a link within the game.
There are copious different types of inside bets that players can stake:
Straight Up | A bet on a single number. The payoff is 35 to 1. Split | Player places a bet on two neighbouring squares. The payoff is 17 to 1. Street | Player places a bet on three neighbouring numbers. Consequently chip must be placed on the outer edge of the row. The payoff is 11 to 1. Six Line | Allows player to make two street bets (six neighbouring numbers). The payoff is 5 to 1. Corner | Player places a bet on four neighbouring squares. The payoff is 8 to 1.
There are also an array of types of outside bets that players can stake:
Dozens | Identifiable on the left hand side of the betting table, these are three squares which represent the outcomes from 1 to 12, 13 to 24 and 25 to 36. The payoff is 2 to 1, it is also called a double bet.
Colours | The betting on red or black takes place on the left hand side of the table, just look out for the two colored squares. The payoff is 1 to 1, it is an even bet.
Odd and Even | This bet is also found on the left hand side of the table, players can place a bet on one of the two squares - odd or even. The payoff is 1 to 1, it is an even bet.
High and Low | Players place a bet on the two squares indicating either 1 to 18 or 19 to 36 and are effectively betting on a large group of numbers. The payoff is 1 to 1, it is an even bet.
Columns | Players placing a bet on the three squares at the bottom of the betting table are playing 12 numbers at a time. Columns usually have "2:1" written inside the square. When placing this bet the entire column of numbers above is played. The payoff is, you guessed it, 2 to 1.
Placing Your Bets
The most common roulette bet is the straight-up, where chips are placed on a specific number. A split bet is on two numbers and is made by placing a chip on the line between them. Similarly, to make a street or trio bet the player puts their chips on the line at the end of a row of three numbers.
To make a corner bet on four numbers, chips must be placed on the cross where they meet. Then there's the basket bet, where a player selects five numbers by placing chips where either the 0 and 1 or 00 and 3 intersect. You can also bet on six numbers at a time with a double street bet, where the chips sit at the end of the rows and across the horizontal line between the rows.
Players can bet on groups of 12 numbers in one of two ways. The first, a dozens bet, involves placing chips at the side of the board where the numbers are divided into three lots of 12, known as the 1st 12, 2nd 12 and 3rd 12. The second is a column bet, which is made by placing chips at the bottom of a column.
Knowing How to Use Your Chips
Once you've grasped the technicalities of different bets, you need to know the etiquette around making them. In the standard version of roulette, the dealer will gave players a moment between spins to place their bets. Each player is given different coloured chips to identify which bet is theirs, so you cannot mix your chips with anyone else's.
If you're playing in a live casino, you also shouldn't throw your chips onto the table, as this could displace those belonging to other players. Once the dealer has announced that no more bets will be taken, the bet is fixed and you should not try to move your chips.
Being a Gracious Winner
Once betting is closed, the dealer will then spin the wheel and drop the white ball. When the ball comes to a stop in a specific slot, the dealer will mark the winning number or colour so they can pay out to any winners.
It is crucial that you do not touch your chips before the pay out, as you could be accused of cheating and asked to leave the game. You should also be considerate of others if you have won, as over-enthusiasm is considered poor form.
Tipping the Dealer
It is often a good idea to tip the dealer, especially if it is your first time playing and they have explained the rules for your benefit. In some circles, tipping is expected of big winners. You can do this either by passing them a chip, or by placing a bet for them.
Over the years different variants of this household name have sprung up. Generally, most players will encounter four popular roulette variants at the best live roulette sites while some online casinos expand to more. The following roulette variants are by far the most popular in the world:
European Roulette American Roulette French Roulette Bonus Roulette
Unsurprisingly, European roulette is the original version of the game, and is the most common kind of roulette out there. Players have the opportunity to place a bet on any number from 1-36, red or black and odd or even. There is also a green zero on the wheel, commonly referred to as the house number.
As its name suggests, this belongs to the dealer and gives the house a 2.70% chance of taking everything on the table should the ball end up on the green zero. This is no frills roulette and the simplest and purest form of the game. American Roulette derived from the European version, but was changed slightly to benefit the house.
This was done by adding a double zero slot on the wheel, which almost doubles the house edge to 5% and puts gamblers at more of a disadvantage. This version is only played in the States, and many of the famous casinos in places such as Las Vegas will stick with the European incarnation, with punters often put off by a wheel weighted towards the house.
With this in mind, make sure to check if the table is operating by the European or American rules before you play. In some casinos there may also be a third type of roulette.
"French roulette" is often the term also given to European roulette; however, there is a slight twist. The rules are essentially the same, but if the ball lands on the house number then the player is given the option to take back half their stake or leave it on the table for the next bet. In the online version of this game, the stake tends to be automatically refunded to the player in question.
Finally, bonus roulette takes the basic rules of American roulette, but applies them to an online version of the game that allows the player to attain bonuses over the course of the game. These bonuses are earned if five reds are spun in a row, and the player receives a bonus equivalent to the smallest stake on the table over the five aforementioned spins.