The Basics of Roulette for Beginners

The Basics of Roulette

Of all the other casino games, roulette is probably the one that piques my interest the most. There is more options, availability and freedom of choice when it comes to wagering. This level of control is appealing to me and makes roulette more enticing than slots, video poker and blackjack. In this article, we will look at the basics of roulette so you know the rules and what to do if you turn up at a casino (online or in person).

The Equipment

Roulette is played with a small hard ball, a spinning wheel, and a table laid out, numbered 1 to 36 with black and red distributed evenly. There are 12 rows and 3 columns and outside bets giving options like “1 to 18”, “even” or “black”. All roulette tables also have the green zero and many have double zero too.

Obviously, with online roulette the equipment is digital and not tangible like in a casino but the appearance is the same. The only difference being that there is not a physical dealer. Having said that, you can play online live roulette too. Everything is the same as playing in casino except you are in the comfort of your own home.

How Roulette Works

Roulette is played by having a dealer spin the wheel, the players make their wagers by putting the value of chips where they hope the ball will fall. The ball is then dropped in the wheel, in the opposite direction to it being spun. The wheel has every part of the board on it, thus, where the ball finishes up will match up to something. If where the ball lands correspond to where you wagered, you win X amount, depending on the odds given.

The Betting

Whilst the idea behind roulette is very simple, understanding what bet to make and how much is trickier. As I said, you have the power to decide where you want to bet and how much and you have a lot of options available. The list below highlights the popular options and their respective odds:

Bet Description Odds
Single number Betting on individual numbers (including 0 or 00)35 to 1
Split Placing a chip across 2 numbers. 17 to 1
StreetAny 3 horizontal numbers e.g. 1,2,311 to 1
CornerPlacing a bet in corner covering 4 numbers8 to 1
ColumnBetting on it being on a specific column2 to 1
Red or BlackWith 36 numbers, ½ are red and ½ are blackEven money (1 to 1)
Even or OddWith 36 numbers, ½ are even and ½ are oddEven money (1 to 1)
1 to 18Betting on the number being between 1 and 18 (low)Even money (1 to 1)
19 to 36 Betting on the number being between 19 and 36 (high)Even money (1 to 1)

House Edge

Before you start playing roulette, you need to be aware that the pay-out odds are worse than the real odds. This should not be a surprise to you – it’s how they make their money. The edge lies on with the green zero. Notice it’s not even or odd, red or black. This apparently small edge can be demonstrated by the betting of an even number. Despite the even money odds, you are actually 48.7% to win. This may seem little but over the course of time and enough volume – the house has a decent edge. When you combine this with gamblers desire to bet on random things like favourite numbers and birthdays and you can see why the casino is winning.

The Roulette Wheel Has No Memory

You may notice that most roulette table display the previous numbers. You will often see someone writing them down or observing closely before making a bet. Don’t be fooled into thinking there is some hidden strategy or tips to pick up from the previous number falls.  You don’t need a maths degree to understand that the odds are independent, not dependant on previous spins. In other words, the roulette wheel has no memory.  If you flip a coin ten times and it comes up heads every time, is it any more likely to fall tails on the 11th? Of course not, and the same is true for the roulette wheel.

Conclusion on Roulette

Roulette is a very fun casino game to play. It’s one of the few casino games that requires some input by the bettor. Despite being a game of luck, there is opportunity to win money in the short term if you are fortunate. As long as you remember to gamble responsibly, with money you don’t mind losing and in good company, you can have a great time.

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