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Roulette is one of the most popular casino games there is, be that playing at an online casino or in your local bricks and mortar operation. The glamour and excitement of the spinning wheel is hard to beat and has featured in countless films, adding to the appeal of this game of chance.

How Roulette Works

How to Play Roulette

Roulette is incredibly easy to explain and simply involves a spinning wheel and a ball, with a croupier handling the mechanics of the game and paying the bets and players wagering what number, colour or segment of the wheel the ball will land in. It is a game of pure chance, with no skill, no viable systems and no method of betting that makes you any more, or less, likely to profit.

Prior to the croupier spinning the wheel and ball bets are placed by the players, with certain minimum and maximum bets according to the table and the type of bet you want to place. In both online and land-based casinos these will be clearly marked, whilst online casinos won’t allow you to place bets that breach these limits. A short while after the ball is thrown into the wheel the croupier will shout “no more bets” and then it’s just a matter of waiting, watching and anticipating as the ball bounces and leaps from number to number before finally settling and making or breaking those at the table.

Roulette Odds and bets

Roulette wheels have numbers from one to 36, with half of those being black and half being red, with a zero and sometimes a double zero that are green. You can bet on a single number, which pays the highest odds, or red or black, or odds or evens, which cover roughly half the board and have the shortest odds. You can also use any combination of these bets if you so wish, even covering the entire board if you so choose. Roulette is designed such that the relationship between the chance of your bet coming up and the odds it pays are the same whatever you bet on, meaning that the house edge – the casino advantage – is the same, irrespective of what you bet on and how much you wager (there is one exception to that, listed below).

Obviously your chances of winning if you back red are greater than if you back a single number, but the odds are proportionately more rewarding for an individual number; whilst backing 18 individual numbers, is effectively the same as backing a colour or odds/evens. Below we list some of the most common and popular bets and also one to give a miss but for more information on that check out our Roulette Strategy and Odds article.

  • Number - Betting on a single number pays out at odds of 36/1 and usually carries the smallest minimum bet. Place your chip in the centre of the required number.
  • Split - This is a bet on two numbers, made by placing your chip on the line that divides the two. This pays out at odds of 18/1.
  • Corner - Made by placing your chips on the corner point of four adjoining numbers, this bet pays out at odds of 8/1.
  • Six Line - Paying out at 5/1 this is a bet on any six numbers from two rows, for example 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 and is made by placing your chip on the side line where the two numbers meet, for example on the side, midway between 28 and 31 or 30 and 33 in the example given.
  • Passe - This is a bet on the “high” numbers, covering everything from 19 to 36 inclusive and pays out at even money, the bet being made by placing your money on the part of the table that says “passe” or “19 to 36”. The opposite of this is “manqué”, paying at the same odds for the “low” numbers from one to 18 inclusive.
  • Odd or Even - as with passe above this bet pays at even money and covers half of the main numbers, excluding the zero(es). Just put your chip on the box outside the numbers marked “odd” or “even” accordingly.
  • Red or Black - Also at the side of the numbers are boxes marked red and black, offering up two of the most popular bets and again paying at evens for half-board coverage.