Rules and strategy for roulette

Roulette is a popular game in any casino. Check out these rules and tips and make the roulette table your first stop next time!

It draws your attention the minute you walk into the casino; the small white ball dancing around the spinning disk and the breathless people waiting to see where it'll land. Roulette is possibly one of the most addictive games and one of the simplest to learn.

First, let's take a look at the table itself and check out how the game is designed. At one end of the table is a spinning wheel with different numbers laid out around the rim. Each number can be red, black or green and have small metal pieces between each other, so that when the ball falls into one number it'll stay there and not keep on rolling around the table. The croupier or the employee who runs the table will set the wheel spinning and then drop the white ball onto the surface, letting it bounce around until it lands.

The rest of the table is made up of the betting surface. The numbers are listed from 1 to 36, with 0 or possiblly 00 making up the last two spaces. Not all roulette tables have double zeros, so be sure to look before you place your chips down. These numbers are either red or black, with the zero and double zero being green.

The betting space provides a variety of bets for the gambler. You can bet on if the ball will land on red or black; the actual number itself, or on regions of numbers that you think the ball will fall into. This allows you to make more general bets and increase the chances of you winning, although you would win more if you guessed the exact number, obviously. Here's a short table to list the various bets you can place on the table and the odds that your bet will be a winner. There are only sixteen different types, but as you can see the odds vary from a good chance to a long shot.

Even Number 1:1

Odd Number 1:1

Red 1:1

Black 1:1

Between Numbers 1-18 1:1

Between Numbers 19-36 1:1

Between Numbers 1-12 2:1

Between Numbers 13-24 2:1

Between Numbers 25-36 2:1

Any Column 2:1 (as you look at the table you'll see the numbers laid out in three columns - not numerically, so this is not the same as the 1-18 bet, for example.)

Any Exact Number 35:1

Now here comes the hard part - placing bets on the table where the lines meet on the graph displaying the numbers. You can do this and cover more than one number without laying down individual bets. This will increase the odds that you'll win, but lessen the chances of hitting the number directly. If you place the chip on the line between the two numbers, you cover those two numbers. Placing it on the intersection covers four numbers and so on.

Two-number combination 17:1 (0 and 00 only)

Three-number combination 11:1

Four-number combination 8:1

Five-number combination 6:1

Six-number combination 5:1

When you place your bet, put the chip down on the table where you want and then remove your hand from the playing surface. The croupier will then drop the ball and the round will begin. He will usually wave his hand over the table, announcing "No more bets" - and he means it! If you attempt to move your chip or remove it from the table after this announcement you risk being asked to leave the table or worse, the casino! This rule is there because many players tend to wait until the ball is slowing down around the wheel before placing their chips down. But if you wait too long it become rather obvious where the ball is not going to land and you can adjust your bet to where it'll do the most good. Heed the warning of the croupier and you'll do fine.

Strategies for roulette fill up many books and are too many to be listed here, but there are some basic tips that can make your money go longer and possibly earn you some extra spare change.

The first thing to remember is that if black has come up for the past five spins, it's just as likely to come back up this next one. What, you say, why not red? Well, look back at your statistics class in high school. The odds of red or black showing up on each turn are just as likely every time. However, the odds are not 50% of each, as you would think. Don't forget that there is also a green slot, dedicated to the 0 or 00 number!

The truth behind roulette strategy is that there really is no guaranteed system that will produce a winning number time after time. What you can do is maximize the time you spend at the table by spreading your bets out among numbers and columns that will keep you playing for hours, instead of placing all of your chips on a single number and walking away a minute later.

Use the columns to your advantage by placing general bets on where your number will fall, rather than the exact number itself. The Odd and Even, for example, may only pay 1:1, meaning that you make back exactly what you put down plus your original bet, but it's a good place to start. Betting on regions where you think the numbers will come up will prolong your gameplay as well as increase your enjoyment at the table. Don't get fooled into thinking that 0 and 00 never come up - they can and do with great regularity. And if a number has just won, there's no guarantee that it won't win again the next spin of the wheel!

Roulette can be a fun and exciting game for the casual gambler and a mathematical nightmare for the genius trying to figure out a winning system. But as long as you're having fun and not losing too quickly or too much this popular casino game will always be ready to welcome you to the table!

© High Speed Ventures 2011