Roulette

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Roulette is a casino game named after the French word meaning little wheel. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number, various groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19–36) or low (1–18).

To determine the winning number and color, a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then spins a ball in the opposite direction around a tilted circular track running around the outer edge of the wheel. The ball eventually loses momentum, passes through an area of deflectors, and falls onto the wheel and into one of 37 (single zero French/European style roulette) or 38 (double zero American style roulette) colored and numbered pockets on the wheel.

Rules of play against a casino

Roulette with red 12 as the winner

Roulette players have a variety of betting options. Placing inside bets is either selecting the exact number of the pocket the ball will land in, or a small range of pockets based on their proximity on the layout. Players wishing to bet on the ‘outside’ will select bets on larger positional groupings of pockets, the pocket color, or whether the winning number is odd or even.[7] The payout odds for each type of bet are based on its probability.

The roulette table usually imposes minimum and maximum bets, and these rules usually apply separately for all of a player’s inside and outside bets for each spin. For inside bets at roulette tables, some casinos may use separate roulette table chips of various colors to distinguish players at the table. Players can continue to place bets as the ball spins around the wheel until the dealer announces no more bets or rien ne va plus.

Croupier’s rake pushing chips across a roulette layout

When a winning number and color is determined by the roulette wheel, the dealer will place a marker, also known as a dolly, on that winning number on the roulette table layout. When the dolly is on the table, no players may place bets, collect bets, or remove any bets from the table. The dealer will then sweep away all other losing bets either by hand or rake, and determine all of the payouts to the remaining inside and outside winning bets. When the dealer is finished making payouts, the marker is removed from the board where players collect their winnings and make new bets. The winning chips remain on the board.

Roulette wheel number sequence

The pockets of the roulette wheel are numbered from 0 to 36.

In number ranges from 1 to 10 and 19 to 28, odd numbers are red and even are black. In ranges from 11 to 18 and 29 to 36, odd numbers are black and even are red.

There is a green pocket numbered 0 (zero). In American roulette, there is a second green pocket marked 00. Pocket number order on the roulette wheel adheres to the following clockwise sequence in most casinos:

Single-zero wheel
0-32-15-19-4-21-2-25-17-34-6-27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33-1-20-14-31-9-22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26
Double-zero wheel
0-28-9-26-30-11-7-20-32-17-5-22-34-15-3-24-36-13-1-00-27-10-25-29-12-8-19-31-18-6-21-33-16-4-23-35-14-2
Triple-zero wheel
0-000-00-32-15-19-4-21-2-25-17-34-6-27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33-1-20-14-31-9-22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26

Roulette table layout

French style layout, French single zero wheel

The cloth-covered betting area on a roulette table is known as the layout. The layout is either single-zero or double-zero. The European-style layout has a single zero, and the American style layout is usually a double-zero. The American-style roulette table with a wheel at one end is now used in most casinos. The French style table with a wheel in the centre and a layout on either side is rarely found outside of Monte Carlo.

Types of bets

In roulette, bets can either be inside or outside bets.

Inside bets

Name Description Chip placement
Straight/Single Bet on a single number Entirely within the square for the chosen number
Split Bet on two vertically/horizontally adjacent numbers (e.g. 14-17 or 8-9) On the edge shared by the numbers
Street Bet on three consecutive numbers in a horizontal line (e.g. 7-8-9) On the outer edge of the number at either end of the line
Corner/Square Bet on four numbers that meet at one corner (e.g. 10-11-13-14) On the common corner
Six Line/Double Street Bet on six consecutive numbers that form two horizontal lines (e.g. 31-32-33-34-35-36) On the outer corner shared by the two leftmost or the two rightmost numbers
Trio A three-number bet that involves at least one zero: 0-1-2 (either layout); 0-2-3 (single-zero only); 00-2-3 (double-zero only) On the corner shared by the three chosen numbers
First Four Bet on 0-1-2-3 (Single-zero layout only) On the outer corner shared by 0-1 or 0-3
Basket Bet on 0-00-1-2-3 (Double-zero layout only) On the outer corner shared by 0-1 or 00-3

Outside bets

Outside bets typically have smaller payouts with better odds at winning. Except as noted, all of these bets lose if a zero comes up.

1 to 18 (Low or Manque), or 19 to 36 (High or Passe)
A bet that the number will be in the chosen range.
Red or black (Rouge ou Noir)
A bet that the number will be the chosen color.
Even or odd (Pair ou Impair)
A bet that the number will be of the chosen type.
Dozen bet
A bet that the number will be in the chosen dozen: first (1-12, Première douzaine or P12), second (13-24, Moyenne douzaine or M12), or third (25-36, Dernière douzaine or D12).
Column bet
A bet that the number will be in the chosen vertical column of 12 numbers, such as 1-4-7-10 on down to 34. The chip is placed on the space below the final number in this sequence.
Snake Bet
A special bet that covers the numbers 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. It has the same payout as the dozen bet and takes its name from the zigzagging, snakelike pattern traced out by these numbers. The snake bet is not available in all casinos; when it is allowed, the chip is placed on the lower corner of the 34 square that borders the 19-36 betting box. Some layouts mark the bet with a two-headed snake that winds from 1 to 34, and the bet can be placed on the head at either end of the body.

In the United Kingdom, the farthest outside bets (low/high, red/black, even/odd) result in the player losing only half of his/her bet if a zero comes up.

Called (or call) bets or announced bets

Traditional roulette wheel sectors

Although most often named “call bets” technically these bets are more accurately referred to as “announced bets”. The legal distinction between a “call bet” and an “announced bet” is that a “call bet” is a bet called by the player without him placing any money on the table to cover the cost of the bet. In many jurisdictions (most notably the United Kingdom) this is considered gambling on credit and is illegal in some jurisdictions around the world. An “announced bet” is a bet called by the player for which he immediately places enough money to cover the amount of the bet on the table, prior to the outcome of the spin or hand in progress being known.

There are different number series in roulette that have special names attached to them. Most commonly these bets are known as “the French bets” and each covers a section of the wheel. For the sake of accuracy, zero spiel, although explained below, is not a French bet, it is more accurately “the German bet”. Players at a table may bet a set amount per series (or multiples of that amount). The series are based on the way certain numbers lie next to each other on the roulette wheel. Not all casinos offer these bets, and some may offer additional bets or variations on these.