Roulette is one of the popularly offered games both in the online casinos and the land-based casinos. Before you play, there are some rules on how to play roulette that you need to understand if you are to stand any chance of winning. You have to study and practice a lot to understand the strategies and know which ones to employ at what point. The game involves players making bets to predict where a ball will land after being spun on the wheel. Losing bets are collected and used to pay off the winning bets.
There are two versions of roulette, the French and American Roulette. The French is the traditional version which has 36 numbers plus the zero on the wheel. It is sometimes referred to as the European roulette. The American one has an additional box marked 00 on top of the 36 numbers. The addition increases the house advantage; therefore, it is not a good choice for beginners. Players have a higher chance of winning at the European roulette.
Here is a general overview of the game
1. Table layout
The wheel and table layout are what constitutes the game. The green area is the layout where players place their bets. The roulette wheel is where the croupier launches the ball. The game is pretty straight forward from this point. Each player places a bet on which number they think the ball will rest on. There are various betting options on which a player can place their bets on.
The French wheel has a total of 37 slots. Numbers from 1 – 10 alternate between black and red colouring. For higher numbers, the sum of its digits determines the colouring. The slot with 0 is colored green which represents the advantage of the house. The American version has two green colored slots, thus doubling the house advantage.
2. ‘En prison’ rule
If the ball ends up on the zero, it means that all the bets that are on more than one number are lost to the casino. If the bet is on one number only, then either the player will lose half of it or the whole bet is ‘sent to prison’ or as known in French ‘en prison’. It means that the bet has to remain on the table as it is. The player is suspended for the next spin. The ‘En prison’ rule allows a player to win his/her money back that would otherwise go to the house.
3. Betting options
There are two betting options a player can choose in how to play roulette. They include:
Within the 37 slots, there is a wide range of bets possible. The simple chances bet on specific groups of numbers whose chances of winning are close to 50%. You can bet either on all the red numbers or black numbers, or all even numbers or odd numbers, or the low (1 – 18) or high (19 – 36). For most casinos, the payout ratio is 1:1. You win the same amount you put into the bet.
If you have an appetite for risk, then this is the option for you. The odds of winning are much lower than betting on simple chances, but when you do win, the payout is much higher. The payouts for each option directly relate to chances of that event happening. If you place a bet on a single number, you chance of winning are 35 times your initial bet.
4. Announced bets
The numbers on the wheel do not appear in their numerical order but seem somewhat random. However, if you take a closer look, you will notice that they are not random at all. There is a system to spread the three pairs of simple chances, that is, red/black, lower half/upper half and even/odd, as evenly as possible on the wheel. The result is a confusing sequence of numbers. The order gives the player several betting chances. Once you tell the croupier your bet, he will place it on the table layout.
‘Voisins du zero’ – These are the neighbors of the zero slot.
‘Tiers du cylindre’ – These are the numbers that are the thirds of the wheel, also known as small series.
‘Orphelins’ – These are the ones left out after the first two possibilities.
Playing the announced bets means that you have to be aware of the cases in which you may have to place higher bets because the stakes you have to put on the layout is much higher than if you played with the simple chances.
5. Roulette strategy
You can spend hours trying to come up with strategies to maximize your winnings; however, you are only limited to what you can control. Roulette is mostly a game of luck, and therefore it is quite hard to decide what will give you the highest amount of payoff.
As a beginner, the best practice would be to make small bets until you familiarize yourself with how to play roulette, only then should you increase your stakes.