A Quick Guide to Roulette

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games and has offered glamour, mystery and excitement to players for centuries. Its rules are straightforward enough to understand, but it offers a surprising level of depth for serious betters. If you’re new to the game, here’s a quick guide to help you get started.

The wheel:

A roulette wheel consists of 37 (or 38, on American tables) numbered pockets that are painted alternately red and black. There is also an additional green pocket marked 0 on European wheels and a double zero on American wheels, which lowers the house edge to 1.35%.

The pockets are spaced in a circle around the perimeter of the wheel, and they are painted in alternating colors. A number – such as 1, 2, or 3 – costs 17 chips to complete and pays out 235 chips. A basket bet costs a minimum of 40 chips and pays out 392 chips, if won.

Before the spin, you place your chips on a betting mat, the precise placement of which indicates the type of bet you’re making. Bets on six or fewer numbers are called ‘inside bets’ while those on more than 12 are known as ‘outside bets’.

When the wheel stops spinning, a small ball is released into the pocket containing the winning number. If the ball lands in a bet you’ve made, you win money according to the type of bet you’ve placed: Straight-up bets pick an individual number and pay out at 1:1. Split bets pick two numbers that form a line on the table map, and are paid out at 2:1. Corner bets – or square bets, as they are sometimes known – select four numbers and are paid out at 9:1 odds. If you’re lucky enough to win a bet, your winnings are paid out by the croupier and added to your total. Then you can start again with a fresh set of chips. If you lose, your bets are left on the table for the next spin. Fanciful stories surround the origins of roulette, but it is widely accepted that it was invented by 17th century French mathematician Blaise Pascal in his quest to develop a perpetual motion machine.