How to Play Roulette
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Advanced Roulette Strategies
How to Play Roulette
Roulette is a betting game with simple rules designed to reliably make money for the casino. It can be very exciting, however, and for players who know to quit while they are ahead, big winnings are possible. Roulette is a game of pure chance, played by placing bets on a spinning numbered wheel. A ball is spun in the opposite direction of the wheel, running on a sloped track around its perimeter. Eventually the ball slows down enough to fall onto the wheel, indicating the winning number. The ball’s final position can be predicted to be on a specific number or sets of numbers, with a wide range of odds and payouts for winning. The possible choices are divided between “inside” and “outside,” distinguished by the position on the number map where players place their chips.
So named because players place their chips inside the number map on specific numbers or groups of numbers, inside bets have much slimmer chances of success than outside bets, with odds ranging all the way from 5.33:1 to 37:1. However, the winnings are proportionally that much higher as well, so many casinos have lower maximum limits for inside bets than they do for outside ones.
Straight up bet: the most daring of all roulette bets, the straight up is made on a single number, indicated by placing the chips directly on that number on the number map. Odds of 37:1, pays 35:1.
Split bet: made on a pair of numbers adjacent on the number map, whether vertically or horizontally, indicated by placing chips on the line between the two. It wins if the ball lands on either of the numbers. Odds of 18:1, pays 17:1.
Street bets or Line bet: betting on a row of three numbers, indicated by placing chips on the line separating the leftmost of the three and the outside portion of the number map. Odds of 11.66:1, pays 11:1.
Corner bet or Quad bet: made on any four numbers that share a corner on the number map, indicated by placing chips on the intersection between the four. Odds of 8.5:1, pays 8:1.
Basket bet: a unique choice of five specific numbers—0, 00, 1, 2 and 3, indicated by placing chips on the intersection between the 0, the 1, and the outside edge. Odds of 6.6:1, pays 6:1.
Double street bet: exactly what it sounds like—made on two adjacent rows for a total of 6 possible winning numbers, indicated by placing chips on the intersection between the initial numbers in the two rows and the outside edge. Odds of 5.33:1, pays 5:1.
These are placed on much larger sets of numbers, making for better odds but lower payouts proportional to the bet when compared to the inside. However, the maximums tend to be higher, so it’s possible to play some seriously high-stakes roulette, and still win with great frequency. Note that all outside bets fail when the ball lands on 0 or 00.
Red and Black or Odd and Even: all four essentially working out to the same thing, indicated by placing chips on the corresponding square of the number map—a prediction that the ball will land on any of the 18 numbers that share the color or series chosen. The safest bet in the game. Odds of 1.11:1, pays 1:1.
Dozens bet: made on the consecutive numbers between 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36, depending on which dozen is chosen, indicated by placing chips on the corresponding dozens square. Odds of 2.167:1, pays 2:1.
Column bets: though it works out to the same thing as dozens, instead of consecutive numbers it’s made on a series of every third number, indicated by placing chips on one of the three squares at the bottom end of the columns of numbers. Odds of 2.167:1, pays 2:1.
Roulette has a number of rules designed to protect the players, the casino, and to maintain general etiquette. The rules state that players may not touch any chips after the dealer has called “No more bets” or waved his hand over the wheel to indicate the same thing, and once the marker indicating the winning number, called the “dolly” has been set, players are forbidden to touch any winning chips. Players may not touch any outside chips until all winnings on that square have been paid. To buy more chips players must place their money on the table, not hand it to the dealer. Other rules include the prohibition of all electronic equipment, and limiting the items allowed on the table to chips, cash, and drinks (as well as cigarettes in casinos that allow smoking).
The Roulette Dealer
The dealer keeps the wheel continually spinning, and spins the ball as well. It’s his job to announce the moment at which betting must cease, and to place the dolly on the winning number. The dealer will place chips on parts of the board players can’t reach, and will mentally keep track of complicated bets, such as betting “to the max” on a specific number (simultaneously making every possible bet that includes the number called).
House edge and Roulette payouts
The house edge is where the casino makes its money—the presence of 0 and 00, the green squares, on the wheel. If the ball lands on these numbers, every bet aside from the basket or a straight-up zero fails. Roulette payouts are always based on a 36-number system that ignores the zeros, however, which leads to the discrepancy between the pay and the actual odds as shown above. If a player bets $1 straight up on every single number on the wheel for a guaranteed win, she spends $38, but the rules state she only gets back $36. The game functions as a geometric series of 0.95, which means that if someone plays long enough, they are guaranteed to lose all their money.