Roulette Rules



Without doubt one of the most famous casino games is Roulette, named after the French word for “little wheel”. In this table game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number or a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. To determine the winning number or color, a croupier spins a wheel in one direction, then spins a ball in the opposite direction. The ball eventually falls into one of 37 (in French/European roulette) or 38 (in American roulette) colored and numbered pockets on the wheel.

Roulette originated in France over 200 years ago.  Being a very elegant, yet simple game, there are three forms of roulette, using three different wheels and different rules. The French (also known as European) wheel has a single green 0 pocket and a unique arrangement of numbers on the wheel. The American wheel has a green 0 pocket and on the opposite side of the wheel a green 00 pocket. The American wheel has a different number layout than the French wheel. The Hybrid wheel is used in the UK and has a single green 0 pocket, yet an American number layout. Most online casinos offer both French and American roulette, and also Live Roulette, where a real dealer is operating the game live in a special casino studio.


Roulette Rules

The only objective in roulette is to predict the pocket, where the ball will drop, when the wheel stops spinning. In order to guess the number, roulette players have a variety of betting options. Basically we can distinguish Outside and Inside types of bets. Players wishing to bet on the “Outside” will select bets on larger groups of numbers, offering worse payout ratio but better odds. Placing “Inside” bets is either selecting the exact number where the pocket the ball will land in, or lines and intersections of lines adjacent to the field of numbers.

Outside bets may be even money bets – black/red, even/odd or high/low. They can also be two to one bets – Dozens bets and Column bets. The dozen bet is when the bet is placed on either numbers 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36. The column bet includes all the numbers in one of the three columns on the roulette layout.

Inside bets may be six types:

  • Straight up - Straight up - Wager on a single number, including zero (0) (and double-zero (00)). If the ball stops at your number, your bet pays 35 to 1.
  • Split bet – This is a wager on two adjacent numbers on the roulette table, which is placed on the line dividing the numbers. Payout 17 to 1.
  • Street bet – This wager covers a row of three numbers and the chip is placed on the outer right boundary line of the roulette table, next to the corresponding row of three numbers. If either number hits, the street bet pays 11 to 1.
  • Corner bet – Corner bets cover four numbers. The chip is placed on the cross where the four numbers intersect and the payout is 8 to 1.
  • Five bet (in American Roulette) – Covers the following numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 and is placed on the outer right boundary line of the table, between 00 and 3. Payout 6 to 1.
  • Line Bet, also known as Double Street Bet: This bet covers two streets and is placed on the outside line between two rows of three numbers each. It covers the six numbers of the two "streets" or rows, and pays at 5 to 1.

Each Online Roulette table will usually display the minimum and maximum bets. For example: "$5 minimum inside bets, $5 minimum outside bets. $1,000 maximum outside, $100 maximum inside". Generally, table maximums are lower on inside bets because of the higher payoffs available. Even if the listed minimums are likely to be the same for inside and outside bets, they do not represent the same thing. A minimum of $5 on inside bets can be spread around on different inside bets/spots in $1 chips each. However, the minimum for outside bets means the player must wager the entire amount on each outside bet. This is an important distinction as, for example, betting $1 on evens, $1 on red, $1 on the first 12, $1 on the first 18, and $1 on the first column doesn't satisfy the minimum for an outside bet.


History of Roulette

Most people agree that the first roulette wheel was invented as a perpetual motion machine in 1655, by the French scientist Blaise Pascal, who was known for his work in the field of probability. First played in a monastery to ease the boredom, it soon found its way into a rudimentary casino in Paris. Gabriel de Sartine introduced it in Paris in 1765. He was a police official who wanted a game to thwart cheats. An early description of the roulette game in its current form is found in a French novel “La Roulette, ou le Jour” by Jaque Lablee, published in 1801. It had both 0 and 00 pockets, determining the mathematical advantage of the house, and numbers 1-36. The 0 pocket was red and when the ball landed there, the red bets were barred. The 00 was black and upon hit the black bets were barred. Later on, in 1843, Francois and Louis Blanc introduced the single “0” style roulette wheel in order to compete against other casinos offering the double zero wheels. In some forms of early American roulette the wheels were numbered 1 through 28 plus a single zero, a double zero and an American Eagle. As soon as the ball fell into one of those three pockets, the banker swept every bet on the table, except if a bet was places on either one of them, in which case the bank paid twenty-seven to one. In the 1800s, roulette spread all over Europe and the U.S.A., becoming one of the most famous and most popular casino games.

When the German government abolished gambling in the 1860s, the Blanca family moved to the last legal remaining casino operation in Europe at Monte Carlo, where they established a gambling Mecca for the elite of Europe. It was here that the single zero roulette wheel became the premier game, and over the years was exported around the world, except in the United States where the double zero wheel had remained dominant. Some call roulette the "King of Casino Games", probably because it was associated with the glamour of the casinos in Monte Carlo.

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