The Super Easy Beginner’s Guide to Roulette

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Roulette wheel in casino from the top

The wheel of fortune is spinning every night at casinos of all kinds, both in real brick-and-mortar places and all across the world wide web. And of course, the unmistakable symbol of all this is the gleamy wooden wheel of roulette.

The roulette wheel is still inviting lots of people to play, constantly chasing after their next big win. So, let’s get this straight: how do you play roulette and, more importantly, how do you win? Well, check this easy roulette guide below to find the answers!

Roulette: the Basic Rules

The overall principle of playing classical roulette is obvious to many people, even if they have never played any casino games. Anyone who wants to try their luck, gather around the table with a roulette wheel and make bets indicating where the chips should be placed. They make their bets and then the croupier spins the wheel and drops the ball in the opposite direction. When the ball lands in one of the numbered and colored slots, the croupier collects the losing bets and gives away the winning bets for lucky gamblers. In real-life European roulette, it is also possible to bet “viva voce” while the wheel is still spinning, which is called an announced bet.

Even though the game is fairly simple, the difficulty with roulette is that it’s a pure game of chance. There’s practically nothing you can do to predict the outcome or develop the kind of skills that will help you win more than you lose! So if you fancy the thrill of watching the wheel spinning and expecting the result, you can try to play roulette games.

In general, you can encounter two types of roulette tables – European or American. The difference between the two is simple – American roulette has two zero sections on the wheel, while European roulette has only one zero. The presence of zeros, by the way, makes it more difficult to predict your chances; because as soon as the tiny green zero comes into play, the chances of (say) red vs. black, are no more 50/50. But don’t worry: we will talk about the betting systems a bit later.

For now, you need to learn what types of bets you can place on the roulette table. Thankfully, not only can you bet on single numbers, but also on combinations. However, the payout rates will vary, depending on how precise your bet is. So if you want to find about them all, see the complete list of all the possible roulette bets below!

Types of Bets #1. Outside bets

On the roulette table, you will see a section of red and black numbers, and below them will be the section of outside bets. In the latter one, you can bet on the following:

Even payout 1/1:

Red or Black

Odd or Even

1 to 18

19 to 36

Even payout 1/1:

Payout 2/1:

Dozens (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

Columns (1st, 2nd, 3rd)

Payout 2/1:

The good news is that in most online casinos, you are likely to lose only half of any even money outside bet (except dozens and columns) if the ball lands on zero. So if you bet on reds-blacks, high-low, or odds-evens and the ball falls on zero, you immediately get half of the bet amount back. This is called the la partage rule. However, you should also check the terms and conditions of the particular roulette table, to see if this rule applies. You are most likely to be able to claim for this kind of bet when playing European or French roulette.

Another European/French rule like this is called en prison. The point of the rule is this. When the ball lands on zero, your outside even-money bet (black-red, odds-evens, high-low) freezes in its position. If the next spin shows the value of your previous bet, the croupier will give back 100% of the stake. This means that if you’re lucky, you have the chance to get back all of your bet during the next spin after zero.

Types of Bets #2. Inside Bets

Just as we said before, when you look at that inside section of the roulette table with its precise numbers, you need to remember that not only can you bet on a single number but also on combinations of them as well. Let’s check out what kinds of inside bets are there that you can avail of.

Straight (Pays 35/1)

Roulette Strategy Straight (Pays 35/1)

This stands for the classic and most difficult stake on a concrete number. This one also includes the ability to bet on zero (0 and 00). The payout from this one, certainly, is the biggest of them all!

Split (Pays 17/1)

Roulette Strategy Split (Pays 17/1)

Bet on two adjacent numbers on the table by placing your chip(s) on the separating line between them.

Street (Pays 11/1)

Roulette Guide Strategy Street (Pays 11/1)

A bet on three numbers on the table, all located along one line. Place the chip(s) on the lower line of the third number which borders with the outside section.

Corner (Square) (Pays 8/1)

Roulette Guide Corner (Square) (Pays 8/1)

Put the chips in the middle of the intersecting lines between four numbers on the table (two consecutive ones and the two numbers below them, which form something like a square). By doing so, you will be betting on four of those numbers at once.

Six Line (Pays 5/1)

Roulette Guide Six Line (Pays 5/1)

By putting your chips on the outside-bordering line right between two rows of numbers, you will be staking on six of them.

Basket (Pays 6/1)

Roulette Guide Basket (Pays 6/1)

Put the chip between the zero and the 1-2-3 line of numbers, and then you can bet on all of them from 0 to 3. If you’re playing American roulette, it will also include the other one, double zero.

Maximum Bets

If you feel like you’re gonna get filthy rich tonight, you can go big and place a maximum bet, which includes all of the inside bets made at once! So, wherever the ball will land, you win! The problem is that the payout for each bet is different, so you have the chance to lose more money than you win.

Final Bets

This is a very interesting kind of bet that includes all the numbers that have one particular digit in it. For example, the Final 7 is a bet, which spends 3 chips, and comprises 7, 17, and 27.

In some casinos, you will also be able to bet on split finals, which would include all combinations with two chosen digits. For example, if you choose 3-6, you will bet four chips on 3-6, 13-16, 23-26, and 33-36.

European/French Call Bets in Roulette

European or French roulette is different from American in a few ways. First off, the European/French version has only got one zero section on the wheel, while the American one has two zeros on the wheel (0 and 00). Secondly, in European and French roulette, the players can make unusual call bets, which correspond with certain imaginable parts of the roulette wheel and don’t have a physically represented section on the table (except for the race track). Here they are:

French Roulette

Voisins du Zero

The neighbors of zero, as they call them, are gathered in the biggest section of call bets. Generally speaking, it’s almost half of the wheel that is closer to zero. In total, there are 17 numbers between (and including) 22 and 25 on the single-zero wheel and 9 chips to spend. The payout for this bet is 11/1.

Tier du Cylinder

This makes up one third of the roulette wheel: opposite to zero and its neighbors. These are 12 numbers from 27 to 33, on the part of the wheel that has 6 chips. This bet pays 2 to 1, returning you twice the bet plus the amount you initially wagered.

Jeu Zéro

You can also bet on the small section of numbers closest to zero, which makes an array of 12-35-3-26-0-32-15. Strangely enough, the payout is 36 to 1 if the ball lands on 26, and 18 to 1 if it lands on any other numbers from the jeu zero sequence (32, 15, 35, 3, 12, 0).


The two little “orphan” sections are placed between the sides of tier de cylinder and voisins du zero, and you need to spend 5 chips on these. In total, there are 8 numbers, 1-20-14-31-9, and 17-34-6 accordingly. The payout is also far from logical: if the ball lands on 1 you will get a 35/1 payout. All the other numbers (6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31, 34) will bring the player a 17/1 profit. Note that if the ball lands exactly on 17, your winnings will be more than with all the rest of the numbers.


When you bet on a certain number, the European and French roulette rules also let you include some adjacent numbers in the bet. This means that not only do you win if the ball falls on this number, but you can also win if it falls on the numbers next to it from both sides, two from each side. However, you will need five chips to spend for this bet.

It is important to mention that you can combine a few of the above bets all in one spin. For example, you can bet on Orphelins by 17, plus 8, 10, 24 and their neighbors.

What’s Up With the House Edge in Roulette?

Everyone is talking about the house edge and is prepared to operate with numbers and percentages, but what does it all really mean? Indeed, for starters in gambling, understanding the idea of the house edge is quite difficult. Well, if you want to compare it to something familiar, imagine yourself sending money via bank transfer. You will need some small percentage of this sum to cover the banking commission.

Similarly, imagine betting on all of the numbers of the roulette wheel by placing $1 on each one. When one of them wins, you will get $35 after spending $37 on the European wheel; or $36 after spending $38 on the American wheel. Consequently, in percentages, the amount kept by the house (aka the house edge) is 2.70% and 5.26% in European and American roulette respectively. Meanwhile, the “basket” combo of 0-00-1-2-3 on the American roulette wheel holds 7.89% of the house edge, and this is considered the worst bet to make.

Can Roulette Bets Beat the Odds?

Sure! You see, the calculation of odds is just like a statement that there are 38 chances to win; but the ball is certainly going to land on only one slot, and that’s why there are more possibilities to lose than to win. And every player who plays roulette knows that, quite obviously, only one number out of 38 or 37 is going to win, so there is no need to be a maths scientist to realize this simple fact. But at the same time, the odds don’t have anything to do with the laws of physics, nor are they supposed to determine the exact probability of the ball falling in one slot rather than in another. That’s why, if you’re lucky, you can wager $1 and win $36, or wager $250 and win $9000!

So, if you have some loss limits and maintain them, playing roulette might be a kind of innocent fun to help you test your luck from time to time. And one day, who knows, maybe you’re going to be the lucky winner who takes it all! Just be aware that if you make a few bets (for example, straight + orphelins + six-line) and each stake lands on the winning number, you will get each of the payouts and add them up in your pocket (35/1 + 17/1 + 5/1)!

How to Win at Roulette?

Unlike other table games that may require some skill, like Blackjack, you can’t predict what’s going to happen on the roulette wheel. For example, if you play Poker, you know that a dealer uses one deck of cards, and each individual card only falls on the table once per game. But in a roulette game, the wheel breaks all the laws of probability. Its circular motion might bring you just about any number, and there are simply no calculations possible for helping you guess the following outcome. Yet, whatever skeptics say about the non-existence of any such thing as roulette strategy, some smart approaches to gambling on the roulette table do exist. Better still, they really work!

One of the most useful recommendations we can give you is to balance out your bets before a single spin. Let us explain what it means. It is all pretty easy. Just try to mix up more risky bets with less risky ones! For instance, make two straight bets and two outside bets at once. It could be zero and the neighbors + 24 + reds + the first dozen. If you’re doing this, then even if Lady Luck won’t turn her beautiful face to you this time and you still don’t win a straight bet, you will still win anyway, either 1 to 1 or 2 to 1; which is surely better than just losing one bet!

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