Improving Your Roulette Skills
Although the game or roulette looks simple at first glance, experienced roulette players that know how to play it use a lot of analysis. They use different calculations to build a roulette strategy and earn big profits from placing bets on the wheel. Our casino experts at CasinoSource.ie have written this comprehensive guide explaining the game rules, how to play roulette, the best roulette bets and how to build the best roulette strategy. This will allow you to enjoy the game more and increase your chances of winning at the table.
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Rules of Roulette
The main goal across all roulette variations is for the player to predict the wheel’s outcome and bet on specific numbers and/or events. For example, you may choose to bet on red/black colours and odd/even numbers. You can also bet on specific numbers, or on different number groupings. Once bets are taken, the dealer (also known as croupier) spins the wheel. If the ball lands on a number and/or event you had chosen, you win the bet.
While the basic rules of roulette are similar, there are some differences between the two main versions of the game. These being European Roulette which is the current version of the original game invented in the 17th century France. And American Roulette which is a bit of a faster-paced version of the game. As the name suggests, it was invented in America in the 19th century. Most notably, American Roulette has two zero-numbered pockets (marked with 0 and 00) compared European Roulette’s single zero pocket (marked with 0).
Beside the wheel differences, there are also a few specific rules that differ between the two variations of Roulette. In European Roulette players can call bets (announce bets to the dealer) as opposed to laying chips down on the table. There is also the En Prison rule which allows you to bet on the next spin, in case you placed an even bet and the ball landed in the zero pocket. At an American Roulette table, you lose event bets (a.k.a. outside bets) if the ball lands in a zero pocket. Also in the American variation of the game, you can place a five-number bet (a.k.a. line bet) on numbers 1, 2, 3, 0 and 00.
Best Roulette Bets
Once purchased chips and ready to play, you can place your bets on any number, group of numbers and even outcomes. Given you have a limited period of time to place your bets before the dealer spins the wheel. This can get a bit overwhelming, especially in you are a new player. Finding the best bets and working on your roulette strategy while sitting at a crowded, noisy roulette table can be challenging.
Some players ask the dealer to place bets for them by calling bets. But again, if the table is busy with many players the dealer can get distracted and your bets lost in the commotion and not placed on time. This is why many roulette players like to play online, where they can concentrate, place bets at their own pace and decide when to spin the wheel.
Safe vs Risky Roulette Bets
What makes roulette exciting to many is the fact that it offers both safe and risky bets. This allows players to build and customize the best roulette strategy for them based on their risk preferences. You can bet very safe on red/black, high/low or even/uneven. This will let you cover many options on the table and start winning pretty quickly. But keep in mind that payouts for these type of bets are low, making it hard to build significant profits. On the opposite end of the risk scale are bets on specific numbers. The odds are less in your favour to win these bets, but if you do win the payout is huge. There are is also a range of different bets in between the two high and low-risk extremes. These include bets of different groupings of numbers.
Types of Bets
Regardless of playing online or at a brick and mortar casino, it is best to understand the types of bets, their odds and payouts. This knowledge will allow you to focus on your roulette strategy, keep calm and be prepared for every spin of the wheel. There are two main categories for roulette bets: Inside bets and outside bets. Inside bets are the type of bet you will make on specific numbers or groups of numbers. Whilst outside bets are based on events. They are named after their position on the roulette betting grid. Given the higher odds for outside bets to occur, their payout is lower. This compared to inside bets that have less probability, but in case of a win offer much higher payouts.
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The most common bet amongst roulette players is the black/red bet. It pays even money and allows players to bet on the colour the ball will land on. Another common even-money bet is the odd/even bet which allows you to bet on the type of number. A third even-money bet is high/low which lets you bet on numbers between 1 and 18 (low), and 19 and 36 (high).
Outside bets are best for risk-averse players. Those who would like to start investing small sums and building their profits slowly. It is also usually the best roulette bet for casual roulette players that are looking to learn the game and diversify their risk across different types of bets.
For players that are looking for more risky roulette strategies with higher payouts, inside bets are the best. Although the odds of winning these bets are smaller, payouts can be huge and help you build profits in a short period of time. The first inside bet is a single number, which is common with players that bet on their lucky numbers, birthdays, etc. This is the most risky bet you can place on a roulette table.
The second-risky bet is the split which lets you bet on two adjoining numbers on the roulette grid. A street is a bet on any three adjoining numbers. A corner bet is placed by putting a chip on four adjacent numbers and betting on all of them. Naturally, all these bets will have different payouts, which will increase as the odds get slimmer.
More inside bets include wagers on different groups of numbers, based on the pattern and alignment on the roulette betting grid. For example a dozens bet which lets you bet on first 12 numbers. A Columns bet that lets you wager on 12 numbers as well, but with a different alignment on the grid. There are also splits bets and more. The less odds on each bet, the higher payout.
Once you had read and understood the type of bets, it is important to form your own ideas on which of them would be best for your roulette strategy. It is also important to go online to practice and develop your skills hands-on by placing different bets, spinning the wheel and understanding your odds.
You had probably noticed by now that although roulette seems to be a simple game, there are a lot of professional terms you will need to know in order to master the game and enjoy it to the fullest. Some terms come from the French origins of the game, while others intuitively follow positions on the roulette grid. Our casino experts have put together a list of the main roulette terms, so you can ease your way into playing and follow what’s going on at the roulette table.
- American Roulette: A later version of the game that was created in the 19th century in America. It features two zero-pockets and 38 bet pockets.
- All-In: An event when a roulette player wagers all of his/her stake on one bet.
- Action: The total sum of money a roulette player will wager over a period. Usually used by the casino for tracking player compensation and loyalty bonuses.
- Black Bet: An even-money bet on the colour black.
- Bottom Track: The sloped, inner part of the roulette wheel that remains static during spins.
- Back Track: The outer edge of the roulette wheel where the ball is spun. Also knowns as ball-track.
- Block Bet: A bet on a block of numbers on the roulette table grid.
- En Prison: A rule in French Roulette, and some European Roulette variations. In case a player bets on an even number, they are allowed to bet again if the ball landed in the zero pocket.
- Croupier: The French formal term for a roulette dealer.
- Call Bets: Bets that are placed by notifying the dealer verbally, without placing chips on the roulette grid.
- Corner Bet: A single bet connecting the corner of 4 adjoining numbers on the roulette betting grid.
- Column Bet: A single bet placed on one of the three columns and covering almost a third of the roulette wheel.
- Dozens Bet: A bet placed on one of three available 12-number sequences – 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36
- Double Zero: An additional pocket on an American Roulette wheel marked ‘00’.
- European Roulette: The original version roulette, invented in France in the 17th century. It features 36 numbers, a single zero pocket and lower house edge than American Roulette.
- Even Bet: A 1:1 bet that pays even money, such as red/black, odd/even, high/low, etc.
- French Roulette: A variant of European roulette, with a few specific rules and a table layout that differs slightly (bets marked in French on the grid).
- Five Number Bet: An American Roulette bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3.
- Green Pockets: The 0 (and 00 in American Roulette) pockets that are coloured green.
- High Bet: A bet on the higher numbers on the grid: 19-36
- House Edge: The mathematical advantage built into the game, which the casino has over the player in the long term. The house edge for a European Roulette, single-zero wheel is 2.70%. For an American Roulette double-zero wheel, the house edge is 5.26%
- Inside Bet: A wager placed on a number, covering either a specific number or group of numbers. These are considered high-risk/high-reward bets as they have lower odds and higher payouts.
- Line Bet: A wager covering one of six numbers in a row (i.e. line) on the roulette betting grid.
- Low Bet: A bet on the lower numbers on the grid: 1-18
- Outside Bet: A bet placed on a non-numbered event. These bets are considered low risk as they cover a large area of the roulette wheel and therefore have higher odds and lower payouts.
- Pocket: The black, red and green numbered crevices on the roulette wheel where the ball lands after the wheel stops spinning.
- Red Bet: An even-money bet on the red colour on the roulette wheel.
- Six-Line Bet: An inside bet that covers two adjacent rows of numbers on the roulette grid (covering six numbers in total).
- Split Bet: An inside bet that covers two adjacent numbers on the roulette grid.
- Straight Up Bet: An inside bet made on a single number.
- Street Bet: An inside bet placed on a row of three numbers on the roulette betting layout.
- Square Bet: An inside bet made on one of four numbers (also known as a corner bet).