Roulette Basic Rules

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Roulette Basic Rules
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Published: 08.10.2015 Updated: 21.05.2021
By Andrew Russell

Roulette is a very old game, dating back to 17th century France. Players in a brick and mortar casino surround the table to watch the wheel spin. Most live tables can accommodate around eight people at once, and each person wagering is betting against the house. The table is marked with many numbers representing the numbers on a large wheel, and each number has a corresponding color, either red or black. The wheel has a slot for each number and a metallic ball that floats around the wheel as it spins, landing on one number once it stops. Basic roulette rules state that if your wagered number is what the ball lands on when the wheel has stopped, you are a winner. When playing roulette in an online casino, it is just you and the virtual dealer at the table. There are many nuances to learn regarding wagering options and strategies, but in the basic rules roulette is a fun and easy game to learn.

In online casinos many times you will find two kinds of roulette offered – both American and European. There are slight differences between the two styles of this game. In the European version, the wheel has 37 slots that include the numbers 1 through 36, and one zero. In the American version most wheels have two zeros (zero and double-zero) rather than one and thus have a total of 38 slots instead of 37.

Game play in roulette starts with the player making a wager by placing their bet or bets on the numbers they think the ball will stop on when the wheel is spun. In online play, typically a button is clicked to indicate that you are finished wagering, and at that time the wheel will spin. The wheel will eventually stop, and the ball will land on the winning number. The way the wager pays out correlates to how you bet, because you can bet directly on one of the numbers or you can bet on groupings of numbers which we will outline below.

roulette rules

Inside bets: Inside bets are bets placed directly on one or more numbers from zero to 36. These bets can include the following (keep in mind that payouts may vary by casino, check your specific casino’s rules):

  • Straight up bets – This bet is placed on a single number. These wagers typically pay 35 to 1.
  • Split number – This is a bet on two numbers; chips are placed on the line between the two. These wagers usually pay 17 to 1.
    3 Line – This bet is on 3 numbers as the name implies. Chips are placed on the line to the left of the three numbers (The table layout lines up the number so that they are displayed 3 per row, 12 per column).
  • 4 Corner – This is a wager placed on 4 numbers. Chips are placed on the corner falling between the 4 numbers you wish to bet on; the four must be touching each other on the table layout. The payout on this bet is typically 8 to 1.
  • 1st Five – This is a bet on the first 5 numbers (1,2,3,4,5). The chips are placed on the top left corner of the number 1, and the wager usually pays out 6 to 1 on a double zero table. On a single zero table this is the 1st Four bet on 1,2,3,4 and usually pays 8 to 1.
  • 6 Line – This is a wager on 6 numbers. The chips are placed on the inside left corner of the 6 numbers you are betting on, and the payout is typically 5 to 1.

Outside bets: Outside bets refer to those wagers where the chips are placed outside of the direct square that includes the numbers of the wheel. The outside bets allow a player to choose larger groups of numbers at lower payouts but better odds. Outside bets include the following:

  • 12 number/Column – This wager includes a full column of numbers. The chips are placed in an area outside that column at the bottom, usually marked with the payout of that wager (2 to 1).
  • 12 number/Dozen – This is a wager similar to the column, but grouping of the numbers is different. This bet includes the numbers 1 through 12, 13 through 24, or 25 through 36. The chips are placed in a box to the left of the numbers marked by their titles of 1st 12, 2nd 12, and 3rd 12, and this wager typically pays out 2 to 1.
  • 24 Numbers/Split Columns – Some casinos do not include this wagering option, but in those that do this bet is made by placing chips on the line between the two columns in the outside 2:1 area at the bottom of the numbers. The bet pays out 1 to 2.
  • 24 Numbers/Split Dozens – Like Split Columns, not all casinos allow this bet. In those that do, the wager is placed by putting chips on the line between the two outside bet areas (the 12’s) that you wish you bet on. The payout is 1to 2.
  • Even/Odd – A player may choose to wager on all even numbers or all odd numbers. The chips in this case are placed on the outside bet box marked EVEN or ODD. The payout on this wager is even money, 1 to 1.
  • Red/Black – Similar to Even/Odd, you may wager on only one color or the other. If the ball lands on the color of your choosing, you win even money, 1 to 1. The chips in this wager are placed on the red or black diamond outside bet box in between the EVEN and ODD bet boxes.
  • 1-18/19-36 – This bet is also called Low/High. The player may choose to bet on all numbers from 1 through 18 or all from 19 through 36. The chips are placed on the corresponding outside bet boxes next to the ODD and EVEN bet boxes. If won, this wager typically pays even money, 1 to 1.


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