In American Roulette, the perfectly balanced roulette wheel consists of 38 identical slots, individually numbered from 0, 00, 1 through 36. In total, 38 numbers are represented on the betting layout. On the standard roulette wheel the numbers are not arranged consecutively. By design, they alternate between red and black and exactly opposite each other number is the corresponding higher and lower number. Look straight across one side of the wheel to the other and you will see that the O is opposite the 00, 1 is opposite the 2, and so on up to the 35 being directly opposite the 36. All red numbers are opposite the black numbers.
The roulette wheel is kept spinning all the time and sped up once a game is about to begin. The croupier rolls a little ivory ball along the inner edge of the wheel in the opposite direction of its spin. As the wheel turns, the ball loses momentum and it bounces among the slots and finally falls into one of the numbered slots. Bettors can place their bets right up until the time the wheel slows down and the ball drops into place. The number that the ball rests on is the declared as the winning number for that game.
One to six players can be seated at the roulette table. Roulette is the only game in the casino where players purchase special non-value roulette chips, each player with their own color so that the dealer can tell the bets apart. These chips must be cashed in at the roulette table before leaving. The chips have a set value depending on the minimum bet set at the table, but a player may request whatever value he wishes for his chips. The dealer will then specify the worth of that particular colored chip by mating a sample chip which is placed upon the rim of the wheel. Players may also bet larger amounts by using $1, $5 and $25 regular casino chips. If you are unsure of the procedures and the minimum bets at any table, the dealer, should be glad to explain the casino’s policy for roulette wagers.
TYPES OF BETS
There are a total of nine types of roulette bets that can be made, six of them being inside bets and three of them being outside. The house sets the minimum and maximum betting limits separately for inside and outside bets.
The following are inside bets:
• The Straight-Up Bet: The player is betting that one number will come up. Any number can be bet, including 0 and 00. The payoff is 35:1.
• The Split Bet: Players are betting that one of two numbers come up. Bets are placed to overlap the two numbers. Payoff is 17:1. The 0 and 00 bet can be made to overlap the two numbers or placed on the line separating the second and third dozen. It is the only bet that can be made at two places on the layout.
• The Street Bet: Players are wagering that one of three numbers will come up. Bets can be made at several different places: at the end of the line and three bets involving 0 and 00. A winning bet pays 11:1.
• The Corner Bet: Players are betting that one of four numbers will come up. Bets are placed at the intersection of the four numbers. The payoff is 8:1.
• The Five-Number Bet: There is only one five-number bet on the layout: 0, 00, 1 2, and 3. The payoff is 6:1. It is the worst bet on the table, with a house edge 50 percent higher than any other bet. This bet does not exist on the European game since there is no “00.”
• The Line Bet: The player is betting that one of six numbers will come up. Bets are placed on the intersection of the two lines of three numbers. The payoff is 5:1. The three outside bets are outside of the 00,0 and 1-36 playing area.
• Even money: there are three types of even-money bets and they pay 1:1. You can place a bet on high (19-36)or low(1-18) numbers, bet on red or black, or bet on odd or even.
• Column: a column bet is wagered on 12 numbers contained in any one of the three long columns of numbers, with a payoff of 2:1
• Dozen bets: Like the column bet, the roulette table is divided into three sets of 12, the first(1-12), the second(13-24), and third(25-36). These bets also pay at a ratio of 2:1.
Bets are paid from the outside in. The dealer will pay the bets furthest away from him and work in, until he gets to the inside bets which are paid last. Some casinos use the en prison rule when a zero or double zero occurs. With this rule all even-money bets are either held or one-half is taken, depending upon the outcome of the next spin The house edge is set at 5.26%, resulting from the player receiving odds of 35 to 1 rather than the true odds of 1 in 36 or 37 to 1.
The European roulette wheel with its single 0 has a house edge of only 2.70%. The player has a 1 in 37 chance of winning and still gets paid 35 to 1. The procedures at the European table are slightly different than the American game. While American dealers sweep the layout with their hands and arms, European croupiers use a long stick known as the rake to sweep in all bets. In Europe, roulette games do not use the non-value chips. All players use the standard casino chips, which can cause great confusion when there are a multitude of bets on the layout. If you’re playing in Europe, you have to be wary of exactly what you have bet.