The game roulette was invented in France in the 1700s and has since then spread all around the globe. The roulette wheel itself was the result of a (failed) try to create a perpetual motion machine.
The basic idea behind roulette is this: let a ball spin inside a spinning wheel. Eventually, it will fall down and come to rest in one of the numbered slots inside the reel. This determines which wagers that win and which wager that are lost at the roulette table.
Betting at the roulette table
You can of course bet directly on a specific number at the roulette table, e.g. number 5 or number 28, but you also have a lot of other options. It is for instance possible to spread a single bet over several different numbers. Also, you can bet on red/black, even/odd, and high/low.
How many slots are there at the roulette wheel?
A classic French or European roulette wheel have 37 slots. 18 numbers are red, 18 numbers are black, and the zero is green.
A classic American roulette wheel have 38 slots. 18 numbers are red, 18 numbers are black, and both the zero and the double-zero (00) are green.
In addition to these three classic versions, some casinos (especially online) have roulette wheels with other configurations.
As mentioned above, it is possible to spread a bet over several numbers instead of putting all the money on just one single number. If you spread you bet, you increase your satistical chance of winning, since there are more possible numbers for the ball to rest on to grant you a win. Naturally, the casino compensates by paying out less on such a bet than on a bet where all the money was wagered on a single number. The lower the risk, the lower the payout when you win.
One way of spreading out your wager over several number is to do an outside bet. Here are a few examples of outside bets that are available in many casinos. Generally speaking, outside bets come with a higher statistical chance of winning than inside bets.
- Red / RougeA bet on all red numbers. (18 numbers in total).
- Black / NoirA bet on all black numbers. (18 numbers in total.)
- Low / ManqueA bet on all low numbers, i.e. 1-18.
- High / PasseA bet on all high numbers, i.e. 19-36.
- EvenA bet on all even numbers in the 1-36 range. (18 numbers in total.)
- OddA bet on all odd numbers in the 1-36 range. (18 numbers in total.)
- First column betA bet on all the numbers in the first column at the roulette table, i.e. 1-4-7-10-13-16-19-22-25-28-31-34. (A dozen numbers in total.)
- Second column betA bet on all the numbers in the second column at the roulette table. (A dozen numbers in total.)
- Third column betA bet on all the numbers in the first column at the roulette table. (A dozen numbers in total.)
- 1st dozen (Première douzaine)A bet on the first dozen in numerical order, i.e. 1-12.
- 2nd dozen (Moyenne douzaine)A bet on the second dozen in numerical order, i.e. 13-24.
- 3rd dozen (Demiére douzaine)A bet on the third dozen in numerical order, i.e. 25-36.
Compared to the outside bets, inside bets tend to come with a lower chance of winning – but when you do win, you get paid better.
- Straight / SingleA bet on a single number within the 1-36 span.
- SplitA bet split between two numbers that are adjacent to each other on the roulette table.
- StreetThere are twelve “streets” on the roulette table, with each street consiting of three numbers in a row. The first street is 1-2-3, the second street is 4-5-6, and so on. So, a bet on 1st street is a bet spread over the numbers 1, 2 and 3. A bet on 2nd street is a bet spread over the numbers 4, 5 and 6, etcetera.
- TrioThis is another way of spreading your wager over three different numbers, and it is also a method for actually betting on the elusive zero and/or double-zero. (You can’t make a straight bet on 0 or 00.)
On a European/French roulette table, the available trio bets are:
On an American roulette table, the available trio bets are:
- Basket / First FourThis is another option if you want to include zero in your bet, since it’s a bet on 0-1-2-3.
American roulette tables typically won’t permit this wager. Instead, they offer the bet Top Line, which is a bet on 00-0-1-2-3.
- Corner / SquareThis is a wager spread over four numbers that share a common point at the roulette table, such as 1-2-4-5 or 10-11-13-14. There are many different combinations to chose from when you make a corner bet.
- Six LineThis is a bet on two streets located next to each other, e.g first street (1-2-3) and second street (4-5-6).