Roulette is a table game in which you bet chips on a board that has 38 numbers coloured red or black. A ball spins from the top of the roulette wheel and comes to rest on one of the numbers, determining the winner.
There are 38 numbers on the board, 1-36, 0 and 00. The maximum payout is 35-1, with the 0 and 00 representing the house edge, kind of like a fee for each spin.
We'll take you through the best strategies for how to play roulette below.
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How to play roulette
Buy chips by clicking on the denominations you want, then begin placing them on the board. Each player is given chips with a unique colour to distinguish them, which can be stacked on top of other players’ chips.
The roulette numbers are aligned in three vertical columns.
The first column starts with 1 and continues to 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31 and 34.
The next column begins with 2 and continues to 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32 and 35.
The third column starts with 3 and continues to 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33 and 36.
Above the rows are the 0 and 00 numbers.
If you are the only one playing, make your bets and then press the spin wheel. If there are two or more players, there is a timer that counts down to zero before betting is cut off and the wheel automatically spins. When the ball lands, there is a board that displays the number and repeats it after each spin.
If you win, you can keep playing the same numbers or try something else. Many players will add the just-won chips to their stack and let the original bets ride on the chance that the ball could again land on the same number.
But if you lose, your chips are removed from the table and you begin with new bets.
Strategies to increase the odds
If you are new to the game, it’s a good idea to start with chips that have the minimum cost to play, say $1 or $5, to ease into it. Another way to enjoy the game without risking too much is to play the 50-50 bets.
There are squares for landing on red or black numbers, odd or even, or 1-18 and 19-36. If you win, you receive the same amount you bet.
There is no set way to determine where the ball lands, so 50-50 bets give you the best chance to win.
How to play roulette: Picking your numbers
Some people play personal favourite numbers — lucky seven for example — a birthday, anniversary, day of the month, etc. Others will bet the same number(s) over and over, thinking they’ll eventually hit.
Then there are some who prefer the numbers at the top of the board or the middle, while some opt for the ones at the bottom. You can play as many chips on the board, covering as many areas as you want. Every bet is basically a matter of choice because you are not competing against another player or the dealer.
The bet with the highest payout is 35-1, which happens if the wheel stops on your number. Whatever you bet, you receive 35 times the amount.
There are multiple other bets, each with lesser odds. You can place a chip on a horizontal or vertical dividing line between two adjoining numbers, for example, between 1 and 2 (horizontally) or 1 and 4 (vertically). This is called a split bet. If the ball lands on either of these numbers, the payout is 17-1.
You can make a street bet that covers three numbers horizontally — for example, 1, 2 and 3 – on a line that intersects them from the side of the board, with a payout of 11-1. You can cover four adjoining numbers, say 1, 2, 4 and 5, by placing a chip in the middle of them and the payout is 8-1. It is called a square bet or four-corner bet.
You can cover any six numbers from two rows — called a six-line bet — on a line that intersects them and the payout is 5-1. You can bet on any of the vertical columns and the payout is 2-1.
There are also squares for the numbers 1-12, 13-24 and 25-36. You can place as many chips as you want on them and the payout is also 2-1.
Know your limit
It’s important to start with a set bankroll and ease into the game, rather than plunk down all of your chips at once. You may hit right away, but you could also lose it all and then you have to put more money into your account or take your lumps.
It’s a high-risk, high-reward game, depending on the type of bet, so it’s best to stay in your financial comfort lane.
It’s also fine to play a few spins and then sit out a few. Playing longer doesn’t increase your chances of winning. But the absolute rule is you will never go broke making a profit.