Roulette Basics

By Alan Donahue
Roulette Basics

Roulette is like an instant one-number lottery, but there is a lot of betting involved. Once you understand what is going on at a roulette table, you can become a better player.


The roulette table is set up as a large spinning wheel featuring the numbers 1 through 36, plus 0 and 00. The numbers are a mix of red and black, and the two zero spots are green. Next to the spinning wheel is the betting layout where players place bets on what they think will come out. At most roulette tables there is also a large display screen showing the last 10 through 15 numbers. A ball is thrown into the spinning wheel when all of the bets are made, and it stops at a number. Winning bets are then paid off and the process begins again.


The roulette table

There are many different bets you can make in roulette, each having different odds on winning. Those that pay the most are straight-up bets that are made by placing a chip on a single number. At most casinos, these bets pay out 36:1, so if you bet a dollar on the number 3 and it hits, then you will receive $36 in profit. Instead of betting on a single number, bet on blocks of numbers in sets of 2,3,4,or 6. On the outside of the betting table, you can bet on red or black, even or odd, low number or high, or a section of 12 numbers. When betting in roulette, you can spread your chips out as much as you want, placing them on multiple numbers, sections, and mixing up inside and outside betting.


While the roulette betting section of the table features all the numbers in numerical order, the actual roulette wheel is far different. The numbers are all mixed up and arranged in a different order that may confuse players trying to keep track of where the ball hits. For example, one section of the roulette wheel features 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21 and 2, all in a section. Players who see these occasionally place bets on every number in a certain section.


When betting on red or black, many people consider it a 50/50 shot at winning, but the casino actually has a slight advantage with these bets because of the two green zero spots on the roulette wheel. If it lands on 0 or 00, neither red nor black pay out.


Learning roulette can reward players with large amounts of money if they hit straight-on numbers. If you make the lucky bet, you could win multiple amounts of money by playing the corners, street, and split bets on that number as well.

About the Author

I have a lot fo writing experience other than and that includes my college newspaper, the Rebel Yell, where I wrote mostly television and movie articles.