Roulette has always ranked as the most popular game at land-based casinos and the same holds true now for.
Regarding online Roulette boards however, beware; while they may all look the same, besides their different color schemes, not all online Roulettetables are created equal. Some may contain certain irritating elements such as noise or very long spins which can totally ruin anyone's online experience.
Most American casinos employ a double-zero Roulette wheel with pockets numbered from 1 to 36, plus 0 and 00, for a total of 38 pockets. In Europe, on the other hand, a single-zero wheel is more common. Generally speaking, there are six seats at the Roulette table and each participant is assigned a different color chip in order to help the dealer differentiate between each player's bet.
Each Roulette table has its own minimum chip values and that information is usually displayed at the table. For example, suppose a table has a $1 minimum chip value. This means that when you give the dealer your money, the colored chips he provides you with in return must have a minimum value of $1 each. If you hand the dealer $50 he would ask what value chips you'd like and if you replied $1, he'd give you 50 colored chips. Should you prefer $2 chips, you'll receive 25 chips rather than 50. You can make the value of your colored chips anything you want and when the dealer gives you your chips he'll lay one on the railing near the wheel with a marker on top to remind him of the value of your chips. Later on when you're finished playing at that particular table, you are required to exchange your colored chips for regular ones before leaving. The colored chips have no value anywhere else in the casino.
Aside from the minimum chip value, there's also a minimum amount that must be wagered on each spin of the wheel. Once again, the minimums are probably posted on a sign at the table and if it says $2 minimum inside and $5 minimum outside this means if you're betting on any of the 38 numbers that pay 35-to-1, the total of all your wagers must be $2. You can make two different $1 bets or one $2 bet. It doesn't matter, only that the total of all your bets on the numbers must be at least $2. The $5 minimum outside means that any of the outside bets which pay 2-to-1, or even money, require that you bet $5 every time. On the outside bets you cannot make a $3 bet and a $2 bet to meet the minimums - you must bet at least $5 every time. After you have exchanged your cash for colored chips, you are ready to place your first bet, so let's check out your options:
You can make a straight bet where you only wager on one number and should it come in, you will be paid 35-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is 5.26% and by the time you are done with this Roulette section I'm sure you'll be quite familiar with that number. Another choice you've got is to split. In this case you put a chip on the line that separates two numbers. If either number comes up you will be paid at 17-to-1. The casino advantage with this bet is 5.26%.
If you place a chip in an area that splits 4 numbers, this is referred to as a corner bet and if any one of those 4 numbers comes in you will be paid off at 8-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is 5.26%. If you put a chip at the beginning of a row of 3 numbers, this is known as a street bet and if any one of those 3 numbers shows up you will be paid off at 11-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is 5.26%. You can also place a chip on the line between two streets so that you have a double street covered and if any one of those 6 numbers come in you will be paid off at 5-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is? You guessed it... 5.26%.
The only other wager you can make on the inside numbers is the 5-number bet whereby you place one chip in the upper left corner of the number 1 box. If any one of those 5 numbers comes in you're paid off at 6-to-1. And what do you suppose the casino advantage is on this bet? Nope, I gotcha... it's 7.89%. Actually, this is the worst possible wager on the Roulette table and the only bet you'll come across that doesn't have a 5.26% house edge on the double-zero Roulette wheel. One should never make this bet.
A quick mention here about "to" and "for" when discussing odds: Whenever the odds are stated as "to" this means that, in addition to the stated payoff, you also receive your original wager back. In other words, if you won your single number bet in Roulette you'd receive 35-to-1, which is a 35-chip payoff. Additionally, you'd still keep your original one-chip bet, so you end up with 36 chips.
If the odds are stated as "for" this means you do not receive your original wager back. If the odds in your single number bet were 35-for-1 you would still receive a 35-chip payoff but the casino would keep your original one-chip wager so you'd only wind up with 35 chips. The only place in a casino where the odds are always stated as "for" is in video poker. You may also come across it on a couple of craps bets where the odds are stated as "for-one" rather than "to-one" in order to give the casino a slightly higher edge.
Now, getting back to our Roulette examples, let's look at all of the outside bets that you can make, keeping in mind that the house edge on all of these outside wagers is... do you remember the number?...that's correct... 5.26%.
There are three bets one can make that will pay even money, or 1-to-1, which means that if you win, you will get back one dollar for every dollar you bet:
Red or black - If you place a chip on red, then a red number must come up for you to win. If the ball lands on a black number, 0 or 00 - you lose. The same goes for black - you lose if it comes in red, 0 or 00 and you win if the ball lands on a black number.
Odd or even - If you put a chip on an odd number, the ball must land on an odd number in order for you to win. If it lands on 0, 00, or an even number - you lose. If you bet on even, you win if an even number comes up and lose if the ball lands on 0, 00 or an odd number.
1 through 18 and 19 through 36 - If you bet on 1 through 18, then you win if a number from 1 through 18 comes in and you lose if the ball lands on 0, 00 or a number higher than 18. Similarly, if you wager on 19 through 36, you win if one of those numbers comes in and you lose on 0, 00 or any number less than 19.
The only other bets remaining are the dozens and columns bets. If you look at the Roulette betting layout you'll notice three areas that each correspond to 12-number sections on the table. The one marked 1st 12 covers the numbers from 1 to 12, the one marked 2nd 12 covers the numbers from 13 to 24 and the other one that is marked 3rd 12 covers the last section of numbers from 25 to 36. If you wager on the 1st 12 you would win if a number from 1 to 12 came in and you'd lose if anything else came in, including 0 or 00. The same principle is true for each of the other dozen bets where you'd win if a number in that section came in and you would lose if anything else showed up. All dozens bets pay 2-to-1.
The last bet to look at is the column bet which also pays 2-to-1. There are three possible column bets you can make and you will notice that each area corresponds to the numbers in the column directly above it. So, if you place a chip under the first column you'll win if any of the numbers in that column come in and you will lose if any other number, including 0 or 00 shows up. Again, the same rule is in effect for each of the other columns where you would win if the number appears in the column above your bet and you would lose if it does not.
Roulette, as you are now aware, requires some very basic strategies. Though there's always more to learn, you're now well on your way to enjoying the exciting variety of free Roulette games at both land-based and online casinos. Indeed, Roulette is among the most exciting casino games. Play Roulette and have fun!
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