There are two main versions of roulette: American roulette and European roulette. What’s the difference? While the European wheel has one zero, the American version employs a wheel with two zero’s, thereby increasing the house edge slightly. The actual roulette rules don’t change from one version to the other; however, the extra zero on the American wheel creates the five-number bet, which is discussed further on in this section.
There isn’t much to know about roulette rules, as they are fairly straightforward. What’s important is to get familiar with the various bets that can be placed. Juggling up your bets a little is a good way to keep the game interesting and fresh. Also, you may try your chances on a number or group of numbers that you haven’t seen come up in a while. Although doing so does not increase your chances of getting that number this time around, it’s interesting to put the laws of probability to the test. For more information, please have a look at my free roulette systems page.
There are two categories of bets: outside bets that involve particular groups of numbers such as odds or evens; and inside bets, which involve specific numbers. When looking at the bets below, you may like to refer to the roulette table layout page to see where the areas are located.
You will win more often by placing these bets since each bet involves a larger group of numbers. While you’ll see chips being pushed your way more often, keep in mind that these bets pay either two-to-one or even money. So, you may win more often, but you won’t win much each time around. Here are the roulette rules involving outside bets:
Even Money Bets
Even money bets are those that pay out in a one-to-one ratio. There are three even money bets: Red and Black; Odd and Even; and High and Low (1 to 18 and 19 to 36). All of these can be found along the left edge of the roulette table.
There are two bets on the roulette table that pay out in a two-to-one ratio. These include the Column Bets and Dozen Bets. Each of these bets offers three choices. For column bets, you can bet on the first, second or third column and for dozen bets you bet on either the first, second or third set of 12 numbers.
Inside bets are reverse scenarios of outside bets. With these, you will win less often as you are betting on only a few of the 36 or 37 possible outcomes. However, when you do win, the payouts can be as high as 35-to-one. Here are the roulette rules involving inside bets:
This bet indicates that the player is betting that one of six numbers will come up. The payout is five-to-one. To make this bet, place your chip(s) on the intersection of the two lines of three numbers. Example: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18; the chips would be placed on the intersection of 31 and 34.
Five-Number Bet (US table only)
There is only one bet of this kind and involves the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. The payout is six-to-one. To make this bet, place your chip(s) on the top, left-hand corner of the number 1, which is also the bottom, left-hand corner of the number 0.
This bet indicates that the player is betting that one of four numbers will come up. To make this bet, place your chip(s) at the intersection of the four numbers. Example: 13, 14, 16 and 17.
Placing such a bet means that the player is wagering that one of three numbers will come up. The payout is 11-to-one Bets can be made in different places on the table by putting the chip(s) at the end of the line of numbers (horizontally). Example: 13, 14 and 15.
This bet indicates the two numbers that the player is betting will come up. The payout is 17-to-one. To make this bet, place your chip(s) overlapping the two numbers. Example: 10 and 13.
This bet indicates the number, which the player is betting will come up. The payoff is 35-to-one. To make this bet, place your chip(s) on the number(s) of your choice.
There is a little bit more to roulette rules than just understanding the variety of bets that can be made. You should also know what happens at the roulette table and the general flow of the game. Knowing this will allow you to apply the roulette rules that you have just learned more effectively. Visit my section on roulette table etiquette when placing roulette bets.