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Roulette for Beginners

Image Credit: Carmelo Speltino.

Roulette is essentially the iconic casino table game. It originated in France, and the name translates from the original French as “little wheel”. Most of the decisions in Roulette come from the betting choices made by the player. Our Roulette for Beginners Guide will show you the first steps to get into it!

The wheel itself is split into a variety of compartments that are colored in alternative red and black, and are individually numbered.

There are a number of betting options in the betting area, which is split into two segments. One is comprised of the individual numbers, and their associated color, and outside of this there are boxes for column, red or black, odd or even bets and different number groups.

Roulette varies slightly between the American version and the European or French version.

The American version has 38 slots and two zero slots. This is a bigger player handicap and also means that the game has a high house advantage of 5.4%.

The European version is more player friendly, with an advantage of 2.7%, since it’s made up of 37 slots with only one zero. Also, in French Roulette the “La Partage” or surrender rule also lowers the house edge by 0.5% to 1.35%.

This rule states that should the spin be zero, then those who placed even money bets can take half of their original bet back.

How to Get Started?

The actual spin of Roulette is out of the player’s hands, since most of the strategy and skill arises from the betting strategy used by the player.

In Roulette, the player places bets on the betting area for roulette and there are plenty of options. The player can place a bet on a single number, a range of numbers, colors, and odd or even numbers.

There is a limited time in which the player can place bets, and shortly after the wheel is released the dealer will call “no more bets”. The winning bets will be paid after each spin.

To get an idea for the bets that can be made, their payout and probability see the table below:

BetExplanationPayoutProbability of winning
Low numbersNumbers running from 1-181 to 1 48%
High numbersNumbers running from 19-361 to 148%
Odd numbersOdd numbers1 to 1 48%
Even numbers Even numbers1 to 148%
Red Red slots1 to 148%
BlackBlack slots1 to 148%
1st twelve numbersNumbers 1 to 122 to 1 31%
2nd twelve numbersNumbers 13 to 242 to 131%
3rd twelve numbersNumbers 25 to 36 2 to 131%
Column betsThe numbers running vertically in the betting area, every 3rd number2 to 131%
Six line betting A bet on a segment containing 6 numbers5 to 116-17%
Corner betting4 numbers going out from a corner8 to 111%
Street bettingBets on 3 numbers in a row11 to 18%
Split betting Two numbers that lie next to each other on the betting area 17 to 15-6%
Straight UpA bet on a single number35 to 13%

Roulette Strategy

 There are quite a few betting strategies that will help you win at Roulette, or at least help you get ahead in the game.

One of the simplest strategies is to bet 5 on reds, blacks, odds or evens, for example, and if you win, keep the same bet, if you lose double it. The odds loosely show that you should rather walk away with more money than less, but there are more sophisticated strategies to help you out.

Another strategy is to write down one to six, you can use a pen and paper at the Roulette wheel, and take the sum of the first and the last number (so 1 and 6 = 7), if you win, move onto the next first and last number (2 and 5 so still 7), if you lose, add another number and sum this with the lowest number left. Go on until you have no more numbers left.

The James Bond strategy comes from Ian Fleming’s iconic spy, who devised a successful method of playing at Roulette, although it means you’ll need a bit more than normal to play at the game. In this case, you bet $14 on high numbers (19-36), $5 on 13-18 and $1 on 0. You get approximately $30 per win, and the only time you won’t win anything is if a number ranging from 1 to 12 comes out.


Roulette Tips and Tricks

  1. Always play European Roulette, not American Roulette
  2. Always bet an outside bet, unless coupled with a strategy like the James Bond one.
  3. Reserve whatever you win. Say you start with $50 and have a total sum of $1000. Withdraw what you won, then you cannot lose, only draw even. Keep the money you win and play with the original amount on the stake.

beginners guide for roulette

Roulette Table (Image Credit: Stuart-Buchanan)

Roulette Rules

US Roulette Rules:

1. An American Roulette wheel has 38 numbered slots running from 1 to 36,along with a zero and a double zero.

2. The betting area is comprised of individual numbers as well as outside bets that are based on combination of numbers or colors.

3. Once players have made their bets, the dealer spins the wheel.

4. In Atlantic City, even money bets follow the European surrender rule,meaning that if the ball lands in 0 or 00 the player only loses half of the bet.


European Roulette Rules:

1. This is played on a single wheel with numbers 1-36 and one zero.

2. If the player makes an even money bet, then he or she only loses half ofwager if the ball lands in zero. This is known as “la partage”.


Universal rules:

1. Seats at the table are for players only

2. Play begins after the dealer cleared off losing bets and paid winners fromprevious spin

3. After the spin has begun, players may keep betting until the ball is aboutto drop from the track at the top of the wheel, then the dealer will call “no more bets”.

Now it is time to try your Roulette Skills


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About the author

Barbara is a German-born Austrian with unresolved identity issues and a degree in Ecology and Nature Conservation. She doesn't have a degree in journalism or any related field, but such details can't keep her from being one of the best.

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