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Everything you need to know to become a roulette master

Roulette, or roullete, is one of the most popular games in casinos. Players and onlookers always gather near the gaming table waiting to see the ball drop and celebrate the victory of the lucky winner. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gambler, read on and learn everything you need to know to play roulette without missing a single detail and improve your chances of being the next winner!

Get to know all the elements of roulette

The origins of roulette go back hundreds of years: there is evidence that the first ancestor of roulette, the wheel of fortune, was already popular in Greco-Roman times. However, between those ancient chariot wheels and modern casino machines, there have been many changes and elements that have finally shaped the roulette wheels that you can now play online. These are mainly composed of 3 elements: a rotating wheel or cylindera board or cloth and a ball. We will explain each of these elements in depth so that you can get to know them like the back of your hand:

  • Wheel or cylinder: This is the part of the roulette wheel where the ball spins. It has a circular design with a pole in the center where the ball is placed and, on its sides, the numbers from 0 to 36 are distributed as follows: except in the case of zero, 5 and 10 (which are placed together in front of zero), the rest of the numbers are aligned in such a way that next to a number less than or equal to 18 there is always a number greater than 18. This non-linear distribution is not the result of a whim: in 1645, Blaise Pascal, the father of modern roulette, designed the wheel in such a way that all numbers had the same chance of winning, whether they were high or low. This classic European roulette layout is even more irregular in the case of American roulette, which incorporates another square with a 00 (double zero), improving the banker's chances.
  • Table, cloth, board or mat: This is the part of the roulette wheel where players place their bets. It is usually a dark green cloth, divided into two parts: the inner and the outer part. The inner part is where the "inside bets" or direct bets can be placed and where the numbers are located. The zero (and the double zero in the case of American roulette wheels) is located in the upper part and the rest of the numbers are distributed linearly in 3 columns. On the outer part (on the sides of the numbers) are placed the boxes for the "outside bets": odd/even, red/black, dozens, columns, numbers from 1 to 18 (low) and numbers from 19 to 36 (high). To play, players must place their chips in the boxes they wish to bet on.
  • Ball: This is the element that will determine the winning number. At the beginning of the game, the croupier will throw the ball in such a way that it will spin on the inside of the wheel. When it loses speed, the croupier will announce to the players that they cannot place any more bets and all that remains is to wait for the ball to land in one of the squares.

Learn the roulette rules step by step

The first step is to select the color of your chips, which will allow you to identify your bets on the board. Once you know the color of your chips, you must choose the value of each one and start placing your bets by placing as many chips as you want on the board squares of your choice: you can place inside bets (betting on the numbers) or outside bets (betting on the general characteristics of the numbers, such as whether the winning number will be odd or even, red or black, high or low, etc.). You can place as many bets as you like and place as many chips per bet as you prefer to increase the value of the bet. The more chips you place in the same box, the higher the reward if it is a winner. Keep in mind that in each table there is a minimum bet value that you must meet for your game to be valid.

When the dealer releases the ball and it starts to spin, he/she will announce "no more" or "no more bets", to let the players know that they can no longer place any more bets or changes on the board. Once the ball stops spinning and lands in a pocket, the dealer will announce the winning number and the winning bets. Losing bets will be removed from the table and winning bets will be paid.

What happens when the ball lands on 0 or 00? Players can bet on zero as on any other number on the board. However, since it is a neutral number that has no attributes (it is neither even nor odd, red or black, nor does it fall under any of the other outside bets), if the ball lands on this number, the outside bets will not be paid or they will lose half of what they bet, depending on the type of roulette wheel.

Types of bets you can make in roulette

The trick of roulette is to know very well which are the types of bets you can make, since they will allow you to establish the best strategy. The first thing you should know is that bets are divided into two types: inside bets and outside bets. Also, keep in mind that, depending on the odds of success, there are differences between the payout ratios. The payout ratios indicate the amount that the player will be paid if his bet is correct. A payout ratio of 5 to 1, for example, means that for every 1 chip wagered, the bank will pay 5 to the player if he wins. In this sense, the bets with a higher probability of success (the outside bets) have a lower payout ratio, while the more difficult bets (the inside bets) have a higher payout.

We will begin by explaining in detail the types of external bets:

  • Red or black: This box allows the player to bet on whether the ball will land in a red or black box. As there are 18 red numbers and 18 black numbers in roulette, the odds of hitting are almost 50% (the 0 or 00 number squares cannot be taken into account). This is why this type of bet is paid 1 to 1.
  • Even or odd: In this case the player will bet whether the winning number will be odd or even. Again the odds in both cases are almost 50%, so this bet also pays 1 to 1.
  • High or low number: The 36 roulette numbers are further divided into two blocks: the first 18 numbers fall into the "low" category, and the numbers from 19 to 36 are the "high" numbers. The odds are almost 50% for either case, so again the bet pays 1 to 1.
  • Dozen: The 36 roulette numbers are also divided into a total of 3 dozens: from 1 to 12, from 13 to 24 and from 25 to 36. Betting on one of these dozens decreases the odds by having 3 possible options, so in this case the bet pays 2 to 1.
  • Column: In this case, the player is allowed to bet on an entire column of the 3 columns on the board, allowing betting on all 12 numbers in that column. Again, the payout ratio is 2 to 1.

Let's continue with the internal bets. These allow you to bet on the part of the cloth where the roulette numbers are located. Next, we will explain in detail all the different combinations of inside bets:

  • Direct bet, full, single number, or straight:This is the highest type of bet, since in this case we only bet on a single number, being the case where the chances of winning are lower. This is why the payout for this type of bet is paid at 35 to 1.
  • Horse, semi-full, pair of numbers, split bet: Placing the chip at the intersection between two numbers, allows us to bet on both at the same time. In this case, the bet it pays 17 to 1.
  • Street, triplet, transversal, three lines or street: It is used to bet on 3 close numbers in the same row. To do so, you must place the chip at the end of the row. If you guess correctly, you will be rewarded with a payment of 11 to 1.
  • Square, pocket, block of four or corner: This bet allows you to bet on 4 contiguous numbers by placing the chip on the intersection of their 4 corners. Successful bets are paid 8 to 1.
  • Top line bet: Only available in Russian and French roulette, it allows you to bet on the first 3 numbers of the top line plus the number 0 square, allowing you to bet on a total of 4 numbers. Payout is 8 to 1.
  • Five or base bet: Only available in American roulette, as it allows you to bet on the 5 numbers that are together between 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The payouts are 6 to 1.
  • Line: It is similar to the street bet, but in this case it allows you to bet on two contiguous lines, that is, 6 numbers at a time. To do so, you must place the chip at the intersection of both rows at the end of the board. It is the lowest of the inside bets, since it pays 5 to 1.

The types of roulettes you can play online

When playing online roulette, it is very important that you know the different types that exist, since not all of them follow the same rules and formats. Basically, there are 3 different types of roulette:

French Roulette

French roulette can be considered as the most classic type of roulette, due to the French origin of the game. It is the type of roulette with the largest table, so it is sometimes necessary the assistance of up to 3 croupiers to manage the game.

Its structure is composed of a total of 37 numbers (all numbers from 1 to 36 and a single 0). The table or game board follows the most traditional style, with the numbers from 1 to 36 distributed in 3 columns and alternating red and black colors; and the number 0 placed at the beginning of the board in a separate box. On both sides of the numbers where the inside bets are placed, there are the different boxes for the outside bets: low numbers from 1 to 18 (manque) and high numbers from 19 to 36 (pass), even numbers (pair) and odd numbers (impair) and color (red or black). Below the board, there are the 3 betting boxes for each column and, next to them, the bets on the dozen: "P" or premier (first), "M" or milieu (middle) and "D" or dernier (last).

There are two types of special bets that can only be made in French roulette, "la partage" and "en prison". These bets are key when placing outside bets since, if the ball lands on the number zero, two situations can apply: in the case of "la partage", the dealer returns 50% of his bet to the player; in the case of "en prison", the player can opt for two options, either that the dealer retains only 50% of his bet, or "imprison" the bet until the next throw of the ball to have a new chance of hitting his bet.

American Roulette

The American version of roulette has a notorious peculiarity, which is the incorporation of the 00 or double zero, which makes a total of 38 numbers (the numbers from 1 to 36, the 0 and the 00). The existence of the 00 improves the house edge, since there is a greater chance that the ball will land in a box where outside bets are not valid. In addition, the "in prison" rule is not valid in this type of roulette, so if the ball lands on any of the zeros, simple outside bets are lost.

On the board, as in French roulette, the numbers for the inside bets are distributed in 3 columns, only at the top are the 0 and 00, which allows a special type of bet on the first 5 numbers (0, 00, 1, 2 and 3) with a single chip, known as "five". Unlike French roulette, in American roulette all outside bets are on the same side of the numbers (with the exception of column bets which are at the end of the column).

Another peculiarity of American roulette is that players can only play by exchanging their money for colored chips, which makes it easier to place bets and identify each player's bets, since all players have a different color.

European Roulette

It is probably the most widespread version of roulette in casinos today, as it is a type of game that combines elements of French roulette and American roulette.

As in French roulette, the board has a total of 37 numbers (1 zero and the numbers from 1 to 36), so the banker's advantage is smaller compared to American roulette. However, the table layout is much more similar to American roulette, as all outside bets are on the same side and are usually indicated in English. Also in the case of European roulette, colored chips are used to identify each player's bets, and the "in prison" rule cannot be used.

A peculiarity of European roulette is the existence of a "race track", a playing area that reproduces the actual order of the numbers on the wheel but on the table, which makes it much easier to place special bets by being able to place the chip directly on the indicated area.

Tips for playing online roulette

Roulette is primarily a game of chance, but even so, there are some strategies that can help you significantly improve the odds of hitting your bets. So, if you are new to the world of casino betting or if you are just starting to play roulette, it is important to keep these tips in mind.

Take advantage of free online roulette demos

Some online roulette games allow you to try their demos for free. Although the free versions do not allow you to play with real money or to collect the prizes obtained in case of winning, they are an ideal tool to start familiarizing yourself with the dynamics of the game and to test the different types of bets, which will allow you to form your best strategy to win.

Choose the type of roulette with the best benefits

Once you are ready to start betting with real money, it is important to take into account which are the most beneficial types of roulette for the player. In this sense, it is advisable to start playing European roulette and avoid American roulette since, as it has two zeros, the latter improves the banker's odds and reduces the player's ones.

Don't just stick to outside bets

Although you have probably heard that for beginners it is advisable to place only outside bets (as they are the most likely to be successful), the truth is that, if you only limit yourself to playing outside bets, although in the short term the chances of success are higher, in the long term they are practically of no benefit, as they are the types of bets that offer the lowest rewards. Therefore, although it is advisable to place outside bets when starting to dabble in roulette, it is also important to place some inside bets, as these are the ones that have real value in roulette. It is best to start by combining outside bets with non-direct inside bets, avoiding single numbers that are less likely to hit. Try combining line, street or corner bets to start.

Avoid covering the table

Although betting on as many numbers as possible may sound tempting, since it increases the probability of winning, the truth is that the strategy of "covering the table" is quite risky for those who are just starting out in the world of roulette, since, in the event of not hitting any number, the losses will also be very large.

Control your budget... But also your profits!

It may go without saying that you need to set a limit on how much money you can bet, but many players are surprised when they are advised to set a winnings limit as well. Why stop playing when I'm on a winning streak? Not only is it important to set a maximum budget so that you don't bet more than you can afford, but also to know how much to win, otherwise you are likely to lose what you have already won. It is very important to know how much to play to maintain a healthy and responsible game so, before playing, make sure you have established a maximum betting budget and a target winnings to stop playing once you have reached it.

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