Unlike other casino games, roulette is purely a game of chance, so you don’t need a deep knowledge of roulette strategies to get started. It’s fun, easy to play and consists of short games, so you can walk away whenever you feel your luck has run out.
The history of roulette
Most historians believe the game was invented by French physicist and mathematician Blaise Pascal, but it wasn’t a casino game he was interested in. He was actually attempting to build a perpetual motion machine. Fortunately for us, his failed invention quickly became a popular game.
The original roulette wheel looked very similar to today’s wheel, but without the zero or double zero. The first zero was added by Francois and Lois Blanc for King Charles of Monaco, whose country had run into financial trouble. King Charles set up casinos to bring in additional revenue. The game quickly became a big draw for gamblers, and Monte Carlo became a mecca for upscale gambling.
When the game made its way to the U.S., the double zero was added to increase the house odds of winning. But despite the change, the game remained popular in American casinos.
How to play the game
The rules of roulette are simple, making it very easy for anyone to walk up to the table and give it a try. Like many other games, roulette is played with betting chips. Once the croupier (or dealer) opens up the table for bets, it’s time to play.
There are two sets of bets you can make — inside bets and outside bets — but more on that later. Each table in the casino will have a bet minimum. Though you can place bets inside and outside the table, your inside total must reach the table minimum and each outside bet must reach the table minimum.
As players are placing bets, the croupier will spin the ball around the wheel. Players can continue to bet until the croupier calls for no more bets. When the ball lands on a number, the play ends and any player who bet on that number (or a feature of that number) is paid out. Do not remove your chips from the table until the dealer removes the mark.
Then, the game begins again.
Roulette bets and potential payouts
Roulette bets fall into two categories: inside and outside bets. With inside bets, you’re betting on a number or small group of numbers and can earn a higher payout. Outside bets have a lower payout, but you have a greater chance of winning. Note that 0 and 00 are not included in outside bets.
- Number bet (betting on one number between 00 and 36): Pays 35 to 1
- Split bets (betting on two numbers next to each other on the table): Pays 17 to 1
- Trio bet (betting on three numbers next to each other on the table): Pays 11 to 1
- Corner bet (betting on four numbers that meet at the corners): Pays 8 to 1
- Five-number bet (betting on 00, 0 and 1-3): Pays 6 to 1
- Six-number bet (betting two adjacent rows of numbers): Pays 5 to 1
- Column bet (betting on all numbers within a column): Pays 2 to 1
- Dozen bet (betting on either 1-12,13-24, 25-36): Pays 2 to 1
- Evens or odds: Pays 1 to 1
- Red or black: Pays 1 to 1
- High or low (betting on 1-18 or 19-36): Pays 1 to 1
Ready to give roulette a try? Find a bar or restaurant that offers electronic roulette near you.