The Rules of Roulette

The game of roulette first appeared in France in the late 1700s. It was soon widely popular and quickly migrated to North America. From there it headed northward, up the Mississippi River in floating casinos and riverboats, and then west. During its travels it was changed a bit to combat cheating, and the original French version is quite a bit different from the modern American version.

The rules and format of the American version appears most prominently, however, and it is the rules and style of this variant that will be discussed. In many areas of Europe, the only difference between roulette there and in the United States is the appearance of a single zero on both the wheel and layout. In the United States, casino owners added the double zero on the wheel and layout to encourage players to take their chances.

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In fact, this extra zero actually decreased the likelihood of winning, unless the player was wagering on the appearance of the single and double zeros. This is because the addition of another house slot translates to a smaller chance of the player winning.

So, how do you play? You must take a seat at the table and purchase your chips. This is the primary rule of the game – watchers must remain standing, and cannot sit at the table, and if you want to be seated you must purchase chips and begin to play. Only the dealer or croupier can make the sales and exchanges of chips. This is because chips in a game of Roulette have their value or denomination assigned only by the player. The dealer will hand each player a distinct and single color of chips, and then place a marker on a rail of the table to indicate what the dollar amount is for that player. At the end of the player’s gaming they must cash in only at the Roulette table, where it will be only the dealer who knows the value of the chips.

After buying chips players can then make their bets. To bet and win you must try to guess which of the thirty-seven numbers the ball is going to land on. Of course betting is not limited to only a single number. Bets can be made in the outside or inside varieties, which indicates where on the layout table the chips will be placed. The inside bets are a great deal more specific and less likely to occur than the outside bets. For example, inside bets include single numbers or distinct sets of numbers and outside bets include the red or black bets and the odds or evens bets.

A breakdown of all outside bets follows:

  • Red/Black bets are placed on a specific color and pay one to one.
  • Odd/Even bets are placed on an odd or even number and pay one to one.
  • High/Low bets are made on the “1-18” or the “19-36” spaces and pay one to one.
  • Dozen bets are made on the “1-12”, the “13-24”, or the “25-36” spaces and pay
    two to one.
  • Column bets are made by placing chips in the space at the bottom of one of the
    three columns on the layout table and pay two to one.

A breakdown of all inside bets follows:

  • Straight bets on a single number that pays thirty five to one.
  • Split bets are on two neighboring numbers and pay seventeen to one.
  • Street bets are laid at end of one row on the panel and pay eleven to one.
  • Corner bets are laid on intersections of four numbers and pay eight to one.
  • Line bets are for six numbers and are placed on lines between two “streets”.
    They pay five to one.