How to Play Roulette

The object of roulette is to correctly guess where the ball will land on the roulette wheel. You can guess an exact number, a group of numbers, or a color. The wheel is about three feet wide and contains either 37 or 38 pockets, depending on whether or not a 00 pocket is included. The 00 is much more common in American than in Europe, and it increases the house edge dramatically. The pockets are evenly divided into red and black, except for the 0 and 00 pockets, which are green. Most casinos allow up to six people to play on a single roulette table.

Placing Bets

Before you can begin playing roulette, you need to get special roulette chips. Each player at the table will have a different color, and the chips can be in any denomination you choose. So it is possible to have one person playing with $5 chips and another with $50 chips at the same table!

In order to place your bet, all you have to do is slide your chips out onto the appropriate section of the roulette table layout. You can make bets while the wheel is still spinning, up until the wheel slows and the dealer announces that betting has closed.

Here are the types of bets you can place:

Inside Bets

As the name suggests, inside bets are placed using the interior section of the table layout. These bets carry long odds and high payouts. You can make several different inside bets, as long as your total meets the table minimum and does not exceed the table maximum.

  • Straight Up – A bet on a single number. Pays 35 to 1.
  • Split Bet – A bet on two adjacent numbers. Pays 17 to 1. To make this bet, place your chips on the line between the numbers
  • Street Bet – A bet on a row of three numbers. Pays 11 to 1. To make this bet, place your chips on the line between the row and the outside betting area.
  • Double Street Bet – A bet on two rows of numbers. Pays 5 to1. Place your chips as you would for a street bet, but allow them to touch the line between the two rows as well.
  • Corner Bet – A bet on four numbers that share a corner. Pays 8 to 1.
  • Basket Bet – A bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. Pays 6 to 1.

Outside Bets

You can also place broader bets using the boxes outside the number grid, which are known collectively as the outside betting area. You cannot split bets in this area. If you choose to make an inside and outside bet on the same spin, each bet must meet the table minimum.

  • Red/Black – Bet whether the ball will land on red or black. Pays even money.
  • Odd/Even – Bet whether the ball will land on odd or even. Pays even money.
  • High/Low – Bet whether the ball will land on 1-18 or 19-36. Pays even money.
  • Dozens Bet – A bet on 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36. Pays 2 to 1.
  • Column Bet – A bet on one of the three columns of numbers in the inside betting area. Pays 2 to 1.


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