Roulette Basics: How To Play

Ok, so you’ve decided to try your luck at the tables.  Let’s play some roulette!  It’s basically guessing where a little ball is gonna land when you spin it around a big wheel.  It sounds kind of silly, but you’ll get into it once you get the ball rolling.  Here, we’re going to cover the basics of the game:

  • Roulette starts with bets by the players.  The minimum amount depends on the table, which itself depends on the casino.  For casinos in the NC area, expect to see minimum bets in the $10 – $15 range at the cheapest tables, and lots of $25 tables around the casino, especially during peak hours like weekends.  In high limit areas, the minimum bet is $50 or more.
    • Betting can be done “Inside” or “Outside”.  “Inside” bets are on the actual numbers, 1-36, 0, and 00.  “Outside” bets are on rows/columns of numbers as presented on the table or other outcomes.  For example, you can bet on the Outside line the the ball will land on a Black number, or an Even number, or on a value of 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36.
    • Most casinos have the betting minimums for Inside and Outside handled separately.  So, if the minimum bet is $10, you have to bet at least that much on Inside bets, or on Outside bets (or both).  You don’t have to put all your money in one spot, though.  You can bet a few bucks each on your favorite numbers, or spread outside bets between Red and Odd numbers, things like that.
    • “Straight up” betting on one number pays 35 to 1.  You can win big if you hit numbers straight up.  You can also bet on groups of numbers by putting it along the line, which pays reduced odds.  Split betting on two numbers pays 17 to 1, “Street” betting on three numbers pays 11 to 1, and Corner betting (with the chip placed on the lines intersecting four numbers) pays 8 to 1.
    • Color betting (red or black) and Even or odd betting pays 1 to 1.  Bet $10, and you’ll win $10 if you’re right.  Column or betting on 12 numbers pays 2 to 1, Dozen betting (1st 12, etc.) pays 3 to 1.
  • Hand your chips to the dealer, and they’ll change them into a different colored chip that you can use to place bets on the table.  They do this so they can keep track of all the different bets from different players.  You’ll get blue, your friend will get green, the lady next to you has yellow, and so on.  Otherwise it’d be easy to get wins and losses from all the different players and bets mixed up!
    • Note that these roulette chips are useless at other game tables.  When you’re done playing roulette, or even if you’re getting up to try your luck at a different roulette wheel, you need to cash in with the table and switch back to the regular chips.
  • The dealer will let everyone work on the bets, and when everyone’s ready, he or she will toss the ball onto the wheel and spin it.  You’ll still have five seconds or so after the ball starts rolling around to finish up your betting.  The dealer will announce, “No more bets!” when the ball drops from the track onto the wheel, at which point its time to put yourself at the mercy of Lady Luck.
  • Once the ball lands, the dealer places a marker on the winning number.  Losing bets wiped off the table, and then the dealer pays out the winners.  This can take a minute or two.
  • Rinse and repeat!  You are now playing roulette!

Easy, right?  Sit down and play and you’ll get into a flow pretty quickly.  Also, the dealers at your table are happy to instruct you on how to play and bet properly.  Don’t be shy, try it out!