It’s one of the most popular games in any casino and at a number of charity events; the long table with the checkerboard squares calling to the new and experienced gambler. But what’s roulette all about and how can you get started without spending money on expensive books and computer programs? Read on and find out how simple roulette is and how complicated it can be for the professional player!
Let’s first take a look at the playing surface and what you see as you approach the table. The first thing that will catch your eye is the round spinning disk at one end, a bright white marble hopping around the polished wooden border. Around the interior of the circle are black and red numbers with one or two special green areas sectioned off with small metal rails to allow the marble to dance around the disk and finally land in a single spot. The numbers range from one to thirty-six, with alternating red and black colors assigned to each one. There are also two other special numbers, zero and double-zero, which may not appear on all tables. These will usually be highlighted in green to make them stand out from the rest of the table and rightly so – usually the payout for these numbers is higher than the rest.
The croupier, or dealer, will start the inner circle spinning and then flip the white marble into the centre where it will eventually end up in one of the numbered slots. Depending on where it lands you can win a little or a lot of money.
Beside the roulette wheel is the checkerboard where you lay down your bets. This consists of three rows with each square numbered the same as the wheel, from one to thirty-six with one or two extra areas set aside for zero or double zero. But you can win in more ways than just choosing the exact number, which may be rather daunting for the new gambler!
Aside from the three rows there are a variety of other squares branching off on the table, allowing you to make other bets that will also allow you to win – but not as much as choosing the exact number.
For the new gambler you may feel more comfortable making bets on something a bit simpler, as in whether the marble will land on red or black or perhaps odd or even numbers. You can also bet on whether the marble will land somewhere in a group of numbers. These bets are obviously 50/50, with a return of exactly the same amount you bet if you win. This is a good way to play for a long time with limited funds, since the odds are as equal as you can get.
Understanding the numbers
Speaking of odds, let’s take a look at the odds at the roulette table. Here’s an easy chart outlining what your odds are at winning:
Even Number 1:1
Odd Number 1:1
Between Numbers 1-18 1:1
Between Numbers 19-36 1:1
Between Numbers 1-12 2:1
Between Numbers 13-24 2:1
Between Numbers 25-36 2:1
Any Column 2:1 (this relates to the three rows on the table, which is a different bet from the groupings of numbers above.)
Any Exact Number 35:1
As you can see the odds go up dramatically if you wish to bet on a single number rather than something as broad as red versus black. But you can actually bet on more than one number with a single bet – and this is how you do it, along with the odds.
Where the lines meet on the three rows is a valid betting area, allowing you to bet on two to six numbers depending on where you place the chip. This allows you to cover more numbers, but the odds change dramatically as you can guess. Here are the odds for placing your chips on the intersections if you want to place your bets this way.
Going deeper with Roulette Numbers
Two-number combination 17:1 (0 and 00 only)
Three-number combination 11:1
Four-number combination 8:1
Five-number combination 6:1
Six-number combination 5:1
As you can see the odds are much better if you go with the less exact bets, such as red or black. But choosing just a single number can give you a large return on a bet, obviously.
But appearances can be deceiving – you would think that a simple bet on red or black gives you a fifty percent chance of winning… and you’d be wrong!
One of the mistakes most newcomers to this type of gambling make is to assume that the odds are automatically fifty/fifty due to the two colors and neglect the zero or double zero. True, some roulette tables don’t have the double zero space but all do include at least the zero and this skews the math slightly. The marble is just as likely to fall into the green square as it is into the red or black areas, so be aware and bet accordingly.
Now we come to the best part of gambling – placing your bet! The croupier, or dealer, will drop the marble onto the spinner and announce to place your bets. At this point you should be placing your chips exactly where you want them to be – accuracy is very important here as even an inch can change a winning bet to a losing one. Swiftly place your chips where you want them on the table and then keep your hands by your side or on the railing, away from your chips. It may seem extreme but many gaming security experts have caught gamblers either exchanging their chips for higher or lower ones based on the winning number or even withdrawing them from the table altogether. The more you work with the dealer and with the table the less likely you are to incur any problems with your stay at the gaming venue.
Happy or Sad Marble?
As the marble bounces around the spinner it will begin to slow and at a certain point the dealer will announce “No more bets” and wave his hand over the table, not touching any of the chips but signalling that no more bets are to be placed. If you do try to place your chips on the table the dealer will move them back to you and refuse your bet at this point. This is why it is important to be confident and place your chips as soon as the table opens for betting.
Once the marble falls into a slot the dealer will announce the color and the number and then begin to deal with the chips on the table. He or she will pull away all the losing bets and then begin to pay out to the winning gamblers. Gambling etiquette dictates that you should wait until the dealer is finished with your chips before moving to retrieve your winnings and then wait until the table opens again for the next round before placing your chips.
Now that you’re acquainted with the basics of roulette, let’s discuss some of the gambling tactics you may wish to employ to enjoy this game to the fullest.
Small bets will always increase your game time but will also generate low winnings if you do pick the right number. But at the same time placing all your money on a single number and then losing will send you out of the gaming venue within minutes. So be sure to keep the odds in your mind as you place your bets as well as judging how your particular lucky streak is running that day.
Mistake a lot of gamblers make
A mistake many new gamblers make is to keep track of the previous winning numbers and base their bets on what has or hasn’t come up yet. The odds that red will come up if a black number has hit the past ten times is exactly the same as if red had hit for the previous twenty times. Each spin of the wheel is a new blank slate for the gambling enthusiast and many beginners forget that there is no rhythm that someone can study and track.
Another way to extend your gameplay is to spread your bets out across the table. Most gaming tables have a minimum bet which is the lowest amount of money you can play per round. This can be as low as five dollars or as high as twenty-five or even more. But that doesn’t mean that you have to place a five dollar chip on a single spot each round! Instead, why not get five one-dollar chips and then spread the wealth around a bit and see if you can win multiple times on the same bet.
Yes, you can win more than once on a single bet. For example, if you place a dollar chip on the color Red, an Odd number and landing in the range between 1-18 you would win three times! So for an initial investment of three one-dollar chips you would get a return of six dollars! True, this won’t have you rushing to quit your job but you will be extending your gaming playtime and increase your profit. So spread out your bets and have more fun!
The game of roulette can be intimidating to a new gambling enthusiast, but you can be betting like a professional in no time and having a great time at the table. So why not head on over to the nearest roulette table next time you visit a casino and see how your luck is doing? Who knows, you may be a natural gambling expert?