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You’ve all seen roulette.  Players place bets on a number, a ball is spun in the roulette wheel, and the number that the ball falls into is the winner. Roulette is one of the quickest games to learn, and is quite popular simply for that fact alone.

Roulette is also a much more relaxing game than say, blackjack, thanks to part to roulette’s slower pace.  However, the house edge is also greater in roulette, so over the long run, gamblers will lose more money in roulette than they would in most other games.

The Roulette Wheel and the Spin

There are 38 slots in a standard roulette wheel, the numbers 1 to 36 and the 0 and 00 slots.  Players may bet on a specific number or grouping of numbers, even or odd, and red or black.  After the dealer says “no more bets” the roulette wheel will be spun and the ball will settle into one of the slots.

Single Zero

There will be a few casinos with just one 0 on the roulette wheel.  These casinos are typically located in the gambling centers of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  If you come across one of these casinos, make a note.  Having just one zero lowers the house edge and gives much better odds to the even money bets of  red, black, even, odd, 1-18, and 19-36.

European Rules

Casinos in Europe have some rules advantageous for the player and less favorable for the house.  In one of these rules, the “en prison” rule, which states that if a player makes an even money bet and the ball falls into a zero, the player will either get half of the bet back, or the bet will become imprisoned.

If the bet is imprisoned, the next spin will determine the bet’s fate.  If the bet wins on the next spin, the player gets the whole bet back, without a payout, and if the bet loses, it is gone for good.  There is a similar rule called “La Partage” where the player simply gets half the bet back, with no imprisonment.

Roulette Strategy

In Roulette, if you win big in a short amount of time, that is your cue to flee the scene of the crime.  In the long run, you will lose money in roulette.  That is a fact, and every theory that has tried to prove otherwise is a complete falsehood. If you get lucky and win, and you care about the money, get out.

Here is a payout table for a standard Roulette game in the U.S.  It is arranged from most probable to least probable.

Player’s Bet Payout Probability (percent)
Red 1:1 47.37%
Black 1:1 47.37%
Even 1:1 47.37%
Odd 1:1 47.37%
1-18 1:1 47.37%
19-36 1:1 47.37%
1-12 2:1 31.58%
13-24 2:1 31.58%
25-36 2:1 31.58%
Six Number Combination 5:1 15.79%
0, 00, 1, 2, 3 Combination 6:1 13.16%
Four Number Combination 8:1 10.53%
Three Number Combination 11:1 7.89%
Two Number Combination 17:1 5.26%
Any One Number 35:1 2.63%

Where to Play Roulette Online

You can now play roulette for free or for real on the internet. I’ve compiled a list of Mac compatible online casinos where you can play roulette online.