There’s arguably never been a more iconic casino game than roulette! You buy your chips. You place your bets. You watch the wheel spin. Then you win or you lose. It’s the ultimate game of chance. No skill or expertise required, it’s all down to luck….or is it?
This guide is meant to comprehensively break this classic game down to its roots, from the mechanics to the betting systems to the different variations available to play. Read on and become a Roulette pro!
But first and foremost, a brief history: The facts about the invention of roulette remain somewhat murky but a popular theory is that an early version of the game was accidentally invented in the mid–17th century by Frenchman Blaise Pascal.
Pascal was an inventor, physicist, and mathematician and he attempted to create a perpetual motion machine, that is, a machine that operates without drawing energy from external sources. He did not succeed but supposedly, the first primitive roulette wheel was born from this venture.
However it happened, roulette as a game continued to evolve and spread through casinos worldwide, becoming extremely popular in Europe and America by the 19th century. Its popularity has not waned even in contemporary times. In fact, with the advent of online casinos, roulette has seen a boom in popularity and is now more accessible than ever for the average person!
Roulette: The Wheel, The Table, & The Wager
Now, let’s talk about HOW roulette actually plays! First, here are all components you can find in a game of roulette:
- A spinning roulette wheel that is usually segmented into 37 numbered sections (some table variations may have 38 or 39). There’s also a ball that spins within the roulette wheel and the winning bet is chosen based on where the ball lands.
- A betting table with 36 numbered squares from 1 to 36 and that are coloured either black or red. There’s also an additional 0 square (or 0 AND 00 depending on roulette variation). All of these represent their equivalent value on the roulette wheel.
- Chips to represent monetary value, each player will have different coloured chips and the exact value of each chip depends on the individual roulette table.
Now that we have all our components, here is the objective: By using the betting table, players place wagers on where they think the ball will land, before the wheel is spun. There are various ways to use the betting table, and the payments and odds of winning differ accordingly.
To Bet On Roulette
Roulette may SEEM complicated but it’s really one of the simplest casino games out there! Yet, beginners often find their heads in a tailspin wondering just HOW they should place their bets on the table! So it is time to demystify it!
Roulette bet types can be divided into INSIDE BETS and OUTSIDE BETS. Basically, INSIDE BETS are bets that involve the numbers 1-36 inside the table. OUTSIDE BETS are bets that are made on the outside of the numbers table and do not involve specific numbers ie Red or Black or Odd or Even etc.
1) Here are the INSIDE BET Types and their respective payouts:
-STRAIGHT UP: Placing your chip directly on your chosen single number segment (35/1 Payout)
-SPLIT BET: Placing your chip in between two neighbouring numbers to select both of them (17/1 Payout)
-STREET BET: Placing your chip on the outer edge line of the row to select those 3 in a row (11/1 Payout)
-CORNER BET: Placing your chip on the crosshair of four numbers to select those 4 numbers (8/1 Payout)
-6 LINE BET: Placing your chip on the common outer corner that two line columns share to select 6 numbers (5/1 Payout)
2) Here are the OUTSIDE BET types and their respective payouts:
-COLOUR BETS means as long as the Roulette Wheel stops at a number with your chosen colour, either Black or Red, you win. (1/1 Payout)
-ODD/EVEN BETS means as long as the Roulette Wheel stops on an Even or Odd number depending on which you choose, you win. (1/1 Payout)
-HIGH/LOW BETS means betting on a range of number groups aka either 1-18 or 19-36. If the Roulette Wheel is within your chosen range, you win. (1/1 Payout)
-DOZENS BETS are bets where you select a group of a dozen numbers which are 1-12, 13,24 and 25-36. If the Roulette Wheel stops within your group of a dozen, you win. (2/1 Payout)
-COLUMN BETS are the ones at the very opposite end of the Zeroes (0), meaning that for the column you select, every number in it is your winning number. (2/1 Payout)
And that’s about it! Memorise them well, you’ll need them when we cover some cool tricks and tips to win at roulette later. But first, let’s get into a few popular roulette table variations!
Roulette Table Variations
Throughout the years, roulette has also seen various different table layouts, some with their own special rules. But don’t panic! Although these differences can drastically change the result, the fundamental nature of roulette remains the same. Here are the four most common table variations you will encounter:
European Table (Single 0)
The most popular table variation in casinos is the European Table which has 36 numbers and one single 0 segment at the very end. When you take into account the single 0 and the 36 winning numbers, there are 37 segments in total which means you’ll have 36/1 odds on hitting your numbers.
American Table (Double 00)
The American Roulette Table is identical to the European one except that it has an extra 00 segment at the end right next to the 0 segment. This means that although you still get 36 numbers to ‘win’ on, you also have 2 zeroes that may hurt your odds. In numerical terms, your odds of hitting a winning number is now 37/1, which is a big decrease from the European Table’s 36/1 odds.
French Table (Single 0)
French Roulette Tables have a different look, lesser house edge, and better betting opportunities compared to European and American Tables, making them every gambler’s favourite! Like European Tables, French Tables have just a single 0 but they also occasionally have special rules such as La Partage and En Prison which, when triggered under their respective conditions, will find the player in favourable circumstances.
Triple Zero Table
The Triple Zero Roulette Table is as tough as it gets. With 3 Zeroes (0, 00, 000), you’ll only have a 38/1 chance of getting a winning number. Otherwise it is identical in structure to European and American Roulette Tables. Triple Zero Tables are usually played on charity nights and avoided by Rrulette players at regular casinos.
Is Roulette purely luck?
In the realm of casinos and gamblers, there are two kinds of games: skill-based games and luck-based games.
Skill-based games are games that you can influence the outcome of depending on your level of skill and expertise. Examples include poker and blackjack.
Luck-based games are games in which you have no control over the outcome. So, YES! Roulette is an entirely luck-based game, there is a reason there are professional poker players and yet not a single professional Roulette player.
Strategies & Tips For Roulette
Like all casino games, roulette has a house edge, so with that in mind, to be successful at roulette in the long term, one must know when to cut losses. There are many tips and strategies for success when playing casino games and roulette is no different, luck-based though it is.
Tips & Tricks
1) THE LESS ZEROES THE BETTER: if you can, go for roulette tables that have as few zeroes as possible. The more zeroes the greater your chances of losing!
2) BET SMALL, LOSE SMALL: Whatever winning stratagem or hack you might have picked up, this is still a luck-based game. You may improve your odds with careful picks but it’s never a guarantee so why risk a fortune by betting exorbitant sums? Bet small now and your wallet and conscience will thank you later!
3) AVOID GAMBLER’S FALLACY: Just because the wheel might have landed on an even number the last few times doesn’t mean the next turn it’s due to land on an odd number. Previous events have no influence on future events in roulette!
4) KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM: As with any luck-based casino game, know your limits and accept losses gracefully! The casino will always have the house edge and in the long term, you’ll inevitably start losing money. Keep it short and sweet and cash out when you can!
5) DON’T DOUBLE UP: A common trick when you’ve just lost is to double up (or even more) on the previous wager in an effort to win back what you lost. Such tactics might work in the short term but can be absolutely catastrophic in the long term!
Strategies & Tips For Roulette
Roulette is a storied betting game that has seen many changes across history and yet it remains a casino classic for a reason! Now that you’re caught up, want to try your hand at some Roulette at Malaysia & Singapore’s top online casino platform? Click here to register, get your welcome bonus, and start playing!
Also, enjoy some of our bonus roulette trivia at the bottom!
Bonus Fun Facts:
- The name roulette comes from the same French Word which means ‘Little Wheel’.
- The roulette wheel didn’t originally have even a single 0 on it, this was only added from 1842 onwards.
- Russian Roulette, the infamous revolver game, although considerably more dangerous, was inspired both in name and function by roulette the game.
- Roulette has a nickname in certain circles: “The Devil’s Game”, this is because if you add up all the numbers in roulette, it comes out to 666, the Number of the Beast.
- Roulette ‘dealers’ aren’t really called dealers in casinos. The correct term for them is croupier ie the croupier who is handling the roulette wheel!
- Roulette chips are different from all other casino chips. This is so that the croupier can keep track of every player’s different bet!