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Roulette Rules

One famous casino game is the roulette. Everybody likes this game because it is very easy to play. It can be traced back to the 17th century when it was first introduced in France. Today this is a famous casino game among Europeans especially in Monte Carlo in Monaco, as well as in Las Vegas in the United States.


Roulette can be played with a maximum of eight players. Everyone plays against the house or the dealer. In the case of roulette, a dealer is more known as the croupier. He is the only one who can officially spin a roulette wheel. A player’s spin is not valid. He also handles the wagers at the beginning and the payouts at the end of a round.

A roulette wheel has different versions. The European and French roulette is made up of 37 slots representing numbers 0 to 36. It is slightly different from the American version which is made up of 38 slots representing two 0s and 1 to 36.

To start, players first buy color-coded chips. Each color represents a money denomination. Real monetary bills and coins are not accepted as wagers on a table, only chips. At the end of a game, the winning chips can be exchanged again for real money at designated counters of a casino. The colors of playing chips are standardized in every casino, local or international. It makes games more secure and organized as compared to betting with actual money used.

To play, you bet on any number in a roulette wheel, zero included. You can bet on just one or several numbers depending on what you want. Bets are placed on a table with a layout of numbers. Place your chips on the number or numbers you are betting. When all bets from the players are in, the croupier starts to spin the wheel and he throws a ball. Before this ball finally settles in one of the slots, the croupier has to say, “No more bets!” This announcement officially closes the betting stage, meaning no player will be allowed to add or change bets anymore.

When the ball finally drops in on a slot in the wheel, the croupier checks it and then picks up a dolly. He refers back to the betting table and puts the dolly on the winning number. All other bets from the losing numbers will be cleared away immediately and then he moves on to pay all the winners. All bets on or around the winning number are winners.

House Advantage

The number of zero slots affects the house advantage percentage. If there is only one zero slot, the advantage of the house is only 2.7%. If the American version with two zero slots is used, the house edge surges to 5.26%. Because of the default advantage of a casino, a winner is actually paid a chip or two less for his wager (or whatever proportion ratio is imposed per house). Without an advantage, a winning player can exchange his winning chips to its full equivalent.

The En Prison Rule

En Prison rule in roulette is applied to bets of even-money only. Not all casinos apply this rule though. In En Prison, if the ball drops in the zero slot, a player may recover half of his bet or leave the bet as is for the next round. Ergo, en prison, which means “in prison” in English. On the second round, if the outcome is zero again, nothing can be recovered from the bet anymore. A player loses all his bet.

The La Partage Rule

It is slightly different in the La Partage Rule wherein a player loses half of his bet automatically when the ball lands in zero. The bet cannot be “kept in prison” on the betting table for the next spin. Both En Prison and La Partage rules can be applicable to even-money bets and essentially decreases the casino house advantage by 50%. Thus, if a European roulette wheel is used (that having 1 zero slot), the house edge is lowered to 1.35%. Using an American wheel version with 2 zero slots, the house edge goes down to 2.63%.


A straight-up bet is a bet for only one number and pays 35 to 1. This means a player collects 36. If there is no house advantage, a player gets 37. If played using an American roulette, the player gets 38.

A bet for two numbers is called a split bet and pays 17 to 1. On the other hand, a bet for three different numbers is called a street bet and this pays 11 to 1. A corner bet is composed of four numbers and pays 8 to 1. A bet for six numbers pays 5 to 1. A bet on the outside numbers or columns pays 2 to 1. And finally, a bet on outside even-money numbers pays 1 to 1.


The objective of roulette is to try to guess where the ball will land when the wheel stops spinning. It is difficult as it is given that you have 37 or 38 choices. Hence, roulette is basically a game of luck. This also explains why the payout decreases as the number of bets increases. With only one number bet, that is only 1 out of 37 chances of winning and therefore more difficult to get the pot.

Hot numbers are numbers occurring more frequently in a given game. Players try to watch out for these hot numbers coming up more often than the others and try to bet on them. They believe that they have more chances of winning by betting on numbers coming out more frequently. 

Other players have a different mentality and go for numbers not coming up often while believing that because they are not showing up, it must come up in the next few rounds. Still, some players rely on their personal systems or methods when betting. They stick to a couple of numbers which have meaning to them in one way or another. They do not vary on the numbers they bet on in every round played.

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