Of all casino games that are totally dependent on the laws of chance, roulette is one of the most popular. The game involves a wheel with numbered wells and the aim is for players to predict which well a small ball will come to rest in when the roulette wheel stops spinning.
There are two main versions of roulette that can be found online, and these are known as American Roulette and European Roulette. Both wheels have the numbers 1 to 36 (18 are red and 18 are black), but the American wheel has two green zeros, whilst the European wheel has just one green zero. Since a green zero means that all bets on odd, even, red or black will lose, the house edge is lower in European Roulette which has just one of them.
The variety of bets that can be placed on any one spin of the wheel is enormous, and it would take several pages just to briefly describe them all. For this reason we will focus here on describing the most popular bets and leave you to discover the other betting options that are available to you at the casino itself.
Red or Black:
The numbers 1 to 36 are coloured red or black, and you can bet on which colour the ball will land on at the end of each spin. The odds offered on this bet are even money (1/1) and your actual chances of winning in the European game are 18 in 37 (18 in 38 in American Roulette).
Odd or Even:
This is another even money bet, but this time you predict whether the next number will be odd or even. The chances of you succeeding are the same as with Red or Black, because zeros are not viewed as being odd or even.
This bet covers twelve numbers, and if any one of them happen to show up on the next spin of the wheel you will be paid odds of 2/1.
Other popular betting opportunities are:
- Six numbers paying 5/1
- Four numbers paying 8/1
- Three numbers paying 11/1
- Two numbers paying 17/1
- One number paying 35/1
From a strategic perspective, most players are best advised to focus on the even money shots and the dozens, because they give you the best chance of winning. That said, if you have a favourite “lucky” number, placing a small bet on that number outright could pay handsomely if it happens to come in.
If you play roulette using any kind of staking progression (a staking strategy that involves increasing stakes after a losing bet), be sure to familiarise yourself with the table maximums before starting, or you could get yourself into trouble.