How to Play Roulette

My experience from being a roulette dealer

How to Play Roulette

how to play roulette


how to play roulette

How to play roulette.. Whether you play online or in a real casino, this is the basic layout that you are faced with.


It looks straightforward and it is, but hidden in the depths of this layout are near infinite possibilities of bets that you can make. Technically the infinite possibilities of betting on roulette is limited only by the amount of chips you can stack on top of one another (or the height of the casino ceiling!)

One thing to bear in mind when playing roulette is that your stake is always returned (if you win!). On a real live game in a casino, the dealer will leave the winning chips that were placed for winning bets where they are and its up to the customer to remove them before the next spin.

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The Outsides

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The first bets are the OUTSIDES. Named so because they are on the outside of the layout from where the dealer stands. So in this group we have red, black, odd, even and high and low nos.
outside bets pay 1:1. So you get one chip for every winning bet you place. You bet 500 and if you win, you win 500. Pretty obvious really. So to be absolutely clear, a winning outside bet will pay the same as whatever you stake, if you bet 500 you end up with 1000.

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Picture Bets

When making bets, it can be important to know the payout of particular patterns of chips. Here are a few examples. The noughts and crosses grid represents the layout of the roulette table, the straight up being in the center.

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The Dozens

The Dozens are the next bets to mention. The dozens are a bet on a group of 12 numbers 1-12, 13-24, 25-36. A winning bet pays 2:1, or double the stake, so a bet of 500 pays 1000, with the stake always being returned (remember!) you’ve got 1500. The ratio of 2:1 can be confusing to new players. It seems that 2:1 would relate to doubling up but that’s not the case because of your stake being returned. Just think double up for outsides and triple up for dozens/coloumns.

The Columns

Same principle and payout as the dozens, 2:1 ratio or triple up. Only difference is that your betting on a line of numbers across the layout. Still 12 no’s in total. So for example, if you place a chip on the first column, then you are betting that the ball will land on one of the numbers 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31 or 34. Simple as that.

A Straight up

A straight up is a bet on a single number and pays 35 to 1. So you bet a chip on lets say no1, and if it comes in then you win 35. 35:1, so with your original bet returned you end up with 36 chips total. If you bet 5 chips on number 1 you would win 35*5 which is 175, plus your stake of 5 gives you 180 total. That’s enough about stake being returned, hopefully I’ve drilled it in and I wont mention it anymore. It applies to ALL roulette bets – except call bets but that comes later and its easy.


A split is a bet on two numbers. This is made by placing a chip on the line between the two numbers – see pic. Pays 17:1


A corner is a bet on four numbers, made by betting on the intersection (the crossy bit) so that your chip is physically touching all four of those numbers on the layout. Pays 8:1


A street is a bet on 3 numbers. Its made by placing a chip on the line at the back of the layout by the outsides – see pic. Pays 11:1

Six Line

A six line is a bet on six numbers made by placing a chip as in the pic. Pays 5:1

Call Bets

The final bets to mention are the call bets. You may or may not have the option to use these with online play but they are very popular with live play in the casino. The idea is that you are betting on the ball landing on a section of the wheel. The 3 call bets have French names as follows:



Voisons du Zero (the neighbors of zero)

The call bets are often used by people staring at the roulette wheel who think that they can predict where the ball will land by judging the spin of the wheel and the ball. Of course they cant but it can be an effective way of betting a good spread across the layout in a single bet.Call bets are normally placed on the racetrack and not as chips on the layout. Not everyone notices it at the roulette table but call bets are mainly what its used for -see racetrack pic below.


A 6 chip bet. Normally, casinos make the call bets a x5 minimum or multiples of 5 such as 10,15,20. I will write the examples as if they are by 5 “Tier by 5, 30 the bet” When you make a call bet by 5, 10, 15 or whatever, what you are fundamentally doing is allocating the value of each chip in the pattern.

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Tier by 5 makes each chip a 5 chip, tier by 15 makes each chip a 15 chip. Easy.
For tier by 5, 30 the bet, each chip effectively becomes a 5 chip and is paid accordingly as to where it lies on the table. Tier is comprised of 6 splits. Only one of these could possibly come in so the maximum you can win on a tier bet by 5 is 5×17=85
Your stake is not returned for a call bet, the effect being, betting 30 can make you a 55 profit from the 85 win.


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A 5 chip bet “Orphans by 5, 25 the bet”
You can see here that in the orphans bet that there is a straight up bet on number 1. This means that you can potentially win more with an Orphans bet than any other neighbors/call bet. 5×35=175 or of course if any of the others come in, you get paid the split – 85.

Voisons du zero/neighbors of zero

A 9 chip bet “Voisons by 5, 45 the bet”

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This one has another few intricacies, the first being the 0,2,3 bet which is covering 3 numbers and paid the same as a street – 5:1. There’s 2 chips on that so you get two 5 chips (10) *5 =50 The other unique placement for voisons bet is two chips on the corner of 25,26,28,29. Corners pay 4:1, two 5*chips(10)x4=40.
The nature of call bets/neighbor bets – betting on the ball landing on a section of the wheel is that the player usually calls out the bet while the ball is spinning. If you were to place the chips there yourself before the ball is spun or at least in time, it would be better value as in this way as your winning chip(s) would be returned.

The Racetrack

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Its basically a squashed down replica of the roulette wheel

The Martingale System

One popular betting system for roulette is called the Martingale technique, a mathematical strategy. Starting with $1, you bet on the same color – black or red over and over. If the bet loses you double the bet – 1,2,4,8,16 and if you win you go back to $1 again. So on the fourth losing bet you bet $8. Its very popular and it does make sense and it can be used loosely just for fun and a way to play in a structured way. The massive problem with it is that it does work, but only for an infinite bank balance. If and when it does eventually spin in many many times in the same color – the losing colour, then it takes everything you have in a single spin. To make this as clear as possible you can check out the grains of wheat on a chessboard example on wikipedia. In this example it shows how that 64 consecutive losing bets using the martingale system would cost a gambler..

how to play roulette


Its derived from this equation:

how to play roulette

If you were to seriously consider risking hard earned money to use the martigale technique to attempt to make a massive profit then it is advised to have caution that you can lose everything of it goes wrong. It is still a popular and fun way to play and a lot of roulette players like to play in this manner, especially when playing online. Spread betting is the most common sense way to play because you can minimise your risk and keep control of the probability of the ball landing on the bets you place.

Also check: Play Poker Online

Guide on How to Play Roulette

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