Roulette is a very exciting game and one of the easiest to play. The typical "American" roulette wheel is divided into 38 slots which are
numbered 1 to 36 plus 0 and 00. Even numbers are red and odd numbers black. 0
and 00 are green. Some casinos offer the "European" Wheel. This wheel has only
37 slots. There is no "00" (double zero).
After you place your bets, the dealer spins a small white ball in the
opposite direction of the turning wheel. When the ball comes to rest in one of
the slots, the dealer will call out the winning number and settle all bets.
A bet on a single number pays 35:1
A bet on 2 adjacent numbers pays 17:1
A bet on 3 numbers on a horizontal line pays 11:1
A bet on a block of 4 numbers pays 8:1
A bet on 6 numbers in 2 adjacent rows pays 5:1
A bet on 1 of 3 vertical columns pays 2:1
A bet on 12 numbers, low (1-12), middle (13-24) or high (25-36) pays 2:1
A bet on even or odd, red or black, low (1-18) or high (19-36) pays 1:1
You can place as many bets as you like on a single spin of the wheel up to
the table maximum. Some casinos use a rule called en prison. When a zero or double zero
hits, the player loses half the bet, or can let the bet remain in play, with the
results to be determined on the next spin. This rule only applies to even money
With the 38-number American wheel, the house has a big 5.26 percent edge.
(Whenever 0 or 00 are hit, all bets lose.)
With the 37-number European wheel, the house advantage is only 2.7 percent. In
other words, on every $100 bet the house makes $2.70. With the en prison
rule, this edge drops to just 1.35 percent.
Obviously you want to look for casinos that offer the European, single-zero
wheel. Most online casinos offer both American and European roulettes. If you can find one that also offers en
prison, so much the better.
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See also Roulette 101, terms,