Roulette was first played in France during the 17th century. It is now one of the most popular European gambling games and Monte Carlo, Monaco, is probably the most famous casino centre for playing roulette.
The aim of the game is to predict where the ball will fall once the roulette wheel has been spun. It may sound simple but luck plays a major part in this game. Players, usually up to eight, play against the House represented by the croupier also called the dealer. The croupier or dealer is the person responsible for the spinning of the roulette wheel, and handles the wagers and payouts. In the European and French roulette version, the wheel has 37 slots representing 36 numbers and one zero. In the USA most roulette wheels have two zeros and therefore 38 slots. Some players will always choose particular numbers, calling them “hot numbers” meaning they think that those numbers come up more frequently, other players watch the play, and use the laws of probability to predict their next wager. It is also possible to bet on several numbers, but beware; the payout is then considerably reduced.
Some of the more methodical players may use specific roulette systems or methods, there is also a money management system and quite often players will use both.
So that wagers don’t get mixed up, each player buys differently colored chips. If you win the game you exchange the colored chips for cash chips. These are special chips with their value printed on them, and there are many denominations in various colors. These chips can then be taken to the cash desk where they can be exchanged for hard cash.
To play roulette, you place your bet or bets on numbers (any number including the zero) in the table layout. Once everybody at the table has placed their bets, the croupier starts the spin and launches the ball. Moments before the ball falls over the slots, the croupier will say “No more bets”. From that moment on, no more bets can be placed or changed. Only once the croupier has placed the dolly on the winning number and clears all losing bets can players start to place new bets. The winners are those bets on or around the number that the ball falls on.
On a single zero roulette table the House advantage is 2.7%. On a double zero roulette table it is 5.26% (7.9% on the five-number bet, 0-00-1-2-3). The House advantage is gained by paying the winners a chip or two (or a proportion of it) less than it should have been if there was no advantage.
The ‘La Partage’ rule
The la partage roulette rule is similar to the en prison rule, only in this case the player loses half the bet and does not have the option of leaving the bet en prison for another spin. This refers to the ‘outside’ even-money bets Red/Black, High/Low, Odd/Even and applies when the outcome is zero. Both the La Partage and the En Prison roulette rules essentially cut the casino edge on the ‘even-money bets’ in half. So a bet on Red on a single-zero roulette table with the la partage rule or the en prison rule has a 1.35% House edge and on a double-zero roulette table has a House edge of 2.63%.
The ‘En Prison’ rule.
This roulette rule applies to even-money bets only. When the outcome is zero, some casinos will allow the player to either take back half their bet or leave the bet (en prison = in prison) for another roulette spin. In the second case, if in the following spin the outcome is again zero, then the entire bet is lost.
- A bet on only one number is called a straight-up bet, and pays 35 to 1. (You collect 36. With no House advantage you should collect 37 (38 in the USA on double zero roulette wheels).
- A two-number bet, called split bet, pays 17 to 1.
- A three-number bet, called street bet, pays 11 to 1.
- A four-number bet, called corner bet, pays 8 to 1.
- A six-number bet, pays 5 to 1.
- A bet on the outside dozen or column, pays 2 to 1.
- A bet on the outside even money bets pays 1 to 1.