Roulette is a game that just about anyone can walk right up to and play with little knowledge of the game. This is what attracts so many players to this popular casino game, and frankly speaking, what makes it so beautiful. It has a deep and colored history that many gamblers are unaware of. It also has some intricacies that are important to understand if you want to get the full value out of your Roulette experience.

History of Roulette

The game of Roulette dates back as far as the 18th century. It was derived from a failed invention by French inventor Blaise Pascal. His attempt at the world’s first perpetual motion machine would have a lasting effect on the gambling world. This invention would never work, but he would realize it still had potential, and the game of Roulette was born. The game would soon make its way to French casinos and was played as early as 1796.

The word, Roulette in French translates to “Little Wheel”. This little wheel would undergo many changes since its inception and you will still find many variations of it all over the world. All contained numbers 1-36 which would alternate in red and black fashion. Most of the first wheels would also have some type of single and double zero slots, but these were black and red just as all the other numbers were. This would come to be very confusing for players and the introduction of the standard green zeros was introduced in the early 1800s.

Once the game began to spread across Europe its popularity would reach exponential proportions. In 1843 a German casino owner would add a single zero wheel to his floor to compete against neighboring casinos. The standard wheel with two sets of zeros has a higher house advantage and removing one of them allowed the casino to offer a better game. This would become the standard for all Roulette wheels in Europe.

The First American Roulette wheels would hit shores in the late 1800s and would take on many different forms. Some of the early versions would only have 28 numbers instead of the normal 36. They would also have the addition of an American Eagle slot along with the single and double zeros. This gave the house an even bigger advantage and was soon an afterthought once gamblers would stop playing them.

Today’s wheels will either have a single zero and 36 numbers which are rudiment in European casinos. Or, the double zero wheels which can be found in casinos throughout North and South America.

Rules of the Game

Regardless of what type of wheel you play on, the rules will be very much the same.

A game of Roulette starts with a dealer or “Croupier” spinning the wheel. There is a set amount of time for all players to place their bets. Once the dealer waves their arm across the table and announces all no more bets, a ball will be dropped in the wheel. Once the ball lands in a slot, this will determine which bets win and lose. If it lands on red 20 and you have your chips on 20, you would win. It’s pretty simple.

Bets and Table Layout

Upon walking up to a Roulette table, you will notice a large table with many betting options. While you can bet on a single number, you will have many other choices. You can place as many bets as you like until the dealer announces no more bets. The table layout may look a bit confusing and there are some best that aren’t necessarily spelled out on the table.

Single Number Bets

These are obviously your bets placed on a single number. To make this bet, place your chips on the corresponding number you wish to choose. The numbers will be laid out in the middle of the table in plain view. A winning bet on a single number 35-1 and has a 2.63% of winning.

Split Numbers

A split bet is when you want to place a bet on 2 numbers next to each other with the same bet. You will notice lines separating all the numbers on the table layout. To place a split on 2 adjoining numbers, place your chips on the line between these two numbers. A split bet pays 17-1 and has a 5.26% chance of winning

Street Bets

A street bet is a bet on a row of 3 numbers. The layout grid will have 3 rows of 12 numbers. A street bet goes horizontal with 3 numbers on the grid. To place this bet, lay your chips on the line of the number at the end of the street. This bet pays 11-1 and has a 7.89% chance of winning.


A corner bet is a bet placed on a block of 4 numbers. On the table grid you will place your chips in the middle of a block of numbers where there the grid lines intersect. This bet pays 8-1 and has a 10.53% chance of winning.

Six Line

This is almost like a street bet, except you are betting on 2 streets of 3 numbers. To place this bet, place your chips at the line where the two streets are on the last number of the street. This bet pays 5-1 and has a 15.79% chance of winning.

Column Bets

Bets may be placed on a column of numbers. There are 3 available columns’ to choose from and each contains 12 numbers. To place a bet on a column, lay your chips at the foot of the column you wish to pick. This bet pays 2-1 and has a 31.58% chance of winning.

25-36 (3rd 12)

The grid of numbers will be broken into 3 sections. The 3rd 12 bet is placing a bet on numbers 25-36. There will be a place on the layout that says 3rd 12 next to this block of numbers. Lay your chips on this spot to place a 3rd 12 bet. IF the ball lands on any of these numbers, you win with a payout of 2-1 and have a 31.58% chance of winning.

13-24 (2nd 12)

This is the same as a 3rd 12 bet, except now we are betting on numbers 13-24. This bet pays 2-1 and also has a 31.58% chance of winning.

1-12 (1st 12)

Again, this is the same but with number 1 through 12. It also has the same payout and probability of wining.


You will see 2 bets on the table marked 1-18. This is to place a bet on the ball landing on numbers 1-18. This bet pays 1-1 and has a 47.37% chance of winning.


Much the same as a 1-18 wager, only this time on numbers 19-36. This also pays 1-1 and has the same chance of winning.


If the ball lands on an even number such as 4, all even bet spay out at 1-1. A ball landing on an odd number such as 5 will also pay 1-1. Both have a 47.37% chance of winning.


All numbers are either black or red with the exception of the zeros. If a ball lands on black all bets placed on black win 1-1. The same goes for all red bets when the ball lands on a red number. Both bets have a 47.37% chance of winning.

Variations on Rules

The single zero wheel will use what’s called an en prison rule. All players who placed an even money pay out bet will get half their money back when the ball lands on zero. This makes the house advantage much lower for these bets and if you can find a single zero wheel, take advantage of this low house edge of 2.7%.

In European casinos the player may elect to “imprison” their bet when this happens instead of getting half their money back. If they choose this option, the bet stays on the table for the next spin and the player will get their full bet back if it wins. They do not receive additional winnings on the bet, just the amount of the bet back. If the bet loses, they do not get anything back.

Atlantic City Rules

Some Atlantic City casinos which use the double zero wheels will use the en prison rule. The same rules apply as described above with the exception of having the option to place in imprisonment.

French Rules

The rules are very much the same as all other forms of Roulette. The main difference is the table layout. It will all be in French and look much different.