Roulette Rules and the Layout
It goes without saying that roulette is one of the most popular casino games around. From the spell binding wheel, to the eye-catching chips, what’s not to love about this classic game? Aside from the aesthetic appeal, the game is of course designed with gambling in mind. With a low house advantage and some enormous possibilities for wins, it’s no surprise this game has remained hugely popular over the years.
The aim of this game of chance is clear, predict the number of group of numbers determined by the throw of a ball landing in place in the roulette bowl. There is some skill in placing bets and some background knowledge on the games setup. This page will leave you with a solid understand of the roulette rules and the roulette odds to guide your betting tactics. Absolute beginners fear not, the basics are also covered, including the table (tableau) and bowl set up, and the meaning behind certain roulette terminology and translations for the french game. There’s also a handy reading library attached, which includes the books which have guided my understanding of the game to date.
There are a few different variations of this game, however for simplicity, we’ll limit ourselves to the classic and most popular game of French roulette to describe the game in this overview.
How the Game Plays Out
Those familiar with the basic principles of the game will notice that there’s hardly any difference between French wheel layout and the remaining variants. Head to the roulette games page for a deeper understanding of the small differences between the most popular games (French, American and European). The goal for all games remains the same, simply guess before the throw of the ball, which field it will land in. Before the ball is throw into the wheel, or bowl as it’s formally known, the dealer will request all players “place your bets”. The odds are different depending where chips are placed on the table, and there’s often a minimum and maximum stake for each turn.
Once all bets are placed, the dealer begins his main task, beginning by bringing the bowl into motion then throwing the ball in the opposite direction of its rotation. Even at this point, once the ball is in the wheel, bets can still be placed. Most importantly, until the croupier announces, “no more bets”, players still have a chance to participate in the current turn.
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The ball typically bounces across a few obstacles before remaining fixed in one of the 37 wheel compartments. This number is announced loudly, as well as the colour and other simple chances which affect payouts. The rake is then used to point to the winning number as well as to collect the losing wagers. Next up, all wagers related to the winning number are paid out and a new round begins.
Understanding Roulette Odds and the Table Layout
Now you’re up to speed with the roulette rules it’s time to focus on the table and wheel layout. Given the numerous variations of if this game, there are some interesting differences to the classic roulette wheel layout. The French ‘tableau’ is fortunately one of the more simplistic versions. The bowl is located at one end of the table and in the middle is where all bets are placed and the wheel is where the actions plays out, this is what holds the large ‘red bowl’ which contains a rotatable disc. This disc contains different obstacles and 37 compartments (the snug areas the ball can rest in). The compartments are marked red and black with the exception of one green zero. The numbers are in size order but will always be in uniform order wherever you find French roulette being played.
The table layout follows a standard format. The checked ‘tableau’ features the numbers zero through to 36 with numbers arranged in 3 rows in numerical order. Beside the numbers are the fields for simple chances. These simple chances provide simple odds since they divide the numbers into three halves in three ways, including red and black, even and odd and lastly, the high and low numbers. There is also the possibility to wager on the first, middle and last dozen, 1st 12, 2nd 12 and 3rd 12 respectively. Use the table below as a concise guide to the game’s bets and their payout rates.
|#||Stake||Which Numbers Apply||Payout Rates||Profitability|
|2||Cheval||A pair of numbers||17:1||5.4%|
|3||Transversale pleine||A row of three numbers||11:1||8.1%|
|4||Les trois premiers||The first three 0/1/2||11:1||8.1%|
|5||Carré / Corner||Four connected numbers||8:1||10.8%|
|6||Les quatre premiers||The first four 0/1/2/3||8:1||10.8%|
|7||Transversale simple||6 adjacent numbers||5:1||16.2%|
|8||Douzaines / Dozen||First, middle or last 12 numbers||2:1||32.4%|
|9||Colonnes / Columns||A column of 12 numbers||2:1||32.4%|
|10||Red / Black||All red / black numbers||1:1||48.6%|
|11||Odd / Even||All odd / even numbers||1:1||48.6%|
|12||Low 18||The numbers from 1 to 18||1:1||48.6%|
|13||High 18||The numbers from 19 to 36||1:1||48.6%|
An Overview of Setting Options
This section provides detailed explanations of the possibilities of setting as well as an introduction to roulette wheel strategies. These are strategies to rely on placing your roulette bets on specific areas in the wheel, rather than on specific number combinations, such as even numbers. Although setting options aren’t available on all games, they can typically be found in the games variants. It’s advised to refer back to the table layout above if you’re having trouble with the french wording for the betting types. Some online casinos in fact offer the player the opportunity to auto-bet on different number series. 888casino, for instance, offer a really well-integrated option in their user interface to auto-bet on the different series.
Simple Opportunities: These provider players with the safest and hence the most popular bets. Notably, the zero is missing from any simple chances, leaving the profit chance at 48.65%, which equals profits of up to 1:1 possible, and a general house advantage of 2.70%. As mentioned, all 36 numbers are divided into two groups of 18 numbers three different ways:
- The most noticeable thing about the wheel are the coloured red and black numbers which divide most of the wheel. One of the popular simple chances is to bet on the ball landing on either red or black.
- All 36 numbers can be divided into two equal groups of even and odd numbers, where every second number on the table is bet, since the numbers in the wheel aren’t in order.
- The third and final simple opportunity divides the numbers into two equal groups of high and low numbers, the first 18 represent the low, while the numbers 19 through to 36 account for the high.
Multiple Opportunities:These so-called multiple opportunities exist in roulette, and the following points briefly illustrate the key examples of how to place these type of roulette bets:
- Plein or full number: The payout ratio is 35:1 when players select one of the 37 numbers
- Cheval and Split: This is betting on two adjacent numbers, for example 0/2, 31/34. Such bets carry a payout rate of 17:1.
- Transversal pleine or Street: A transverse pleine is betting on the first three numbers in a transverse row, hence forming a street. An example of this would be with a payout ratio of 11:1.
- The first three or Les trois permiers: This simple bet is used to bet on the first 3 numbers of the tableu, being number 0-2 with a payout ratio of 11:1.
- Carré or Corner: Where bets are placed on four numbers, 16, 17, 19, 20 for example, the numbers are set since they are neighbours on the tableu, with a payout ratio of 8:1.
- Les quatres premiers and the first four: Similar to the first three, with one additional number. This means bets are placed on the first four numbers of the tableau, meaning 0, 1, 2 and 3 with a payout ratio of 8:1.
- Transversal simple or Six-line: As you’ve probably guessed, this involves a bet on 6 adjacent numbers, for example, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. This would be announced as “transversal 13-18”, and the payout ratio is 5:1.
- Douzaines or Dozens: All 36 numbers are divided into three dozens, the first dozen (1-12, P12), the second dozen (13-24, M12) and the last dozen (25-36, D12).
- Colonnes and Columns: Here is a different way of dividing the numbers into three parts. Bets are placed on the chosen vertical column of 12 numbers, for example 3, 6, 9, 12 down to 35, the chips is placed beneath the final number in the sequence.
Wheel Games: Wheel games are when play is set to the numbers inside the wheel itself, which have an arrangement unique to the table.
- Play with neighbouring numbers, for example, when a player taps a number with up to four neighbours to each side such as 0 and the neighbours,. This is a bet with five chips covering 3, 26, 0, 32 and 15.
- Next up is the zero game: Here four chips are placed on seven juxtaposed numbers in the wheel. 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32 and 15 enclose the zero which is why they are set for this bet.
- Neighbors of zero: This covers a huge range, with nine chips needed to cover seventeen numbers 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2 and 25.
- Third of the wheel: Another large bet where six chips are placed covering twelve numbers next to each other in the wheel; 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16 and 33.
- Orphans: These numbers don’t belong to a series, the numbers 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 17, 34 and 6 cover this set play. Five chips are bet on four splits or eight tokens are placed ‘straight up’ on one across one split.
For readers interesting in learning more about betting strategies, check out the famous Paroli and Martingale roulette betting systems, both giving a concrete betting technique to maximise wins and minimise losses.
Books of Interest
There are stacks of interesting resources about the game, especially the literature explaining the simple rules of the game and extra details about the impact of the different wheel layouts. The list below includes those with which strategies to look out for and inspiring reading highlighting the experiences of some of the most successful players. Once your done working through this comprehensive gaming library, head to my roulette main page, for tips on the best casinos to play online.
|Interesting Roulette Books:|
|Roulette Renegade||Brad Jensen||CreateSpace||2014||ISBN 10:1499634900ISBN-13:978-1499634907|
|Roulette!: How I Won Thousands Without ‘Beating the Odds’||James Moneymaker||JPM||2014||ISBN 10:989952711ISBN-13:978-0989952712|
|Online Roulette: The Winning Rules||Peter Preston||CreateSpace||2014||ISBN 10:1500758809ISBN-13:978-1500758806|
|Roulette Rockstar||Anonymous||CreateSpace||2012||ISBN 10:1482529890ISBN-13:978-1482529890|
|Cracking the Roulette Wheel||Patrick Austin||CreateSpace||2010||ISBN 10:1451558627ISBN-13:978-1451558623|
|The European Roulette Book:||Kimo Li||Trafford Publishing||2007||ISBN 10:1425110223ISBN-13:978-1425110222|
|Ultimate Online Roulette System||Samuel Blankson||Lulu.com||2005||ISBN 10:1411643747ISBN-13:978-1411643741|
|Roulette: Playing to Win||Brett Morton||High Stakes Publishing||2004||ISBN 10:1843440202ISBN-13:978-1843440208|
|Gamble to Win: Roulette||R. D. Ellison||Citadel Press||2003||ISBN 10:818406275ISBN-13:978-0818406270|