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.

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.

An overview of the betting placements on the roulette table

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
1 Plein Single number 35:1 2.8%
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:

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:

Layout of the roulette wheel - bet sections

Wheel Games: Wheel games are when play is set to the numbers inside the wheel itself, which have an arrangement unique to the table.

Try out these tactics on the different roulette varieties in the 888 casino!

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:
Title: Author: Publishing Company: Year:
Roulette Renegade Brad Jensen CreateSpace 2014 Become a renegade at roulette with this bookISBN 10:1499634900ISBN-13:978-1499634907
Roulette!: How I Won Thousands Without ‘Beating the Odds’ James Moneymaker JPM 2014 James the Moneymaker's remarkable story of success at the wheelISBN 10:989952711ISBN-13:978-0989952712
Online Roulette: The Winning Rules Peter Preston CreateSpace 2014 Get informed with the best online roulette rulesISBN 10:1500758809ISBN-13:978-1500758806
Roulette Rockstar Anonymous CreateSpace 2012 Rockstar roulette for the massesISBN 10:1482529890ISBN-13:978-1482529890
Cracking the Roulette Wheel Patrick Austin CreateSpace 2010 Crack the wheel with P. Austin's fact packed offeringISBN 10:1451558627ISBN-13:978-1451558623
The European Roulette Book: Kimo Li Trafford Publishing 2007 A great place to start to learn the European rules of roulette ISBN 10:1425110223ISBN-13:978-1425110222
Ultimate Online Roulette System Samuel Blankson 2005 Check out Blankson's ultimate online roulette systemsISBN 10:1411643747ISBN-13:978-1411643741
Roulette: Playing to Win Brett Morton High Stakes Publishing 2004 Play to win with Brett Morton via High Stakes PublishingISBN 10:1843440202ISBN-13:978-1843440208
Gamble to Win: Roulette R. D. Ellison Citadel Press 2003 Learn the best techniques to gamble to win with R EllisonISBN 10:818406275ISBN-13:978-0818406270