Roulette Online Casino Overview - Be Big on the Little Wheel

Roulette Example

Roulette is a colorful, mesmerizing casino game of betting on numbers, colors, and groups of numbers related in various ways. It uses perhaps the more enchanting random outcome generator ever invented: a spinning wheel containing slots for a spinning ball to fall into, thus selecting a winning number and color. Indeed, the French word 'roulette' connotes "little wheel". But there's nothing little about the wins it can deliver.

In our time, there are three primary forms of Roulette:

American Roulette: Wheel numbers 1-36, 0, and 00; narrow table layout with outside bets along one long side; dealer collects chips with hands; different colored chips for each player.

European Roulette: Wheel numbers 1-36 and 0; narrow table layout with outside bets along one long side; dealer collects chips with hands; different colored chips for each player.

French Roulette: Wheel numbers 1-36 and 0; wide table layout with outside bets split along each long side; dealer collects chips with a stick; additional layout area for announced/call bets pertaining to historic groups of numbers; players use cash chips instead of individual colored chips.

Did you know?

The earliest Roulette wheels had slots for zero and double zero. A wheel with only the single zero slot was the brainchild of François and Louis Blanc in 1843, reasoning that their lower house edge version would lure customers from other casinos to theirs. And it did!

The order of numbers around European and French Roulette wheels are the same, but different around an American Roulette wheel.

Roulette play is roughly the same regardless the wheel or layout. Players bet on numbers ("inside bets"), and colors and combinations of numbers ("outside bets"). Players can also bet on zero and double zero.

Some wheels spin continuously, but others must be started by the croupier. Either way, the croupier sets the Roulette ball in motion in the direction opposite of the spinning wheel. The ball travels unimpeded in an area above the slotted wheel surface. Players can still make bets at this time until the croupier indicates no more bets are allowed by sweeping their hand over the layout. The ball eventually descends into the slotted area of the wheel, finally coming to rest in one of the slots to indicate the outcome that determines winning and losing bets.

As with Craps, Roulette has a language all its own, including colorful terms like "street", "split", "basket", and so on. However, unlike in Craps, Roulette players generally place all their own bets unless they can't reach a particular bet space on the layout, so there's less need to master the lingo in order to interact with the dealer.

The most dramatic Roulette variation is California Roulette, which uses cards instead of a slotted and numbered Roulette wheel and ball to determine the winning number.

There are two primary flavors of California Roulette:

  • A wheel contains cards numbered 1-36, plus 0 and 00. The dealer spins the wheel and stops it sometime after closing the betting phase. The dealer removes the card indicated by a pointer, and the number of that card is the winning number.
  • A wheel much like a standard Roulette wheel contains unnumbered red and black slots. While the wheel spins, the dealer removes cards from a shuffled shoe of cards numbered 1-36, 0, and 00, putting them face down in a pair of rectangles. One of the rectangles is red, the other black. The ball on the wheel eventually lands in a colored slot on the wheel. The dealer flips over the card in the rectangle whose color matches the slot containing the ball. The number of that card is the winning number.

Do yourself a favor and visit our detailed coverage of the game, complete with its history, fine-grained bet descriptions and analysis, strategies, and more. It's your best preparation for this fun-packed land and online casino darling!

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