Ask Roulette

How Roulette Works

A game begins with placing a bet on the different betting sections of the roulette table. Minimum and maximum limits are usually imposed by casinos.


The winning number and color is then determined by a croupier spinning a wheel in one direction, and then spinning a ball in the opposite direction on a stationary track around the edge of the roulette wheel. The ball eventually then loses speed and falls into one of the numbered pockets on the wheel.

The dealer will place a marker on the winning number on the roulette table. No more bets can then be made, collected or removed. All losing bets are swept away and the payouts are made.

Roulette tables have two betting areas – the inside betting area contains the individual numbers and the outside betting area has boxes for the columns, red/black and odd/even and different groups of numbers. So you need to chose between the inside bet where you bet on a certain straddle or on which number the ball will land and the outside bet where you bet on odd/even, black/red or the positional groupings of pockets.

Inside bet

Playing the numbers is easy. After you select which number to play, there are several more options open to you such as a:

  • 'straight up' bet where you are playing only the number that you chose (this is the easiest bet)
  • 'split' bet where you place the bet on two connecting numbers like 1 and 2 or 6 and 9
  • 'three line' bet or ‘street’ bet where you bet on three numbers in a row like 4 through to 6 (European roulette features two special street bets: 0-1-2 and 0-2-3 whereas American roulette features three special street bets: 0-1-2, 0-00-2 and 00-2-3.)
  • 'corner' or ‘square’ bet where you bet on four numbers
  • 'six line' bet which is a double street.

Outside bet

You can cover a greater amount of numbers in a single bet by placing a bet outside the grid. The outside chances bet can be divided into two categories: those that pay 1 to 1 and those that play 2 to 1. You win the bet if the ball drops on a number within a field or category on which you have bet.

Outside bets include:

  • 'dozen bet' where you bet on the first 12, second 12 or third 12
  • 'high' or 'low' where you bet on 19 to 36 or 1 to 18
  • 'column' bet you bet on any of the three columns of numbers
  • 'odd' or ‘even’ bet where you bet on an odd or even number
  • 'red' or 'black' bet where you bet on which colour.

Rules regarding zero and double zero

Bets can be placed on zero and double zero, just like any other number and the payout is the same. However, neither zero nor double zero, is included in any outside bet.


The payout for each type of bet, inside or outside, depends on its probability. Outside bets usually have considerably smaller payouts with better odds of winning. A greater amount of money can be won by placing a bet on a single number, that is, a straight bet.

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