Roulette Definition: What Is Roulette & Beginners Rules

You have probably seen a crowd gathered around the roulette table at a casino and wondered what all the excitement was about. Well, in this article, we will take a closer look at what the game entails, how to play it, and provide some valuable tips for beginners.

What Is Roulette?

Roulette requires three basic items. There is a small, hard ball, a spinning wheel, and a table marked with the numbers 1 to 36. The colors red and black are evenly distributed on both the wheel and the table. The table is laid out with twelve rows with three columns. There are also several outside bets marked on the table. These are the ones that say things like “even” or “1 to 18” on them. The table will also contain a green-colored zero, with some including a green double zero. The spinning wheel will also have the green zero or both the green zero and green double zero.

How To Play Roulette

A round of roulette is played when a dealer spins the numbered wheel. As it spins, players place their bets by putting chips down where they anticipate the ball landing in the wheel. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer drops the ball into the spinning wheel sending it around in the direction opposing the spinning wheel. The ball will hop, bounce, jump, and ricochet off of several obstacles built into the wheel and will eventually sit in a well that is big enough to hold the ball and is situated with a color and number. If a bettor has chosen that color or number, their bet is a winner.

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How To Bet On Roulette

Betting on roulette is probably the most complicated part of the game. However, once you get the hang of it, placing bets will become much easier. The confusing part is figuring out the odds as each bet comes with different odds. For more information check this roulette guide from Here is a breakdown of the most common bets placed at a roulette table and their respective odds.

Single Number Bet

This is when you place your bet on an individual number on the wheel.

Odds: 35-1

Split Bet

This is a bet where you place a chip across two different numbers.


Street Bet

This is when you bet on any three horizontal numbers on the grid on the table. For example, 1, 2, and 3.


Corner Bet

This kind of bet is when you place a chip on a corner that four different numbers are connected to.


Column Bet

You are betting on all the numbers in a selected column.


Red or Black Bet

A bet on half of the numbers on the wheel, either the red ones or the black ones.


Even or Odd

A bet placed on either the even numbers (2,4, 6, 8…) or the odd numbers (1,3, 5, 7…)


1 to 18 Bet or 19 to 36 Bet

These bets are when you wager on either the low numbers or high numbers.


Tips For Beginners

Okay, now that you have a better understanding of what the fuss is over the roulette table, you need to know a few more things before you let loose and start dumping chips all over. These tips will come in handy whenever you get near the roulette wheel.

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Tip #1 – The House Edge

There happens to be a slight difference between the real odds and the payout odds. The payout odds happen to be worse than the real odds and you can blame the green zero or zeros for that. The zero(s) is not an even or odd number on the roulette wheel. Nor are they black or red. That is where the casino gets its edge on roulette. Here’s an example: You can place your bet on Red. Although this is considered an even money bet with 1-1 odds, you have a 48.7% chance of winning that bet. Sure, that’s not a huge difference from it being a 50/50 bet, but over time, that adds up and the casino makes money off of that.

Tip #2 – There Is No Pattern

One interesting thing about roulette is that the previous winning numbers are always on display. And there is always someone scratching them down and attempting to figure out a pattern of some kind to try to get an edge. As it turns out, there is no such possibility. Just because five reds were called doesn’t mean that it’s due for a black win. Don’t fall into this trap and think that betting birthdays or anniversaries are going to “hit” just because so many numbers around those have returned winnings. The roulette wheel is completely random.

Tip #3 – Stay Calm At All Times

It is easy to get caught up in the frenzied excitement that accompanies the roulette table. Everyone is there to have some fun, share some laughs, have a few drinks, and place a few bets. If you are new to the game, it is vitally important that you refrain from alcohol until you can control your betting. You do not want to lose a huge wad of cash just because of that third drink and the player on the left suggested going “all in” because an odd number had not been called all night. Use common sense and step away from the table when you have had enough fun for the night.

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Tip #4 – Set A Wagering Limit, Stick To It

Probably the most important tip for a beginner is to put a lid on what you are willing to provide as wagering money for the time you are at the roulette table. While you could end up winning a few rounds, you are also going to lose a few. Chasing after losses is a bad idea but if you set a maximum amount you are prepared to bet with and once it is gone, you call it a night, you won’t end up spending too much for some cheap entertainment. Also, by setting a budget, you are gambling responsibly and are setting a good example to those around you.


Roulette is an exciting casino table game. It is not difficult to play but contains several different odds that can impact your results. But setting a limit, playing within it, and choosing safer bets, in the beginning, you will learn to enjoy playing roulette.

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