One of my favorite table games at the local casino is roulette. The game has a steady flow, whether it’s one player or ten players, your odds of winning don’t increase or decrease, and the payouts are plentiful. Granted, the dreaded 0 or 00 reduce the overall odds, but you can increase your odds by the way you play the game. Before we get into that, let’s go over the basic rules.
#1 Understanding the Board
Even people that have never played roulette, can easily understand some of the numbers are black, some are red, and two are green (0 and 00). However, there are different ways to bet each spin, and your basic strategies will depend on how you decide to bet. So here is a quick glance at the potential bets available:
The Numbers – There are 36 total numbers if you include 0 and 00. Depending on the ante minimum for each table (typically $10 total), you have the opportunity to place $1 on ten different numbers. This means you have less than a 30% chance of picking one of the right numbers. If you win, each number 1-34 offers 35-1 odds.
The Rows – You also have the opportunity to bet on three different rows. For instance, if you pick row number one, you have 2-1 odds that 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, or 36 will be the winning number. If you choose the second row then you get 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, and 35. The final row offers; 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, and 34.
The Groupings – If you want to place a wager on 12 numbers, then the odds are going to be 2-1 as well. You can choose between 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36.
Odd or Even – These are self-explanatory. You either choose between an odd number or an even number and the odds will be 1-1.
Corner Combination – If you place a chip on the corner of one number, you actually get four numbers. For instance, the top left corner of 23 will also give you 21, 20, and 24. If any of those numbers hit, you have 8-1 odds.
Side-to-Side Combo – If you choose to place a chip on the white line to the left of 23, you would also get a chance to win on number 24. If either of these numbers hit you win on 17-1 odds.
The Three Number Combo – Occasionally people choose the three number combos. It’s less odds than two (11-1), but it’s a good payout, even though the odds are only 7.89%. Two numbers are 5.26% probability, so it is a little increase. In order to get a three-number-combo, you can place a chip on the top left corner of 1 (this will give you 0, 1, and 2) or the top left corner of two, which gives you 2, 3, or 00.
These are primarily what people play. You also have the opportunity to place a bet where you get all numbers 1-18 or 19-36. This pays 1:1 odds and a 46.37% winning probability. Now that you have a good idea of how the board works (I excluded betting on red or black, because almost everyone knows that one), it’s time to consider a basic strategy.
#2 The Basic Strategy
Whether you are playing for the first time or are pretty new to roulette, the best basic strategy (financially) is to find the best odds. Since all the 1-1 odds have a 46.37% winning probability, it might be wise to stick with your best chance of winning. This means odd, even, black, red, 1-18, or 19-36 bets are the way to go. Test it out for a while, but only play these bets. It’s a good way to familiarize you with on roulette and all it has to offer.