American Roulette


American roulette, a version of the traditionally French game that has made its way into casinos and gaming outlets across the United States, is at once simpler and more challenging than European roulette. The Game’s main distinction is the 00 pocket on the roulette wheel: a space that does not exist in European roulette and decreases players’ chances of winning from 1 in 37 to 1 in 38. Additionally, the 00 addition has the effect of increasing players’ stakes: there is simply more money to be lost when additional spaces are added to the wheel.
Despite these riskier aspects of American roulette, the stateside version of the game is actually a bit simpler to play than European renditions. For one thing, American roulette wheels are simpler to understand, as adjacent numbers are set opposite the wheel from one another. Additionally, many rules commonly associated with European roulette, such as house “la partage” and “en prison” rules, are not usually applied in American casinos.

How to Play

American roulette requires very little preparation and is quite easy to understand. Whether you’re playing in a casino or online, you must ask yourself the same question: On which numbers, color or even/odd specification would I like to bet?

Players place chips on the roulette board based on which qualities they hope will win out when the croupier spins the roulette wheel. For example, a player could bet that the ball will land on the number 5, and would therefore place a chip on the 5 spot on the roulette board. There are other betting options as well, which we will detail below.

After all bets are placed, the croupier will spin the wheel. At some point, he or she will wave a hand over the roulette table to symbolize that all bets are final. After this, players must simply wait until the ball comes to halt. Then, players will win or lose based on whether or not they accurately predicted the number, color or even/odd specification of the winning wheel spot.

Ways to Bet

When playing American roulette, there are a variety of ways to bet on the outcome of the wheel spin. There are two types of bets in roulette: Inside bets and outside bets. Inside bets refer to the wagers a player can make that have a very low chance of success (usually number-specific bets) while outside bets pertain to wagers that offer a small payout, but a higher chance of success (such as betting by color).

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Inside bets will have a higher payout.

Inside Bets

Players can opt to cast their bets on an actual number designation – such as 5 – or a shared space between numbers. You can place your chip on a line between numbers (such as the line between 11 and 14) or on the corner space where four numbers meet (such as the corner of 11, 12, 14 and 15). Placing your bet on the line between two numbers is known as a split bet (as you are literally splitting your bet between two options), while a bet placed on the corners of four numbers is known as a quad bet or a corner bet.

There are other, more creative options for inside bets, as well. You could opt to make a basket bet – a bet in which the chip is placed so that it straddles 0, 00, and 1, 2 and 3. Statistically speaking, a basket bet has a house advantage of 7.89 percent, making it the worst bet in roulette (in terms of odds).

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A bet that could win a medium size payout.

Outside Bets

Outside bets generally yield a higher chance of success, but at a much lower payout. Your options for outside bets include wagering on red or black, even or odd, 1-18 or 19-36 (dozens bets), or various columns of the board. Dozens bets, as well as column bets, are 12-number bets that pay 2 to 1 (meaning you have a 50 percent chance of winning).

It should also be noted that given players’ allowed flexibility in placing bets between boxes, it’s also possible to place your chips between inside boxes and outside boxes. As with any other choice in roulette, doing this will increase your chances of winning, but will decrease the amount you’ll win should you be successful. A street bet – a bet in which the player places his or her chips on the vertical line between the inside and outside betting areas – pays 11 to 1 should the player win.

Betting and Walking

In terms of basic rules to know when playing roulette, beginners can take comfort in the fact that the game is relatively low-maintenance. If another player has already placed his or her chips on a spot you’d like to occupy, no problem – casinos and online gaming sites give players color-specific chips for this exact purpose. So, feel free to place your bets wherever you’d like, regardless of other players’ chips.

You can also feel free to continue placing your chips on the board after the croupier has spun the wheel. In fact, croupiers are supposed to keep the roulette wheel moving almost, so it should be impossible to avoid doing so. When he or she sees that the wheel is coming to a halt, the croupier will wave a hand over the table to signify that no more bets can be placed.

When playing live roulette at a casino, you’ll likely be able to squeeze in about 30 spins per hour. When playing virtually, that number can increase to 65. While the amount of spins/bets you participate in has no impact on your odds of winning, it can have the effect of taking away your inhibition – so try to pace yourself when playing online. It’s always important to keep in mind that in the game of roulette, the odds are always against you.