Casino Roulette


Think you’re ready to try your luck at casino roulette? If you’ve only played roulette online thus far, there might be a few surprises in store once you make your way to a brick-and-mortar casino. Roulette’s origins can be traced back to the nightlife of late-18th century Paris and Monaco, so the culture of live roulette certainly has a long history of rowdy fun and opulent gambling. Even if you can’t quite bring yourself to make the journey to Monaco, the bright lights of Las Vegas have plenty to offer aspiring roulette players.

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Las Vegas offers a variety of casino roulette games.

Casino Etiquette

Even if you’re already familiar with the technical aspects of roulette, there are certain rules of decorum that pertain to playing in a live casino. There’s more to casino etiquette than just dressing to impress and being polite. You can always assume that there will be house rules that limit the use of certain items, so make sure to check with your concierge (or consult the casino’s website) before bringing any of the following items to the roulette table:

Bags or backpacks: With the possible exception of small clutches for the ladies, bags and backpacks are usually not allowed in casinos.
Food or drink: While you probably envisioned enjoying a cocktail during your casino experience, many establishments do not allow food or drink at the roulette table. Even if drinks are allowed, you should be extra cautious about drinking while playing roulette. It would be very bad manners to spill your drink on the table or to alienate any non-drinking players.
Electronic devices: Cell phones, recording/music devices and even cameras are often prohibited in casinos. Refrain from bringing these to the roulette table.
Inappropriate clothing: You should absolutely consult with your concierge or the casino’s official website before picking out your outfit for the evening. Some casinos have dress codes – but even those that don’t will not smile upon too-casual or inappropriate ensembles.

How to Play Roulette in a Casino

Playing roulette in a casino can work one of two ways: Either you will be playing at a traditional roulette table manned by a croupier (the person who spins the roulette wheel), or you will be playing rapid roulette.

American Roulette

8-2-Roulette-Chips-StackedIf you are playing American roulette, you have a pretty simple task at hand: Correctly predict the number (or attributes of the number) upon which the ball will land. Players take their places around the table and are given color-coded chips. You may place your bets on whichever numbers or attributes you like, and you are not limited on the number of wagers you can place.

Other players will be doing the same, so it’s extremely likely that many players’ bets will overlap.

This is precisely why chips are color-coded: It minimizes confusion over which player placed his or her wagers on which spots.

The roulette wheel is then spun by the croupier, and players await their fates. If the ball lands on a spot that matches your bet, you receive your winnings before the table collectively moves on to the next round.

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Rapid roulette is played on an electronic screen.

Rapid Roulette

If you’re playing rapid roulette, you reap the benefits of both a live croupier and an electronic system. In this roulette method, bets are placed via electronic screens specific to each player. The wheel is then spun, and after it comes to halt, players receive their winnings. It’s that simple.

Why choose rapid roulette over its more traditional counterpart? The presence of an electronic screen makes it possible for rounds to be played more quickly than they otherwise would be. When playing rapid roulette, you can place up to 65 bets per hour.

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Left – an American roulette wheel, Right – a European roulette wheel.

Roulette Variations

If you’re playing roulette in Las Vegas, the most common form of the game you’ll encounter is American (or double-zero) roulette. American roulette features a 00 space on its wheel and table, which makes it slightly less favorable to players (in terms of odds) than European roulette.

European roulette is played in certain American casinos, and features only a single 0 spot. This decreases the house edge, so you may wish to seek out single-zero roulette tables if you want to increase your odds.

Etiquette During Roulette Play

After you’ve mastered the official rules of roulette, it’s time to get acquainted with the nuances of the casino setting. Keep these standards in mind when playing in a casino:

  • You may continue to place bets until the croupier has signaled that all bets are final. He or she will do this by waving a hand across the table. Moving your chips after this point will be considered a breach of casino rules.
  • When placing bets, do not throw your chips. This could affect other players’ bets, and will only serve to outrage the participants and the croupier alike. Instead, ask the croupier to move your bet for you. Doing this defines your wager as a “call bet.”
  • On that note, remember that call bets are placed at the discretion of the croupier. If the croupier has ample time to place the bet for you, he or she will repeat the terms of the bet out loud. If the croupier does not have time, however, he or she will say “no bet.” Note that is is extremely impolite to argue with the croupier’s decision, and belligerent behavior could result in being escorted out of the casino.
  • After the dolly (a marker) is placed on the winning number, any touching of the chips on the roulette board will be considered immediate grounds for removal from the casino.

Tipping At Casinos

Most rules prohibit dealers and croupiers from accepting tips, but it is much more common to tip in Las Vegas than it is in European cities. If you do decide to tip your dealer (which is not required), the most common way to do so is to simply place a chip or two on the roulette table as you leave. Do not hand the tip directly to the dealer (he or she will probably have been instructed not to accept it), but instead signal the croupier that you intend to leave a tip with a meaningful glance or gesture.