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             HOW TO PLAY ROULETTE 

One of the easiest games in the casino, roulette requires no skill whatsoever on the part of the player. Pick a birthday, anniversary or any significant date, or bet any combination of color, odd/even, high, low, or straight up. It is all blind luck anyway. Most Strip casinos have a five dollar minimum bet; which means that each outside bet (the bets closest to the player with the lowest odds) must be at least five dollars each. On the inside bets, you can bet one dollar chips on individual numbers as long as you bet a minimum of five dollars total for each spin.

    The payout odds for an inside bet are:
  • One number (straight up) 35 to 1
  • Two numbers (split) 17 to 1
  • Three numbers (street) 11 to 1
  • Four numbers (corner) 8 to 1
  • Six numbers (six line or double street) 5 to 1


There are two sets of outside bets. The table is divided into three dozens, 1st, 2nd and 3rd or numbers 1 through 12, 13 through 24, and 25 through 36. The table is also divided lengthwise into three columns at the end of the layout. Both the columns and the dozens pay two-to-one odds.

The outside bets closest to the players are the even money bets. These consist of 1 to 18 (Low), 19 to 36 (High), Odd or Even, and Red or Black. If five dollars is bet on red and a red number comes up, that five dollars wins another five (even money). If black comes up, it loses. If zero or double zero come up, all outside bets lose. (The zeros themselves pay the same as any other individual number. They are only the "house number" when applied to outside bets.)

Many casinos now have "reader boards", electronic signs on each table that show the last twenty numbers or so. It is tempting, when a string of, say, red numbers are shown, to suppose that a black number must come up next. It may well happen. This is, after all, why we call it gambling. But, bear in mind that the wheel has no memory and the dealer, whatever people tell you, has no special skill to influence the ball one way or another.

Much money has been lost in doubling up or chasing. Casinos have maximums to stop people with lots of money from simply doubling up on a losing bet until it wins. For example, a player on a $10,000 maximum table who bets $25 on red and loses can double up and bet $50. If he then wins he is ahead $25. If he loses though and keeps losing, doubling up each time in eight losing spins - not at all uncommon - he is betting $6400 to win $25. If that bet loses, he cannot double up since the casino's maximum is $10,000. He needs to bet $12,800. So, even if he bets $10,000 and wins, he is still stuck $2,800.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Don't start placing bets until the dealer has finished paying everyone and removed the marker from the winning bet.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, touch the winning bet until everyone has been paid.
  • If the dealer takes your winning bet, or even if you think he might have, mention it to him quickly, but calmly. The dealers can make mistakes and a polite approach is more likely to get you paid than an antagonistic attitude. Remember, the dealer wants you to win. He's hoping for a tip.
  • Don't lean on the screen around the wheel.
  • Don't ask to spin the ball unless your credit line is at least $3,000,000!
  • Don't throw chips. If you can't reach, ask the dealer to place the bets for you.

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