Roulette tables are set up in two different ways, either with the wheel at one end and a game layout at the other, or with the wheel in the middle and layouts on both ends. The layout has 36 numbered spaces in three columns of 12 spaces each and other spaces used for different kinds of bets. The roulette wheel has 37 or 38 slots: 0 to 36 in French Wheels, plus 00 in American Wheels. The slots alternate between pairs of odd and even numbers, and between red and black (0 and 00 is green). Of course a ball is also used in the game. Roulette balls are normally made of metal, ivory or plastic. Multi-colored wheel checks, or chips, are also used, with a different color for each player.

In this text the rules of American roulette is in focus. However, the only major difference between European and American roulette games is the 00 slot. Roulette is played as follows: players make bets by placing their chips on the layout. The dealer (also called croupier), spins the wheel counterclockwise and after that rolls the ball into the outside track of the wheel to make it travel clockwise around. Players are allowed to bet even after the wheel and ball have been set in motion, but when the ball begins to slow down the dealer shouts “No More Bets!”, the betting is over.

The ball will fall into one of the numbered slots, and the dealer announces the number and the color of the slot. 0 and 00 are neither red nor black, nor odd nor even. The only way to win on 0 or 00 is to bet directly on those numbers. The house collects the losing bets and the dealer pays off the winning players. How much you win depend on the kind of bet you’ve made. A higher risk will naturally generate a higher payoff.

In American roulette the house advantage is 5.26% in all bets except the Five-Number Line Bet, which gives the house a 7.89% advantage. In European roulette the house advantage significantly smaller – only 2.70%.

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