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How to Understand the Roulette Wheel

April 6, 2024

Roulette tables feature a lot in movies, TV, and other media. Seeing people play and understanding the rules of the wheel are two different things, however. To the untrained eye, different roulette tables could look exactly the same. The truth is that there are different variations and rulesets of roulette. Beginning to learn roulette Understanding the roulette wheel and how it can affect gameplay is an important start to actually playing the popular casino game.

What do the colours and numbers mean?

Understanding what the colours mean and what the numbers mean on a roulette wheel is important before placing any bets. Numbers are grouped together to form different bet types. There are four groups of dozens, for example, which can be bet on.

The colours are split up between red, black, and green. One of the most common bet types is betting on red or black. There is an even number of red and black segments with the addition of one or two green segments, depending on the variant being played. Red and black segments alternate across the board in the following way:

  • 1 – 10 includes red odd numbers and black even numbers
  • 11 – 18  includes black odd numbers and red even numbers
  • 19 – 28  includes red odd numbers and black even numbers
  • 29 – 36 includes black odd numbers and red even numbers

What are the different types of roulette?

There are numerous variations of roulette, such as Double-ball roulette and Lightning roulette. The two most popular types are American roulette and European roulette. These are the most widely available tables, and the wheel changes depending on which one is being played.

European Roulette

European roulette wheels include 37 pockets. The roulette numbers go from 1 to 36, with half being coloured black and the other half being red. There is then an additional green segment with the number 0. This means that betting on black, for example, has a less than half chance of resulting in a win. The exact percentage is 48.65%, which accounts for the green segment that would result in a loss for such bets. Overall, European roulette has a house edge of 2.7%.

American Roulette

The American roulette wheel contains 38 pockets. This is one more segment than the European roulette tables, as an additional green pocket with the number 00 is included. This changes the odds on all bets and creates a higher house edge. Betting on red or black, for example, has a likelihood of 47.37%, due to there being two green segments. The house edge for American roulette stands at 5.26.

Roulette bet types

Knowing the odds of different roulette bet types is how to play to your advantage. There is nothing wrong with placing the odd bets on your lucky number or group of numbers. It is important to understand the odds and payouts of each bet type, especially when playing with real money. Here are a few of the most commonly played roulette bet types:

Straight Bet

Bet on a specific number from 0 to 36. This provides a payout of 35 to 1 and is unlikely to land. That is why many players combine straight bets together or combine them with other bet types altogether.

Red or Black

Betting on red or black is a near-even chance of winning. The green segments on the roulette wheel push the odds of winning down to slightly lower than 50%. This bet type offers an even payout, meaning you double your original wager on winning rounds.

Odds or Evens

Similar to the red or black bet type, odds or even instead looks at the numbers. Betting on evens and landing on an even number will result in a win. The odds and payout are the same as red or black as landing on any green segment will also result in a loss.