No discussion of the rules of roulette would be complete without examination of different types of roulette wheel and their effect on the mathematical advantage a casino holds over players over time. All roulette wheels feature red and black pockets numbered 1 to 36, but may feature 37, 38 or 39 pockets in total; this fact that may be reflected by a lower table minimum in a bricks-and-mortar casino, but not by any increase in the odds offered for winning bets.
A French, or European, roulette wheel includes a single green zero pocket, an American roulette wheel includes a green zero pocket and a green double-zero pocket and a Triple Zero roulette wheel includes a green zero pocket, a green double-zero pocket and a green triple-zero pocket. The addition of a green double-zero pocket and a green triple-zero pocket increases the ‘house edge’ from 2.70% to 5.26%, and from 5.26% to 7.69%, respectively.
Zeros aside, the rules of roulette are more or less the same for single-, double- and triple-zero versions. Players can bet on a single number, a.k.a. a ‘straight up’ bet, which plays 35/1, regardless of the total number of pockets on the wheel, or on groups of numbers, in various combinations, offering odds consummate with the size of the group.
Bets placed on individual numbers, or groups of numbers, on the inside part of the betting table layout are, unsurprisingly, known as ‘inside’ bets. Inside bets include a bet on two adjacent numbers, vertically or horizontally, known as a ‘split’, which pays 17/1, a bet on three consecutive numbers, horizontally, known as a ‘street’, and a bet on four numbers that meet at one corner, known as a ‘corner’ or ‘square’, which pays 8/1, among others.
Conversely, bets placed on the outside part of the layout, including on the colour of the winning number and whether it will be odd or even, or high or low, are known as ‘outside’ bets. Bets on red/black, odd/even and high/low all pay even money, or 1/1, but players can also bet on one of the three dozens or three columns that constitute the table layout, at odds of 2/1.
Gareth The Gambler