Posts Tagged ‘Roulette’

How to play the game of roulette. If you are playing in a casino or on-line there are usually areas where you can learn the game.

As training dealers/croupiers was always one of my most rewarding jobs when I worked in casinos, teaching people through this blog maybe rewarding for me and you the reader I hope. The game is played with a ball usually a type of very hard plastic occasionally you still hear ivory balls a wheel with 37 equal compartments numbered 0-36. The 0 referred to as zero has a green background colour. The numbers 1-36 having either a red or black. background. In the picture below left the wheel is a single zero European wheel. The first thing most people notice is the numbers are randomly scattered bearing no relation to the linear numbered roulette cloth on the table.

Some wheels in America have a double zero creating 38 compartments and changing the payout structure of the game. However, the wheel shown here is the one I have seen most on my travels around the world.

The dealer/croupier spins the wheel in one direction and the ball in the opposite direction. Only they have control over the pace of the wheel or ball in legal casinos.

Arranged around the wheel on the dealer/croupier side of the table will be a number of coloured chips. Each set of different coloured chips is referred to as a bank of colour and usually contains 200 chips of that colour. They are set out in stacks of 20 chips so each bank should have ten stacks. These are given to players in exchange for cash at the table minimum unless the players request a higher value. At the rear of the dealer/croupiers, area will be the cash chips. Use for people playing outside bets and for making-up payments when there is not enough of the players colour chip in the bank of colour, or for cashing out the colour chips of players when they wish to leave the table. Usually bye the wheel on the player’s side of the table you find the table minimum/maximum signage.

I will use the roulette cloth below to illustrate the odds and terms for the bets.

Straight up pays 35-1   Minimum Bet 1 Maximum Bet 100

Split pays           17-1   Minimum Bet 1 Maximum Bet 200

Corner                 8-1   Minimum Bet 1 Maximum Bet 400

Street                  11-1   Minimum Bet 1 Maximum Bet 300

Sixline                  5-1   Minimum Bet 1 Maximum Bet 600

Dozens                 2-1   Minimum Bet 5 Maximum Bet 300

Column                2-1   Minimum Bet 5 Maximum Bet 300

Even Chance        1-1   Minimum Bet 5 Maximum Bet 500

We will assume the minimum bet is 1 chip at both the table minimum bet, and the currency minimum unit so $1-$100 or £1-£100. You will notice the minimum bet on number and number combinations are less than for the 2-1 and even money bets.

In the event of zero coming in on a spin the 2-1 chances columns and dozens all lose and the 1-1 even chance bets lose half there stake. This is a part of the house edge for the game.

To play American Roulette you will require your stakes and an idea of how much you want to win. Let us say you have stakes of 100 of your chosen currency. How much would you expect to win? Bare in mind roulette can deliver very high returns. Once you have set your limits stick to them, especially your spend limit you will also need a table to play at.

If we play at the table above you could have a hundred bets placing, the minimum bet each spin or playing the outer bets the 2-1’s and 1-1’s you could have 20 bets. I think placing one bet per spin would bore me but you would spend sometime at the table.

To me roulette is rather like a lottery so I would usually advise people to play it for minimum stakes and similar expectations.

However, there are bets that can help cover the numbers of the wheel. In the picture of the wheel there are four sections highlighted. We will leave the Jeu 0 for now and concentrate on the three other sections.

Voisin du Zero also known as the Zero section as you can see covers the numbers of the wheel from 22 to 25. That is 17 of the 37 numbers on the wheel. It is skewed to the left of Zero as you look at it. Nine numbers on the left of Zero and seven numbers to the right. Opposite this we have the Tiers du Cylindre sometimes called the (Grand Cylindre du Tiers) but commonly called the Tier. It contains a total of 12 numbers from 27 to 33 a third of the total numbers of the wheel and is skewed to the right. The last section the orphelins often called the Orphans, and is split in two covering the numbers between the two larger sections of the wheel on the right and left. This sections contains nine numbers five numbers on the left side of the wheel and four numbers on the left side of the wheel.

These section bets are recognised bets that can be placed by you or the dealer/croupier, though usually if you wish the dealer to place the bet most casinos would ask that you give the bet to the dealer/croupier before the ball is spun. If you do ask for the bets they have a common value and number of chips involved. Although if specified they can be placed en-plan/straight-up this changes the number of chips and the value of the bet.

The Zero section is commonly a nine chip bet, the Teir a six chip bet and the Ophans a five chip bet. That’s twenty chip and if you remember from earlier twenty chips is a stack. So you have covered every number on the wheel all 37 with just one stack of chips. If this seems good value take a look below at the table with the bets placed on it. Only two bets and five numbers will return you more than you have laid out. Number one in the Orphans is a straight up and pays 35-1. Number 17 in the same section has two splits each paying 17-1 so you get 34 chips back. Zero, Two and Three in the zero section are covered by two chips at 11-1 so you get back 22 chips. These section are recognised by regular players of the game and you may find they bet more on certain numbers within the section. They are of course recognised by the house and can result in the dealer/croupier being changed if they become stuck in one section for to long.

Another set of bets are also used the Finales that is every number on the table ending say with a four, which would be 4,14,24,34 so would be a four chip bet. The same is true for  0-4, then three chip bet for the numbers 7-9. Of more use to the regular roulette gamblers are the neighbour bets. Usually two number either side of a specific number but some players use four numbers either  side. So if I used zero and ten from opposite sides of the wheel. Zero and four numbers either side are 3,26,0.32,15 a five chip bet. Ten for the four either side would be 33,16,24,5,10,23,8,30,11 a nine chip bet.


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When I first started out in casino’s here in the UK there were four what we call table games, which the house operated and therefore had a built-in percentage for the house to make money. A quick look on Wikipedia came up with 28 games the majority of them card games. Firstly, back to basic’s the four games available when I first entered a casino.

American roulette. A wheel with 37 compartments numbered from 0-36 the zero coloured green the numbers 1-36 equally divided into red and black.

Blackjack. Played with four or six decks of 52 cards. Nowadays played mainly with six decks.

Baccarat. Played with six decks in the original version with no numbers in the corners just the number of that suits symbols.

Dice/Craps. Played with highly engineered die usually in sets of six from which a player selects two to throw.

Roulette is one of the most observed games going so much has been written about it. So many theories and systems for winning. All have a little substance to them but after 36 years in casino’s I know of none that have broken the bank legally. When I visit, casinos I will usually have a little play if only to see how they operate their game. To my mind, roulette is best played with small stakes on the numbers. I have seen the same column or dozen come up more than five times in as many spins, and the same coloured number many times. I never forgot spinning 17 consecutive black numbers. As a chap doubled his bet only to hit the maximum amount, the tables limit some five spins before I hit a red number. To me it is very much like a lottery.See the “How to Play Roulette” post http://wp.me/p1RuuH-22

Blackjack is nowadays usually dealt from an electro-mechanical shoe. These remove the risk of rare exceptionally talented dealers rigging a shoe. For the majority of dealers they are a pain as now they get no respite in days gone by you could have a bit of a breather whilst shuffling the decks. However, if you have the time, patience and bankroll card counting can still reduce the in-built casino percentage. I play a basic strategy never press if losing and stick if the dealer has 4-6. Never split pairs more than three times. However, I find it a boring game so soon wander off to the bar or cabaret room for a break.

Baccarat this game is rarely seen these days. It has been superceded by a game I know as Punto Banco. In baccarat, the two sides of the table played against the house dealer. Therefore, there would be three hands of cards upon the table. Bets on sides one and two if they won got even money and a good banker (house dealer), would look at the value of bets on each side of the table and judge whether he would draw another card, if in a position where he had an option to draw. Lets say the value of bets on side one was 1000 and on side two 500. If he judge the card he dealt to side one had not improved their hand, and his hand was strong enough he could stay expecting to beat side one. If he did beat, side one but not side two the money from side ones losing bets would pay the winners on side two and make a profit for the house. The game I see played today and know as Punto Banco has side one playing against side two so just two hands of cards. If the bank hand wins it is paid at 19-20 if the player hand wins it is paid even money. So again a boring game to my mind.

Dice/Craps this is my favourite casino game there is just so much to it. However, if we just take the basics for now the win line and do not win line. Logic computer simulations everything is telling you the do not win line is favourite. Yet I still play the win line when it is my turn to throw the dice. Perhaps appealing to the idea, we all love a winner. This bet will only pay on the first roll of the dice if you roll seven or eleven, you lose on 2, 3 and twelve straight away three losers to two winners. The don’t win will be paid on the 3 and the 12 but stand-off on the 2. If the first number is, 4,5,6,8,9,10 then this number must be rolled again before the win line bets are paid. If seven is rolled they will lose and the don’t win line is paid before, the dice pass to the next player around the table. 4,5,6,8,9,10 these numbers are known as the point if you have a bet on the win or don’t win line you can increase your wager by taking or giving the odds. By which I mean you place more money/chips down. If we use the four and ten as an example. These two numbers can only be made in two ways with a pair of dice. The four must be 2 and 2 or 3 and 1, the ten 5 and 5 or 6 and 4. Here are the truest odds in the casino if you take the odds you place an additional bet up to the amount you have on the win line this bet will be paid at odds of 2-1. If you are on the don’t win line you give the odds and the bet is paid at 1-2. These days there are many more bets introduced and I will return to these and strategies of playing another time. “How to play Craps/Dice” http://wp.me/p1RuuH-2m

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