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An Introduction to Roulette Rules

 Nicholas Colon, Author

Understanding the Roulette Betting Options

Roulette is a French word meaning little wheel. It is a game of chance devised by French Mathematician Blaise Pascal in the 17th century.  The player selects from one or more of several betting options. Roulette bets are when a player is able to wager on either a single number, a range of numbers, the colors red or black, or whether the number is odd or even. For more basic information, check out Europa Casino’s general roulette tips.

The winning number is determined when the Croupier (the Blackjack dealer equivalent in the game of Roulette) spins the Roulette wheel in one direction and then spins a ball in the opposite direction around a circular track.  Eventually, the ball loses enough angular velocity that it slides down the angled track, and after several random bounces the ball comes to rest in one of 37 slots on the European version, and one of 38 slots on the American wheel. Learn some general roulette strategies and even how to play roulette, here. In this article I will evaluate the probabilities on various betting options that exist for each version of the game. 

The Rules of Roulette

The casino’s advantage is the percent of the bet the player expects to lose for each bet that they make. In American roulette rules, when a player bets on a single number on an American Roulette wheel there is a probability of 1 chance in 38 that the player wins 35 times the bet, and a 37 in 38 chance that the player loses the bet. From these rules, they are able to derive what the casino advantage is for this game. In American roulette rules, the casino’s advantage is derived as follows:


−1 × 37 ⁄ 38 + 35 × 1 ⁄ 38 = −0.0526 = 5.26% casino edge
Equation 1


In European Roulette rules, a single number wins 1⁄37th of the time and loses 36⁄37th of the time.  From these rules we are able to derive what the casino advantage is for this version of the game.   European Roulette Rules means the casino’s advantage is derived as follows:


−1 × 36 ⁄ 37 + 35 × 1 / 37 = −0.0270 = 2.70% casino edge
Equation 2


Roulette Rules: French-Style

A variation on the European version is a French version of Roulette that possess an additional rule called “in prison”.  Here the rule is “when playing even-money bets, one half of the even-money bets are returned to the player when the ball comes to rest in the zero slot.”  This rule further reduces the house advantage to 1.35%.  This version of Roulette is the most beneficial version to the player.  I am sure by sheer coincidence it is also the rarest form of the game.  These apply to online roulette rules and live casino Roulette.

Now that we have established the existing versions of Roulette we are able to examine the types of bets a player can make.  The following table lists the types of bets the player can make and the associated pay outs of those bets.

Graph displaying roulette rules


These are the fundamental probabilities associated with the game of Roulette – which also applies to online roulette rules.  It is the minimal amount one should understand prior to placing a single bet in the game of Roulette.  Like all casino games that exist there exist circumstance’s that can arise that can turn the odds of roulette against the house, and make the game profitable for the player.  That discussion is best suited for another time.

For even more roulette tips - head to our online roulette page!


DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for educational use only, and cannot promise any winnings from using its tips and the rules of roulette.


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