Understanding Roulette Rules and Variations

Before players can truly enjoy the game, they must first understand the various roulette rules that govern it. These rules are not difficult to learn; in fact, the most difficult part of the game is obtaining an understanding of the various bets and the odds they carry. The word roulette is French for 'little wheel' and this is an appropriate name when one considers the way in which the game is played. Essentially, the player places a bet, the croupier spins the wheel, and the pocket in which the ball lands determines who wins their bets.

There are three primary variations of roulette which are offered in online and land-based casinos these days. The first, which is not only the most popular but also carries the best odds, is European roulette. This version has only one zero pocket and the lowest house edge of all of the variants. The second, American roulette, incorporates a double zero pocket and thereby increases the house edge. Finally, there is also French roulette. This game also has only one zero pocket, but the numbers are placed differently along the wheel and there are two rules which can be favorable to the player.

The two roulette rules which are highly favorable for the player and provide some protection during gameplay are the La Partage and En Prison rule. These rules are most commonly found in French roulette variants, but they can also sometimes be a part of European offerings, as well. With the La Partage rule, the player will receive half of his or her wager back if the ball lands in the zero pocket, helping to protect against serious losses. With the En Prison rule, if the ball lands on zero, the player can spin the wheel again to see whether or not his or her bet wins.

Players should also understand the roulette basics before they attempt to play the game. Essentially, on a European roulette wheel, there are 37 total pockets numbered one through 36 and a single zero pocket. The pockets themselves are spaced out so that the even, odd, black, red, high and low numbers are all evenly distributed in an effort to provide a completely random experience. The player simply places a bet on the roulette table in accordance with where he or she feels that the ball will land. Then, the croupier spins the wheel and the winners are paid out.

Although there is no roulette strategy that can guarantee a win, there are certain ways in which players can manage their bankrolls. First and foremost, new players are often advised to stick to what are known as the 'even money' bets, or bets on things like red or black, even or odd, and high or low numbers. The payouts here are low, but so is the risk of losing large amounts of money. As they progress, players can learn things such as the Split, Line, Corner and Basket bets which are all bets on different combinations of numbers.