The overwhelming majority of American casinos use a double-zero Roulette wheel. This wheel has pockets numbered from 1 to 36, plus 0 and 00, for a total of 38 pockets. Contrarily, in Europe a single-zero wheel is commonly used and Roulette has always been the most popular game in the casino.
There are usually six seats at the Roulette table. In order to help the dealer differentiate each player’s bet, every player is assigned a different color chip, which they purchase right at the table. Each table has its own minimum chip values and that information is usually posted on a sign at the table. As an example, let’s say a table has a $1 minimum chip value. This means that when you give the dealer your money the colored chips he gives you in return must have a minimum value of $1 each. Thus, if you gave the dealer $50 he would ask what value you wanted on the chips and if you said $1 he would give you 50 colored chips.
If you prefer, you could say you wanted the chips valued at $2 each and he would just give you 25 chips rather than 50. You can make the value of your colored chips anything you want and you’ll notice that when the dealer gives you your chips he’ll put one of your chips on the railing near the wheel with a marker on top to let him know the value of your chips. Later on when you’re done playing at that table you must exchange your colored chips for regular chips before leaving. The colored chips have no value anywhere else in the casino so don’t leave the table with them.
Besides the minimum chip value, there is also a minimum amount that must be bet on each spin of the wheel. Once again, the minimums are probably posted on a sign at the table and if it says $2 minimum inside and $5 minimum outside this means that if you are betting on any of the 38 numbers that pay 35-to-1 the total of all your bets must be $2. You could make two different $1 bets or one $2 bet, it doesn’t matter except that the total of all your bets on the numbers must be at least $2. The $5 minimum outside means that any of the outside bets that pay 2-to-1, or even money, require that you bet $5 each time. On the outside bets you can’t make a $3 bet and a $2 bet to meet the minimums – you have to bet at least $5 every time. After you’ve exchanged your cash for colored chips you’re ready to place your first bet so, let’s see what your options are:
You can make a straight bet where you only bet on one number and if it comes in you’ll be paid 35-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is 5.26% and by the time you’re done with this roulette section I’m sure you’ll be very familiar with that number. Another choice you have is to do a split. This is where you put a chip on the line that separates two numbers. If either number comes up you’ll be paid at 17-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is 5.26%.
If you put a chip in an area that splits 4 numbers this is called a corner bet and if any one of those 4 numbers comes in you will be paid off at 8-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is 5.26%.
If you put a chip at the beginning of a row of 3 numbers, this is called a street bet and if any one of those 3 numbers shows up you will be paid off at 11-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is 5.26%.
You can also put a chip on the line between two streets so that you have a double street covered and if any one of those 6 numbers come in you’ll be paid off at 5-to-1. The casino advantage on this bet is?… you guessed it…5.26%.