How to play roulette

For such a simple game, roulette packs a lot of excitement. Watch as the dealer whips a ball around the wheel, and make bets on where it will land. With so many ways to play and win, roulette is definitely worth a spin.

Getting started

As the ball is whirling around the roulette wheel, put your chips down on your favourite numbers, colour (as long as it’s red or black), or a combination of the two. You can bet on the numbers 1 to 36, which alternate in colour between red and black, plus 0 and 00, which are green.

Step Instructions
1 Place your chips in the squares on the numbered table layout to make your bets. You can choose to make “inside bets,” “outside bets,” or both.
2 Inside bets are made on individual numbers or small groups of numbers on the inside of the table.
3 Outside bets are placed on the outer edges of the table. You can bet that any red number will come up, or any black number. Or odd or even numbers. Or big groups of numbers.
4 You have until the croupier (the dealer) says, “No more bets,” to get your chips where you want them on the table.
5 Watch the ball bounce around until it comes to a stop on a single number, then see if you’ve won.

Table layout

The information below explains how a roulette table is laid out and what bet types sit in each area of the board.

Inside bet Bet type Payout Probability of winning
1 High or low 1 to 1 47.37%
2 Red or black 1 to 1 47.37%
3 Odd or even 1 to 1 47.37%
4 Dozen bet 2 to 1 32.43%
5 Column bet on 12 numbers 2 to 1 32.43%
Outside bet      
6 Five-number bet (0, 00, 1, 2, 3) 6 to 1 13.16%*
7 Six line bet on six numbers 5 to 1 15.79%
8 Corner bet on four numbers 8 to 1 10.53%
9 Street bet on three numbers 11 to 1 7.89%
10 Split bet on two numbers 17 to 1 5.26%
11 Straight up bet on one number 35 to 1 2.63%

* This bet has the worst odds in roulette.

Know before you go

Before you sit down at a table, look for a small sign with the minimum inside and outside bets. If the outside bet minimum is $5, it means each outside bet must be a minimum of $5. If the inside minimum is $5, it means the total amount you bet on the inside must be at least $5.

Odds of winning

Roulette is a game of pure chance—skill and strategy are not part of the equation. It doesn't matter if you win three times in a row or 30, your odds on each spin are always the same. The only thing you can control is how much you bet, how long you play, and how often.

For more on roulette's odds and payouts, visit GameSense.com.

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