Roulette is a very simple game, requiring no skill, and after while only a step up from a slot machine for entertainment value as it has the social aspects of playing with others.
**The object**: to get lucky on the outcome of spinning the roulette wheel, specifically which numbered slot a little ball will fall in.
**The wheel**: has 36 numbered slots, numbered 1 through 36 and, a zero (0) slot and on an American roulette wheel a double zero (00) slot as well. Half the numbers are printed on a red background (these are the red numbers) while the other half are printed on a black background (these are the black numbers), while the 0 and 00 are printed on a green background.
**Bets**: The initially confusing thing about roulette is the betting options and payout rates for each option, but these become old hat fairly quickly. In roulette you can place one bet on a single number (1 through 36 and even 0 or 00), 2 numbers, 3 numbers, 4 numbers, 6 numbers, 12 numbers, or 18 numbers (red numbers, black numbers, even or odd numbers, first 18 numbers, last 18 numbers). There may be different minimum betting limits for various bets, and those rules will be posted. For instance a $1 bet may be allowed on a single number, but on 18 numbers a minimum of $10 may be enforced.
**Payouts**: Spreading one bet over more numbers increased your odds of winning something, but consequently the payout will be less. If you bet $1 on one number and win you'll be paid $35 (35 to 1), if your one bet is on 2 numbers the payout will be $17 (17 to 1), if you bet $1 on black or red or 18 numbers the payout will be only $1, and so forth. The banker at the game will handle payouts accurately so you need not worry. The fewer numbers your bet is spread across the better the payout, but the less likely you will win something.
That's the basics, from here you can probably figure out the most of the rest by watching a game in progress.
OK you know the basics, and watched a game in progress, and now you want to play. Here's what you do:
**Cash in**: Ask to join the game (laying your money or standard casino chips on the felt away from the betting squares is a silent way of making this request). Each player gets their own special coloured chips that can only be used at the roulette table, and provided a colour is available you can join the game. In exchange for regular casino chips or cash, you will be given a stack of chips as per the table limit and your preference. If you have $100 and want to bet $1 at a time, the coupier will give you 100 chips, if you rather bet $5 at a minimum at a time, the coupier will give you 20 chips valued at $5 each . That's the nice thing about roulette you can be placing your $1 chips while some high roller next to you is placing their chips that look exacly like yours except for the colour and the fact that they're valued at $100 each. Each player has their own special roulette table coloured chips valued as appropriate for them.
**Placing a bet**: Having your own coloured chips, you now want to place a bet. Provided the coupier has paid off the previous round, you can now place new bets. As you know you can bet on 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, or 18 numbers. It would be helpful to look at a diagram of the betting area while I try to explain (see the link at the bottom). The betting area has 3 columns of numbers and each column has 12 numbers (3x12=36 numbers) each in their own box, on the side of the columns are boxes clearly marked for even, odd, red, black, first 12 (numbers), 1-18 numbers, etc. You can put a bet in any box or between some boxes on the felt. To bet on one number you place your bet on top of the number. To bet on 2 numbers you place your bet on the line between two numbers you want. To bet 3 numbers you'd place your bet on either the left or right (which every is most convenient) most line of a 3 number row. For 4 numbers you'd place your bet on the intersection of the 4 boxes of the numbers. For 6 numbers, you'd place your bet on the right or left intersection of two rows (each of 3 numbers). For 12 numbers you'd place the bet on a special box outside the 3 columns of numbers or in a box or line at the bottom of one of the 3 columns (each column has 12 numbers in it). For 18 numbers you'd place your bet in a specifc box outside the 3 columns, similarly for red, black, even number, or odd number bets you'd place your bet in the appropriate box.
**More bets**: Most roulette players place more than one bet for each wheel spin. Maybe 3 chips on one number here, then a bunch of chips on red, and say more chips on the first 12 numbers box, etc. For those hard to reach spots on the betting area, you can pass the dealer chips and ask them to place the bet for you. Since every player has different coloured chips, it makes things very easy for players to make the same bets. A stack of chips of different colours means simply that several players are making the same bet, and the coupier knows how much to pay to who as all the players have their own distinct colour.
**No more bets** The coupier will declare this and wave their arm over the betting area, when the ball in the wheel is about to drop, and once the ball settles into a slot, the losing bets are taken away, while the winning bets are paid off.
**Strategy** There is no strategy for roulette. It is a completely random game (actually it was orginally develped by mathematicians to generate random numbers, and later became a game). You may see players with roulette cards, writing down and trying to track the roulette results and thereby predict the future, or perhaps the casino has an electronic display of past spins. It's all superstition, is alot of work and doesn't work. Just like a coin being tossed does not know if it landed on heads or tails before, the roulette wheel also has no memory between spins.
**Winning** Like any game of chance you can get lucky and win at Roulette but the odds are against it, and as such if you play long enough you will lose all your money eventually. The reason is that the Casino has a built in edge. Say you bet $1 on one number, the payout is $35, but the odds of hitting one number is 38 to 1 (ie 38 slots, numbers 1-36, 0 and 00), and so the true odds and payout would be $38 for you to statistically break even, but the casino always pays less than true odds, and that;s where they make their profit. If you want to play for as long as possible, statistically you need to limit how many bets you place and limit the amount you bet. Bet less and lose at a slower rate.
**Losing** Yes in the long run and ignoring some lucky short term wins, you will lose all your money at roulette, call it the price of entertainment. For roulette the loss rate is just over 5%, meaning on average you will lose about 5 cents per dollar bet. Say you walked in with $100, and bet on aveage $20 per spin (you know a dollar on that number, $2 on 3 numbers, $5 on a column of 12, etc), and there are 25 spins per hour, and you stay for 4 hours, then your loss rate would be 5% of the total amount you bet: $20 per spin x 25 spins/hour x 4 hours =$2000 bet and 5% of that is $100. In other words your $100 would be wiped out statistically in about 4 hours on average, sometimes it wil take longer and other times you'll tap out sooner.
**Leaving** To leave a game, simply ask to cash in your chips. Roulette chips can't be used else where in the casino, only at the roulette table.
There's lots of terminology and slang the roulette addicts like to use, A "street" is a row of 3 numbers), a "square" bet is a 4 numbers bet, trends, betting progressions, etc. None of which is needed to understand or enjoy the game.
One last point, if you sum the numbers 1 through 36, the grand total is... 666.. which pretty much says it all.
For more information check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roulette