Are you the type of gambler who particularly enjoys stepping up to the roulette table whenever you are in a casino? If the answer to that question is yes, then we share something in common. I have always felt there is something about this game that seems to typify and embody the elements of risk and blind chance which are at the core of the gambling experience. No other game, with the possible exception of craps, seems to offer such a visceral representation of this phenomenon. Thus, I am a big fan of roulette.

However, I am often discouraged to see how many younger gamblers throw down huge amounts of money with no appreciation for the subtleties of the game. While pure chance is central to roulette, it is far from an anarchic or meaningless free-for-all. A tremendous amount of strategy must be brought to bear in terms of the betting. Let's take a look at some elements which any solid roulette player will always include as part of an overall winning formula.

In particular, it would be wise to delineate the particular bets available to you when you play. They go as follows. Straight: a single number. The chip is placed entirely on this square and no other. Split: a bet on two adjoining numbers, either on the vertical or horizontal (as in 14-17 or 8-9.) The chip is placed on the edge between these numbers. Street: a bet on three numbers on a single horizontal line. The chip is placed on the edge of the number at the left or the right, depending on the layout. Corner (or square): a bet on four numbers in a square layout (as in 19-20-22-23.) The chip is placed at the horizontal and vertical intersection of these numbers.

Sixline (or 'sixaine'): a bet on two adjoining streets, with the chip placed at the corresponding intersection (as in 25-30.)

Now let's take a detailed look at the wheel itself, and the special series bets found on it. These are placed by betting a set amount per series, or multiples of that amount. They are determined by the way certain numbers lie next to each other on the wheel. Note that these series are all based on a European wheel, with a single zero.

Voisins ("Neighbors")

This is a name for the numbers which lie between 22 and 25 on the wheel, including 22 and 25 themselves. The series is 22,18,29,7,28,12,35,3,26,0,32,15,19,4,21,2,25.

Tiers ("The Third")

This is the name of the numbers on the opposite side of the wheel between 27 and 33, including 27 and 33 themselves. The series is 27,13,26,11,30,8,23,20,5,24,16,33.

rphelins ("Orphans")

These numbers comprise two slices of the wheel outside the Tiers and Voisins. They contain a total of eight numbers. 5 chips or multiples thereof are bet.

As anyone can see, this is far from a simple game. So be sure to bring the proper strategy to the roulette table to enhance your success, but also don't forget to have fun.

Analyzing the Odds in Roulette

The first step to analyzing the odds in roulette is to understand how to play the game of roulette. There are two types of roulette wheels; one is European with 37 numbers (including a zero). The other roulette wheel is an American wheel with 38 numbers (including the added double zero). As we know, the American roulette wheel increases the odds of the house by 5.26 percent. Knowing this information is part of the process of analyzing the odds in roulette.

We should all have a good idea of what a roulette wheel looks like. A marble spins around the circular roulette wheel to finally land on a number. The inside circle of the roulette wheel contains black and white numbers. Oftentimes, the zero or double zero is highlighted in green. Why? Zeros and double-zeros usually have a higher payout than the other numbers. The marble we spoke of is thrown into the inner circle of the roulette wheel by the dealer; did you know the dealer is also called the croupier? Anyways, back to the roulette game. How much money can you win? It depends on your bets as well as where the marble lands!

So now that you know what the roulette wheel looks like and the basics of how it works, let’s consider the area where you place your bets. Picture a checkerboard design made up of three rows. Since this is a checkerboard, we can conclude of course that the space is made up of little squares. Each square contains a number; and yes, these numbers correspond to the numbers on the roulette wheel. Now, a beginner knows that you can win by picking the same number that the marble lands on. However, did you also know that there are other ways to win roulette? Although picking the exact number will allow you to win the most amount of money, there are additional ways to win something. Remember that checkerboard layout! Well, other squares branch off from the original three rows of numbers; this is where you can make other bets to win.

Now, what can you bet on? You have several options. Will the marble land on red or black or odd or even numbers? Will the marble stop somewhere in a group of numbers? These types of bets are 50/50; you win the exact amount you bet. These odds make for a safer way to play roulette for an extended period of time as the odds are pretty equal.

Analyzing the odds in roulette can help propel you on your way to winning. Let’s take a look at the odds in roulette. Your odds of winning are 1 to 1 for even numbers, odd numbers, black squares, or red squares, between numbers 1 to 18, and between numbers 19 and 36. However, that does not mean you have a 50/50 chance of winning. The marble would just as easily fall into a green square as it would a black or red one. Bet carefully. The 50/50 just means you are choosing one scenario over the other (black or red, or odds or evens). Your odds are 2 to 1 for any numbers between 1 and 12, 13 and 24, or 25 and 36. The odds go up quite a bit if you bet on a single number; those odds are 35:1.

Want to bet on more than one number? Sure! Place your betting chips on the intersecting lines of the three rows of the checkerboard area; that allows you to bet on two to six numbers, variable on where the chip is placed. When you place a chip on a checkerboard intersection, of course your odds change. For a 2-number combination, including only the zero and double zero, your odds are 17 to 1. For 3-number combos, it’s 11 to 1. Four numbers is 8 to 1, five is 6 to 1, and six number combos are 5 to 1. Your odds are better in you make a simple bet, such as red versus black. However, you’ll achieve a higher payout with choosing more exact numbers (but of course your odds are less). That’s the gamble you take when analyzing the odds in roulette and playing the game!