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How to Place a Bet in Roulette

In the game of roulette, players place wagers on one or more numbers on the roulette table, or on red or black colored squares on the table. Then, the "croupier" (a French word for the person in charge of the table), spins the roulette wheel. Players simply wait to see if the silver ball in the wheel lands on one of their numbers--if it does they win a certain amount of money, depending on their bet.

Small Bets vs. Large Bets

Generally, large bets are not advisable in roulette. Of course, there will always be the high roller or the thrill seeker who stops by a roulette table and places a huge bet on a single number, just because he or she is feeling lucky. It's important to remember however, that roulette is based on just that--luck--and so there are no guarantees. To be safe, it's a good idea to place several small bets on a few numbers or colors to improve your odds and avoid major losses.

European vs. American Wheels

While most traditional casinos in the U.S. will just feature American roulette wheels, online casinos sometimes offer players the option of choosing between European and American wheels. If you are presented with the option, go with the European version. These have 37 pockets instead of the 38 found in the U.S version, meaning that the odds are just slightly more in your favor than they would be with an extra pocket.

Before you sit down at a roulette table in a traditional casino, you'll have to purchase chips specifically for that game. If you are playing online roulette, you'll be automatically directed to this purchase before play begins.