How to Read a Roulette Table Correctly and Understand the Game Better?

Before I tell you how to read a roulette table, let me throw some light on the basics first. The roulette wheel is where the main action of the game takes place. Because of this, players tend to pay less attention to the roulette table. 

However, you cannot master the game or choose the best strategy to apply, if you do not know how to read a roulette table. 

Having said that, here’s an in-depth guide that helps you understand the roulette table and also shows you how to calculate the odds of the game.

So, let’s get started.

How to Read a Roulette Table

How to Read a Roulette Table

The roulette table layout basically groups and summarizes all the possible bets you can make in the game. Just like the numbered wheel, the table has boxes numbered 1-36, which alternate between red and black pockets. (Source: Wikipedia)

There are also one or two boxes for the casino’s number (single zero in European roulette, and an additional double zero in American roulette).

Before I go into the different bets that can be made on the roulette table, let’s take a quick look at the popular table versions.

1. American roulette table layout

How to Read an American Roulette Table

As you can see, there are two boxes for the zeros and 36 boxes for the other numbers, making a total of 38 numbered boxes. These are divided into 3 columns and 12 rows. The numbered area is known as the inside area, while the boxes outside the numbered sections are known as the outside area. 

2. European roulette table layout

How to Read an European Roulette Table

This is the most popular roulette table layout. The only difference between this and the American version is that it has 37 numbered boxes. It includes just a single zero. 

The Roulette Table Strategy

Now that you know what a typical roulette table looks like, you can learn the role that the layout plays in the roulette table strategy. 

In roulette, the ball and the wheel determine the outcome of the game, while the table is where players place their bets on the area that they think would win. 

The table is divided into two main sections; The Inside and The Outside. The Inside is the number grid where you can bet on single numbers or a combination of numbers. The chips placed on this grid are known as inside bets. Some of the inside bets you can make in roulette are:

  • Single Bet: For this bet, you can place your chips on any single number of your choice on the roulette table. This bet offers the highest payout in the game because the odds are lower. 
  • Split Bet: You can place your chips on two numbers, but they have to be adjoining. The payout is half of the single bet’s since you’re including a second number. 
  • Street Bet: Here, you can place your chips on three consecutive numbers on the roulette table. For example, you can divide your chips and place them on the boxes numbered 1, 2, and 3. 
  • Corner Bet: For this, you are allowed to place your chips on any four numbers that form a square. For example, 4, 5, 7, and 8 make a corner bet.

There are two other popular inside bets that involve betting on five to six different numbers on the table. 

The outside section of the roulette table defines the characteristics or groupings of the numbers. There are 12 outside boxes in total, but they can be grouped into six categories. Some of these are:

  • Column Bet: If you go back to either of the layouts above, you’ll see 3 boxes to the right end of the number grid, all labeled “2 to 1.” These bets are called column bets. If you place your chips on one of these boxes, it means that you’re betting on all of the numbers in that column. For example, if you go with the first “2 to 1” bet from the top of the table, you’re betting on the numbers 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, and 36. 
  • Dozen Bet: You can call this the opposite of the column bet. The 3 boxes that are labeled “1st 12”. “2nd 12”, and “3rd 12”, are all dozen bets. If you place your chips on any of the 3 boxes, it means that you’re betting on the 4 rows (which have 12 numbers) that the box covers. 

The other categories of outside bets describe whether the ball will land on a low number (numbers between 1 to 18), a high number (numbers between 19 to 36), an even number, an odd number, a number with a red pocket, or a number with a black pocket. 

Outside bets are easier to remember because the boxes clearly define them. The only “bad” thing about the bets is that they pay lower than inside bets since they are usually even-money bets (only 1 or 2 possible outcomes). 

There is another type of bet, an announced bet, that is popular in French roulette and online European roulette. However, this bet is more concerned with the roulette wheel layout, and not the table layout. It is mostly used in advanced roulette betting strategies. Just like outside bets, it covers large sections of the betting board/roulette table.

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Roulette Odds

The last important thing that will help you to understand a roulette table and the roulette table strategies you can use, is the roulette odds. 

It is quite easy to calculate the odds of the game. You simply need to divide the number of possible outcomes or winning numbers by the total possibilities. 

For instance, if you decide to place your chips on a single number (single bet), your odds of winning would be 1 to 37 in European roulette, and 1 to 38 in American roulette (because of the extra number). 

If you go for outside bets such as even/odd, red/black, or low/high, your odds would be 18 to 37 or 18 to 38. 

The odds are also used to calculate the payouts. Inside bets qualify for bigger wins because the odds are lower, whereas outside bets qualify for lower payouts because they cover more areas of the roulette table, thus increasing the odds. 

Conclusion 

There are different betting combinations that you can use in roulette. If you ever get stuck or confused, you simply need to look at the sections on the roulette table. You might need to memorize some of the inside bets as they are not defined as the outside bets. Good luck and have fun playing!

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