The game of Roulette is easily spotted in the modern casino, because it is the only active table game which uses a mechanical element as a key ingredient. Roulette is also the only casino game, apart from Reel Slot Machines, where players are mere spectators and can make no decisions to affect the outcome of the game.
Roulette provides the House with a steady 5.3% edge over the player. This House Edge is derived from the use of the 0 and the 00 House Numbers. Since there are 38 total numbers which can become the winning number, but any such single straight up win, will only pay off 35 to 1, it is pretty clear how this comes about. In European Roulette there is only one 0 House Number which gives the House Edge of only 2.7% overall.
The layout is rectangular in shape. In the center is a red and black grid bearing the numbers 1 through 36, which correspond to the numbers on the Roulette wheel and appear on the layout in 12 rows of three, numbered sequentially. The left side of the layout also displays the two House Numbers and 00, in green. This makes a total of 38 available numbers any of which can be bet on, either singly or in groups. Additionally, the layout displays areas along one side marked 1 through 18, and 19 through 36, which refer to hose groups of numbers; first 12, second 12 and third 12, (i.e., 1 through 12, 13 through 24, and 25 through 36, known as Squares); odd and even, which refer to all odd or all even numbers on the wheel; and black and red, which refer to all numbers bearing that color. The final area available for bets are the first row or 12, second row of 12, and the third row of 12, known as Columns, which unlike the Squares, are non sequential.
Roulette is an extremely simple game. The Croupier places a small white ball into a groove around the rim of the dish and spins it in the opposite direction to the spin of the wheel, Winning and losing depend on where the ball lands and which bets players have made prior to the spin. Each spin of the wheel is a new game.
Roulette gaming chips show no denomination value. The value of each chip is determined either by the value you specify each chip to, or automatically by the value to that table's minimum betting requirement. If the table minimum is .50 chips, you may specify the value of your chips to be .50, $1 up to $5 each. If you specify $5 value chips, then you will get the red chips with $5 value printed on them. All other chips don't have their value printed on them, the dealer tells them apart by colors. You can receive your chips in, say blue, the second player in yellow, the third in brown, and the fourth player in green. That tells you apart. The colors themselves do not matter.
How to Play Roulette.
The simplest inside bet you can make is a bet on a single number. This is known as a Straight Up bet. If you bet on one number from among the 38 numbers available, (1 through 36, plus the 0 and the 00); if it hits, you are paid 35 to 1. All Roulette tables have a small sign that outlines the betting minimum and maximum for Inside and Outside bets. Some tables will have a sign that also stated the minimum Spread required for Inside bets. Although the table minimum for Inside bets may be listed as $1, when you are at a table that requires a minimum Spread, you must bet a certain amount in total on the Inside, usually $5. That is, five $1 chips spread over the Inside grid, or stacked over any single bet option. You are free to make as many Straight Up bets as you wish, however, only one number could win. If you bet all 38 numbers you'd be an automatic loser, because the most you can win is 35 to 1 on any one such bet. You can also bet on a combination of any two numbers next to each other on the table layout. This known as a Split, or Group-2 bet. By increasing you odds of hitting a winner, you directly reduce the payoff on your win.
Source: Casino Gold Book