Looking to learn? The guru's the guy! I'm more than happy to take you on your first roulette journey. I'll teach you how to step up to the table for the first time, with confidence. We'll also touch on how to go about playing online if that's your prefernece.
To begin with, the Roulette table uses it's own chips, different from the rest of the casino. When you put your money or regular chips down (which are actually called checks) you will be given a stack of roulette chips all the same color. Each player at the table uses their own color, as this is the only way the dealers can keep track of who's bet is who's.
Roulette moves at a fairly slow pace, so if you don't like the hustle and bustle of the craps table, learning how to play roulette may be a smart decision. The value of the color of chips is defined by the dealers, and is public knowledge to the gamers, as all of your chips will be of the same value. Dealers place what is known as a 'lammer' on top of a chip of that color. If you see the person beside you with red chips and you see a lamer on a stack of red chips with $100 printed on it, you know that stack of red chips is worth $100. Stacks of chips are usually 20 deep, so the $100 marker on the stack indicates that the chips are worth $5 each ($5 x 20 chips = $100).
Right, so you've stepped up, laid your money down, been assigned some chips and your color: Your ready to play roulette! Placing bets in roulette is fairly easy, but like the craps table there are many different places you can put things down, so it's confusing at first. Basically bets fall into either one of two categories, inside bets and outside bets. Logically, outside bets are ones where the betting area runs along the outer edge of the table. Inside bets are the ones on the main grid of numbers, on the inside.
To place a bet, simply take your roulette chips and put them down where you want to bet. Ok that sounds a little simple, but there isn't much more to it. One thing to note, outside bets must each be at least the table minimum, whereas inside bets only have to total the table minimum. This means if the table minimum is $5, outside bets each have to be $5, but on your inside bets you can make 5 $1 bets if you like. You can make as many different bets as you want (you can even bet on red and black at the same time, not much point, but you can), just so long as your bet total is over the table minimum, and under the table maximum.
You can place a bet at almost, but not quite, any time in a roulette session. After one spin has come to rest and the losing bets have been swept away, you'll see people starting to lay their bets down. This actually takes some time, so you don't have to be in a hurry. You can keep placing your bets right up until the dealer waves his hands over the table and yells "no more bets!". The dealer doesn't actually do this until after the ball has been spinning for a bit, so you can place bets while the wheel is still in motion, all you need to pay attention to is the dealer.
After the ball comes to rest, the dealers will begin to pay off winning bets, and sweep the board clean of losing bets. It's quite sobering to watch a few rounds and realize that it doesn't seem difficult for the casino to always sweep away more than it pays out. No matter though, as long as they aren't your bets they're sweeping away.
That's the long and short of it folks, it's not so complicated. In fact roulette is a very easy game to learn, and even easier to play. The sophisticated air it maintains at the casino is there to attract the more affluent people (casinos like big spenders), but this shouldn't stop you from enjoying a spin.