How To Play Roulette
Learn how to play roulette in Vegas or at an online casino. Our detailed guide covers everything from the basics to which bets have the best odds, the wheel differences, and the layouts.
In addition, we provide recommendations for increasing your winning chances and other important information about roulette.
Basics of Roulette
Whether you’re learning how to play roulette at a land-based or online casino, the roulette rules will be the same. Here are the basic elements of roulette:
The roulette wheel is split into black, and red pockets randomly numbered from 1 to 36. Depending on the roulette variant, there is also a green 0 (single zero) and 00 (double zero) pocket.
This is the betting area on a roulette table. The numbers on the roulette table correspond to the numbers on the roulette wheel and additional sections on the outer edge of the numbered area.
Roulette chips are used to make bets on the roulette table layout. They come in various denominations from 0.10 to 1K and allow you to adjust your bet size.
The ball determines the outcome, depending on which pocket it will land on the roulette wheel. It spins in the opposite direction of the wheel’s rotation.
Each roulette game has a min/max table limit per game round. The overall table limits usually start at $0.10 and can go up as high as $10,000. However, there are also limits applied to different bet types.
How To Play Roulette Online?
While roulette at first can seem a little intimidating at first, betting on roulette is very simple. Even if it’s your first time placing a bet, you’ll get used to it very quickly. To get you started with the betting process, we’ve prepared a quick guide on how to play a round of roulette:
Select the value of your bet from the chip selector. The selected chip will be raised.
Place chips by selecting positions on the table, or on the racetrack. Note the min and max bet and table. limits.
Once you’re done with placing your bets, spin the wheel by clicking on the ‘Spin’ button.
Once the ball comes to a rest, the winning number will show up. The win amount depends on the size and type of bet.
Click the “rebet” button to place the same bet or the “clear’ button to clear previous bets and place a new bet.
Complete Guide to Roulette
Now that you know the basics of roulette and how to place your first bet, we can look at the game’s rules, how to place bets, and other essential aspects. The guide below covers everything you need to know to start playing.
Knowing how the game works, the differences in wheels and the table layouts, including which types of bets have the best odds, can give you the best possible edge when playing online roulette for real money.
The main objective of roulette is to guess the spin’s outcome accurately, whether it’s the correct number or color that will come up next.
You can place bets on individual numbers, groups of numbers, and even roulette wheel sections.
If your selection is successful after the ball comes to rest on the wheel, the winning bet will be multiplied by the win odds.
Remember that the chances of getting a particular outcome are always the same after the start of each round.
The roulette tables are composed of two sections, the wheel and the betting area, known as the roulette layout.
There are two layouts of roulette:
- Single betting table and a roulette wheel at the end (American and European Roulette)
- Two betting areas and a roulette wheel in the middle (French Roulette)
The betting layout is split into two sections: the inside and the outside. The inside area has 36 numbered squares which are either red or black. The outside area covers a broader range of numbers, like even and odd.
Depending on the type of the whee used, there’s also a “single zero” or “zero and double zero” on top of the numbered area. You can bet on any of the squares inside the table or a combination.
The other difference is that French and European tables include “a racetrack” or a unique betting section.
Racetrack bets are not available in American tables. However, some online variants of American Roulette still allow one type of racetrack bets – The Neighbours.
There are two roulette wheels: the French wheel, which contains 37 pockets, and the American wheel, which includes 38 pockets.
The pockets are numbered from 0 to 36, with 18 red and 18 black pockets and a single green 0. The wheel on American Roulette is the same, but it has an additional “double zero” pocket.
The numbers on the wheel are placed in a mathematically balanced pattern. Due to the additional zero, the number sequence on the wheel in American Roulette does not follow the same order as on the French counterpart.
Firstly, the numbers alternate between red and black. In addition, the even and odd numbers are also balanced out; there shouldn’t be two adjacent odd or even numbers.
The wheel also aims to balance high (19-36) and low (1-18) numbers. This balance is almost perfect in European and French Roulette, while in American, the “00” makes balancing harder. This lack of equilibrium contributes to the higher house edge.
Regarding bets, roulette is a very versatile game, and you’ll be able to make many different types of bets.
Some are riskier but come with higher payouts. In contrast, others come with humble payouts but more frequent wins. Nonetheless, the bets you choose will depend on your bankroll and experience.
Understanding what each type of bet means and how they affect your odds of winning roulette at the casino is vital to ensuring you have a great gaming experience.
They are divided into three main categories, which are listed below.
Inside bets refer to bets made in the inner section of the table and are placed directly on one or more numbers.
Here’s a complete list of inside bets:
|Straight Up||35:1||Bet on any number, including 0 and 00, by placing a chip on top of the number.|
|Split||17:1||Bet on two numbers by placing a chip on the dividing line between two neighbouring numbers.|
|Street||11:1||Bet on three numbers by placing a chip on the boundary line at the edge of the corresponding row. There's also a trio variation of this bet, which involves at least one zero.|
|Corner||8:1||Bet on four numbers by placing a chip on the intersection where the numbers meet.|
|Five||6:1||Bet on five numbers (0, 00, 1, 2 and 3) by placing a chip on the corner that touches the box labeled '1st 12'.
|Line||5:1||Bet on six numbers by placing a chip on the inner boundary line where two rows intersect.|
These bets have lower chances of winning in terms of payouts, and your predictions must be precise. However, they do bring higher payouts.
This roulette bet type is more suitable for experienced players or players keen on taking higher risks and having a larger bankroll.
- Higher payouts
- Lower winning chances
- Require more risk
- Suitable for experienced players
Outside bets are bets made on the outer section of the table and are placed in prepositions such as red-black, odd-even, high-low, first dozen, and so on.
As the zero is neither odd nor even, it is excluded from outside bets and causes them to lose when the ball land on it.
Let’s take a look at different types of outside bets:
|Column||2:1||Bet on twelve numbers by placing a chip on one of the boxes labeled '2:1' to bet on that column. 0 and 00 are not included.|
|Dozen||2:1||Bet on a group of twelve numbers by placing a chip on one of the boxes labeled '1st 12', '2nd 12', or '3rd 12'. 0 and 00 are not included.|
|Snake||2:1||Bet on twelve numbers by placing chips on on 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, 34, resulting in snake shape.|
|1:1||Bet on eighteen numbers by placing a chip any of the outer labeled boxes. 0 and 00 are not included.|
These types of bets offer higher winning chances, as they are based on a broader category of numbers instead of a specific one, but the payouts are also lower.
This is perhaps the roulette bet you should start with if you’re a roulette beginner. However, it’s also suitable if you’re not keen on taking risks and want to extend your playtime.
- Higher winning chances
- Require less risk
- Suitable for beginners
- Smaller payouts
Announced bets, also known as “called bets” or “French bets,” refer to inside bets on a series of numbers available in European and French roulette.
These types differ from the rest of the roulette bets as they are grouped according to the range of numbers they cover and have unique names.
Here’s a complete list of announced bets:
|Bet on series of seventeen numbers: 0/2/3 (trio), 25/26/28/29 (corner), 4/7, 12/15, 18/21, 19/22, 32/35 (split).|
|Tiers||17:1||Bet on series of twelve numbers: 5/8, 10/11, 13/16, 23/24, 27/30, 33/36 (split).|
|Bet on series of series of eight numbers: 6/9, 14/17, 17/20, 31/34 (split) and 1 (straight-up).|
|Bet on a series of seven numbers: 0/3, 12/15, 32/35 (split) and 26 (straight-up).|
|Neighbours||35:1||Bet on five (or more) numbers - one number, plus the next two numbers (or more) on either sides of it on the wheel.|
Similar to outside bets, announced bets have good winning odds as your predictions are broader. However, they also have smaller payouts.
- More table coverage
- Good odds of winning
- Suitable for beginners
- Smaller payouts
Keep in mind that depending on the type of roulette, you can make other special bets such as:
- Several inside bets of the same type (red and black splits)
- Combinations of different inside bets (finale plein, finale cheval, finale plein/cheval)
Similar to other types of casino games, players are expected to stay within the minimum and maximum limits of the table.
These are usually stated on a small plaque. The average min/max table limits range from $0.10 to $5,000 at many US online casinos. As usual, the limits for live dealer roulette are higher and start at $1 up to $10,000.
However, these are just the limits per spin. There are limits for each type of bet, and they work differently from blackjack and baccarat.
|Bet Type||Min bet||Max bet|
Many brick-and-mortar venues prohibit players from placing minimum table bets on Column, Dozen, and Even-Money numbers. Players must wager at least five times the table minimum in many cases with such bets.
However, this is not the case if you play the game online, as the RNG roulette variations let you bet minimum table wagers on Columns, Dozens, and Even-Money bets.
Apart from the basic rules on how to play roulette, some rules in roulette can change how the game is played. Here are some of the best-known roulette rules:
“La Partage| is usually used on many French Roulette tables. With this rule, if you place an even-money bet, you can get half of your wager back if the balls land on zero.
“En Prison” is similar to “La Partage” but with a twist. Here, instead of getting half of your wager back on even-money bets, the wager stays on the table (“imprisoned”) after the ball lands on zero. The wager is then used in the next round, and if it wins, the initial wager is returned to you.
The Surrender rule is used exclusively in some American Roulette tables. It’s almost the same as “La Partage” rule, but it applies to both 0 and 00. If the ball lands on one of the zeros, half of each even money will be returned to you.
These special rules can help you by reducing the house edge, which ultimately will help you lose less money in the long run. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for one of these rules.
Although there are many roulette games to play online and at land-based venues, these are the three main and most popular variations. Let’s compare the key differences between them:
|American Roulette||European Roulette||French Roulette|
|Announced bets?||Only Neighbours||Yes||Yes|
|Avg. payout per $100||$9.47||$9.73||$9.73|
*In American Roulette, with the Surrender rule applied, the house edge can be reduced to 2.63% on all even-money bets, while in European/French, it can be reduced to 1.36% with the En Prison/La Partage rule.
Roulette Odds, House Edge, and Payouts
Now that you’re acquainted with the different types of bets you can make in roulette and their limits, we can focus on the mathematical aspects of roulette.
It’s essential that before any real-money wagers, you understand the odds and probabilities of winning each bet, as well as the house edge of each roulette game.
Probability of winning = ways to win / total number of outcomes
For example, the probability of winning a two-number bet in American Roulette is: 2/38 x 100 = 5.26%
Odds for winning = ways to win / ways to lose
For example, the odds of winning a four-number bet in American Roulette is: 4/34 or 4 to 34
This will enable you to balance out the risks and potential profits and implement a suitable strategy to minimize your losses in the longer run.
Odds, Probabilities, and Payouts
To calculate how likely it is for your bet to win, we’ll need to look at the concept of probability. Then, you can evaluate if the bet is worth making based on its return and the probability of winning with it.
We also need to look at the true odds for winning, representing the number of ways to win versus the number of ways to lose.
However, to see the discrepancy between the true odds of winning a roulette bet and what the casino pays you, we have to consider the reversed odds – odds against winning.
Payouts in roulette are given the form of ‘x to 1’. This means that for every $1 bet you make, you’ll earn the ‘x’ amount plus your initial stake.
Roulette payout = (36 / (number involved in the bet) ) – 1
For example, the payout odds of a single number bet in American Roulette are: (36/1)-1 = 36-1 = 35, so that’s 35 to 1. If you bet $10 on a single number and have a winning bet, you’ll get back $350 plus your $10.
Odds against winning = ways to lose / ways to win
For example, the odds against winning a single number bet in American Roulette is: 37 to 1
Have a look at the odds and probabilities for each roulette bet, including the payouts.
|Bet Type||Payout||Probability||Odds against winning|
|Straight Up||35 to 1||American: 2.63%|
|American: 37 to 1
European: 36 to 1
|Split||17 to 1||American: 5.26%|
|American: 18 to 1
European: 17.5 to 1
|Street||11 to 1||American: 7.89%|
|American: 11.66 to 1 European: 11.33 to 1|
|Corner||8 to 1||American: 10.53%|
|American: 8.5 to 1 European: 8.25 to 1|
|Five||6 to 1||American: 13.16%|
|American: 6.6 to 1
European: 6.4 to 1
|Line||5 to 1||American: 15.79%|
|American: 5.333 to 1
European: 5.166 to 1
|Column||2 to 1||American: 31.58%|
|American: 2.166 to 1
European: 2.083 to 1
|Dozen||2 to 1||American: 31.58%|
|American: 2.166 to 1
European: 2.083 to 1
|Odd/Even||1 to 1||American: 47.37%|
|American: 1.111 to 1
European: 1.055 to 1
|High/Low||1 to 1||American: 47.37%|
|American: 1.111 to 1
European: 1.055 to 1
|Red/Black||1 to 1||American: 47.37%|
|American: 1.111 to 1
European: 1.055 to 1
From this table, we can conclude that the lower the likelihood of winning with a roulette bet, the greater the return the house offers, and vice versa.
You can also notice that the casino pays out winning bets at reduced odds, which do not necessarily match the mathematical probability of winning with a given type of bet.
Outside bets generally have lower payouts, as they have a higher likelihood of happening, and the probability of the roulette ball landing on any of them is 48.65%.
Moreover, the fewer numbers in your bet, the more money you’ll win. This is because the odds of winning a single number are far lower than the odds of winning 18 numbers.
Let’s have a look at the odds and payouts for announced bets, for comparison.
|Jeu Zero||35:1||European: 18.90%|
|Neighbours||35:1||American: 13.16% - 44.73%
European: 13.51% - 45.94%
We can see that the Voisins offer the best chance of winning, as they cover more numbers than most common roulette bets, except for the 18-number bets, but they come with reduced payouts.
In terms of the house edge, roulette is a mid-range game. However, the house advantage varies depending on which roulette game is played.
The house edge in roulette comes because of the zero pockets. If there wasn’t a zero on the roulette wheel, you’d have better chances of winning both inside and outside bets.
In American Roulette, for example, there are two zero pockets on the wheel, increasing the house edge to a significant 5.26%.
As there are 38 pockets in total, and you place a Straight Up bet on any given number, mathematically, your odds against winning will be 37 to 1.
This is what the true odds are. However, the casino holds players at a slight disadvantage as it pays only 35 to 1 for winning Straight Up bets. This is the casino odds.
(odds against winning – casino odds) x probability of winning
For example, the house edge for a single number bet in American Roulette is: (37/1 – 35/1) x 1/38 = 5.26%
As you can see, the difference between the odds against winning and the casino odds in American roulette is equal to two units. With only one zero, this difference in European and French Roulette is just one unit, equaling a reduced house edge of 2.70%.
|Bet Type||Payout||House Edge|
|Straight Up||35 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Split||17 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Street||11 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Corner||8 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Five||6 to 1||American: 7.89%
|Line||5 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Column||2 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Dozen||2 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Odd/Even||1 to 1||American: 5.26%
|High/Low||1 to 1||American: 5.26%
|Red/Black||1 to 1||American: 5.26%
Please keep in mind that the house edge in roulette remains the same, even though the payouts for different bets fluctuate.
In double 00 games, you should avoid the Five Number bet because it is anything but profitable. The probability of winning with one such bet is only 13.16%, while the house edge reaches a shocking 7.89%.
Knowing the house edge in the roulette game is essential as it will allow you to make more informed bet placement decisions and minimize your losses over extended periods.
If you take house edge into account, you can calculate how many losses you will face for every $1,000 you bet on roulette, which will be $270 on European Roulette, and $526 on American Roulette.
This makes it very clear why European Roulette is the better choice if you want to cut on losses in the long run.
How Roulette Rules Influence House Edge?
We already explained that roulette has special roulette rules that apply to even-money bets. The table below presents how these rules influence the house edge.
|Bet Type||House Edge influence||House Edge|
|European Roulette + "La Partage"||-1.34%||1.36%|
|European Roulette + "En Prison"||-1.34%||1.36%|
|American Roulette + "Surrender"||-2.63%||2.63%|
As you can see, these rules decrease the house edge to your benefit. So, if you’re playing roulette with any of these rules at hand, remember that they are more beneficial in the long run.
How to Play Roulette and Win?
As it is impossible to win regularly in roulette, there are certain things you can do to have the best possible edge when playing. It all starts with understanding the roulette basics and how certain things, such as the type of bets or wheel differences, can work to your advantage.
Don’t forget that roulette is a chance-based game; skill and strategy are not as involved as in, for example, blackjack.
It makes no difference if you win 3 times in a row or 30 times in a row; your odds at each spin are always the same. You only have control over how much you bet, how long you play, and how frequently you play.
Ready To Play Roulette?
Learning to play roulette is easy, especially if you understand how the game works, what types of bets you can make, and the differences in wheels.
We advise to start with European Roulette, which has a house edge of just 2.63% and very simple rules to follow. Then start with simple bets like outside bets. Once you feel more comfortable, you can move on to riskier bets such as inside bets.
Last but not least, master the odds and payouts of each bet, so you have a strong understanding of the risk you’re taking.
How many numbers are on a roulette wheel?
The amount of numbers available on the wheel depends on the roulette game. American Roulette has 38 numbers, while European Roulette has 37. This small difference in pockets greatly affects your odds of winning, which are in favor of the house in American Roulette.
How to play roulette online?
You must register a free account at any top-rated US online casinos to play roulette online. Before launching any available roulette games, you’ll be required to make a real money deposit. Note that some operators also offer “demo mode”, which lets you try out the games before wagering real money.
How do you place a roulette bet?
Placing a bet on online roulette is very simple. For the best experience, you should be familiar with different types of bets, like the Pass and Come rolls. In any case, we offer a step-by-step guide on how to place bet, and what are the things you need to look our for.
What is the best bet in roulette?
The best bet in roulette is the single-number bet or the Straight Up bet. The odds against winning this bet are 37 to 1 in American Roulette ad 36 to 1 in European Roulette. With this said, the odds of winning a single number are lower than those of winning 18 numbers.
What is the safest bet in roulette?
The safest bet in roulette is the even-money bet. By betting on red/black, odd/even, or high/low you’ll have the highest chances of winning (almost 50%). However, this will bring the lowest possible payout available in the game.
What bet should be avoided in roulette?
The five-number bet, available in American Roulette, should be avoided at all costs, as the house edge on that bet jumps to an astonishing 7.89%. No wonder it’s called “the beast”.
What is the house edge in roulette?
The house edge varies in Roulettte between variants from 2.70% in European and French Roulette to 5.26% in American Roulette. The house edge can be further reduced using rules such as La Partage, En Prison in French, and Surrender in American Roulette.
How can I increase my chances of winning roulette?
For a better chance of winning, play single European and French Roulette and stick to outside bets. These games lower house edge compared to American Roulette. Moreover, outside bets come with better winning odds than inside bets, but they pay less. Here’s a complete list of roulette tips.