How To Play Roulette

Posted by James Guill

It should come as no surprise that the popularity of brick-and-mortar casino roulette remains just as trendy online. In fact, the simplicity of the roulette rules is one of the reasons novice bettors gravitate towards the big wheel.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to bet on red or black, watch the spin of the wheel, and enjoy the thrill of online casino games for real money, our how-to-play roulette guide will walk you through the basic rules, betting types, the wheel spin, and game variations.

How To Play Roulette: A Detailed Tutorial

Need to how to play roulette? Watch our expert, Tommy Green, show you the ropes.

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How to Play Roulette In Three Steps

Playing online roulette is a three-step process:

stacks of white poker chips

Step 1 -- Place Your Bet

There are a variety of inside and outside bets on the roulette board that we explain in detail below.

a white roulette wheel icon

Step 2 -- Croupier Spins Wheel

The croupier, or dealer, is in charge of taking the roulette ball spinning it one direction and wheel the opposite direction.

a white icon of a banker holding a bag of cash

Step 3 -- Ball Stops & Winners Paid

After a few seconds, the ball will come to rest on a red, black or green slot on the wheel, winners will be paid based on where the ball lands and where the player’s bets were placed on the board.

A Look At a Roulette Table

Our introduction of the roulette table also shows how a typical roulette spin works.

Shot of dealer standing next to roulette table in a casino

Roulette Table

he roulette table includes the roulette wheel and the betting layouts. The croupier spins the wheel and releases the roulette ball.

European roulette wheel in Salzburg

Roulette Wheel

The European Roulette wheel and French roulette wheel each have 37 number pockets. An American roulette wheel has 38 numbers.

american roulette at wild casino

Betting Layouts

Where players place their chips to indicate their bets. Inside bets are placed inside the number grid while outside bets are placed outside the grid.

dealer with roulette chips at table

Placing Bets

To make a bet, you place chips on a specific part of the layout. The chip on the line between the 28 and 31 is a split bet on two adjoining numbers.

roulette wheel with ball on 17 black

The Winning Number

Whenever the ball lands in a pocket, it determines the winners. Landing on 17 wins for bettors on 17, black, odds, and low.

Roulette table

Roulette Payouts

Once you win, the dealer pays out the bet based on your wager’s odds.

Types of Roulette Bets

However, before you head for the cage (or cashier at an online casino) to cash out, you need to know and comprehend the different types of bets in roulette allowed. Also, players should know about the online roulette odds before playing a roulette session.

Outside Bets Inside Bets
Even: A win is if the ball lands on an even number. Street Bet: A bet on any 3 (horizontal) numbers. For example, a bet on 4-6 or 7-9.
Odd: A win is if the ball lands on an odd number. Six Line: this is also referred to as a double street wager. This is a bet on 2 lines of 3 (horizontal) numbers. For example, a bet on 1-6 would be a six-line bet.
Red: A win hits if the ball rests on red numbers Column: This bet pays 2-1 (two-to-one). There are three columns you can wager on.
Black: A win hits if the ball lands on a black number. Corner: This is a bet made on the center of four numbers. For example, you can bet on the corners of 13, 14, 16, 17.
1-18 Number Bet: A win cashes if the ball rests on a number between 1 and 18. Split Bet: This is a bet made on the center of four numbers. For example, you can bet on the corners of 13, 14, 16, 17.
19-36: A win cashes if the ball lands on a number between 19 and 36 Single Number / Straight Up: Bet on any number from 0/00 to 36. This bet pays out very well.
First 12: You win if the ball winds up on a number between 1 and 12.
Second 12: You win if the ball rests on a number between 13 and 24
Third 12: You win if the ball lands on a number between 25 and 36.

Online Roulette Variations

After you place your bet, the dealer/croupier will send the ball for a spin around the wheel. The ball and wheel go in opposite directions before the ball drops into one of the red or black or green numbered pocket slots. There are several game variations to choose from, but in most cases, the basic objective of roulette remains the same.

American Roulette

Features 38 pockets for the ball to fall into, which are 0 and 00 (zero and double-zero) and 1-36.

European roulette

Feature wheel has 37 pockets, which are 0 (zero) and 1-37.

French Roulette

European roulette with specific rules that can shrink the house edges over the player.

Speed roulette

A great option for the player on the go. The wheel spins approximately every 25 seconds, which leads to more payouts every hour.

Double-Ball roulette

Observes American roulette rules, but incorporates a second ball on every spin.

Lightning roulette

Uses a European set-up, but boasts payout multipliers should your number hit.

Online Roulette House Edge

These different roulette game variations may change your strategy somewhat as you decide between an inside or outside wager when also accounting for more or fewer numbered colored slots and betting combinations.

Before you start playing roulette, be sure to factor in the house edge of each game variation. American roulette’s house edge is 5.26%, European Roulette’s house edge is 2.70%. The French roulette wheel has the same house edge as that of European Roulette, but the French version pays half the bet back to the players if the ball lands on 0, to reduce the house edge to 1.35%.

Variants of Roulette for Beginners

New online roulette players will find three major versions of the game: European Roulette, American Roulette, or French Roulette.

europäische Roulette

How to Play European Roulette

Play European Roulette at most land-based casinos outside North America, or play online European Roulette or live European Roulette at any casino site.

European Roulette Wheel

The European Roulette wheel has number slots for 1 through 36, plus a single zero slot (0).

European Roulette Odds and Payout

European Roulette has payouts ranging from 1:1 to 35:1. With its 2.70% house edge, it is the best version of the game to play.

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How to Play American Roulette

Play American Roulette at land-based casinos in the United States. Also, most US casino sites have a version of online American Roulette. Many also feature live American Roulette.

American Roulette Wheel

The American Roulette wheel has number slots for 1 through 36, plus two separate zero slots (0, 00).

American Roulette Odds and Payout

American Roulette has payouts ranging from 1:1 to 35:1. Because it has an additional zero slot which causes most bets to lose, American Roulette has a house edge of 5.26%. Players should avoid this game if possible.

French Roulette Wheel

How to Play French Roulette

Play French Roulette in most land-based European casinos. The best US online casinos also have one or more versions of online French Roulette.

European Roulette Wheel

The French Roulette wheel has number slots for 1 through 36, plus a single zero slot (0). Though it has a zero roulette wheel like the European version, sections of the wheel have French names like Voisons du Zero (neighbors of zero), Le Tiers du Cylinder (thirds of the wheel), and Jue Zero (zero game).

European Roulette Odds and Payout

French Roulette has payouts ranging from 1:1 to 35:1. French Roulette has a 2.70% bet on most wagers, but offers back half the bet on losing even-money bets (for a 1.35% house edge).



How to Play Roulette FAQ

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James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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