Roulette is one of the most popular and exciting games available to online casino players. To give you the best chance of winning, use this page to familiarise yourself with the essential rules and strategies of Roulette before you play for real money.
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How To Play Roulette
The game mechanics of Roulette are simple enough for beginners to pick up easily. You place your bet(s) on any of the fields marked out on the table, and the wheel spins. If the little ball lands in a pocket that you bet on, you win! If we break it down into steps, the process is like this:
- Place your bets by laying chips on the area of the table representing the number you wish to bet on.
- The dealer spins the wheel, throws the ball in, and declares “no more bets”.
- The ball stops in a single pocket, numbered 0-36.
- If that pocket is one you bet on, you win. If not, bad luck!
For a lot of players, this is all that you need to know in order to have fun playing Roulette. Those seeking more complexity though, can explore further the different betting options and payouts that are available on the felt. We will get into these later in the guide.
How To Play Online Roulette For Money?
Lots of people like to play Roulette online nowadays. It takes hardly any time at all to start playing – just follow these simple steps:
- Sign up at one of the top Roulette online casinos listed on this page – all come highly recommended by our CasinoGuide experts.
- Make your first deposit and claim your welcome bonus.
- Search the casino games library for the word ‘Roulette’ and choose your preferred variation.
- Enjoy the game!
There are a wide variety of bets you can place when playing Roulette. In the table below you will find all the bets that are available in a typical European Roulette game.
|Red / Black|
Any red / black number
|1 : 1||48.6%|
|Low numbers (1-18)|
High numbers (19-36)
|1 : 1||48.6%|
|Odd / Even|
Any odd / even number
|1 : 1||48.6%|
|1st Dozen (1-12)|
2nd Dozen (13-24)
3rd Dozen (25-36)
|2 : 1||32.4%|
1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34
|2 : 1||32.4%|
2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35
|2 : 1||32.4%|
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36
|2 : 1||32.4%|
Any 6 number combination
|5 : 1||16.2%|
Any 5 number combination
|6 : 1||13.5%|
Any 4 number combination
|8 : 1||10.8%|
Any 3 number combination
|11 : 1||8.1%|
Any 2 number combination
|17 : 1||5.4%|
Any number, including 0
|35 : 1||2.7%|
Special Roulette Bets
Usually the preserve of advanced players (or someone who wants to appear so), there are certain ‘special’ bets which you can make at the Roulette wheel. These are made as follows:
Voisins du Zero
Odds: 45.9%. Place 9 equal-value chips like so:
- 1 chip: 4/7, 12/15, 18/21, 19/22, 32/35
- 2 chips: 0, 2, 3, 25, 26, 28, 29
In practice: after 5 spins, we were up by £49!
Tiers du Cylindre
Odds: 32.4%. Place 6 equal-value chips like so:
- 1 chip: 5/8, 10/11, 13/16, 23/24, 27/30, 33/36
In practice: 5 spins of this one put us down £12 unfortunately.
Odds: 24.3%. Place 5 equal-value chips like so:
- 1 chip: 1, 6/9, 14/17, 17/20, 31/34
In practice: Making this bet five times caused our bankroll to drop a further £25.
Roulette Odds And House Edge
The odds of winning at Roulette vary depending on the bets you make, as shown in the table above. As with any casino game, online or offline, there is an element to Roulette which tips it in the favour of the casino/house. But this ‘house edge’ does not change depending on the bet, as it does in Craps.
The house edge of European Roulette is 2.7%, and this holds true for all bets. The house edge in Roulette is derived from the zero on the wheel – if the ball lands in the zero pocket, most bets will lose. The chance of getting a zero, or indeed any other single number, is 2.7%.
Imagine you bet on red. There are 18 numbers that mean you win, and 19 that mean you lose. The odds are as follows:
- Red: 37-18 or 48.6%
- Black: 37-18 or 48.6%
- Zero: 36-1 or 2.7%
The 2.7% chance of the ball landing in a pocket that is neither red nor black is what gives the casino its advantage. Meaning even though it pays out at even money, betting on red or black doesn’t give you a 50/50 chance of winning.
American Roulette House Edge
In American Roulette, there are two zeros on the wheel, so the house edge is nearly twice as big at 5.26%. This is why most savvy Roulette players will advise you to steer clear of American tables.
There is one bet in American Roulette which does not have a 5.26% house edge. It’s called the ‘sucker bet’, and has a whopping house edge of 7.89%. If you still want to try this bet out, it is made by placing chips on the five lowest numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3.
People started to play European Roulette at the turn of the 19th century. Since then, mathematicians and gamblers alike have been searching for the perfect Roulette strategy or system that can consistently return wins to its player.
Despite Roulette being undeniably a game of luck, there are people who believe these systems will guarantee profitable sessions. In reality, betting systems are best used to regulate your play, taking the randomness and guesswork out of deciding how much to bet and what to bet on.
Our complete guide to betting systems contains all you need to know. The crucial fact remains though, that regardless of the system or strategy you implement in Roulette, the house edge will always exist and cannot be avoided.
Put simply: there are no sure-fire ways to guarantee winning at Roulette, either on a single spin or over the course of an hour-long session.
If you’re playing for the first time you might find yourself confused in regards to which of the many variations of Roulette you should play. Use this quick explainer to get yourself started:
The most common Roulette variation, European Roulette uses a wheel with numbers 0-36. As mentioned above, it has a house edge of 2.7%, regardless of the bet you make.
‘En Prison’ Roulette *The Best*
Some variations of Roulette offer a rule known as ‘En Prison’. When playing with this rule, instead of losing your bet when the ball lands on zero, your wager is put ‘in prison’. Then another spin of the wheel will decide whether you win or lose that bet.
If you are playing European Roulette (i.e. a table with one zero) with En Prison rules, the house edge is reduced to just 1.35%.
Some American Roulette games will offer you the ‘Surrender’ rule on even money bets (i.e. red/black, even/odd, high/low). With this rule, you only lose half your bet when the ball lands in one of the zero pockets.
This reduces the house edge down to 2.63%, which is in fact lower than the house edge in standard European Roulette.
The rules of American Roulette differ in nature to the rules of the European version of the game. In American Roulette, different chips are normally used in comparison to other table games.
Upon sitting at the table each player receives chips of different colour. Once this is done players are then allowed to place their bets which are made on the American Roulette table itself, where all the different betting options are envisioned.
Very much like in the European version of Roulette, the majority of bets when playing American Roulette are placed before the wheel is spun by the dealer. However, in American Roulette, bets can be placed, decreased and removed even after the dealer spins the wheel.
Nonetheless, when the dealer cuts off betting by calling out ‘no more bets’ a player will not be able to change or make any more bets. Once the ball drops into one of the pockets, the dealer announces the winning number and money is paid out to the winner(s).
While losing bets are swept off the table, players can decide which number or group of numbers to bet on next.
Take your pick from one of our recommended American Roulette casinos listed above and try it for yourself!
American Roulette Bets
In American Roulette, bets are divided into two types; bets on individual numbers and group bets. Inside bets are made on a single number, contiguous numbers or small groups of numbers. On the other hand, outside bets form part of larger groups of numbers.
Take a look at the explanations of the bets below to be able to differentiate between the ones you decide to make.
American Roulette Inside Bets
|Straight-Up Bet||Bets of this kind are simply placed on just one number, which includes the ‘0’ and ‘00’.||35:1|
|Street Bet||A street bet is placed on three numbers in a row and is placed on the line at the end of the row. Bets can be placed to include for example: 0, 1, 2; 0, 00, 2; 00, 2, 3.||11:1|
|Corner Bet||A corner bet is a group of four numbers and is placed at the corner where these four numbers touch.||8:1|
|Five Bet||A five bet features 0,00,1, 2 and 3 and is placed at the corner of the roulette table.||6:1|
|Line Bet||A line bet is a bet which is placed on six numbers (or two rows of three numbers) at the end of two rows, on the border between them.||5:1|
American Roulette Outside Bets
It’s important to note that all outside bets are halved and returned to their respective players in case the winning number is ‘0’ to ‘00’.
|Column Bet||This type of bet features a whole column and is placed on the ‘2-1’ box at the end of the column.||2:1|
|Dozen Bet||A Dozen Bet is one that features a group of 12 numbers and can be placed on the ‘1st 12’ box (1 to 12), the ‘2nd 12’ box (13 to 24), or the ‘3rd 12’ box (25 to 36).||2:1|
|Bet On Colour||A bet on colour either features a group of numbers with all red numbers or all black numbers on the roulette table.||1:1|
|Bet On Odd / Even||Bets on even numbers or all odd numbers on a layout are placed on the ‘Even’ box or the ‘Odd’ box (all odd numbers).||1:1|
|Bet On Low / High||Bets of this kind either feature all low numbers or all high numbers and are placed on the ‘Low’ box (numbers 1 to 18) or the ‘High’ box (numbers 19 to 36).||1:1|
New AR wager
NewAR wager is another variation of an outside bet in which a player has two options that is either betting that the winning number will be Black/Odd or 0, or to bet that the number will be Red/Even or 0.
If the player’s bet does not fall under the winning combination the wager will then be taken by the house. If the player wins his payout will be 3 to 1, but if the winning number is 0 then the payout will in effect be 2 to 1.
American Roulette Wheel Differences
Undoubtedly the biggest difference between European Roulette and American Roulette table experience is the type of wheel used. Whilst the European version of the game has one ‘0’ pocket, the American version incorporates two; a ‘0’, as well as a ‘00’ pocket.
This is why American Roulette is said to have a higher house advantage than the European version of the game. The house advantage of this variant of the game stands at approximately at 5.26% as opposed to the house advantage of European Roulette which is 2.70%.
Another interesting difference is that the numbers on an American roulette wheel are placed in pairs which are opposite to each other. European numbers on the other hand have numbers which are dispersed more evenly along the wheel.
The Story Of Roulette
The sense of mystery and curiosity that offline and online Roulette evokes has intrigued experienced and beginner players alike. In days gone by, large crowds of casino players would dress to impress in their most stylish and elegant attire to play.
Nowadays of course, many choose to play online Roulette from the comfort of their own homes rather than visit a land-based casino to play. The evolution of Roulette from a traditional casino game to a modern online casino game is fascinating.
Starting from the beginning, the first and most obvious question is; who invented Roulette?
Although we don’t have a definite answer to this, there are many possibilities. The most popular theory is that it was invented by Blaise Pascal, an academic scientist from France. Some believe that it was created by a French monk to brighten up life at the monastery.
Still others think that a group of French Dominican monks came up with the idea of Roulette. Supposedly they based it on an old Tibetan game, in which 37 animal statuettes were arranged into a mystical square number of 666 – which also happens to be the sum of all the numbers on a Roulette wheel.
Blaise Pascal: The Father of Roulette?
During the 17th century, the perpetual motion machine was invented by a French student of probability named Blaise Pascal. After a few changes in its layout and design were made, the first Roulette wheel was born.
Reports from this era state that Roulette was first sighted in a Paris casino, where it became a favourite amongst the players there. Early iterations of the Roulette wheel had pockets labelled 1-36 with a single 0 pocket.
However, many casinos thought that this created a very unfavourable house edge. So an owner of a Monte Carlo casino named Francois Blanc, together with his brother, became the first to another 0 to some of their Roulette wheels. This was done in order to increase the house edge and boost the game’s profits.
Skipping ahead to 1873, this was the year in which Joseph Jaggers managed to cheat over $325,000 from a malfunctioning Roulette wheel in a Monte Carlo Casino. The 1800s were good to high rolling Roulette players, as nearly two decades later in 1891 Charles Wells managed to ‘break the bank’ playing Roulette in the same district.
Roulette Spreads From France
The 1800s is also the century in which Roulette fever eventually spread outside France and made its debut in the rest of Europe and America. Some Roulette wheels incorporated a single zero, which favoured casino patrons, while others included a double zero, increasing the house edge.
Games using Roulette wheels with a double zero are now commonly referred to as ‘American Roulette’. Those using wheels that retain the original single zero are known as ‘European Roulette’ or just ‘Roulette’.
French Roulette also exists, and is considered to be the oldest form of Roulette. It was invented before the first zero was added to the Roulette wheel – giving the house an edge for the first time. French Roulette is very similar to European Roulette – the main difference being layout of the betting fields.
Roulette in Popular Culture
Roulette has been featured in numerous books over the years, ranging from crime novels to adventure books. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until moving films become a cultural phenomenon around the globe that Roulette reached its peak.
The 1942 film Casablanca was the very first moving picture to feature Roulette. This paved the way to it being shown more commonly on the silver screen. Roulette was featured in multiple Western films in the 1970s such as the ‘Support Your Local Gunfighter’ and ‘The Sting’.
Seeing Roulette played in movies and TV is now commonplace, thanks to the glamour and excitement associated with the game.
High Stakes Roulette: Ashley Revell
One of the most infamous high stakes Roulette players is a Londoner named Ashley Revell. He became an overnight celebrity in 2004 thanks to a reality TV show called Double or Nothing. Revell sold all his personal property, with the exception of the clothes he was wearing, to travel to Las Vegas’s infamous Plaza Hotel. He also took a sponsorship from Blue Square betting company, changing his name to Ashley ‘Blue Square’ Revell by deed poll.
The sale of all his possessions plus the sponsorship money from Blue Square enabled Revell to gather the impressive sum of $135,000 before he embarked on his journey to Sin City. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, Revell took the largest gamble of his life and bet everything on Red, with a single spin of the Roulette wheel – the ultimate high stakes Roulette gamble. Lady luck smiled on Revell that day, and the ball eventually settled in the 7 Red compartment – the exact number and colour he had bet on.
Before taking home his huge winnings of $270,600, Revell tipped the concierge $600 as they opened some celebratory bottles of champagne. Revell’s name can now be seen displayed on felt in the Plaza Hotel lobby as a testament to the potential glories of high stakes Roulette play.
Play Roulette Online
Now you’ve familiarised yourself with our Roulette guide, you should be ready to take on the casinos. Grab your exclusive sign up bonus from one of our recommended online Roulette casinos, and spin the wheel today!