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How to Play Roulette - Rules and Odds


Wondering how to play roulette? You'll be pleased to know that roulette is one of the simplest casino games out there - yet somehow one of the most enticing. The only thing you, as a player, are required to do is decide how much to bet and place the preferred amount of chips on the table. Fate will take care of the rest! However whether you’re playing online or at a regular casino, you’ll still want to learn basic roulette rules, as well as familiarize the different types of bets and their respective odds. We’ll take you through them below!



How to Play Roulette

roulette rules and odds

Screenshot from Europa Casino - One of the best sites for roulette online

'Roulette' is French for 'little wheel' - and that's exactly what you'll be presented with at a casino, although these days you'll come across some roulette wheels that are ostentatiously large. No matter the size, a wheel is the primary roulette equipment, and it is placed alongside a table which indicates all the types of bets that you can make. You can place a number of different bets on the 'inside' (by selecting the numbers of pockets the ball might fall in) or 'outside' bets (by selecting potential pocket colours, or odd/even number factors). Payouts are different for inside and outside bets, based on the probability of each. After you have used your chips to mark your bet on the table, a croupier will send a small ball spinning on the wheel which. This ball will eventually land on a particular slot. Players can continue to place bets as the ball starts to spin, stopping only when the dealer signals 'no more bets'.

Casinos typically enforce a minimum or maximum bet for players - you can ask the croupier about this. Maximum bets are lower when the potential payout is higher. Tables will also have a board which indicate on which numbers the ball has previously landed - ignore this. Each time the wheel spins, your odds are reset, and past results have no effect on future outcomes. At a brick and mortar casino, players can sometimes gain a small edge by observing the croupier in an attempt to identify any habits. They croupier may, for example, tend to release the ball at a certain angle with a certain velocity. Keeping this in mind would therefore help you make more informed bets. At an online roulette casino, you can't factor in human influence - you've got nothing to rely on other than pure luck!

Roulette Bets – Risk & Reward

The main thing to keep in mind when you learn how to play roulette is that from odds perspective, it really doesn't matter what bet you make. A bet on “red,” for instance, will win almost half of the times and you’ll double your money (hence why there's usually a cap to how much money you can wager). A bet on a single number will only succeed every 37th spin (on standard European wheel), but for that you’ll get 35 times the money. In the long run, there’s no difference between these two wagers in terms of your odds. One hits often but only pays a little, while the other hits rarely and pays a lot.    

Why Play Roulette?

Roulette is a simple game of luck and easy to learn 

Learning the odds will allow you to make smarter bets

You'll find roulette at practically every casino in the world!

Roulette is incredibly exciting because of its element of chance

There are plenty of free roulette variants available online for when you don't want to spend real money

Roulette Rules – Types of Bets

Inside Bets

Straight Up

A bet on a single number. Place the chips in a square on the number.

Split

A bet on two numbers. Place the chips between two numbers vertically or horizontally.

Street

A bet on three numbers next to each other. Place the chips on the edge of the row.

Square

A bet on four numbers in a square. Place the chip in the middle of the square covering all four numbers.

Double Street

A bet on two streets. Place the chip on the edge of the rows covering a bit of both.

Trio

A bet on 0, 1, 2 and 3. Place the chips covering all numbers (can only be made in European games.)

Basket

A bet on 0, 1 and two; 0, 00 and 2; or 00, 2 and 3. Place the chips between the desired combination (only US Roulette games)

Top Line

A bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. Place chips at the corner of 0 and 1.

 

Outside Bets

1 to 18

A bet on the first 18 numbers. Place the chips where it says 1 to 18.

19 to 36

A bet on the second 18 numbers. Place the chips where it says 19 to 36.

Red or Black

A bet on the color of the slot the ball will land in. Place the chips where it says red or black.

Even or Odd

A bet on the next spin will result in an even or odd number. Place the chips where it says even or odd.

Dozen

A bet on 1/3 of the numbers, 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36. Place the chips in the corresponding area of the layout.

Column

A bet on 12 numbers in a vertical line. Place the chips in the end of one of these three lines.

Roulette Rules - Odds and Payout

Below, you'll find a chart that describes your chance of hitting every possible roulette bet and also the payout for each wager.

Name of Bet

Winning Odds (European Wheel)

Winning Odds (American Wheel)

Payout (same for European and American)

Single Number

37 to 1

36 to 1

35 to 1

Two Number split

18 to 1

17.5 to 1

17 to 1

Three Number street

11.67 to 1

11.33 to 1

11 to 1

Four Number square

8.5 to 1

8.25 to 1

8 to 1

Five Numbers

6.6 to 1

not available

6 to 1

Six Number line

5.33 to 1

5.17 to 1

5 to 1

Column

2.17 to 1

2.08 to 1

2 to 1

Dozen

2.17 to 1

2.08 to 1

2 to 1

Even

1.05 to 1

1.01

1 to 1

Odd

1.05 to 1

1.01

1 to 1

Low (1-18)

1.05 to 1

1.01

1 to 1

High (19-36)

1.05 to 1

1.01

1 to 1

Red

1.05 to 1

1.01

1 to 1

Black

1.05 to 1

1.01

1 to 1

American vs European Roulettehow to play roulette

Most online casinos offer both American and European roulette. The difference lies in the wheel. You should always opt for the European roulette wheel. A typical American roulette wheel contains numbers 1 through 36, plus 0 and 00. A European roulette wheel contains the same numbers, except without the 00. While this difference is only minor, it means the European roulette gives you slightly better odds.

The casino gets its edge by paying you the odds of your number coming up as if there were no 0 or 00. Those extra "numbers" distort the true odds, and are what allow casinos to make money out of roulette. By doubling the amount of zeros, the casino nearly doubles its edge against you. Naturally, you don't have any say in the matter if you visit a regular casino and find that it uses the American roulette wheel. One of the benefits of playing roulette online is that you can easily choose an online casino offering roulette tables where the wheel does not include a 00.

FAQ

How do I play roulette at a casino?

Playing roulette is simple! The purpose is simply to guess which number the spinning ball will land on. Make sure you know the rules, bets and odds in roulette, so you avoid placing any overly outrageous bets as a beginner. At some casinos, you give your chips to the croupier and he or she marks your bet on the roulette table. At other casinos, you can place the bet on the table yourself. When your bet is indicated on the table, the croupier will drop a small white ball on to the wheel. Players are usually allowed to continue guessing up until the point that the croupier tells them to stop.

How do I play roulette online?

Playing roulette online is exactly like playing roulette at a brick and mortar casino, except online you always have the choice of a European roulette wheel. Online, you also won't be able to study the croupier for signs of habits that might influence the outcome. Usually, online casinos that offer roulette allow you to bet smaller amounts. You'll also have the option to play Free Roulette at many places online. Naturally, you will need to sign up to an online casino before you can start playing roulette for money. Our guides to the best online casinos will help you choose a great site on which to play roulette. 

What are the rules to roulette?

Different casinos might have different rules - such as maximum and minimum bet requirements. For the most part, roulette rules are the same. A roulette wheel numbers correlates with the numbers on a roulette table. You decide on how much you want to bet, place the bet on the table (or have the croupier place it for you) and then watch in anticipation as the croupier drops the small white ball on the wheel. Whether you win anything will depend on which slot the ball settles. 

What are the roulette rules in Vegas?

Standard roulette rules apply in Vegas casinos - along with some additional rules that individual casinos might enforce. As entertaining as it is to watch others play roulette, some casinos may require that only active players may be seated at roulette tables. 

Is there strategy to roulette?

Roulette is a game of luck - there's no way you can play strategically. Knowing the odds to different bets might help you make more informed decisions, but not improve your odds. Some players like to consider the numbers on which the ball has recently landed when guessing where it might end up next. Factoring past results into your guessing carries no scientific value, however. You may notice that a certain number has been hit twice in a row, and therefore conclude that it is highly unlikely it will be hit a third time. In reality, the probability of it hitting the same number again is exactly the same as if the ball had previously landed on any other number. Sometimes, observing the croupier might give you some clues as to where, and with what velocity, they drop the ball - though this knowledge only helps to a small degree. There's also a player theory called the Martingale Roulette System which can theoretically be employed to minimize losses - but it's not without its faults. Basically, the only things that you can do is play Free Roulette till you feel confident enough to take on the real deal and then rely on your instincts and luck!

How can I play roulette and win?

Since there's no reliable strategy to roulette, there's no way you can increase your chances of winning by playing in a certain way. There's one simple answer to the question of how one can play roulette and win - get lucky! 

Now You Know the Rules...Get Spinning!

As you've most likely gathered by now - roulette is a straightforward game of chance. Its enduring appeal is based on its simplicity, as well as the game's connotations of glamour and mystery - not to mention the pure thrill of seeing the ball spin around the wheel before settling in its final slot. So there it is - learn the different types of bets, know your chances of winning, and find out what you can get back from your bets! All casinos in our list of best roulette sites offer European roulette games. If you’d like to play online, we recommend you to choose one of them.  

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