How to Play Roulette – The Complete Guide

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John Grochowski
by John Grochowski

The growth of online casinos is partly due to the overwhelming popularity of online roulette. This casino game remains one of the most popular among many gamblers, and there are still those that are looking to understand the basic rules of roulette. That’s where we come in to help. We will take you through everything you need to know to play roulette enjoyably and effectively and to ensure the best possible chance of winning at the virtual table.

Roulette Basics – the Wheel, the Croupier, and Bets at the Table 

how to play rouletteEverybody that has been to a casino or seen a film where gambling has featured heavily will be aware of the game where bettors place their wagers on numbers or colours before the croupier drops the ball onto a spinning wheel. The ball will eventually drop into one of the wheel's pockets, with this landing number determined as the winning bet. Should players have bet on this number, then they would have won their bet.

Never mind where you are playing, the croupier is the person that determines the speed of the spin. In online casinos, the game is made fairer with high technology ensuring winning numbers are randomised on each spin so gamblers get fair play at the virtual tables. The number of pockets on the wheel is determined by the game that you’re playing, with the European game having 37 while the American version features 38. The numbers are 1 through 36, with one or two zeros featured on the board depending on the version that you are playing.

Bettors will bet on either the number that the ball will land on or the colour that will win; either red or black. There are also betting options for the range that the ball will land on. For instance, players can bet on whether the winning number will be between 1-18 or 19-36. They can also bet on whether the winning number will be odd or even.

Players have until the croupier calls ‘No More bets’ to place their wagers. Once this has been called then by roulette rules, bettors can’t place any more wagers. The game is ended when the balls slots into a hole on the roulette wheel and the winners will receive their funds.

Bet Types

As we have mentioned, there are various ways that players can bet, with each method representing different roulette odds. Here are the ways that you can place your wagers.

Inside Bets

These are the most popular way of betting as bettors will cover the inside selection of the roulette table. The betting methods for these include:

Straight Bets: This type of bet has the most lucrative returns and is the easiest to understand how to play roulette. The bettor must successfully gamble their stake on the exact winning number where the ball will land, as in our example 24. These are paid at 35/1.

Straight Bet

Roulette - Straight Up Bet

Split Bets: This is also a common way to bet, and bettors can insure their bet by covering two adjacent numbers. The odds are slightly smaller, as they are priced at 17/1 for winning bets.

Split Bet

Roulette - Split Up Bet

Street Bets: Like the split bet, this is another good insurance bet when playing roulette. Instead, this time the bettor will cover three numbers and will receive odds of 11/1 if any of these numbers selected win.

Street Bet

Roulette - Street Bet

Corner Bets: This is very similar to street bets, but instead players will cover four numbers on the roulette table. The odds are significantly smaller with players getting 8/1.

Corner Bet

Roulette - Corner Bet

Six Line Bets: This type of bet will cover two rows of three numbers, which means bettors will receive winnings on six numbers at odds of 5/1 should one of those win.

Six Line Bet

Roulette - Six Line Bet

Outside Bets

Unlike the inside bets that cover a smaller percentage of the wheel, the outside bets will cover a more significant size. These would typically include 12 numbers or more, which means the odds aren’t as high, but the chances of the bettor winning are higher. Here are the types of bets you can place.

Red/Black: The most common bet that bettors can place on the outside bets is the colour of the winning number. Bettors will place their wager on either red or black, with both covering 18 numbers. The wager wins should the number fall on the staked colour and bettors will receive winnings at evens.

Red Bet

Roulette - Red Bet

Black Bet

Roulette - Black Bet

Odd/Even: Much like the prior mentioned bet, this is once again at evens but this time bettors will have to place their wager on whether the winning number will be odd or even. Also, like the red/black bet, the stake is lost if zero is the winning number.

Odd Bet

Roulette - Odd Bet

Even Bet

Roulette - Even Bet

1-18 & 19-36: Another betting selection at evens is the ability for the bettor to bet on the range in which the winning number will be within. The bet is a winner should the winning number fall within the staked range.

1-18 Bet

Roulette - 1-18 Bet

19-36 Bet

Roulette - 19-36 Bet

1-12, 13-24 & 25-36: These are typically known as the dozen bets, but are once again very similar to the market we just mentioned. The winning number must be in the range of the staked bet.

1-12 Bet

Roulette - 1-12 Bet

13-24 Bet

Roulette - 13-24 Bet

25-36 Bet

Roulette - 25-36 Bet

Column Bets: Players can bet on this market and cover a wider range of numbers and bettors can bet on which column the winning number will be in. These are marked as two to one, and the bet is a winner as long as the player bets on the correct column.

Column 1 Bet

Roulette - Column 1 Bet

Column 2 Bet

Roulette - Column 2 Bet

Column 3 Bet

Roulette - Column 3 Bet

Basic Rules of Roulette

The most significant rule when betting on roulette is to ensure that you don't place bets after the croupier has called for "no more bets". Should you place wagers after this call then you will be forced to remove your chips. As well as this, players should familiarise themselves with the values of each chip to ensure that they don't place higher wagers than they had hoped.

Playing Roulette- When to Bet

The betting for the next round of roulette begins when the winnings have been handed out for the previous game. It is important not to move your chips before being paid out as this could affect whether you will receive your winnings or not. There will be a period of time for players to place their bets, but once the croupier has called ‘No More Bets’, then you can’t put any more chips down.

How To Bet On Roulette (Payouts)

As you would understand from reading the types of bets section previously, you will realise that each bet type has different odds. It’s imperative to understand all of that information as it would affect how much you will receive when you win a bet. If you’re looking for bigger payouts, then it is better to bet on individual numbers, while the outside bets may be a good long-term option.

When To Stop Betting On Roulette

It is important to understand your limits and not carry on betting when you are on a long losing streak. This isn’t a smart move and could ensure that you lose more money than you had hoped. It is important to gamble with as much as you are willing to lose and not change that depending on how much you’re winning or losing.

Winning Roulette

There aren’t many games that can achieve the same adrenaline rush as what you can get from winning at roulette. That means it’s important to stay level-headed when you receive your winnings and not change your tactics. If you have already told yourself that you will play with the same stake, then it’s important to stick to your game plan.

Betting Again

Some players have a method and will stick to their same numbers. This means that they won’t move their chips for consecutive games. It’s important to remember this because many online casinos will ensure that the player will have to clear the table before placing their next bet.

Variations in Roulette Wheels

We have briefly mentioned the differences between European and American wheels throughout this article, but as well as these two variations there is also a French table that is also slightly different, and bettors should be aware of all of them.


The house edge on European roulette games is only 2.70%, which is much lower than the American equivalent, which has a higher house advantage of 5.26%. The added incentive of only one zero also means that the outside bets have an increased chance of making the bettor successful with their bet.

European Roulette


The most notable difference with the American roulette wheel is the two zeros whereas in European and French roulette there is only one zero. The resulting house edge at an American roulette game is 5.26%, nearly double that of the European and French variations.

American roulette table


French roulette is played with the same wheel as European roulette – with 37 pockets and one 0. The table here is quite different and the house edge is the lowest of the 3 variants, being only 1.35%. The most notable difference on the table is that the outside bets are separated into two sides, and their names are in French. The American table layout sees the outside bets on the same side. As well, in French Roulette, there are some attractive variations of outside bets and rules. Some French roulette variations have advanced call bets called Voisins du Zero, Orphelins and Tiers du Cylindre. Together with the 0, these cover all the possible bets. 

Live Dealer Roulette

One of the most common betting options for online players is live dealer roulette. The stream would come live on the casino website from somewhere else in the world, and the bettor will see a real croupier in control of the wheel. It offers one of the most unique gaming experiences available online and ensures a life-like experience for the bettor playing the game. It is important to be familiar with all of the rules and different variations before placing your wager, however.

Roulette Betting Systems

Each roulette player will go into the game with their own method of winning. This can vary from a long-term goal or a short-term one. Here are some of the most popular systems that players use.

  • Martingale Method: This is a simple strategy that involves the player doubling their stake after a losing bet. For instance, if you lose your first bet, then you would double the wager on your next stake. This is a method to stay ahead but could mean that the bettor wages a lot should they go on a losing streak.
  • Fibonacci Method: This is a favoured choice by bettors and revolves around the sequence of 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144. The sequence can go on for eternity but means that the bettor adds together the two numbers previous to losing bets. So, if the 1st stake is $1, and the next is also $1, and both lose, then the next wager will be $2. If this bet is lost, then the next would be $3 and so on. If you win at any point in the sequence, you go back to the second last losing bet and begin moving forward in the sequence again.
  • The Chaos: One of the most tested systems without proven scientific explanation is this one. It basically means to bet on whatever you like because there is no method to winning. It isn’t the most full-proof plan, but some gamblers seem to think it works.

Remember, if a roulette strategy or system seems too good to be true, it probably is!  Be sure to investigate the roulette strategy page where we explain the do's and don'ts of roulette strategy and give practical tips for playing the game. 

Play Roulette – Get into the Game!

Now that you have learned the basics of playing roulette, find yourself a casino you are comfortable with and start putting your knowledge to the test. 

How to Play Roulette FAQs


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