Roulette Guide | Rules & How to Play

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Roulette is a spinning wheel game played in casinos around the globe. There are several different roulette variants in online casinos and land-based ones. House rules have been devised on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, leading to vastly different games, like American and European Roulette. Because some offer better odds than others, it’s essential to know which one to try.

This complete roulette guide provides you with everything you need to know to start playing like a pro. Dive in and look at the rules, types of bets, table layout, and most popular variants.

Roulette Guide

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Types of Roulette Games

The most popular real money roulette games are American, European, and French roulette. The types of bets you can make are roughly the same in American and European variants. Let’s take a look at each variant and how it’s played.

European Roulette

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In most situations, European roulette is the best version of the game. The total number of pockets in this variant is 37 (numbered 1 to 36), with a green pocket marked as “0”.

The main difference between American and European roulette is that the American version includes a double zero, and the European version has a single zero. Players will benefit more from the European version as the house edge is lower. This means that there is a higher potential to win money when playing the European version.

European Roulette House Edge

In European Roulette, the house edge for single-zero wheels is 2.6%. This offers a better winning chance to the player since it lowers the house edge. However, newbies should stick to the European version as there is a higher chance of overall success.

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American Roulette

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American roulette is an exciting and fun version. The game is also known as double-zero roulette because it contains two zeroes pockets: one marked “0” and one marked “00”. The second 0-pocket is pivotal to gameplay because it doubles the house edge.

Most of the bets are automatic losers when the ball land in a zero slot. For that reason, doubling the number of zero pockets doubles the house edge.

American Roulette House Edge

The house edge of American roulette is 5.26%, which is high for a table game. Some special rules can lower the house edge, so don’t dismiss the American version. If you are in Las Vegas, don’t play this variant unless house rules are offered.

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French Roulette

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French Roulette refers to a variant with special types of wagers. These have French names, so it is reasonable to call this variant French roulette.

The exotic names probably add to the allure for most gamblers. They are called “announced bets” or “called bets” because the gambler calls them out to the croupier. Remember, if you are not acknowledged when announcing your bets, it’s not an official wager. It helps to move your chips to their correct location.

French and European Roulette are practically the same game; they use the same wheel and betting options. You can play European roulette at our top-rated online casinos.

Roulette Rules

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The rules of roulette are simple. A dealer called a “croupier” sets a small metal ball spinning on a roulette wheel. Eventually, the ball drops into one of dozens of pockets (or “slots”) on the wheel.

Each pocket is marked with a number between 0 and 36.  If the ball drops into a pocket with a number that the gambler has placed a wager on, the player wins. If not, they lose their wager.

This has many types of bets, which are the main part of the rules. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones.

Roulette Bets | Everything You Need To Know

In Roulette, there are two major types of wagers: inside bets and outside bets. The roulette table is a large felt area with a box full of numbers. Wagers made inside that box (on the numbers) are inside bets. Wagers made outside the box are outside bets. 

The outside ones have better chances of winning but pay out smaller amounts. The inside ones are less likely to win but pay out larger amounts. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

Outside Bets

roulette outside bets

There are many types of outside bets. If you want to wager on big blocks of numbers, you want to place chips outside the number box. You either bet on 12 numbers or 18 numbers at a time. Since these are more likely to hit, the payouts are smaller.

In certain types of online casino roulette, house rules allow better odds on the even-money bets like hi-lo, black-red, or even-odd. When those house rules are in effect, it’s best to wager only on the even-money propositions.

Dozen Bet

This is made on 12 numbers at a time. You have three options: 1 through 12, 13 through 24, or 25 through 36.

High/Low Bet

This is considered an even-money wager. You have two options. Either you can bet on the 1 through 18 or the 19 through 36.

Even/Odd Bet

This is another type of even-money wager. You are wagering on whether the ball lands on an even number or an odd number.

Black/Red Bet

This is another even-money wager. Half of the numbers on the wheel are red, while half are black. You wager on whether the ball lands on red or black. It should be noted that the “0” and “00” are green slots, so the ball landing on zeroes produces a losing bet on either proposition.

Column Bet 

This is made on 12 numbers at a time, too. In this case, you’re wagering on one of three sets of columns in the number box. The options here are wagering on the 1-4-7-10-13-16-19-22-25-28-31-34, the 2-5-8-11-14-17-20-23-26-29-32-35, or the 3-6-9-12-15-18-21-24-27-30-33-36.

Serpent Bet

The serpent is a 12-number wager made on a set of numbers that snake through the column of numbers. The wager is placed on the 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. This bet is used in some casinos to max out the betting potential for high rollers.

Inside Bets

roulette inside bets

Many people prefer inside bets because they pay out the most. These wagers are made on three columns of numbers, which contain the 1 through 36. At the top of the columns, the “0” is found. In American roulette, a “00” is also located there.

From the largest payouts to the smallest ones, here are those wagers:

Straight Bet

This is a bet on a single number. It’s the simplest one. To make this wager, place your chip inside the number’s box.

Split Bet

This is a wager on two numbers that are adjacent to the table. To make this bet, place your chip on the line between the numbers.

Street Bet 

This is a wager on three numbers. These are on a single horizontal row. To make this bet, place your chip on the outside line of that row of numbers.

Corner Bet

The square bet is placed on four numbers whose boxes are adjoining. Place your chip on the four corners where the numbers’ boxes converge.

Six Line Bet

Two adjoining street bets make this wager. You have to place your chip on the outline line of those two rows of numbers and the dividing line between the two streets.

Trio Bet 

This is made on either the 0-1-2 or the 2-3-0 slots. To make this wager, you have to place your chips where these three boxes intersect.

Basket Bet

This is a 3-number wager placed on the 0-1-2, the 0-00-2, or the 2-3-00 numbers in American roulette. To bet, place your chips where these boxes intersect.

Top Line Bet

In American roulette, this is a 5-number wager made on the 0-1-2-3-00. To make this bet, place your chip at the juncture of the 0 and 1, or the juncture of the 00 and 3.

Call Bets

roulette call bets

Call bets, also known as French bets, are a special type of wager that players may simply call out at the table. For example, if you tell the dealer “100 on neighbors of zero”, you would give the chips to the dealer, and he or she would place the bets for you.

You could technically place it yourself on each number, but it’s much easier simply calling it.

Neighbors of Zero

This call bet includes 17 numbers between 22 and 25 on the wheel. The numbers are: 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25).

Thirds of the Wheel

This covers exactly one-third of the wheel (27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33). A wager placed here would split the numbers six ways with six chips. 

Zero Gam

This is one of the cheaper call bets, as it only requires four chips to wager on these numbers: 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15. There is a lot of overlap with the Neighbours of Zero call, but Zero Game pays higher.

The Orphans

Orphans calls include only eight numbers (17, 34, 6, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9). The wager is made with five chips, with four of them splitting 31-34, 17-20, 14-17, 6-9, and with one chip straight up on 1

Other Types of Roulette Bets

The following are other popular types of bets and strategies you can use to make the best out of your gameplay.

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La Partage Betting

The term “la partage” means “of the parts”. Essentially, it means that the wager is halved. You lose half of the bet if you bet on the even-money wagers and the ball lands in the “0” pocket.

Half of the bet is returned to you, though, which cuts the house edge in half. This gives you great odds.

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50/50 Wagers Bet

The basic strategy is to play roulette with the 50/50 wagers like red or black and keep doubling your bet until you win. Then you restart back to your initial wager amount and do it all again!

This strategy should be used by experienced gamblers and is not recommended for beginners.

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Roulette Odds

There are many different ways to play roulette, all with different odds, so it’s up to you and your risk acceptance of how you want to do it. The more specific a bet is, the higher the payout due to the statistical improbability that you would land it. Below we included the odds for some specific types of bets:

  • High/Low Bet: 1 to 1
  • Black/Red Bet: 1 to 1
  • Even/Odd Bet: 1 to 1
  • Dozen Bet: 2 to 1
  • Column Bet: 2 to 1
  • Serpent Bet: 2 to 1
  • Six Line Bet: 5 to 1
  • Top Line Bet: 6 to 1
  • Corner Bet: 8 to 1
  • Street Bet: 11 to 1
  • Trio Bet: 11 to 1
  • Basket Bet: 11 to 1
  • Split Bet: 17 to 1
  • Straight Bet: 35 to 1

Roulette Rules, Betting Systems and How to Play | Video Tutorial

Watch the following video created by our team of OUSC experts and learn how to play roulette and the different types of bets in the game.

How to Play Roulette | Step by Step Guide

This step-by-step guide describes how to play roulette.

  1. Placing Your Bet

    Select your chip size and place it on the table. Minimum bets vary between casinos; these are typically a little higher than for virtual games. Maximum wagers run into the tens of thousands for the high rollers out there.
  2. The Dealer Spins the Wheel

    The dealer will inform the table when it’s time to place your last wagers and spin the wheel.
  3. Winning Number

    The dealer will allocate funds to the winners based on what wager they made. You can continue playing as soon as you receive your chips.

How Does The Roulette Table Layout Work?

There are small differences in the layout and sizes of components between different games – though the fundamentals are broadly the same. Below, we included the most popular roulette variants table layout: American, European, and French Roulette.: American, European, and French Roulette.

American, European & French Roulette Table Layout

American roulette table layout, European roulette table layout and french roulette table layout

Tips to Win Playing Roulette

Follow these roulette tips to start playing like a pro. For more advanced players, you can visit our roulette strategies page.

1

Choose the Right Roulette Games

Roulette Games Icon Full Color

Keeping the house edge to a minimum in Roulette games starts with choosing the right game. The American wheel is one to be avoided. That extra zero (the ‘00’ slot) adds a significant extra to the house edge.

By default, you should choose the single zero European wheel – and, where possible, go for the French Wheel instead. The French version uses the European single-zero wheel, with the added extra that if the zero hits even money bets return 50% to the player. This is as low as the house edge gets in any Roulette game.

2

Play European Roulette

Roulette Games Icon Big

On the even-money bets, the house edge on European Roulette is a lot better than it the house edge on the American variant. The American variation has much worse odds because of the inclusion of a second zero pocket — the “00” slot.

It’s another pocket on the wheel where all of the odd/even, black/red, or hi/lo bets lose. Unless there are special house rules announced, American double-zero roulette is always worse than its European counterpart. If you find the European version, you should always play at those tables.

3

High Rollers Should Play French Roulette

High Rollers Should Play French Roulette icon

This is more a strategy for entertainment or thrills than it is for winning. High-stakes gamblers who feel the max wagers on a site’s roulette games are too small should play French Roulette.

High rollers should learn about the “Full Maximum” in the French variant. It covers every wager possible on a single number, including straight-up bet, split bet, and so on. It is easy to make these separate wagers, thus increasing your betting capacity by 40x with one announced bet.

4

Avoid Progressive Bets

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Many beginners read about progressive betting techniques, like the Martingale, and think they hold the key; they’re wrong.

The odds are that progressive betting patterns will help grind out small winning sessions in the early stages of play. This leads gamblers, especially beginners, down a dangerous play style.

Most Popular Roulette Game Variations

Most of the roulette games that you can find online are either American, European, or French, but a few take the same idea and change it to create a new game, a new way of playing roulette. These are some of those variations:

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Use This Complete Roulette Guide and Play Like A Pro!

Take advantage of his full guide and start winning at roulette! This is a fun and small-paced game that doesn’t require strategies to play. Spinning the wheel is a little mesmerizing. The game is relaxing for many, with occasional thrills.

Try our recommended roulette online casinos for a safe and satisfying experience if online gambling is your thing.

Roulette Guide FAQ

Here are a few common questions that roulette players ask.

What are the best casinos to play roulette?

You can find the best casinos to play roulette on this page. We recommend these casinos based on safety, reputation, and game variety.

What are the rules of roulette?

The rules of roulette are simple: a dealer called a “croupier” sets a small metal ball spinning on a roulette wheel and the positions in which the ball drops are the winning numbers. Learn the full rules here.