Roulette Guide | Rules & How to Play

Written by: Jeremy Olson, OUSC Online Casino and Games Expert
roulette guide icon

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

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 layouts, and most popular variants.

Roulette Guide

Everything You Need to Play & Win Real Money

Rules

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Roulette Rules

roulette rules icon

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.

How to Play Roulette | Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Roulette is a straightforward game to play. In most casinos and online, you’ll bet with chips. This is a simpler step-by-step guide on how to play roulette.

  1. Place Your Bet

    Select your chip size and place it on the table. You’ll have to put your chips on the section of the board you wish to bet on and then wait for the dealer to spin the ball. Minimum and maximum 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.
  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. Once the ball has landed in its final location, the dealer will place a marker, also known as a dolly, on that number and then remove all losing chips from the table.
  3. Winning Number

    The dealer will allocate funds to the winners based on their wager. You can continue playing as soon as you receive your winning bets chips.

How Does The Roulette Table Layout Work?

There are minor differences in the layout and sizes of components between different games – though the fundamentals are broadly the same. Below are 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

The roulette layout is simple, yet it can be very confusing when there are a lot of players on a table with chips everywhere. This is why some casinos assign specific colored chips, also known as wheel checks.

If you’re playing online or rapid roulette, you won’t have to deal with this as you’ll have your betting board that is independent of anyone else playing on the same roulette wheel.

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 more significant 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 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. 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 bet 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 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. Place your chip on the outside line of that row of numbers to make this bet.

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 must place your chip on the outlined 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 0 and 1 or the juncture of 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 they would place the bets for you.

You could technically place it on each number, but it’s easier to call 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 bets and roulette strategies you can use to make the best out of your gameplay.

la partage betting banner

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, which cuts the house edge in half. This gives you great odds.

roulette keep doubling bet banner

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 your initial wager amount and do it all again!

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

roulette odds icon

Roulette Odds

There are many 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.

Most Popular Online 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 look at each roulette variant and how it’s played.

European Roulette

european roulette icon

In most situations, European roulette is the best version of the game. This variant’s total number of pockets 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 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

american roulette icon

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 bets are automatic losers when the ball lands 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

French roulette icon

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, it’s not an official wager if you are not acknowledged when announcing your bets. 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.

Online Roulette Game Variations

Most of the roulette games you can find online are 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:

Double Ball Roulette

Double ball roulette

Rather than gambling on the result of a single ball, you’ll have two balls spinning on the same wheel for every spin.

Double Ball Roulette is found both at land-based casinos and online gambling sites. You’ll usually find this roulette variation mixed with the American roulette layout, where you can place multiple bets simultaneously.

This variation can improve the regular house edge in American roulette and get an RTP of up to 97.30% with perfect play.

Zoom Roulette

Zoom Roulette Logo

Zoom Roulette is a variant based on European Standard Single Zero Roulette with the wheel featuring 36 numbers plus 0.

Players can enjoy this game at BetUS Casino, featuring a high-quality rendered wheel, betting from only $1 to $50.

Place your bets and hopefully see the ball drop where you need it.

High-Roller Roulette

High roller roulette

This roulette variation is simply a targeted game for players with the budget to make high-limit bets.

Tables usually have minimum bets from $10 to $500 or even more, depending on the casino. When making high bets, you might also be eligible for VIP or personalized support when performing casino withdrawals.

High-rollers can play this roulette game at BetUS Casino.

Other Roulette Game Types

Unlike some other casino games, there aren’t too many roulette variations. This is due to the simplicity of the game. However, some game types have appeared and might still be available at a few casinos. In contrast, others could be considered officially extinct from the gambling market.

Players should be wary of strange variations as this will generally mean worse odds and a larger house edge.

Alphabetic Roulette

Alphabetic Roulette table

Alphabetic Roulette is played using the standard roulette table and wheel setup, but this variation consists of letters and colors.

Alphabetic Roulette never gained much of a foothold within the American casino landscape.

After its initial debut in 2007, not much has been heard about the game.

Double Action Roulette

Double Action Roulette logo

The game involves spinning two wheels simultaneously while a single ball lands in a space connecting the two wheels.

On each spin, both wheels will revolve independently from one another, so the various combinations you’ll see will always be randomized.

It is rare to see this roulette variation at most casinos.

Riverboat Roulette

Riverboat Roulette

This game adds a secondary wheel that assigns several colors to the 38 total numbers.

Players can stick to the traditional roulette bets or have fun by betting on the multicolored secondary wheel.

The game was never as popular as other variations, and, at this point, Riverboat Roulette can safely be considered an “extinct” casino game.

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 best game. The American wheel is one to be avoided. That extra zero (the ’00’ slot) adds significantly 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 much better than the one 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 the odd/even, black/red, or hi/lo bets lose. Unless special house rules are 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 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 bets, split bets, 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

Avoid Progressive Bets icon

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.

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Is Roulette Rigged?

RNG Certified roulette games are not rigged. To make sure a roulette game isn’t rigged, we recommend you:

  • Check that the game’s developer and the online casino have RNG (Random Number Generator) certified games. This will ensure that the results are truly random and the game is not rigged. If a casino claims that its roulette wheel is truly random, it means that the game will produce random results that won’t follow any patterns or cycles, ensuring fair gameplay.
  • Look for legit casinos with licenses and certificates from independent game regulators. This will ensure that the games they offer are safe and fair for their players.

Use This Complete Roulette Guide and Play Like A Pro!

Take advantage of his full guide and start playing roulette. This is a fun and small-paced game that doesn’t require strategies to play. Make your bets, spin the wheel and, if lucky, collect juicy winnings!

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?

DuckyLuck, SlotsandCasino, and Bovada are the best casinos to play roulette. We recommend these casinos based on safety, reputation, and game variety.

What are the rules of roulette?

The roulette rules 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.

What type of roulette game should I play?

If the best odds are what you are looking for, then play French roulette. If this isn’t available, you should play European roulette. If you’re looking for something else in roulette or have certain superstitions, choose a game that suits you.
Just be sure to check the house edge on the particular type you choose to play.

Can you win at roulette in the long run?

All casino games have a house edge and can’t be beaten in the long run. However, it’s still a desirable and popular game by factoring the hours of entertainment, fun, and the chance that you might be lucky in a given session and walk away with a profit.

You should still follow some basic rules when choosing a roulette game, though, as you won’t want to give the house more of an edge if you don’t need to.

What is an inside and outside bet in roulette?

An inside bet refers to betting on the numbers themselves, and an outside bet refers to the rest of the betting options.

What are the best bets to make in roulette?

Generally speaking, playing outside bets is better as your chances of winning in a short session will be greater. Simply betting on one number, known as a straight-up bet, and hoping it hits is not the best way to play roulette, and you’ll most likely lose a lot of your money before your number finally comes up.

Who invented the roulette wheel?

A physicist initially invented the roulette wheel for an entirely different purpose in the 17th century. You can find the roulette game in almost every casino in the world and every online casino. Roulette is a French game, and the word itself translated to English is “small wheel.”

Jeremy Olson

Jeremy Olson OUSC Online Casino and Games Expert

I got my start in the gambling world by taking beatings in blackjack and poker. Ever since then, I became obsessed with becoming a better gambler. This pursuit led me to write. My main focuses nowadays include strategy, online casino reviews, and online casino bonuses.

Learn More About Jeremy