Roulette is a game that has remained popular through the years. Why? Because it is possible to win, even with the smallest of bets. If you're wondering how to play roulette, we can help you!
The game has a single goal: for the ball to land on your number. But you already knew that, right? Anyone can play roulette online, but there is more to the game than just picking a number or colour. Our complete guide for beginners will talk you through the basic rules, bets and payouts, and we'll show you some different Roulette game variations so you can go in fully equipped with your bets.
Roulette Basic Rules
Mastering the game of roulette is pretty straightforward; however, it's not just a matter of predicting where the ball will land. As a beginner, you should take some time to familiarise yourself with Roulette rules, so you go in with your eyes open and have the best chance to convert your bet into a win.
The Roulette wheel itself has a large outer rim on which the ball is spun and several pockets where the ball will eventually stop. You aim to predict where that ball will land. The pockets range from 1 - to 36, half of these are red, and half are black.
You will also see one green pocket, which is 0, and on some Roulette game variations, you may see an additional green pocket which is 00 (double zero).
You will place your bets on the playing board before the wheel spins, and you can place multiple bets simultaneously, depending on what you can afford. However, as a beginner, we advise you to start with one bet until you feel more confident.
Once your bets are in, the ball will be placed in the wheel, and the wheel will start spinning until the ball falls into one of the pockets. If your bet matches where the ball lands, you win according to the Roulette table odds, and if you didn't predict the outcome correctly, you lose your bets, and the game starts again.
Most Popular Roulette Game Variations
The beauty of this game is that roulette has numerous variations, depending on the game provider. Take a look at some of the most common Roulette variations played around the world:
This is a common variation across Asia, Europe, and Africa and all European Roulette variations only feature the one green pocket, valued at zero. This variation will not feature the double-zero pocket (see below American Roulette). The good news is that this lowers your house edge (because there are fewer numbers to predict).
Some European Roulette tables also have an 'en prison' rule. This means that you could get the chance to recover a bet made on even money bets (odd/even, red/black) but the ball lands on zero.
The exact rules of how this works will vary from casino to casino but could result in you getting half of your bet back. You may also get the chance to keep the "imprisoned" bet and use it on your next wager to increase your overall return (if you win the next bet).
French roulette is nearly identical to European Roulette, but you will find several visual differences between the tables.
Typically, all the numbers are labelled in red, but this doesn't mean you can't bet red or black. The actual Roulette wheel still has black pockets.
The other big difference is the "French Bets". This means you can place a wager to cover portions of the Roulette wheel; for example, you can bet on all the numbers that are closest to zero (this would mean placing multiple bets at the same time).
Finally, the 'en prison' rule will be present, but this is typically known as 'la partage' in the true French style.
This is the more common Roulette variation where you will get to see 38 traditional numbers on the wheel and a zero, as well as a double zero.
The house edge increases due to the zero and double zero; if it were not for these two pockets, most bets would payout at fair odds. You may also find some single-zero wheels that offer higher limits and offer a house edge similar to the European variation.
Roulette Bets & Payouts
We've already said the basic rules of Roulette. As you can see, they are not that hard to master; however, bet types are broken down into two categories, inside bets and outside bets. Which route you decide to take depends on your bankroll and how willing you are to take risks.
The bet you decide will also determine your Roulette odds. Some bets offer good odds, while some are mediocre. You should also be aware that Roulette table odds can vary depending on the variations. Let's take a look at the differences:
If you are a risk-taker, then inside bets could match your gameplay. Generally, these bets come with higher payouts! Here are the inside bets that you can make:
- Straight up - When you make one bet on a single number that that'll pay 35-1
- Split - A double number bet pays 17 to 1
- Street - If you place three bets across three different numbers, your bet can pay 11-1
- Corner bet - This covers a square of four numbers next to each other and will give you 8-1 odds
- Six line - Covers six numbers and pays 5-1 odds
However, an outside bet can give you a better overall chance of winning, but the odds are reduced. Here are the outside bets:
- Column bet - Twelve numbers in a row will pay out 2-1
- Odd/Even - All numbers are covered under this bet, but a zero will count as a loss for both bets. You'll win even money if your number wins.
- Red/Black - Similar to above, you will win even if the ball lands on the colour pocket that you predicted
- 1-18 / 19-36 - You can bet on a number between these two brackets and if you win, you'll win even.
As a beginner, you could start with the more simplistic bets until you feel the game. Once you are more confident, and if you have a bankroll to play about with, you can experiment with different bets. You'll soon figure out which ones work best for you. In addition, our Roulette Odds and Payout guide might be of some help to you on that journey.
Live vs Online Roulette - Which is Better to Play?
When it comes to the basic rules, both versions of roulette are very similar, and this is more down to personal preference. The biggest difference between these two versions is that online roulette is online, or you can visit a land-based casino to play the real thing.
In Online Roulette, you will have significantly better odds, and you will be betting against a computer which initiates the wheel spin. The game results are monitored with a Random Number Generator (RNG).
Online Roulette has better payouts, mainly because it is cheaper for online casinos to run the games than in a brick and mortar casino. This means that you could get more back online for the same bet made in a real casino.
If you visit a brick and mortar casino, depending on which one you go to, you may have a limited number of Roulette tables to choose from. However, if you play at an online casino, the chances are that you can choose from multiple variations and different providers.
When it comes to betting sizes, this can also vary depending on where you play. Online Roulette will often have a broader scale of bets than a live game. It may be much easier to find Online Roulette with smaller bets online if you're a low-mid roller.
Whilst there may be other advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preference, one of the other more common points to remember is you can play Online Roulette from the comfort of your own home, with fewer distractions.
If you like to keep your gambling hobby private, playing Online Roulette is the perfect option. However, if you like the atmosphere of a real casino, you can also check out Live Roulette games, which often mimic those in brick-and-mortar casinos.
Roulette Tips and Tricks
You seem to have got the basic rules covered now, so let's go through a few tips and tricks before you put your learning into practice:
- Try the game for free - As a beginner, it would be good to try Online Roulette for free, if you can. This way, you can learn the ropes and build up some confidence before betting for real.
- Set a bankroll - You must always play within your limits. Set a bankroll and only bet within your financial means.
- Pick the right bets for you - Most bets feature the same kind of house edge, but it is still important that you make the right bets that match your style and bankroll! Remember, if you have a small budget and you're making multiple bets simultaneously, whilst this can be very rewarding, it can also be damaging.
- Be patient - Once the winning number has been marked, don't start making new bets until the winning bets have all been paid.
- Avoid top line bet - If you fancy a go of American Roulette, be cautious of the Top Line bet, which has a house edge of nearly 8%. This bet covers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 with odds of 6-1.
- Don't get sucked into betting systems - These systems do not lower the house edge and if you're considering using one, remember to do your research first. It's important you understand different betting systems, where they can help you, and where they can't. The most famous betting strategy is the Martingale betting system and, if you wish to give it a go, read up on the details first. You should also check the casinos' terms and conditions to see what they say about betting systems being used.
- Surrender option - If you find a casino that has the Surrender option, this can increase your odds.
- Don't chase losses - There is no doubt that you will lose some bets; you simply cannot win them all. Don't fall into the trap of chasing these losses because you're going to lose even more.
- Watch the odds - Single number bets have the worst odds, look out for bets that pay the closest to even money as possible.
You can put our tips and tricks into practice, and soon you'll become a better player in no time.
Roulette game in a nutshell
We hope by now that you know all the basic Roulette rules to help you get started. The more you play, the more your confidence will grow, and you'll probably find yourself preferring a specific type of variation and enjoying certain bets.
Don't go into a Roulette game without knowing the odds, and make sure you familiarise yourself with the table's minimum betting limits. You do not want to be stuck in a game where the minimum bet takes you out of your comfort zone.
The most important thing to remember, though, like with all casino games, is you are playing a game of chance, so don't get lost in the moment and remember to always gamble responsibly.