How to Play Roulette

Article by Andy Potts
How to win at roulette
Last Updated: Jun 14th, 2024 Share On Your Network:

We’re here to talk about the popular casino game of roulette. If you’re new to the game, we’ll take you through its history, the game variants available, betting options, and tips on how to get the most out of your game. 

How to Play Roulette

It’s believed roulette was invented by a French mathematician who was searching for a perpetual motion machine during the 17th century. Roulette had become popularised as a betting game in France by the 18th century. Around the same time, a similar, more primitive version was played in England, known as EO, or Evens/Odds.

Roulette is played with a wheel containing between 37 and 39 coloured and numbered pockets. During a game, the casino dealer spins the wheel in one direction and the ball in the opposite on a tilted circular track that runs along the outer edge of the wheel. As the ball loses momentum, it falls onto the wheel and lands in one of the pockets. You have a choice of betting options, each with specific odds depending on the type of bet, which we will discuss further later. 

If you want to find out how to play roulette and learn about the different variants you can find when playing roulette online, this article will outline all you need to know.

How to Play Roulette - The Basics

To learn how to play roulette, you need to start with the basics. The roulette table and roulette wheel are the two main components of the game. The wheel is a large circular device with numbered pockets around the edge. The pockets are red or black in colour, except for the zero pockets, which are green. 

The table is where players place their bets. It has a grid of numbers that correspond to the numbers on the wheel, as well as additional betting options such as even/odd, red/black, and high/low. 

The objective of the game is to accurately predict where the ball will land when the wheel stops spinning and bet accordingly using your casino chips. You can place more than one bet on a round of roulette from a choice of inside bets and outside bets. 

Inside bets are placed on specific numbers or number combinations on the roulette table and can sometimes be known as specific picks. These include straight-up bets, corner bets, line bets and more. As a general rule, inside bets will have lower odds of winning but offer higher payouts. 

Outside bets are placed on more broad categories, such as the colour of the pocket or whether the number will be odd or even. Outside bets usually have higher odds of winning and offer lower payouts. 

The variety of betting choices means roulette can appeal to a wide selection of bettors, providing an enjoyable gambling experience whether you’re new to playing at online casinos or a seasoned professional. 

So, in summary, how does roulette work? It’s simple. When you approach the roulette table, you can expect a round to play out like the following: 

  1. Place your bets: When the dealer has cleared the table of the previous game, they will invite you to place bets on your desired number of slots. It’s advisable to start on outside bets if you’re new to the game, as these are bets that have a higher likelihood of coming in. 
  2. Watch the wheel: The dealer will spin the wheel, send the ball spinning and call when the betting period has ended. Now it’s time to watch and see where it will land. 
  3. Collect your winnings: If you’ve picked correctly and your bet comes in, then it’s time to get paid. The type of bet you have placed will determine the payout you can receive, as per the table below. 

It’s that simple! Roulette is a fun and fast-paced online casino game with plenty of betting options to ensure a variety of gameplay and appeal to a range of players.

Roulette - The Betting Options

When it comes to playing roulette, understanding your different roulette betting options is key. The versatility of the game allows it to be enjoyed by gamblers at all levels and allows you to tailor your gameplay experience to suit your own needs. 

As mentioned, there are two main categories of roulette betting options, inside bets and outside bets. Inside bets are also known as specific picks due to the low quantity of numbers covered by each bet. Outside bets are known as general picks as they include a broader range, such as all odd numbers on the wheel or all red pockets. 

As you can place multiple bets on any one round, you can mix it up between the two categories to enjoy varied gameplay, including some bets with very high payouts and some even money. 

Remember that the odds and payouts for roulette betting do vary depending on which version you are playing and where you are playing. It’s advisable to always check game rules and a title’s paytable prior to placing any bets. 

The table below outlines the type of odds and payouts for the various roulette betting types that you can expect when playing the American, European, and French game variants:

Bet Type Numbers Covered Winning Payout European Roulette Odds of Winning American Roulette Odds of Winning French Roulette Odds of Winning
Inside Bets/Specific Picks
Straight 1 35:1 2.70% 2.63% 2.70%
Split 2 17:1 5.41% 5.26% 5.41%
Street 3 11:1 8.11% 7.89% 8.11%
Square 4 8:1 10.81% 10.53% 10.81%
Six Line 6 5:1 16.22% 15.79% 16.22%
Outside Bets/General Picks
Dozens 12 2:1 32.43% 31.58% 32.43%
Columns 12 2:1 32.43% 31.58% 32.43%
Lows/Highs 18 1:1 48.65% 47.37% 48.65%
Evens/Odds 18 1:1 48.65% 47.37% 48.65%
Reds/Blacks 18 1:1 48.65% 47.37% 48.65%

Roulette Varieties Around the World

Roulette is a popular casino game the world over, both in land-based casinos and online casinos. This popularity has bred a selection of different roulette varieties for you to play, each with its own unique rules and gameplay. Below is a list of some of the most common roulette variations you are likely to encounter at online casinos and a quick summary of what makes them unique:

  1. European Roulette – European Roulette is the most common type of roulette found in online and land-based casinos worldwide. This variant has 37 pockets on the wheel, numbered 0 to 36, and allows for call bets. 
  2. American Roulette – this version of roulette shares many similarities with European roulette but with the additional double zero pocket. The additional pocket increases the house edge of the game. 
  3. French Roulette – this is an exciting roulette variety that includes additional rules and betting options such as the La Partage bet.
  4. Mini Roulette – this version is played with a smaller wheel including only 13 pockets numbered zero to twelve. The payouts are adjusted accordingly. 
  5. Multi-Wheel Roulette – this is a version of roulette that allows players to bet on multiple wheels at any one time. Typically, payouts are lower than in other roulette varieties. 
  6. Live Dealer Roulette – in online casinos, you can play an interactive live version of roulette that is live-streamed to provide a more immersive experience for players. 
  7. Double Ball Roulette – this version is a type of roulette featuring two balls on the wheel instead of one, which increases the odds of winning but decreases payout amounts.


American Roulette 

american roulette

American Roulette is a roulette variation that is similar to European Roulette. The main difference is that in this roulette variety, the wheel has an extra pocket numbered 00. This additional pocket increases the house edge and makes the odds slightly lower for players when compared to other roulette variants.

Additionally, the En Prison and Call Bets are not generally offered in the American roulette variation. Despite the slightly lower odds, American Roulette is a very popular roulette variety globally, mostly because of the added excitement that the addition of the double zero brings to the game.


European Roulette 

EU roulette

European Roulette is perhaps the most popular roulette variation and is commonly found throughout the world. The main difference between European Roulette and other variants, such as American Roulette, is that the wheel has 37 pockets and just one zero pocket. The sequence of the numbers on a European roulette wheel also differs from other variants.

Call bets are also available in European roulette. Also known as announced bets, call bets are predetermined bets covering specific sections of the roulette wheel. They are normally found on European and French roulette tables. For example, “voisins du zero” is a call bet that covers the same seventeen numbers surrounding the green 0. Other call bets include “tiers du cylindre” and “orphelins.”

The house edge in European Roulette is lower than in the other most popular roulette variety, American Roulette, as well as other versions like Double Ball Roulette, which makes it more favourable for players. Your odds of getting a single number in this roulette variety are 37:1 versus 38:1 in American Roulette.


French Roulette 

french roulette

French Roulette is a popular roulette variation that features unique rules and a lower house edge. This roulette variation is played with a 37-pocket wheel, numbered from 0 to 36, like in European Roulette. However, French Roulette features two exclusive rules that give players more options for placing bets:

  1. La Partage: The La Partage rule dictates that when the ball lands on 0, if you have placed any even-money bets such as red/black or odd/even, you will receive half of your bet back.
  2. En Prison: The En Prison rule states that when the ball lands on zero, if you have placed any even money bets, you will have the option to leave your bet “in prison” for the next spin. If the bet wins on the next spin, you will receive your original wager back, essentially releasing your bet from the prison.

In addition to these rules, the French Roulette variety allows for French or Call Bets to be placed. These bets are placed on specific number combinations and are typically bets that experienced players like to place. 

The table layout for French roulette is also unique, with high/low, even/odd, and red/black bets placed on opposite sides of the betting area. The table below summaries the main differences between the three most popular types of roulette discussed above:

Roulette Variation Pockets House Edge Additional Rules
American 38 5.26% None
European 37 2.70% Call Bets
French 37 1.35% La Partage, En Prison, Call Bets

Roulette - Tips and Strategy

When it comes to the best roulette tips, it’s important to remember that roulette, like most online casino games, is a game of chance, and therefore, you cannot accurately predict the outcome of each betting round. 

It’s wise to remember when playing roulette or any other online casino games, to always gamble responsibly. We advise you to set yourself limits before you get started, including limits to how much you wish to play with and how long you intend to play, and then stick to them. 

A good roulette strategy when you’re playing online roulette is to take advantage of casino promotions and bonuses to help boost your win potential or even earn free bonus funds. Just remember, when you are using online roulette bonus offers, to check the terms and conditions before signing up for the promotion so you know what you’re getting into before you start playing. 

Sticking to outside bets should see you earn more frequent returns, which can be useful to help you manage your bankroll. Outside bets do not offer the same fantastic payouts as inside bets, but they do have a better chance of winning.

Final Words

There you have it! Having read this article, you should now have a much better understanding of how to play roulette, the many variations you can expect to find in online casinos, and the unique gameplay that each one offers. 

If you’re a new player, you should now feel confident to give online roulette a go, but just remember to always check to determine a casino site’s reputation and trustworthiness before offering any of your personal data or banking information. 

If you enjoyed this guide on how to play roulette and are looking for more tips and info on other popular casino games, like Blackjack and online poker, check out the rest of our insightful blogs here at Betsquare Australia. 

To discover the best online casinos in Australia, read our well-researched blog on what’s available for Australian players in 2024, including the best bonus offers to help earn boosted wins.

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