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How To Play Roulette Online

Want to know how to play roulette and win? Then you’re in the right place. With years of gaming knowledge behind us, we’ve put together an expert guide to all things roulette. You can look forward to finding out all about the basic rules of the game, what bets you’ll be able to place to increase your chances, the different types of roulette, and much more.

So, before you take on the little wheel, give our guide a quick spin and up your game!

people playing roulette

What is Roulette?

Roulette is a game of chance, played at online and land-based casinos throughout the world. It was first played in the late 1700s in Paris, and by the 20th century had spread throughout the world. Nowadays, a casino simply isn’t a casino without at least one roulette table on offer.

There are three main variations of the game – American, European, and French. Each has subtle differences that every roulette player needs to know about (all of which we describe in detail below). The world of online casinos has spawned many new variations as well, increasing the variety and excitement of roulette even further.

The basic premise of roulette is this: you’ll need to predict which number a ball will land on when the roulette wheel is spun. You do this by placing bets on a roulette board, which contains 37 or 38 numbers, depending on the version you’re playing, and several different betting options. If your bet is a successful one, you’ll get paid.

There’s no skill involved at all, as the game is based entirely on chance, meaning even complete beginners have a chance of winning some money when they play.

How to Play Roulette in Five Easy Steps

  • 1. Choose the type of roulette game you want to play and pick your table
  • 2. Place your bet(s) on the table
  • 3. Once you’ve finished placing bets, start the roulette wheel spinning
  • 4. The ball will come to a stop on one of the numbers
  • 5. If you’ve won, your winnings will be paid into your casino account automatically – time to celebrate

How to Play Roulette Online

online roulette game

Roulette might look daunting at first, but it’s an exceptionally simple game to play. Every version of roulette always starts with you picking one or more bets to make. You do this by clicking on the part of the board that represents your chosen bet.

You’ll have an unlimited amount of time to place bets in standard online roulette, but those playing live dealer roulette will have to make their bets within a time limit. Once you’ve finished placing your bets, you’re ready to spin the wheel.

Just click the relevant button to get the wheel spinning or wait for the live dealer to do it. Look out for the ball which will be spinning around the wheel – this is the part where should hold your breath as you wait for it to land on one of the numbers… If the ball lands on your number, you’ll get a cash prize!

Sound exciting? You’ll be glad to know you can find a great selection of free online roulette games right here on this site, giving you the chance to practice playing without having to spend a cent of your own money.

That’s the basics of how to play roulette covered! You can now spin the wheel at some of our free games, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, play for real money at one of the top roulette casinos online.

How to Play Roulette in a Land-Based Casino

real life roulette wheel

If you need to know how to play roulette at a casino, good news – it’s almost the same as playing online. Instead of clicking on your device to play bets though, you’ll need to place the chips on the table yourself – how fun!

First off, it’s important to know that your chips will be a different color or design from the other players’ chips, making it easier for both yourself and the dealer to keep track of individual bets.

In a live casino, the croupier (dealer) will spin the wheel and you’ll only have a set period to place your bets. As soon as the croupier closes betting, you won’t be able to place any more bets. Then, as in the online game, the ball will land on a number, and you’ll be paid if any of your bets are winners. Simple as!

Once you’re finished playing, just pick up your chips and leave the table. Don’t forget – it’s always a nice touch to leave the croupier a small tip before leaving the game (pass back one of your chips, or however many you like).

If you can’t make it to a casino but want to experience the excitement of playing roulette live, you should try out live dealer online roulette, which uses a webcam to bring the action of live roulette to you.

Types of Roulette

There are many types of roulette, however, the three main types are American, European, and French. They’re very similar to each other, however American roulette has a double-zero on the wheel, unlike the other two versions. French roulette games, on the other hand, feature the la partage or en prison rules, which are beneficial to the player.

The double zero, la partage, and en prison rules are the only aspects that cause the gameplay to differ. This means that if you know how to play one version of the game, you’ll easily be able to make the transition to playing other versions.

Find a breakdown of each of the three main versions of roulette below.

American Roulette

american roulette

American roulette is distinguished from the other versions of the game by the double-zero on the wheel. This double zero unfortunately reduces the odds of you winning, with the house edge of this game being 5.26% – far higher than that of the other two games. If you’re trying to learn how to play roulette and win big – avoid this version.

In American roulette, you’ll lose your money when you place an even money bet and the ball lands on zero or double zero – not quite the American dream.

Check out our page on American roulette to find out more about this casino game.

European Roulette

european roulette

European roulette only has a single zero, which immediately makes the game more favorable to players. In fact, just removing the double zero from the reels takes the house edge down to a much more respectable 2.7%.

The house edge still isn’t as low as it is for French roulette though, as there’s no la partage or en prison rules to help the player even further. This means the player loses their even money bet when the ball lands on zero.

Understanding the roulette wheel

The roulette wheel will have either 37 or 38 numbers, depending if there's a double zero or not. The numbers on the wheel are listed randomly and alternate between black and red, except for the zero(s) which are usually green.

The wheel will spin in one direction while the ball spins in the opposite direction. These things might not seem important when playing online, but it's still good to know some of the details of the game.

As you start to learn how to play roulette online, you'll also notice that the actual wheel may be completely still at first. It will spin after you've locked in your bets. But before you can do that, you need to know how the betting board works.

Want to try your hand at the game? Check out our page dedicated to European roulette.

French Roulette

french roulette

Finally, there’s French roulette. This game might look a little more daunting to new players due to the French terms, however, you should persevere. It’s the best form of roulette in terms of your chances, with a minuscule house edge of 1.35% (Vive le France!).

This low house edge is present because there’s no double zero pocket, plus the game will feature the la partage or en prison rule. Find out what each one means below:

la partage – translated as “sharing”, this rule means that players betting on an even money bet will receive half their stake back if the ball lands on zero.

en prison – this rule would replace la partage and simply means that the player’s half is left on the table (or in prison) for the next bet, instead of being returned to them.

Check out our French roulette page to find out more about this version of the game.

Types of Roulette Bets

The game of roulette features tons of different types of bets. Each bet type has its own odds of being successful, as well as its unique payout. You’re able to make as many bets as you want when playing roulette, so don’t feel restricted to simply placing one bet on the table.

While there are many bets, they generally fall into two distinct types: inside bets and outside bets. Don’t worry, we’ve broken them all down below for your reading pleasure!

Inside Bets

An inside bet is one made on the numbered section of the roulette table which, as the name suggests, is the inner section of the table (closer to the center). These bets generally offer a lower chance of winning, but higher payouts.

Straight Up

  • A bet on one single number on the board;/li>
  • To place the bet, place your chip directly on your chosen number;
  • You win if the ball lands on that specific number;
  • 2.70% chance of winning with this bet in European and French roulette;
  • 2.60% chance of winning in American roulette;
  • This bet has a payout of 35 to 1.

Split

  • A bet on two numbers sitting next to each other on the table;
  • To place this bet, put your chip on the line dividing the two numbers;
  • You win if the ball lands on either of the two selected numbers;
  • 5.40% chance of this bet being a winner in European or French roulette;
  • 5.30% chance of winning with this bet in American roulette;
  • The payout for this bet is 17 to 1.

Street

  • This is a bet on all three numbers in a row and is also called a trio bet;
  • Place this bet by putting a chip on the line to the outside of the first number;
  • You will win if the ball lands on any of the three numbers in the row;
  • 8.10% chance of winning with this bet in European and French roulette;
  • 7.90% chance of winning in American roulette;
  • Successful bets lead to a payout of 11 to 1.

Corner

  • A bet on four numbers making up a square on the table;
  • The bet is placed by putting chips in the center of all four numbers;
  • You win if the ball lands on any of the four selected numbers;
  • 10.80% chance of winning in European and French roulette;
  • 10.50% chance of this bet winning in American roulette;
  • The prize for a successful corner bet is 8 to 1.

Basket

  • A bet on five numbers – 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3;
  • Place your chips on the line between 0 and 1 on the side of the board;
  • You’ll win if the ball lands on any of the five numbers;
  • This bet has a 13.2% chance of winning in American roulette;
  • A basket bet can’t be made in European or French roulette;
  • A successful basket bet leads to a payout of 6 to 1.

Line

  • This is when you place a bet on two neighboring streets;
  • Place a chip on the same line as a street bet, but straddling two streets;
  • You win if the ball lands on any of the six numbers selected;
  • 16.2% chance of being good in European and French roulette;
  • 15.8% chance of this bet winning in American roulette;
  • This bet has a payout out 5 to 1.

Outside Bets

An outside bet is one made on an option found around the outside of the board. They generally have lower payouts than inside bets, however, they have a higher chance of being successful.

Red/Black

  • A bet on whether the ball will land on a red or a black number;
  • Place a chip on the red or black section of the board;
  • You win if the ball lands on a number with the color you’ve chosen;
  • 48.65% chance of winning in European and French roulette;
  • 47.37% chance of winning in American roulette;
  • This bet has a payout of 1 to 1.

Even/Odd

  • This is a bet on whether the ball will land on an even or an odd number;
  • To place the bet, put a chip on the even or the odd option;
  • The bet is a winner if the ball lands on a number matching your choice;
  • 48.65% chance of this bet winning in European and French roulette;
  • 47.37% chance of winning in American roulette;
  • This bet has a payout of 1 to 1.

High/Low

  • A bet on whether the ball will land on 1-18 (low) or 19-36 (high);
  • To place this bet, just put a chip on the 1-18 or 19-36 space on the board;
  • You’ll win if the ball lands on a number matching your choice;
  • 46.65% of this bet winning in European or French roulette;
  • 47.37% chance of winning in American roulette;
  • This bet has a payout of 1 to 1.

Column

  • A bet on one of the three different columns of numbers;
  • Place a chip on the “2 to 1” space at the bottom of a column of numbers;
  • Your bet is a winner if the ball lands on any number in the column;
  • 32.40% chance of winning in European and French roulette;
  • 31.60% chance of winning in American roulette;
  • The payout for a winning column bet is 2 to 1.

Dozen

  • A bet on one of three groups of consecutive numbers;
  • Place a chip on the 1st 12, 2nd 12, or 3rd 12 space;
  • You win if the ball lands on a number in your chosen 12 numbers;
  • 32.40% chance of this bet winning in European or French roulette;
  • 31.60% chance of this bet winning in American roulette;
  • The payout for this bet is 2 to 1.

The Best Bets for Beginner Roulette Players

Looking to find out how to play roulette online and win? If so, you’ll need to pick the best bets.

It might not be the kind of adrenaline-pumping roulette you were hoping for, but those looking to win should stick to only placing even money bets – red/black, odd/even, and high/low. Despite having the lowest payouts, these are the bets with the lowest house edge. This means that, over time, they give you the best chance of making some money.

But what if you’re looking for something a little more exciting than even money bets? Well, if you’ve had a sudden rush of blood to the head, or perhaps have the kind of bankroll mere mortals can only dream of, why not try a straight up bet? We’ll level with you, your chances of winning aren’t high, however, the payout of 35 to 1 can lead to some massive prizes.

It’s also important to reiterate this: beginner players looking for the best chance of winning should play French roulette, as it has the lowest house edge of all three major versions.

Where to Play Roulette

If you’re still unsure of how to play roulette, why not try out the free roulette games we offer? They’ve got exactly the same gameplay as real money games but won’t cost you a thing to play – so go get that practice in and try a few different types of bets!

Feeling confident and want to play roulette for real money? If so, you should head to one of our recommended casinos, all of which offer many roulette games, big bonuses, and high levels of security. At the moment, our number one place to play is Betway, so why not head there today and sign up? You can also check out our other top-rated real money casinos below if you want to decide for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the safest bet in roulette?

The safest bet in roulette is an even money bet. These are red/black, odd/even, and high/low. These might offer the lowest rewards, but they also have the highest chance of winning. When the numbers are evaluated, even money bets come out as having the lowest house edge of all the roulette bet options.

Is online roulette fixed?

No. You can be sure that online roulette is not fixed when you play at any of the casinos we recommend. This is because we only recommend sites regulated by reputable licensing organizations. What’s more, many of our recommended sites have had their games verified as fair by an independent auditing company like eCOGRA.

Is there a trick to win roulette?

There is no way to guarantee that you’ll win money when playing roulette online or in a land-based casino, despite what some people might claim. You can give yourself the best chance possible of winning by playing French roulette and sticking to even money bets though. Beyond that, you’ll just need Lady Luck to be on your side.

What is the most successful roulette strategy?

There are plenty of roulette strategies out there, such as the Labouchere and the Martingale. The problem is they don’t work, because roulette strategies assume that you have an unlimited bankroll, which won’t be the case. The only strategy you should use is always playing French roulette and betting on even money bets.

What is the best online roulette site?

You’ll find that almost every online casino offers roulette to its players. We review plenty of sites and you can always find the top-rated real money casinos easily with us.