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Roulette Guide

Aria-AutorAria BrownStefan-AutorStefan Weber
6 min read

casino-chips-tableRoulette is one of the most classic table games. The wheel, its intricate pockets, the betting layout – they are all virtually synonymous with gambling.

The basic idea is that you have to guess which number the ball will land on when the wheel stops spinning. It is entirely a game of chance, but still, the random factor doesn't mean that there's nothing you can do.

The numerous betting options available can be combined with a little luck into a winning game by seasoned gamblers.

Stefan"From basics to strategies, our team at Roulette.Guide will cover everything you need to know to get started, along with tips and analyses from more experienced players so that you can play roulette like a pro in no time."
Stefan Weber

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How to Play Roulette – Step by Step Instructions

1coin Players use chips to place their bets on the betting table.
2coin The dealer spins the roulette wheel and throws the ball in.
3coin As the wheel slows down, the dealer will wave their hand over the table and announce, "No more bets".
4coinEventually, the ball will fall into one of the pockets - that pocket's number is the winning result.
5coin If the number, color, or combination match your bet, then you will receive a payout.
6-coinOnce winnings have been paid out, a new round begins and you can place new bets.

Basic Roulette Rules

Roulette consists of some key elements that are actually quite iconic. Understanding these elements will give you a solid grasp on the basics for playing roulette.

The Roulette Wheel

The roulette wheel is where the action takes place, which is typically placed on one end of the betting table. The edge of the wheel is divided into pockets with numbers on them.

  • In classic or French Roulette, the wheel has 37 pockets, with numbers going from 0 to 36.
  • In American Roulette, the wheel has 38 pockets because it has a second, additional 0.

Although the layout is standardized, the pockets are not placed in numerical order on the wheel. With the exception of the 0, which is green, the pockets alternate between red and black.

roulette-wheel-gold-1024x607The roulette wheel and the arrangement of the numbers in the wheel.MoreLess

The Dealer (Croupier)

The game is led by the dealer – or the croupier as they are called in roulette. The croupier is responsible for spinning the wheel, dropping the ball into the wheel, as well as managing the bet placements and payouts.

The croupier makes key betting announcements. To close bets, they will say, "No more bets" or "Rien ne va plus". When the wheel stops spinning, they announce the winning number and put a clear dolly on the number while payouts are made. In French Roulette, the number may be marked by the rake. Once the losing chips are collected and the winning bets are paid out, the dolly is removed and the croupier announces a new round by saying "Place your bets".

Roulette Table Layout

Roulette bets are placed on the roulette layout, aka the tableau. After the wheel itself, the layout is probably the most iconic piece to the game. The roulette layout shows all the possible bets you can place, from individual numbers and their colors, to groups such as odd and even.

Players put their chips directly on their bet of choice on the layout. You can place multiple bets per round, for example, on an individual number, and on all reds.

The typical roulette layout on which the bets are placed:

roulette-tableauMoreLess

In general, the layout can be divided into inside and outside bets.

  • Inside bets: specific numbers or small groups of specific numbers on the layout. These have a lower chance of winning and therefore have higher payouts. These bets are located inside the main layout.
  • Outside bets: groups of numbers, for example all even numbers or all reds. These have higher odds and therefore pay out less. These bets are located on the edge of the layout.

There are many betting options available that offer different odds. We'll dive further into that in the next section.

Roulette Betting Options

Betting options in roulette are numerous, with riskier bets paying out more. Or to put it in more mathematical terms, the lower the probability of a win, the better the payout offered. For example, the odds are low that the ball lands on a specific number like 7, so you will be rewarded with a higher payout if you decide to take that risk. Meanwhile, a bet on red has a pretty high chance of winning since it takes up almost half the wheel, so it only pays out 1:1.

Generally speaking, roulette bets can be classified into three groups: inside, outside, and announced bets.

Inside BetsOutside BetsAnnounced Bets

All the numbers in this highlighted section are inside bets. Since the probability of winning on a single number is 1 out of 37, you have low odds – or long odds, as gamblers prefer to say – but in exchange you will get a higher payout.

Roulette Inside Bets

The numbers 0-36 form the basis for so-called inside bets.

Inside bets can be divided into the following:

  • Single numbers – aka straight up bet.
  • Split bet – two numbers that are next to each other on the layout. Put your chips on the line between the two numbers.
  • Street bet – three numbers in a row on the layout, eg. 7- 8 – 9, or 28 – 29 – 30.
  • Double Street – six numbers on two horizontal lines, eg. 13 – 14 – 15 – 16 – 17 – 18. Place your chips on the outer corner shared by the left or rightmost numbers.
  • Corner bet – aka square bet. Four numbers sharing a center, eg. 1 – 2 – 4 – 5. Place your chips on the corner.
  • Basket bet – five numbers including the 0, the 00, and the first three numbers: 0 – 00 – 1 – 2 – 3 in the layout, and is only available in American Roulette. Basket bets have a relatively high house edge and are generally not recommended.

Outside bets are the options that are outside of the numbers field in the layout. They represent groups of numbers with shared characteristics and have a higher chance of winning. As the probability of a win is significantly higher, the payout is lower.

Roulette Outside Bets

The fields for outside bets are arranged below and to the right of the number fields.

  • Dozens: in 3 groups of 12, from 1 to 12, 13 to 22, and 25 to 36.
  • Columns: also in 3 groups of 12 numbers running down into a column. Eg. 1 – 4 – 7 – 10 all the way down to 28 – 31 – 34.
  • Red or Black: the color of the winning number.
  • Even or Odd: the type of winning number.
  • High or Low: 1 to 18 (low) or 19 to 36 (high).

These are bets that correspond to the section of the roulette wheel, and the layout looks a bit like a racing track. It's mostly for European or French roulette games, which is why these bets have French names.

Roulette Racetrack

The race track offers additional betting options.

  • Voisin du Zero (Neighbours of Zero): 17 numbers, including 0, that are close to the 0 pocket on the wheel.
  • Jeu Zero (Zero Game): Like Voisins du Zero but only covers 7 numbers instead of 17.
  • Tiers du Cylindre (Thirds of the Wheel): 12 numbers across from the 0.
  • Orphelins (Orphans): The 8 numbers that are not covered by Voisins du Zero or Tiers du Cylindre.
  • Neighbors: This involves a straight bet (that is, a specific number)  to its right and left on the wheel, coming to a total of 5 numbers.

Roulette Tips & Tricks

Roulette is a game of luck, but there are still a few things you can do to increase your odds and manage your bankroll.


1. Play European or French Roulette 

Because American Roulette has a second 0, it has a higher house edge at 5.26%. European and French Roulette offer players the distinct advantage of a lower house edge at 2.7%. This means these games have a higher RTP than American Roulette, and a higher RTP is always good for the player.


2. Choose games with La Partage rule 

With the La Partage rule (house edge 1.35%), you get half your bet back if the ball lands on 0 in a bet of 1:1 odds (eg. Red – Black, Odd – Even, High – Low). There is some variation as to how you get that half back. Some casinos will return half the stake immediately, while others will hold it "en prison" for another spin and return it on a win. Either way, this increases the RTP of the game.


3. Begin with Outside Bets

Outside bets have a higher chance of winning. Winning is fun and will help to keep you motivated. While simple bets on Red or Black might not be the most attractive paying 1:1, betting on Columns and Dozens would tip the balance into a more lucrative 2:1 payout.


4. Practice with roulette for free online

Practice can make a huge difference, especially with all the different kinds of betting options in roulette. The great thing about online casinos is that you can check in any time and play roulette games for free in demo mode. These games will be software based RNG roulette games rather than live roulette, which is not available for free play.


5. Watch others play

Beginners can always benefit from watching others play. Whether this means shadowing a table in Vegas for a few minutes, or checking in to a casino stream, it's always a good idea to see how things flow before putting down your own money into the mix.


6. Play at tables with fewer players

Tables with fewer players tend to move at a more relaxed pace. This means there's less pressure to jump into betting decisions, and it's much friendlier if you are learning to play roulette. On this note, it's also good to know that American roulette tends to have a faster tempo than other games.


7. Pay attention to table limits

There are games that are $0.10 a round, and others with typical bets at $100 that are more exclusive for high rollers. Make sure you are going to a table that fits your budget. We suggest starting with lower bets as part of the learning process.


8. Split your budget into four

This is a popular trick with more experienced gamblers to help with their budget management. Divide your budget into four, and when you lose a quarter, move on to another table. This break helps you maintain an overview of the situation, and gives you the opportunity to clear your head so you don't get lost in a rabbit hole.


9. Secure winnings

This is really important to successful gambling. Know your goals, and when you reach them, cash out. Some players will use their winnings to make larger bets. This is not a bad idea provided that you don't exceed your initial budget so that you can still walk away with a profit.


Play Roulette

Roulette Do's and Don'ts

Roulette Do'sRoulette Don'ts
  • Stay within your pre-planned budget
  • Practice with free roulette online
  • Try different versions
  • Be courteous to croupier and fellow players
  • Don't lose sight of your budget
  • Don't gamble intoxicated

Popular Roulette Variants at a Glance

European Roulette

European RouletteEuropean roulette has 37 numbers, from 1 to 36, plus a Zero. All the betting options on single numbers, dozens and even money bets are available.

It has a house edge of 2.7% making it one of the best roulette games from a payout perspective.

Find out more

French Roulette

french roulette goldFrench Roulette is essentially the same as European Roulette, except the layout is labelled in French. Some games may further offer the "en prison" rule, where if the ball lands on Zero, half your bet is held for another spin.

The house edge in French Roulette is the same as European Roulette at 2.7%, making it an excellent choice for players looking for a roulette games with high payout rates.

Find out more

American Roulette

american roulette evolution gamingAmerican Roulette has 38 pockets with numbers going from 1 to 36, plus a Zero and a second Zero on the wheel. This second Zero is labelled as "00" and it's referred to as the Double Zero.

Compared to European or French Roulette, this extra 0 increases the house edge from 2.7% to 5.26%, which means player's chances of winning are decreased. American Roulette also moves at a higher speed with players having less time to decide on their bets. Which is why American roulette is generally considered as a variant more suitable for experienced roulette players.

Additionally, American Roulette uses special chips, where the casino assigns each player their own color.

Find out more

Mini Roulette

Mini Roulette SpribeMini Roulette has half the pockets of classic roulette. It has 13 pockets in total, with numbers from 1 to 12 plus a Zero.

Most of the betting options from European roulette still apply, although payout is lower since you're much more likely to win with just 1/3 of the numbers.

Multi-Player Roulette

multiplayer roulette microgamingThis software based roulette game lets you play with other players on the same table. An excellent choice if you're missing a bit of the social feeling that can be found in casinos.

In terms of the rules, multi-player roulette is based on French roulette.

3D Roulette

3d european roulette3D Roulette is a hyper realistic software based roulette game, based on European or French Roulette rules.

Its look and feel are similar to Live Roulette, although you can play 3D roulette for free whereas live games are available for real money gambling exclusively.

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Roulette FAQs

  1. What is the difference between French and American Roulette?
  2. What is the difference between inside and outside bets in roulette?
  3. What is RNG Roulette?
  4. Where can I play roulette for free online?
  5. What is the probability of winning when I bet on a color?
  6. What is even money bet in roulette?
  7. Can I bet on everything in roulette?

1. What is the difference between French and American Roulette?

The main difference is that American Roulette has a second Zero, giving the roulette wheel 38 pockets instead of 37. This double zero field increases the house edge from 2.7% to 5.26%, which gives the house a bit more of an advantage.

Other than the double zero, American Roulette is faster and players have less time to place their bets. Additionally, the betting layout in French Roulette is written in French. If you want the same rules as French roulette, but minus the language, then check out European roulette.

2. What is the difference between inside and outside bets in roulette?

Inside and outside bets refer to the options on the betting layout. Inside bets are all the individual numbers from 0 to 36, plus small groups of numbers that share a line or an intersection on the layout.

Outside bets refer to the options on the edge of the layout, and are larger groups of numbers that tend to have simple or even odds. For example, Black or White, Odd or Even, High or Low, to groups of 12 numbers.

You have a higher probability of winning with outside bets, and therefore payout is lower. Inside bets have a lower probability and therefore have a higher payout. An inside bet that is a straight bet one one specific number has the lowest probability and therefore pays out the most.

3. What is RNG Roulette?

RNG stands for Random Number Generator, and in the context of RNG Roulette, it refers to all software based roulette games, as compared to games that have human croupiers. RNG itself is an algorithm that guarantees that each result is truly random and fair, and it is used in other casino games such as blackjack, slots, and any game that requires a random element for fairness.

4. Where can I play roulette for free online?

Most online casino sites will let you play RNG roulette for free in demo mode. You might need to register for an account first, but you don't have to make a deposit to enjoy free play. Bear in mind however that there will be no cash winnings unless you switch over to real money gambling. Even though there is no cash involved, we recommend choosing a licensed casino such as Stake or Lucky Dreams for free play so that you know everything is up to scratch should you decide to switch to real money gambling.

5. What is the probability of winning when I bet on a color?

Whether it be a bet on Red or Black, the chances of a color bet winning in European Roulette is 48.65%. This is because the 0 pocket is green, so the probability drops to just shy of 50%. In American Roulette, the probability drops to 47.37% because of the additional 00 pocket.

6. What is even money bet in roulette?

An even money bet in roulette, or in betting in general, is when you have a 50 – 50 chance of winning and pays 1:1. In roulette this includes color bets even though the odds are just below 50 because of the green Zero. A 1:1 payout means that if you bet $10, and you will get $10 on top of your original $10 wager, giving you a total of $20.

7. Can I bet on everything in roulette?

Yes, you can in theory bet on every single number in roulette, but it's not wise. You can place straight bets on all numbers but since a straight bet pays 35x, and there are 37 numbers, your losing bets will eat into your win and turn it into a loss.

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Compiled by Stefan Weber & Aria Brown
Authors: Aria Brown and Stefan Weber
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