How to play roulette?

How to play roulette

Roulette is a highly popular and easy casino game to play, provided you know the roulette rules. The basic rules of roulette are all the same whether you’re playing mobile roulette, online, or in a land-based casino.

The basics of roulette rules

Roulette is made up of a table complete with betting options, a small ball, and a wheel. The style of both of these will vary slightly depending on which type of roulette you are playing.

However, the overall premise is simple – you need to guess which number on the wheel the ball will land in. In the roulette game rules, you will find that the table shows all the possible numbers – it’s a representation of the wheel, so the numbers will run from zero through to 36.

American roulette wheel with double zero

If you’re playing American roulette, then there will be an additional double zero space on the paytable and the wheel. On the wheel itself, each number is labelled and in pockets that are coloured red and black, with the exception of the zero (and double zero), both of which are green.

When it comes to the wheel, there are clusters of numbers that are odd and even. For instance, 1 to 10 and 19 to 28 have all the odds numbers as red, with the even numbers being black. The opposite is true for 11 to 18 and 29 to 36.

On top of this, you will need to know the rules of roulette when it comes to all the specific bet types that are available, particularly as there are some major differences when it comes to the French roulette variant.

Online Mobile Roulette: How to play with basic rules?

How to play online roulette step by step:

Place your bets

When placing your bets, you should keep in mind your bankroll. If you have a limited budget, sticking to outside bets is a good option, for though these payouts are smaller, they are more likely to pay, resulting in constant small wins.

Spin the wheel

Once the bets are placed, the wheel is spun and the ball dropped.

The outcome

Once the ball has settled into a pocket, the outcome of all the bets that have been placed can be seen.

Did you win?

If you have won, the dealer calculates your winnings, or in a virtual context, the computer will automatically calculate your win for you depending on the odds of your bet.

French roulette rules

French roulette table

French roulette variant is very similar to European roulette in that it uses the same wheel and number of pockets. Many of the bets are also very similar, however, there are two extra options that can be played with French roulette that help to set this game apart.

In short, these additional rules – En Prison and La Partage – help to reduce the house edge of French roulette right down to just 1.35%, which is the lowest house edge of all the variants, giving you a better shot at winning.

En Prison

En Prison, which literally translates to ‘in prison’, is an exciting rule in French roulette games that revolves around the zero pocket. Usually, the ball landing on the zero would mean that any bet not on that number is forfeit.

With En Prison, if the ball lands on the green pocket, you can choose to leave your bet as it is on the paytable for the next round. Essentially it becomes a free go.

However, in order to make use of this extra roulette rule, this bet is only available when you place an odds on bet – i.e. you have to have placed a red/black, high/low or odd/even bet.

On some wheels, you will also be given the choice to have half your bet back and lose the other half when the ball lands on green, in much the same way that the La Partage rule works, which is outlined below.

La Partage

La Partage is the other additional bet often found in French roulette. In the same way as the En Prison rule, utilising this bet cuts the house edge down further.

With this option, translated as ‘dividing’, you will only lose half of your bet if the ball lands on the green zero on the wheel. However, in order for this bet to apply, you must have made an even money bet.

Even stakes bets include red/black, odd/even, and high/low bets and are the ones found on the outside bets on the paytable. By making use of this bet, you can get half of your money back, so while it doesn’t give you an extra go like the En Prison rule can, you still won’t lose quite as much on a round.

This is especially obvious if you are playing any of the other variants, where this rule does not apply.

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Specific rules of European roulette

European roulette is possibly the most commonly played version of the game and the one that is considered the original. This game has a wheel comprised of 0 to 36 so that it totals 37 pockets. The game has a house edge of 2.70%, which is a decent value and also why this version is so hugely popular.

European roulette game

The sequence of numbers on the wheel is also totally different from that of the American wheel, which means that called and announced bets will be totally different with the European rules of roulette.

Specific rules of American roulette

American roulette rules differs from both of the other roulette variants in that it has an extra pocket. Instead of just the single zero pocket that’s available on both the French and European wheels, the American version has a double zero green pocket as well. This means that there are 38 pockets for players to contend with.

Subsequently, this does mean that the house edge goes up and sits at a rather high 5.26%. For many players, this is a little too much in terms of winning possibilities – it’s almost double the house edge of the European game.

American roulette with double zero

Because of this, American roulette also offers the lowest odds out of all three games and is generally only recommended for experienced players to try their hand at.

As we also mentioned, the numbers are in a different sequence to the other two wheels, though this should have no effect on the actual gameplay.

The different types of bets

As a player, you can place any combination of bets that you like, be it based on colours or numbers, but to give yourself the best shot, you need to understand what all the bets mean.

Online roulette rules are the same as those of land-based games, so if you know one, you know the other. There are inside bets which are harder to predict but pay out bigger amounts, or outside bets, which pay smaller amounts but have a greater likelihood of actually coming true.

Inside bets

Inside bets can give you big wins, but those wins won’t come around so often.

Inside bets are found on the inside of the table. Players can place their chips onto the specific number or numbers they want to bet on. These bets have higher payouts, but that’s because they are less likely to come true. You have to weigh the risk with the reward.

Outside bets

Outside bets have lower payouts and include 50:50 bets, such as red/black or odd/even, as well as large groups of numbers. These are simpler bets and are more likely to be accurate. However, this does mean that payouts are not as great as those found on the inside bets.

Called bets and announced bets

In some roulette games, usually the French or European versions, there are announced or called bets on offer. When you play in person, called bets are called by the player but there are no chips placed on the table to cover the number of the bet.

Depending on where you are, however, sometimes these types of bets are forbidden – such as in the UK, where it is deemed gambling on credit.

However, in virtual roulette games, these extra betting options are perfectly acceptable. Announced bets are actually very similar to called bets, but with one big difference.

With an announced bet, the player will actually place their chips on the required area of the table before the wheel finishes spinning.

If any virtual or live roulette game offers these additional bets, you will find that there’s a second table layout known as the racetrack found on the game. This looks like a stadium in shape, hence the name.

European roulette racetrack

However, this addition does not change the rules in any way; it just adds to the number of bets that are available to the players. Racetracks will vary, but there are some common ones.

These different racetrack options will be outlined in the following sections. Despite having French names, these are not actually specific to the French roulette game but can be played at casinos around the world. Each of these bets covers a different part of the wheel.

Voisins du Zéro

This bet translates to neighbours of zero and is all about the 17 numbers that are found on each side of the zero on the wheel (and includes the zero as well).

For the most part, this means the numbers from 22 black through to 25 red. When this bet is announced, you will have to place nine chips on the racetrack, covering each of the relevant number groupings and splits.

Tiers du Cylindre

This bet covers the part of the wheel that is on the opposite side to the zero. As the name implies, this bet is a third of the wheel. You will be able to bet on 12 numbers with this bet, which are usually 33 to 27 inclusively.

This bet has six splits and means that there’s a total of six chips placed on the racetrack.

Jeu Zéro

This is a popular bet on both the European and French wheels. Quite literally ‘the zero game’, this bet covers seven numbers – those that are closest to the zero.

Four chips are placed on the racetrack for this bet, utilising the splits of 0/3, 12/15 and 32/35, with the final chip placed on 26. Some casinos add an extra chip on 19 and call this option the zero spiel naca.

Les Orphelins

Translated simply as orphans, this is one of the classic roulette bets available. This bet is referring to the two parts of the wheel that are not covered by the Tiers Du Cylindre and Voisins du Zero bets.

If you choose to place this bet, you will need to place 5 chips on the racetrack, covering eight different numbers, including the splits of 6/9, 17/20, 14/17 and 31/34 with the final chip on 1.

The Neighbour bet

The last option for the announced bets is the neighbour bet. This gives you loads of freedom when it comes to choosing how many numbers you want to play.

When this bet is placed, you can place your chip on a single number on the racetrack, but the two numbers on each side of it will also be included in the bet – this is in relation to the sequence of numbers on the wheel, not the track.

The Final

The Final bet is one made on a single zero roulette wheel only. Essentially you are placing a bet on the final digit. For instance, if you choose to make a final 4 bet, then you are placing a bet on any number that ends in a 4.

Depending on the number you choose, this bet will either cover three or four different numbers, all of which are covered in the bet.

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Common questions about How to play online roulette?
What are the basics of playing roulette?
Roulette involves a spinning wheel with numbered pockets (usually 1-36) and a small ball that lands on one number after the spin. You bet on which pocket the ball will land in, or groups of pockets based on color, odds/evens, etc.
What are the different types of roulette bets?
The page explains two main categories: inside bets (wagering on a single number or small groups) and outside bets (covering broader categories like red/black, high/low numbers). We provide details on specific bets within each category.
Can I play roulette for free before betting real money?
This page doesn't offer playable demos, but some online casinos might have free roulette games. It's best to check with the casino directly.
What's the difference between European and American roulette?
The main difference is the wheel. European roulette has one green zero (0), while American roulette has both a single zero (0) and a double zero (00). This slightly changes the odds in favor of the house in American roulette.