Roulette is one of the most popular casino games in the world – but it can be daunting to someone who has never played it before.
From European and American roulette wheels, to split bets and corner bets, there can be a lot to take in.
In this guide, we’ll look at the best ways to play roulette, how to bet at the roulette table, and how to understand the all rules and payouts. Let's get started!
The roulette table layout is made up of boxes marked 1-36 and the numbers are split evenly between red and black. There's also a green zero and in some games, there's a green double-zero as well.
This part of the table is called “The Inside”. Arranged around the number-grid are more options that let you bet on different sets of numbers - odd or even, red or black, etc. This is called “The Outside”.
Most roulette tables have separate minimum bets for the inside and the outside of the board. Some games also have a rule that a minimum bet on the inside can be spread out over multiple numbers, but the minimum bet on the outside applies to each individual bet.
There are a handful of popular roulette variations and they all offer different odds on you winning in the long run. First, let's look at the three main versions of the game – American, European and French roulette - and then we'll explain why it's important to know the difference.
Just like every game, roulette has a casino advantage built into the rules. Roulette achieves the house edge with the zero and double-zero, and by paying out slightly less than the actual odds on some of the other bets. Playing online or at tables with a single zero is the best way to you improve your chances.
American roulette is available all over North America and in many online casinos. The easiest way to spot this game is by looking for the double-zero on both the wheel and the table layout. It's positioned directly beside the 0 on the table layout and at the exact opposite side of the wheel from the single zero.
The much more player-friendly version, European roulette has just one green zero. The upside is that it's twice as favorable to the player odds-wise as American roulette. One other difference is that since there's no double-zero, you can't make the five-number top line bet that includes 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3.
In addition to American and European roulette, there is also a distinct French variation that's still played today. If you can find it, this is the best version of the game and has roughly half the house edge of European roulette.
One thing you'll notice right away is a special section of the layout that looks like a racetrack. It's designed to give players an easy way to bet on different combinations of numbers. There are three main fixed bets, plus one variable bet.
Since the numbers appear in a different order on the wheel compared to the felt, the racetrack bets let you wager on specific groupings that aren't possible using the normal betting layout.
There are two other big differences in the French version of the game and they're important to understand because they actually improve the player's odds of winning.
If you have a bet on black, red, odd, or even and the ball lands on zero, the casino will give you back 50% of your bet.
Similar to La Partage, the En Prison rule kicks in when the ball lands on zero and you have a bet on a color or odd/even. The dealer will place a marker on your bet and if it wins on the next spin, it's returned to you.
There are countless betting strategies and combinations you can use at the roulette table.
By spreading out your bets on lots of different numbers you can give yourself better odds of hitting a winner. Conversely, you can put a big bet on just one number and hope to get lucky for a big score. Roulette also gives you the option of splitting your bet between multiple numbers by placing it on the lines and intersections of the grid.
Below we break down some of the more popular options.
Getting familiar with all the different betting options is a great way to get comfortable and have more fun playing roulette. In this section, we'll explain how to make every single bet and what the odds are.
As we mentioned before, the house edge in roulette is built into the rules of the game which makes it very hard to overcome using gameplay strategy.
The best way to take control of your roulette session is by using a betting system. Let's take a closer look at the most famous and effective betting systems you can use the next time you play roulette.
Covering the board, also called covering the table, is a strategy that involves putting bets on the vast majority of numbers. Since only a few numbers can give you a loss, this system definitely results in winning a little bit on almost every spin. The downside is that since betting on so many numbers requires a big outlay of money when you do lose you lose big.
The most popular way to cover the board is to bet nine units on Low (1-18), six units on the 3rd Dozen, and two units on the 19-20-22-23 corner. This strategy leaves just three numbers uncovered. If zero, 21 or 24 hits, you lose all your bets. If any other number hits you win one unit.
Managing your money is hands down one of the biggest factors in being a successful roulette player. While you can’t change the odds or house edge, you can limit the financial damage you suffer.
Never bet with money you can't afford to lose and always keep accurate records of your wins and losses. Gamblers have a tendency to only remember winning sessions, which means a lot of people are losing more than they think.
Spend the time identifying your gambling goals and then use strategies that give you the best chance of reaching them. The table below explains how to responsibly manage your bankroll.
Online and offline roulette rely on randomly generated winning numbers in order to provide a fair game. In real-life casinos, this is achieved by the ball and spinning wheel while online casinos use what's called a random number generator (RNG). Since the best online casinos are all regulated, you can trust that they have an RNG that works fairly.
Random Number Generators work by using computer algorithms to produce a running sequence of many thousands of numbers each split-second. When the online casino game triggers the RNG, the computer chooses the number the RNG created at that precise moment.
Constantly creating a virtually random sequence of numbers.
The game triggers the RNG to generate a number.
That number corresponds to an outcome in the game to decide winners.
Playing roulette in a brick and mortar casino is a little more complicated than playing online - but it's still one of the simplest games around. As well as being respectful to dealers and players, there are only a few easy rules you need to follow.
Gamblers – particularly bad ones – are known for believing in superstitions and myths. As luck is such a huge part of whether people win or lose in the short term, a lot of common misconceptions have come to be seen as fact. As a smart gambler, it's up to you to do the research and separate fact from fiction. Here’s what you need to know:
Find the best online casinos offering your favorite games by clicking below. Each page also offers a simple guide on how to play.
While there is no specific way to guarantee a win at the roulette table, there are a few things you can do to help your chances of turning a profit. Our handy guide to understanding roulette betting and odds will boost your chances.
There are countless patterns gamblers use to turn a profit. Some prefer betting on single numbers to try land big payouts, while others use common roulette betting strategies for a more measured approach.
The amount of numbers on a roulette table depends on what part of the world, or online casino, you are playing in. Tables in America and Europe have varying numbers of zeros, while French roulette has a completely different table layout.
Roulette tables at any reputable online or bricks and mortar casinos will not be fixed. Roulette numbers are decided by a random number generator which guarantees a fair result.
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