How to Play Roulette

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Roulette is an exciting and popular table game, appearing in many variations across online casinos. Your goal is to bet on a space where the ball will land once the wheel spins. The spaces you can bet on range from low volatility (red or black, even or odd) to high volatility (individual numbers). Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about roulette.

Roulette Rules

A typical roulette table consists of a wheel alongside a table full of potential bets. While the betting options change slightly depending on the variation of roulette you choose to play, the basic rules remain the same.

As briefly mentioned above, your goal as a player is to bet on where the ball will land once released into the spinning wheel. If it lands in a wheel pocket that you’ve placed a wager on, you win. Before the ball hits the wheel, you can place as many bets as you’d like on the table. As roulette is mostly a game of luck, the only decision you have to make is where to place your bets, which we’ll cover below.

Roulette Table and Wheel with Bonus logo

Labeled American Roulette Table

Roulette Bets & Payouts Expanded

BetBet NamePayoutOdds of Winning
1Straight-Up35:12.6%
2Split17:15.3%
3Three Numbers11:17.9%
4Corner Bet8:110.5%
5Five Numbers6:113.2%
6Six Numbers5:115.8%
7Twelve Numbers (Dozens)2:131.6%
8Column Bet2:131.6%
918 Numbers (1-18)1:147.4%
1018 Numbers (19-36)1:147.4%
11Red or Black1:147.4%
12Even or Odd1:147.4%

Practice Section

1

For this practice section, we’ll be playing American Roulette, often the most common variant. Pictured above is a typical American Roulette table.

Roulette - American

2

Your first step after loading the game is to choose where to place your bet. In this practice section, we’ve placed a $1 bet on red. This means we’re betting $1 that the ball will land in a red pocket on the wheel. As you can see in the table above, this gives us 47.4% odds to win (slightly below 50% due to the zero pockets). Of course, at this step, you can choose any of the bets listed above depending on the amount of risk you’re willing to tolerate.

How to Play Roulette ex. 2

3

In this example, the ball landed in the 36 pocket, which is red. This results in a winning bet! As the payout is 1:1 for red or black bets, our $1 bet results in a $1 win for a total of $2 returned. That concludes this round of roulette.

How to play roulette ex 3

4

Let’s say we decide to play another round, and we’re willing to take on more risk. As you can see, we’ve now placed a $1 straight-up bet on the number 17.

How to Play Roulette ex. 4

5

This spin resulted in the ball landing in the 7 pocket, which means our bet on 17 lost (not surprising considering the long odds of a straight-up bet). This round concludes with a loss. If the ball were to land in the 17 pocket here, we would have won $35 and had our $1 bet returned, resulting in a total of $36.

How to Play Roulette ex 5

Types of Roulette Games

American is the most popular type of roulette at retail casinos, and you’ll find it at almost every online casino. It also features the worst odds of any roulette style (probably why it’s widely available). This is because it has two zero pockets, 0 and 00, which shift the odds in the house’s favor.

By contrast, European Roulette features just one zero pocket, increasing your odds compared to those in American. Other than that difference, the rules and remainder of the game match American roulette.

French Roulette sports the friendliest odds, and we recommend seeking it out for that reason. While not often available at retail casinos, it can be easily found at online casinos. The player-friendly odds are due to this variation’s one zero pocket and the inclusion of one of two favorable rules, La Partage or En Prison. With La Partage, if the ball lands in the zero pocket, you’ll receive half of your losing bet back. With En Prison, bets on red or black and odd or even are locked in place. If you lose, your bet remains.

Try It Yourself

American Roulette

American Roulette

European Roulette

European Roulette

French Roulette

French Roulette

More Roulette Guides

Roulette Glossary

A bet on any eighteen numbers (1 through 18 or 19 through 36).

A roulette wheel that features two zero spaces, a 0 and a 00.

The stationary area of a wheel where the ball is released into the wheel.

A bet on 12 numbers in a single column.

A bet on four inside numbers.

A bet on any 12 numbers (1 through 12, 13 through 24, or 25 through 36).

A French roulette rule that locks red or black and odd or even bets in place so that they remain on the table in the event of a loss.

A roulette wheel that features one zero space.

An outside bet on whether the ball will land in an even or odd-numbered pocket.

A bet on five number spaces.

The mathematical advantage the house holds over the player.

A bet placed on spaces located in the center of the roulette table. An inside bet can be placed on a specific number or a combination of numbers.

A French roulette rule that returns half of your losing bet if the ball lands in the zero space.

The percentage chance of winning your bet.

An outside bet on whether the ball will land in a red or black pocket.

A bet on six number spaces.

A bet that covers two adjacent numbers.

An inside bet on a single number.

The layout of available bets on a roulette wheel.

A bet on three number spaces.

A bet on any twelve numbers. This is the same bet as “Dozens,” mentioned above.

The actual roulette wheel into which the ball is released.

About the Author

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels is a lead writer and gambling expert for Bonus.com. He has been involved in the online gambling industry since 2013. Previously, he worked for Gamesys and Bally's Interactive as a copywriter and social media strategist for multiple North American online casinos.
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