How to play roulette

Betting

Casinos give you a short period of time between spins to place bets. You must lay your chips on one or more designated spaces on the board.

Roulette Betting

Roulette is unique in that it lets you place multiple wagers in every round. Therefore, you could win or lose multiple bets on each spin.

You can even continue wagering after the dealer spins the wheel. Eventually, the croupier will say, “No more bets.”

At this point, you must cease all betting activity. Furthermore, any wager that you’ve already made will be final.

In land-based casinos, you’ll encounter situations where someone lays their chips in the space where you wish to bet. Casinos issue you color-coded chips to remedy this problem.

You can simply stack your different-colored chips on top of the other player’s chips. The croupier will sort out the bets afterward based on the colors.

How are results determined?

Once the betting round concludes, the dealer spins the wheel with a small ball. The ball eventually settles into one of the numbered pockets.

After the ball rests in a pocket, the dealer sorts out winning and losing wagers. You win if you correctly guess the specific pocket or section where the ball lands.

The croupier stacks chips next to your bet(s) if you win. In contrast, they clear your chips off the board after a loss.

You must refrain from placing future bets until the dealer indicates that they’re finished making payouts and clearing losing wagers.

Playing in land-based casinos

You can use the same type of chips to play most casinos table games. Roulette differs, though, by requiring you to exchange cash or regular chips for specific color-coded chips.

Each roulette table only features one board. Therefore, casinos use color-coded chips to prevent any confusion regarding each player’s bets.

You’ll receive a unique color of chips that separates your wagers from other gamblers’ bets. Each chip is worth the same denomination.

You must place multiple chips on a space when making larger wagers. Here’s an example:

  • A casino uses $1 chip denominations at their roulette tables.
  • You exchange $100 for 100 chips.
  • You wish to make a $10 wager.
  • You must place a stack of ten chips in the desired space.

Land-based casinos require larger minimum wagers than online casinos. Typically, you need to bet $5 or more to play.

You can’t split your minimum bet between two or more wagers. A casino won’t let you risk $3 on one bet and $2 on another, for example, at a $5 table.

When you finish playing a land-based session, you must trade your color-coded chips for regular chips. Roulette chips are specific to the roulette table and can’t be used anywhere else in the casino.

Playing online roulette

Many online casinos require you to register for an account before playing roulette and other games.

The registration process prompts you to fill in a few blank fields and submit your account for approval. Assuming you’re of age and within the casino’s jurisdiction, you should receive instant approval.

Once you’re a registered member, you can play free online roulette, which lets you enjoy or learn the game without risking money.

You must place a deposit before playing real-money roulette. Internet casinos accept credit cards, cryptocurrencies, e-checks (ACH), e-wallets, prepaid cards, and wire transfers.

You don’t need to worry about receiving and using color-coded chips in online roulette. After all, you’re the only one at the table.

Furthermore, gaming sites don’t limit the amount of time you have to place bets. Instead, you can take as long as you need and choose spin when you finish wagering.

Playing live dealer roulette

Some online casinos feature live dealer roulette, which blends elements of both land-based and online casinos.

Live roulette features a human dealer and a real table. The action streams live from a brick-and-mortar studio.

You can communicate with the dealer via a chatbox. This aspect brings a social element that’s not available through standard online roulette.

Roulette wheels

Roulette offers the same general concept and rules across the board. However, it boasts a few different variations.

These games offer unique wheels that differ in the number of pockets they feature. The number of pockets on each wheel carries a significant effect on the house edge.

American roulette

The American wheel is popular in North American casinos. It contains 38 total pockets, including numbers 1-36, zero, and double zero.

The zero and double zero favor the house on almost every bet, resulting in a 5.26% house advantage.

Below, you can see how the American roulette house edge is determined:

  • 38 total numbers
  • 2 house-friendly numbers
  • 2 / 38 = 5.26% house advantage

European roulette

The European wheel is commonly available in European casinos. It contains 37 pockets, including numbers 1-36 and a zero.

The zero is the only pocket that favors casinos on each wager. This lone house-friendly number leads to a 2.7% house advantage.

Here’s the math of the European roulette house edge:

  • 37 total numbers
  • 1 house-friendly number
  • 1 / 38 = 2.7% house advantage

Some versions of European roulette also feature the “la partage rule,” which refers to you receiving half your money back on a losing even-money bet (high-low, even-odd, red-black) when the ball lands on zero.

As long as you stick with even-money bets, you’ll only face a 1.35% house edge when la partage is involved.

Mini roulette

Mini roulette is sparsely available in land-based and online casinos. Its wheel only contains 13 pockets, including numbers 1-12 and zero.

The basic version of this game features a 7.69% house edge. You can see the math of this figure below:

  • 13 total numbers
  • 1 house-friendly number
  • 1 / 13 = 7.69% house edge

The house advantage makes mini roulette an unattractive game at first glance. However, most casinos include the la partage rule to improve your odds.

When la partage is involved, mini roulette features a 3.85% house advantage, which is better than American roulette.

Types of roulette bets

The roulette board features dozens of betting possibilities. You may initially be confused when playing this game.

However, you can quickly master the board by understanding that wagers break down into two main categories:

  • Inside bets
  • Outside bets

Inside bets

Inside wagers are located on the inside of the board’s numbered grid. They give you an opportunity to bet on a wide range of outcomes.

You can wager on individual pockets, two adjoining pockets, three adjoining pockets, and more. Below, you can read more on the different categories of inside wagers along with their odds and payouts.

Single number

  • You bet on a single pocket
  • 35:1 payout
  • 36:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 37:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Split

  • You choose two horizontally or vertically adjoining numbers (e.g., 23-26)
  • You place your chips on the line separating the two desired numbers
  • 17:1 payout
  • 17.5:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 18:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Street

  • You bet on a horizontal row of numbers (e.g., 10-11-12)
  • You place chips on the outer edge of the end number on either side
  • 11:1 payout
  • 11.33:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 11.67:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Corner

  • You bet on four numbers that meet at a corner (e.g., 31-32-34-45)
  • You place chips on the corner shared by all four numbers
  • 8:1 payout
  • 8.25:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 8.5:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Six line

  • You bet on six numbers from two consecutive rows (e.g., 16-17-18-19-20-21)
  • You place chips on the corner shared by two rightmost or leftmost numbers
  • 5:1 payout
  • 5.16:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 5.33:1 odds against winning in American roulette

First four

  • You bet on 0-1-2-3.
  • You place chips on the corner of 0-1 or 0-3
  • 8:1 payout
  • 8.25:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 8.5:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Trio

  • You bet on three numbers that involve at least one zero
  • You place chips on the corner shared by the three numbers
  • 11:1 payout
  • 11.33:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 11.67:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Outside bets

Outside wagers are available outside of the numbered grid. This category of bets isn’t nearly as vast as inside wagers.

Furthermore, you can’t win as large with outside bets. However, the outside category gives you much higher winning odds.

High or low

  • You bet on either high (19-36) or low (1-18) numbers
  • You place chips in the high (“passe”) or low (“manque”) box
  • 1:1 payout
  • 1.06:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 1.11:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Odd or even

  • You bet on either odd or even numbers
  • You place chips in the odd (“impair”) or even (“pair”) space
  • 1:1 payout
  • 1.06:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 1.11:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Red or black

  • You bet on either red or black
  • You place chips in the space with a red or black diamond shape
  • 1:1 payout
  • 1.06:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 1.11:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Dozens

  • You bet on either numbers 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36
  • You place chips in the 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36 space
  • 2:1 payout
  • 2.08:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 2.17:1 odds against winning in American roulette

Columns

  • You bet on a column of 12 numbers
  • You place chips at the end of a column
  • 2:1 payout
  • 2.08:1 odds against winning in European roulette
  • 2.17:1 odds against winning in American roulette