Roulette Rules – Learn How to Play Roulette Online

12 minutes

Last Updated: September 13, 2023

roulette rules

Roulette may just be the most popular casino game in the world, with thousands of roulette wheels available in casinos around the world, all changing the fortunes of their patrons with every single spin.

The game that was first invented in 18th century France quickly made its way around the world, with travelers and migrants bringing it to every corner of the globe.

If you are somehow still unfamiliar with the game, I am going to teach you the rules of roulette you need to know to get started.

I will cover all the rules you need to understand to know how to play roulette on a basic level, along with a few extra tips to help you win more often.

However, it’s best I start with the basics and teach you about the different sections of the roulette wheel, the bets you can make, and the roulette odds you need to understand.

Roulette Table and Wheel Explained

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The game of roulette, whether you play it an online or live, is made up of two main sections. One is the betting table, and the other is the roulette wheel.

The roulette table is used by players to make their bets. Every number in the game is given one slot on the table, and placing chips on that slot means you are betting on that number.

The roulette wheel, on the other hand, is where the winners and the losers are decided. Once the bets are placed, the croupier spins the wheel and a metal ball, with the ball eventually landing in one of the numbered slots.

Your goal in the game of roulette is to “guess” which slot the ball will land in and to bet correctly. If you do so, payouts can be quite significant but will depend on the type of bet you have made.

To understand that in more detail, I must teach you about the different types of roulette bets you can make.

Roulette Bets Explained

Once you are sitting at the roulette table, you will have chips in front of you and a large field of numbers staring back at you.

But how exactly do you place your bets, and what do they mean? Let's take a look at all the types of roulette bets you can make.

To make things simpler, I am going to split the bets into two main categories. These are the inside bets and outside bets.

Inside Bets in Roulette

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Inside bets in roulette are all bets made on the inner part of the betting table where the numbers are located.

These bets include straight-up bets, split bets, street bets, corner bets, and more. Let's take a look at a few of the most popular bets.

The Straight Bet (En Plein)

The most straightforward of all roulette bets, the straight bet or the straight up, is a bet made on a single roulette number.

In classic roulette, this bet pays 35:1 on your money and is the least likely to get right. You make this bet by placing your chips directly on the particular number you want to bet on.

Keep in mind that the straight bet is a very big gamble and that most players prefer to bet on more than one number on every spin in order to give themselves a slightly higher chance of getting it right and walking away with a win for the spin.

The Split Bet (A Cheval)

The split bet is one of the most common roulette bets. It includes two neighboring numbers and is made by placing chips on the line and splitting the two numbers.

For example, if you place a $10 chip on the line between the numbers 2 and 5, you will effectively be betting $5 on each of those numbers.

While you could also place a $5 chip on each of those, this makes betting easier and also allows you to make extra bets once you have already bet the table maximum on one of the two numbers.

The split bet pays 17:1 on a classic roulette table.

The Street Bet (Transversal)

The street bet is a bet made on three numbers in the same row on the roulette table. This bet is made by placing your chips on the outside edge of the three numbers.

Making a street bet will cover all three numbers at once, and your payout, if any of the three numbers do land, is 11:1 on your money.

This bet is also made to make your betting process easier, allow you to place extra bets after reaching the table maximum, and generally make things more interesting.

The Corner Bet (Carre)

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The corner bet can be made by placing your chips on the corner between four adjacent numbers. Whenever this bet lands, the house pays out 8:1 on your money.

For example, if you wanted to make a corner bet, you might place your chips on the corner between the numbers 4, 5, 7, and 8. The bet would be a winner if the ball landed in any of the four numbers.

This bet allows you to very quickly cover several adjacent numbers and makes betting a lot easier if your lucky numbers happen to be close to each other on the table.

The Line Bet (Sixain)

Very similar to the street bet, the line bet allows you to bet on two adjacent streets, bringing the total up to six numbers.

You can place a line bet by placing your chips on the outer edge of the two streets, in the spot where the two streets meet (such as the outer corner of numbers 10 and 13).

If you place this bet and get lucky, you will get paid 5:1, keeping the house edge unchanged but increasing your likelihood of having a winning spin.

Outside Bets in Roulette

All bets made on the outskirts of the roulette betting table, away from the actual numbers, are called outside bets according to general roulette rules.

These bets offer lower roulette payouts but also dramatically increase your winning chances, with some of them coming close to giving you a 50/50 winning chance. Still, it’s worth noting that your winning chances in roulette are significantly lower overall than in some other popular games like blackjack.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular outside bets on a classic roulette wheel.

The Column Bet (Colonne)

In total, there are three columns on the roulette table, and they are marked on the outside of the betting table.

The columns are marked 1st Row, 2nd Row, and 3rd Row, and they represent batches of 12 numbers each, as indicated on the table.

A successful column bet will pay you 2:1 on your money, and the bet has just under a 2:1 chance of actually landing. Notice that the ball landing in the 0 slot will make all column bets losers, which is where the house derives its edge.

The Dozens Bet (Douzaine)

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The dozens bet is identical to the column bet in all things except the numbers that are included in each dozen.

The dozens are indicated on the betting table as 1st 12, 2nd 12, and 3rd 12, and they include numbers in numerical order instead of the order on the table.

Betting on the 1st 12, for example, will mean you are the winner if the ball lands in any slot between 1 and 12.

The bet pays 2:1 on your money, while the number 0 does not belong to any of the dozens and gives the casino its slight edge.

Odd or Even (Impair et Pair)

Betting on odd or even is the way many players start out their roulette journey. The bet is very simple to understand, as all odd numbers win for the odd bet, and all even numbers win for the even bet.

The roulette payouts for this bet are very low, standing at 1:1. The number 0 does not play as either odd or even, as is always the case with all outside bets.

Red or Black (Rouge et Noir)

In the very same way that you can bet on the number being odd or even, you can also bet on it being red or black.

There is the same number of red or black numbers on the table, which is why roulette payouts for this bet are also set at 1:1.

You can place this bet by placing your chips on the Red or Black fields on the outside of the betting table. The number 0 is green and does not play toward either end of this bet.

High or Low (Passe et Manque)

Another even money bet, high or low, allows you to bet on whether the winning number will be 1-18 or 19-36.

Once again, half of all the numbers (excluding 0) are involved in each side of the bet, making the payout 1:1, and your chance of winning is just under 50%.

You place the high or low bet by placing chips on the fields that say 1-18 or 19-36, which represent the low and high numbers on the roulette wheel.

Playing Roulette: Your First Spin

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If you have never played roulette before, the game can seem a bit daunting and complicated at first, but I assure you it’s not that hard to get a grasp on at all.

In fact, roulette is probably one of the simplest gambling games to play, and it won’t take you too long to get a full grasp of it. If possible, try to use a casino bonus for your first time, as this will give you a bigger bankroll to work with as you get used to the game.

When you first sit down at an online roulette table, just follow these few simple steps to make your first bet:

  1. Examine the History: All online roulette tables display the history of recent numbers. If you want, you can examine it and decide which numbers to bet on based on it. However, remember that past spins don’t really impact the future ones at all.
  2. Choose Your Chip: Select the chip you want to make your bets with. To get started, you can use a $1 chip or even a $0.10 chip to make some small bets and get familiar with the game.
  3. Place Your Bets: You can now click on various parts of the betting table to place your bets. Make as many inside and outside bets as you want before the ball starts spinning.
  4. Initiate the Spin: On virtual roulette wheels, you will need to click the Spin button to get the ball rolling. If you are playing at a live casino table, the dealer will announce “no more bets” and spin the ball.
  5. Collect Your Winnings: Once the ball has stopped spinning, the winning number will be announced. If you have any bets on it, your winnings will be paid out immediately.

House Edge in Roulette Explained

Knowing the roulette odds and roulette payouts is crucial in understanding how the game actually works and where the casino derives its edge from.

For all intents and purposes, the casino gets the edge in roulette from that one extra slot that’s not part of any of the outside bets, the number 0.

For example, if you place a bet on both red and black, you might think that you will never win or lose any money. However, every 37 spins, the ball will land in 0, and you will lose both of your bets.

The same goes for inside bets. If you make a straight bet, you will be paid 35:1 anytime you get it right. However, there are 37 numbers on the wheel, which means you are not getting paid a fair price.

In classic roulette, the house maintains an edge of 2.70% over all players, regardless of which bets you make or how much you put on each.

Yet, there are other types of roulette wheels out there, so let's take a look at the three most popular types of roulette wheels and how they increase or decrease the house edge:

  • European Roulette: The most popular roulette game, European Roulette, is the classic roulette wheel with 37 numbers and a house of 2.70%. This is the game you want to play if it's offered.
  • American Roulette: The American version of the game adds the 00 slot to the wheel while not increasing any of the payouts. The house edge jumps up to 5.26%, making it far less favorable for you as the player.
  • French Roulette: A unique version of roulette offered at some casinos, it offers special rules that take the house edge on even money bets down to 1.35%.

Play Your First Roulette Spin Today

Now that you know how to play roulette, all that’s left is to pick an online casino and make your very first bet.

Online casinos allow you to play roulette in demo mode as well, so you can use that to practice your skills and get comfortable with the game before you start making real money bets.

Also, make sure to check out our detailed roulette strategy guide, which will help you make better bets and control your bankroll to give yourself the best winning chance.

Head on over to the online casino of your choice and enjoy playing one of the most popular casino games in the world from the comfort of your home.

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