How to Play Roulette?

How to Play Roulette?

Today, roulette is one of the most popular casino games around the world, especially in the US and Canada, and it can be played at both online and brick and mortar casinos. What makes it so popular is the simple yet entertaining way it engages players and offers massive payouts.

Today, roulette is one of the most popular casino games around the world, especially in the US and Canada, and it can be played at both online and brick and mortar casinos. What makes it so popular is the simple yet entertaining way it engages players and offers massive payouts. A game of roulette may look a little confusing and intimidating initially. But, once you’ve developed the hang of it, you’ll find that it’s one of the easiest and most fascinating casino games around. On one hand, the roulette table looks like an elaborate puzzle filled with numbers, colours, and the regal spin. But, it’s actually relatively straightforward. On the other hand, the outwardly simple task of guessing where the ball will finally stop on the spinning wheel is actually perhaps one of the most difficult things that humankind has ever come to know. Read to find out how to play roulette.

Playing Roulette

Those who play roulette regularly, though, would have you believe that it’s not so. The key to winning the game lies in learning the art, or science, of betting properly. That’s easier said than done, though! Ever since its inception some centuries ago, roulette enthusiasts, including top mathematicians and scientists of their time, have been trying their best, but without much success, to crack the mystery behind the spinning wheel and where the ball shall stop. However, their hard work has given rise to some strategies that promise to return you from the roulette table as a winner.

But even these roulette strategies are not fool-proof and cannot ensure great results every time you play the game. In essence, like most gambling games, roulette is a game of chance, and no one can predict where the ball will stop on the spinning wheel. This makes the case stronger for playing it responsibly. That is, stay calm and detached. Don’t get caught up and carried away in the excitement of the casino and roulette table environment. Remember, you are playing the game just for fun, and not to lose anything beyond what you can afford. Sometimes you may return with no profits, but with an intact bankroll, and although this may not be the ideal situation, it doesn’t mean that players can’t learn how to bet successfully in roulette and increase their bankroll. It’s possible, but they need to take it seriously and play responsibly. You cannot go on betting blindly on a number or a set of choices. You must keep in mind that you are playing the game for fun, but also to win and not lose. You should set limits as to how much money you are ready to lose. Beyond that point, you must stop.

The best solution may lie in playing responsibly. That is, by minimising the chances of losing the bet; which you can achieve by betting on areas such as the outside. More on that later!

The Basics

Here we will give you some easy-to-learn beginner roulette tips that can help you get started. In a few mock spins, you can have a fair understanding of how roulette works and what you are supposed to do as a player. Soon, you can start playing and betting more like a pro.

The Basic Roulette Rules for beginners: how to play roulette

  • A game of roulette involves a roulette wheel, a ceramic ball, a betting table, and a group of croupiers and game supervisors. Depending on his/her analysis of the situation, each player can make a series of wager choices. Each round of the game begins with players placing their wager in chips on the roulette table and the croupier spinning the wheel. The roulette ball is rolled in the opposite direction of the wheel. Eventually, the ball slows down and stops in any one of the numbered pockets. The winner is the player who had placed his bet on the number where the roulette ball finally stopped. If it is not the number you placed your wager on, you have lost the bet.
  • Now, the croupier sets another spin for a new game.
  • If you have lost the last bet, what would you do now? Would you bet again or watch the game for some time? Would you bet with a bigger wager? Will you follow some kind of strategy? As a beginner, there could be hundreds of questions on your mind. You wouldn’t like to lose big sums of money just in the spin of a roulette wheel. But you are here at the roulette table to play the game, and that wheel’s spin promises much larger payouts. Well, you need to arrive at the casino and the roulette table with a well-thought-out plan, at least for as long as you are not experienced enough to hold yourself back from making risky bets. For sound planning about how you can try to prevent losses, you need adequate information about every aspect of the game.

Roulette Rules

In most cases, roulette rules are simple and easy to absorb. They can remain an issue for beginners as there are many ways one can bet on the roulette table, and the rewards for winning a bet is different depending on the bet type. A thorough understanding of the rules helps a beginner to approach the game with more confidence as he knows what betting options he can use, and also the associated risks. What may, however, look a bit confusing is the roulette wheel itself with all the numbers and divisions. The rules based on these markings and divisions may appear somewhat confusing and difficult to keep in mind. But as you make progress with your game, you will soon realise that roulette rules are not too hard to learn.

Types of roulette games

At least three types of roulette games are in vogue – European, American, and French. You have a range of choices to bet on – a single number or a combination of numbers, odd or even, red or black colours, a low (1-18) or high (19-36) number group. When the roulette ball finally lands in one of the 1-36 number pockets, it also falls in the red or black pocket, as well as the number. The ball can also fall and rest in the ‘0’ pockets in the case of European roulette, or ‘0’ and ‘00’ in the case of American roulette. The colour of ‘0’ and ‘00’ pockets is green. The final destination of the ball is the winning number. To play roulette, casino chips are used to enable the croupier to work out easily whom to pay and also to identify all bets made by a particular player.

Maximum & Minimum stakes

Players are required to post at least the minimum bet. There are two main areas for roulette betting – inside and outside. In the inside bet, you can spread the minimum bet to cover a few numbers, while in the outside bet, you will have to post at least the minimum bet. So if the minimum bet is $10, you will have to post a minimum of $10 on the outside, while the same $10 can be placed on a range of numbers on the inside through multiple chips. This rule is common to both American and European roulette.

The maximum stake displayed is usually for the single-number or straight bets. The maximum stake for other types of bets increases in a predetermined format. For example, the maximum bet allowed for a double-number bet is double the maximum straight bet. The maximum for a corner bet is four times the maximum straight bet, and so on.

Types of bets

Inside Bets

In roulette, there is a wide range of choices for inside betting:

  • Straight bet: If you choose to bet on a particular number, the roulette chips can be placed inside on the number. This type of bet carries the highest degree of risk, but it is also the most rewarding bet where you get paid 35:1.
  • Split bet: If you want to bet on two numbers, you can place the chip on the line that separates the number. It is a risky bet and you get paid at 17:1.
  • Street bet: If you want to bet on three numbers, you can do so by placing the chips on the line that separates the inside and outside. The odds are 11:1.
  • Double street: In this type of bet, you place a chip that separates two rows of numbers between inside and outside areas of the table. This has 5:1 odds.
  • Corner or square bet: If you want to bet on four numbers, you can do so by placing the chips on the intersection of four numbers. The odds are 8:1.
  • American roulette also offers to bet on 5 numbers. This can be done by placing the chips on the line that separates 0-00 and 1-3. You get paid 6:1.

An important aspect of betting inside is that the house edge is higher but the payout is also greater.

Outside Bets

The outside bets are more popular than the inside bets because outside bets have lower house edge, meaning there is less degree of risk on this kind of betting and, therefore, these bets are more suitable for beginners.

Here are the type of outside bets you can make:

  • The most popular bet in a game of roulette is red or black. You bet on the possibility of the ball landing in red or black when it ultimately stops at the winning number. The odds are 1:1.
  • You can also choose to bet on odd or even. This means you are betting on the possibility of the roulette ball stopping at an odd or even number when it finally stops on the winning number. Here again, the payment is 1:1.
  • When you bet for low or high numbers, you are betting on the possibility of whether the roulette ball will stop somewhere from number 1 to number 18 for (low numbers) or from number 19 to number 36 (high numbers). These are also called field bets. The reward is 1:1.
  • The outside bet also allows you to make ‘dozen’ bets, meaning you are betting on the first, second or third set of the ‘dozens’ out of the 36 numbers on the roulette wheel. Column bets can be placed at the end of the number of columns. The reward for both the dozen and column bets is 2:1.

The reward on the outside bet is low but so is the risk. These are safer bets as a long-term strategy.

  • En Prison Rule: Applicable only to even-money bets, when the ball lands at zero, the player can reclaim half the bet while he loses the other half. Alternatively, he can leave it for the next spin, where he either earns the bet back or loses it fully.
  • La Partage Rule: Similar to En Prison Rule but in this case the player loses half the bet.

Roulette odds

If you are planning to bet at the roulette table, you’ll know doubt be curious to know the probability or odds of your winning the bet. Unlike many other betting games, roulette is purely mathematical and there are all kinds of numbers and data available about the odds of different types of bets. You are already aware of the differences between American and European roulette – the odds are slightly more in favour of the house in the case of American roulette compared to its European counterpart.

Bets placed on roulette can be categorized into two broad categories: inside and outside. While all the numbers are marked for inside, the outside is divided into broad categories such as odds and evens. The probability of winning a bet is higher if the bet is placed in the outside zone and consequently the reward is smaller, while the likelihood of winning the bet is lower in the inside zone, but rewards are higher.

Roulette is such a craze among the betting community because of the fantastic range of bets that can be made in the game, each having its own odds of winning or losing. Though it is not hard to remember these odds, and use the information to select the type of bet you want to place, the large number of options may not always mean good things to players. The odds tell us the probability of a particular bet to win, but ultimately, any bet can win. So, in roulette, a player can win even if the odds are not much in his favour. Conversely, the opposite can also be true.

Payout & odds in American & European roulette

  • Single Number 35 to 1 2.70% (US) 2.60%
  • Double Number 17 to 1 5.4% 5.3%
  • 3-Number 11 to 1 8.1% 7.9%
  • 4-Number 8 to 1 10.8% 10.5%
  • 5-Number 6 to 1 13.5% 13.2%
  • 6-Number 5 to 1 16.2% 15.8%
  • Column 2 to 1 32.40% 31.6%
  • Dozen 2 to 1 32.40% 31.6%
  • Even/Odd 1 to 1 48.60% 47.4%
  • Red/Black 1 to 1 48.60% 47.4%
  • Low/High 1 to 1 48.60% 47.4%

What is Roulette House Edge

Roulette is a game in which you play against the ‘house’ that hosts or organises the game. The bets that you lose go to the house, but when you win a bet it’s the house that pays you. In running the entire affair, the house intends to make a profit. And the large number of casinos with roulette tables all around the world – and now also with online versions – are a testimony to the fact that the house stands to make a lot of profit.

The addition of ‘0’ to the roulette wheel of European roulette, and a ‘00’ to American roulette in addition to the ‘0’ inherited from European roulette, has increased the house edge for both kinds of roulette. Even in the even money bets, players don’t have a 50% chance of winning the bet. It is actually 48.65% in Europe and 47.37% in American roulette. In view of the high probability, the payout is 1:1 for such bets. Similarly, for the column and dozen bets on the outside the probability is one-third, and, therefore, the payout is 2:1.

Does house edge affect individual players? While it certainly helps the house to make more profit, individual players may not be overly affected by the house edge. The reason for this is that individual players can bet on a maximum of 18 numbers, in case of even bets, while most other bets cover a much smaller set of numbers. The rest of the numbers in roulette are with the house, giving them an unbeatable advantage over players in the long term. What, however, works in favor of players is that the luck and pure chance of the spinning wheel hitting a winning bet can give them a huge win in one spin. Though house edge may often be referred to in the analysis of the game, it is not a significant factor in the overall outcome of a game.

Tips & Tricks

1. Factor in House Edge

When you bet on the roulette table, the house has the edge over you. Because of the provision of an additional zero in the form of 00’, the house edge is even greater in American roulette. In numeric terms, American roulette has a house edge of 5.26% compared to 2.7% other variations of the game. For this reason alone, European roulette is less risky than the American roulette, which has a greater probability of taking your money.

Now you know that the house has the edge over you every time you place your bet, try to find out which areas on the roulette table give you a higher probability of winning despite the house having an even bigger probability of winning. An important thing here is to remember that roulette is a game of luck and chances. If luck favours you, the house edge is a mere mathematical number that holds no value. This understanding is necessary for you to feel that you are at the roulette table not merely to surrender your money to the house but to try your luck. You can try it with moderate sums of money and in less risky ways. You will learn more about this later in this guide.

2. Manage Your Money

The game of roulette is very entertaining, so you could get carried away and throw caution to the wind. When dealing with money, it is better to be practical than be guided by the adrenaline rush. While playing roulette, money management is essential if you are to enjoy the game and not be adversely affected by the perils that come with it.

True, betting on a single number in a straight bet can get you 35:1 odds – which is very tempting and enticing – but the odds are heavily stacked against you. If you are going to play with such wagers, you must set a loss limit and once you get there, stop. It’s easy to get caught in the excitement of people cheering and shouting after the ball at every spin, but use your money in moderation. It’s great to win, but a loss beyond your financial capabilities is not a great idea, and must be avoided. After all, you’ll feel better leaving the roulette table with your money intact, rather than having lost a substantial part of it and putting yourself in a dire financial situation.

Most of the painful stories that you hear about people losing significant sums of money in a few bouts of betting concern people who do not know how to restrain themselves when they are losing. Winning and losing is a part of life, more so at the roulette table. You need to moderate your playing even when you are winning as well as when you are losing. This attribute will make you a seasoned player at the game of roulette.

3. Keep Emotions in Check

Roulette is a wheel of fortune that can keep scores of players hooked and mesmerised. It is possible to get caught in the moment and end up losing big sums of money. It is, therefore, important to keep a level head and emotions under check. The spin of the roulette wheel has its own will, and there is hardly anything definite about it that one can try and master. If anything, it is a game of pure luck and chance. Every time the wheel is spun, it’s a new game, and there are at least 37 or 38 new possibilities. Its outcome has no links to the past outcomes whatsoever. You can genuinely enjoy the game if you take it the way it is. If you bet wisely and stay calm throughout the game, you may have what it takes to win. You only need to keep playing safely. Over time, you can develop the ability to sense what’s going to work for you at any given point of time at the roulette table. Until your senses about betting have matured, it is good to keep your game detached from your emotions. Play it as a game of probability and mathematics.

Best Roulette Strategy

You are now familiar with the basic features of roulette, roulette bets, and the roulette payouts or odds. Now, you should familiarise yourself with some popular strategies that players have evolved and worked out over the centuries since the game’s inception. Though none of these strategies can guarantee 100% success, you can take heart in the fact that these have been developed by players who were considered to be geniuses in their own right. These roulette strategies may be useful in both lowering the risks and improving the chances of winning. These strategies can also be used in other betting situations. Thus, it’s good to know about them; many of these strategies have been developed by die-hard fans of the game of roulette.

Here are a few strategies that you may find could work for you:

1. Bet Outside

In theory, outside betting has a lower probability of losing money, and therefore, is an ideal option for beginners. You can choose to bet on red or black, odd or even, and low numbers or high numbers. In all these bets, the reward is even, and the house edge is only marginally tilted against you. Though the profits are not as large as from inside betting, the positive outcomes are more consistent here. While we have time and again highlighted betting safely – and thus betting in the outside zone – there is no denying that the real fun lies in betting in the inside zone. But, before you master the technical details of betting inside – in terms of how many ways you can bet and what the corresponding rewards are -you should wait and be content with betting on the outside of the table.

2. Martingale Strategy

Martingale Strategy was popularized by a London casino owner named John Henry Martingale and is fairly easy to learn and put to use in roulette, as well as other betting games. This extremely popular roulette strategy encourages players to become more adventurous after every loss; it asks them to double the bets after every loss, and stick to the original bet after every win. In simple terms, place an even bet and if you lose, double the bet next time. If you lose again, double the bet again. But if you win, place the exact original bet that you had placed in the very first instance.

The positive part of this strategy is that it eggs you on to recover your loss with calculated aggression, but once you recoup your loss, it asks you to get back to the original bet. It teaches you to keep safe the money you have won and aggressively recoup what you have lost.

Roulette players find this strategy helps them keep control over their bankroll. On the downside, it does not tell you when to cease betting if the losing streak does not stop. It is, therefore, possible that before you hit the win, you could have lost all of your money. Such losses can happen easier and quicker than you could expect. Taking adequate precautions is necessary even if you are playing with a seemingly flawless strategy.

3. Fibonacci Strategy

Fibonacci Strategy is somewhat complicated but still quite popular. At the centre of this strategy is the Fibonacci sequence, in which the next number is the sum of the previous two numbers, for example, 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 etc. This sequence was first devised by Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, a celebrated Italian mathematician of the 13th century, who is credited with introducing the Arabic number system to the West.

To apply Fibonacci strategy to roulette, you need to make use of the sequence with a matching bet increase after every loss. For example, if you have started with a bet of $10 and lost it, the next bet can be another 10$. If you lose this too, the next bet you should place is ($10+$10) $20. You should increase your bet in line with the Fibonacci sequence until you break the losing series with a win.

Once you win, the next bet should be the original bet of $10. If you register another win, take your betting size back to the number at the third place from the point of win. The strategy is that you should recoup the previous losses in your next bet. The problem with this strategy is you could end up blowing a lot of money before you could actually break the losing streak.

4. D’Alembert Strategy

Invented by Jean-Baptiste le Rond d’Alembert, a celebrated French mathematician of the 18th century, D’Alembert Strategy is another simple strategy that aims to keep the losses in check. In a negative progression, it encourages you to add one unit to your next bet after a loss and remove one unit after you have registered a win. In other words, raise your bet when you lose and lower your bet when you win, by the same amount as your original bet. The strategy can work well if the number of times you lose is less than the number of times you win. But as the house edge is slightly against you, you need a fair amount of luck on your side with this strategy if you are to leave the table richer after a spell of spins.

5. What is the best strategy for playing roulette

As we’ve discussed, none of the strategies can put you in a permanent position of advantage at the roulette table. The only thing that can really help you is luck. The outcome of a spinning wheel and where the ball will eventually land is entirely a matter of chance. Each spin is a unique event, unconnected to the previous one. Odd or even, black or red, and all other bets on the table, have the same chance of winning. This, however, can also be a positive aspect to roulette. It has no memory of its own. It does not recognise your inexperience. It is difficult for every player to predict the odds of any given number.

However, roulette is an entertaining and straightforward game with chances of winning. If you take the game in its true spirit,  try to stay away from any adventurism and play the game by the book, you can come to the roulette table again and again and enjoy the game.

European Roulette

Among the variants of roulette being played throughout the world, European roulette seems to be a favourite with players. This is, perhaps, because it offers players a higher probability of winning the game, by keeping the house advantage to a low of 2.63% compared to 5.27% in American roulette. There are other aspects where it offers more benefits to players, such as on even bets when the ball hits ‘0’. The European version of the game gives players the choice to take half of the bet, or let the bet move on to the next spin where the player can either win back his bet or lose it altogether. European roulette has 37 divisions on its wheel from 1 to 36 and a ‘0’. Numbers 1 to 36 have their divisions alternatively in red and black colours. The single ‘0’ in European roulette has a green division.

Usually, a team of four people operates the game. Two are called croupiers; their main task is to call the bets and spin the ball. Once the game is over, they announce the winner and make the payout. The other two members of the team are called ‘table-end’ and ‘game supervisor’, whose main responsibility is to ensure that the game runs smoothly.

Typically, there are about 1 to 8 players, each of whom will place their bets after the croupier calls out “Place your bets”. Next, the croupier rolls the ball in the opposite direction of the moving roulette wheel. When the ball has about two revolutions to go, bets are no longer allowed , with the croupier calling out, “No more bets”. All bets placed after this point are disregarded. When the ball settles into a number, the winning number is identified by the croupier. The losing bets are surrendered to the house while the winning bets are paid out.

Though European roulette is highly popular, there are surprisingly few casinos in Europe that offer roulette. In France, where the game originated, there are some facilities where roulette is played. Now that online versions are available, roulette enthusiasts from across the world can take part in games. However, not all countries allow players to participate in these online games from within their jurisdiction. If you are intending to take part in any such game from any service provider, it’s best to check the legal status of the game in your country. If the government in your country does not allow participation in roulette betting at online casinos, it will be difficult for you to get the money you win transferred into your bank account, despite money leaving your account if you lose a bet.

French Roulette (Announced Bets)

In the third type of roulette, called French roulette – and also in many online European roulette games – there is a provision for announced bets, identified by separate French names.

Voisins du Zéro bet (Neighbours of Zero): This bet covers the 7 numbers (from 22-25) adjoining zero on each side, as well as the zero. This makes it a 15-number stake covered by 9 chips: 2 chips: 0,2,3; 5 chips: 4-7, 12-15, 18-21, 19-22, 32-35; 2 chips: 25-26, 28-29.

Le Tiers Du Cylindre (One-Third of the Wheel): This takes up 12 numbers (27-33) on the wheel: 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16 and 33. One chip is placed for each split: 5-8, 10-11, 13-16, 23-24, 27-30 and 33-36.

Orphelins: This covers what Le Tiers Du Cylindre and Voisins du Zéro together do not cover. A 4-chip bet, this covers 8 numbers: 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31 and 34.


Roulette is an extremely entertaining game. It’s hugely popular in the US and Canada. That popularity has increased thanks to online versions of the game, despite the limited availability in certain areas. While learning to play this spinning wheel game is not difficult, winning the game is. That’s part of why it’s such a well-loved game within the betting community.

If you are new to the game, you can learn the tricks of the trade very quickly. Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn the basics, as well as equipped you with the right set of strategies to overcome all the hiccups and hurdles.

But before you go on betting, you should know that the real fun lies in playing the game responsibly and not giving in to wild instincts. Your betting decisions should be calculated and mature. If you love the game, you would like to keep playing in the long run. And, this is possible only when you win more often. Good luck!

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