Roulette is a popular casino game of chance, making its first appearance in the 17th century. French mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal was on a mission to build a perpetual motion machine. Little did he know, the fruits of his labour would blossom into an entertaining table game that made its way to every nook and cranny of the world within the next century.
The game of roulette is not overly complicated, but the sheer number of bets is enough to overwhelm any casino player. If you’ve never had the chance to play roulette, let’s cover some of the basic roulette rules first.
WHAT IS ROULETTE?
Roulette is a classic casino game that originated in France back in the 17th century and, since then, has become one of the major staples in both land-based and online casinos. It is rare that you won’t find a roulette table headlining a casino, online or otherwise, but what’s all the hype about?
Well, roulette is a game that involves predicting which numbered pocket a spinning ball will land in. It is entirely based on luck and often leaves players on the edge of their seats.
As far as casino games are concerned, roulette is fairly easy to understand — there’s not much to it other than betting on a number, hoping to earn a payout. Where it gets a little complex, though, is figuring out which number to bet on.
Suppose you’re playing European and French roulette. In that case, you’d be able to bet on up to a total of 37 numbers — 38 if you’re playing American roulette — that leaves a lot of room for error, especially if you’re only placing one chip on one number. Roulette also offers a number of betting options, so the game has its complexities.
Luckily for you, though, we’re going to break down everything there is to know about this timeless game!
WHY PLAY ROULETTE?
Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details, let’s take a look at the many reasons why punters play roulette in the first place:
EASY TO PLAY
This is probably the biggest reason why most roulette players have frequented a roulette table — the gameplay is uncomplicated and easy to understand! All roulette is about is successfully predicting which numbered pocket the ball will settle in; there is not much else to it.
Although this game can get a little more challenging when all the different types of roulette bets come into play, getting the basics down won’t take much brain power. This makes the game perfectly suited to roulette players of all levels — even if they’ve never played roulette before!
BASED ON CHANCE
As you go along your online casino journey and try and test different games, you will find that there are some live tables that are more based on skill than others. You may also find players that actually prefer this, thinking that a certain amount of skill can help them get the edge on the house (which isn’t really true).
The fact that this game is based entirely on chance actually makes your overall experience much more interesting. Although players may utilise a roulette strategy or two to boost their odds of winning, no one can know where the ball is going to land, so players will be at the edge of their seats in anticipation, waiting to see what will happen next.
This is an understatement. As we briefly discussed in the previous point, once the ball shoots into the spinning roulette wheel, nothing can stop it — this makes for a very entertaining experience. Other online casino games like blackjack and poker may give you an idea of the outcome of the round, so even if you don’t know whether you’ve won or not yet, you might be able to guess where your hand is headed; not with roulette, though!
BASIC ROULETTE RULES
Whether you’re playing roulette at a brick-and-mortar casino or online, you’ll come across European roulette, American roulette and French roulette. It’s confusing, we know, but it is the subsequent addition of the double-zero pocket by American casinos that prompted the three distinct roulette categories.
In other words, when you see ‘European roulette’, think ‘European wheel’. French roulette is played on the European wheel, the only difference being the inclusion of two additional rules and a slightly different table layout.
Different roulette tables may have varied rules. The basic rules of roulette also depend on whether you’re playing roulette online at a Live Casino or for real at a brick-and-mortar casino. In any case, here are the basic rules of roulette:
- Place your bets: Like any other table game, the first thing you do when playing roulette is to place your bets. At a Live Casino, you will find several different-coloured roulette chips on your user interface, each holding its own bet value. At an actual casino, you will be able to place actual chips on the roulette table. Bear in mind that, when playing online roulette, you will be given a limited time frame to bet. There are a number of different types of bets you can place.
- Watch the roulette wheel spin: Once you’ve selected which numbers you want to bet on, and the betting time has expired, the dealer will proceed to spin the roulette wheel and throw the ball in the opposite direction. During this time, many live roulette variants may include additional mechanics to help make the experience more immersive, cinematic and entertaining.
- Winning bets are paid out: Once the ball has settled in a pocket and the winning number is identified, all roulette players will receive their payout. The dealer will then collect the ball, and prepare for the next round.
RULES YOU NEED TO KNOW WHILE PLAYING ROULETTE
As we’ve discussed, there isn’t much to roulette besides placing a bet hoping to land the winning number, but there are a few other rules you should be aware of, especially when you go to play roulette online.
ROULETTE HOUSE EDGE
The house edge is a great indicator of which roulette table offers the best odds. The house edge is the mathematical percentage advantage the house has over the player. No matter what online game you play, a house edge will always be present, though you may find tables with better odds than others.
For instance, the European version of the game offers a house edge of 2.70%, which is pretty fair. However, if that’s too much for you, French roulette may be right up your alley, with a casino advantage of 1.35%. If you enjoy a little heat and like to play with greater odds stacked against you, American roulette offers an edge of 5.26% due to its double zero pocket.
The house edge is a super important rule to keep in mind since winning money is easier on a table with a lower advantage than a higher one. That said, winning is never a guarantee either way.
If you’re on the lookout for some rules that may boost your chances of winning, the Surrender rule may be just the thing you’re looking for. This rule is not available everywhere, but it is still one to keep in mind as you play roulette as it might help level the playing field.
Many players refer to the Surrender rule as the American version of the La Partage rule as the two act pretty similarly. What this rule does is return half your bet when the ball settles in the single zero or double zero pockets.
The best part is, because you receive half your wager back, this also slices the American house edge as well to as low as 2.63%. This is arguably still the greatest edge in comparison to European and French tables, but still low for the American game nonetheless. So, if you’re looking to raise the stakes but are still not quite ready to make the jump, watch out for American tables that offer Surrender.
ROULETTE EN PRISON AND LA PARTAGE RULES
The En Prison and La Partage rules are what give the French version of roulette such a low house edge. These rules were designed to give players the upper hand. Here’s how they work:
Basically, the La Partage rule states that you’ll get half your stake back if the ball lands on zero and you lose, which, if you think about it, is a very generous rule, especially considering the zero is how the casino has its edge.
The En Prison rule works similarly to the La Partage rule, but with a bit of a twist. This rule directly translates to ‘in prison’ because of the fact that the dealer will place your bet in prison — so to speak. If you bet on a specific number and then lose, the dealer will keep your bet on the table for the next spin. If you win, your bet will be returned to you in full.
The En Prison and La Partage rules are probably the best part about playing at a French table; just bear in mind that they are not always available everywhere.
MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM STAKES
Making the transition from land-based roulette to online roulette is an amazing thing. You’d be met with a tonne of new gameplay opportunities, rules, bonuses and a whole new level of fun. But, when deciding which table to play at, you must keep the table bet limit in mind.
As you browse through casinos’ collections of roulette games, you’ll notice that many of them have varied minimum and maximum bets. That is because some online tables are designed to suit a larger bankroll while others are better for lower-valued bankrolls. Why is this important?
Well, if you’re still starting out or have only dedicated a small amount of funds to play, it would be wiser to play roulette at a table with a lower minimum bet, otherwise, you’d be stuck placing wagers you can’t afford (unless you choose a different game, of course).
The roulette wheel was specifically designed to give the numbered pockets an equal probability of being landed on. A typical roulette wheel features 37 numbers, including numbers ranging from one to 36, as well as a single zero. All numbers are red and black alternately, except for the zero, which is bright green.
However, different variants of roulette come with different variants of roulette wheels. For instance, the American wheel differs slightly, as it features an extra numbered pocket, the double zero. This is also coloured in a bright green. The additional zero directly impacts the house advantage, increasing it from 2.70% to 5.26%.
What is the importance of the wheel? Well, once wagers have been placed, the dealer will spin a small ball on the wheel’s outer rim, which is always spun in the opposite direction of the ball. The ball gradually loses momentum and descends into one of the numbered pockets.
The ball’s final location determines the winning number, and all players who have wagered on that number (or on a group of numbers that includes it) will be paid out — the payout will differ depending on whether it is an outside bet, straight up bet, etc.
The design of the whole roulette wheel may differ between variants, as game providers really push the boundaries when it comes to designing a live roulette game.
Similar to the wheel, a roulette table comes with a total of 37 numbers or 38 in the case of the American version of roulette. There are a number of different bets you can make, which can all be located on the table. Besides your usual Inside or Outside wager, you can also place Neighbour bets, Finale en Plein and Finale a Cheval Special bets, as well as Favourite and Complete bets.
During betting time, an online table will highlight a total of six roulette chips, each with its own value. These chips would be the wager you set at the beginning of every round and, thus, dictate your final payout at the end if you’re lucky enough to win. The values of the chips may vary from game to game.
Bear in mind that the table may also vary from one variant to another. French tables, for example, list every bet you can place in French, so be wary of this before you play.
ROULETTE BANKROLL MONEY MANAGEMENT
If you had to take away one tip out of all the online roulette tips we could give you, it would definitely be this one. Having a good bankroll management strategy is key, not when just playing this table game but when giving any online game a spin.
A bankroll management strategy will help prevent you from losing money, bet within your limits and keep your gambling in check. No matter what game you play, it is always recommended to have a set amount of funds to use per game instead of shoving your entire bankroll into one round, and a bankroll management strategy helps with just that.
ROULETTE BETS AND PAYOUTS
There are many different bet types in a standard game of roulette, each with its own payout odds. Some other variants may even offer even more bets than your standard set, but in general, here’s what wagers you’ll encounter when you play the game:
There are multiple bets in roulette that can be divided into two categories: inside bets and outside bets. To put it simply, inside bets are all the bets found inside the betting board, and outside bets are all wagers placed outside the betting area.
Inside bets include:
- Straight Up Bet: An inside bet that pays 35:1 on a winning number.
- Split Bet: An inside bet with roulette odds of 17:1.
- Street Bet: Pays 11:1.
- Corner/ Square Bet: This wager pays 8:1.
- Basket Bet/ Five-number Bet: Found on American roulette, this wager pays 6:1.
Most outside bets are even-money bets, which means they pay 1:1. These include:
- Red/Black Bet
- Odd/Even Bet
- 1-18/19-36 Bet
That said, there is an outside bet or two that pays 2:1:
- Dozen Bet
- Column Bet
✅ ARE THERE RULES TO ROULETTE?
Although roulette is fairly straightforward, it does come with a few rules attached. These rules may also vary from one variant to another. For example, the French version of roulette features the En Prison rule and the La Partage rule. It’s important to glance at the rules of any roulette game you play, as they often affect the general gameplay and, ultimately, your overall experience.
✅ WHAT ARE THE BASIC RULES OF ROULETTE?
In any standard game of roulette, all players will be required to first place their bets by selecting which number (or group of numbers) they’d like to bet on — live tables will specify a betting time. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer will then spin the wheel and throw the ball in the opposite direction. Once the ball settles in a pocket, all winning bets will be paid out, and the dealer will collect all losing bets.
✅ WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN RULES OF ROULETTE?
The difference between the American game and the European game is that they both come with varied roulette wheels, tables, amount of pockets, house edges, and bets. The European variant comes with 37 pockets, including a zero, whereas the American version comes with 38, including a zero and a double zero.
Some American tables even offer more bets than European ones do. For example, the basket bet covers a combination of five numbers, otherwise known as the five-number bet.
✅ DO THE ONLINE ROULETTE GAME RULES DEPEND ON STRATEGY?
Not necessarily. Roulette is entirely based on chance, so even if you bet on one number or place a six-number bet, you will still have a chance of winning. That said, betting systems may boost your chances, though no roulette strategy can guarantee a win.
✅ WHERE I CAN PLAY FOR FREE TO LEARN THE GAME?
At LV BET, of course! Browse our collection of First-Person tables, and spin the wheel in the demo mode to give the game a practice run. You won’t be able to collect any wins, but you can get familiar with the general gameplay, and you can even try out different betting systems!
✅ CAN I PLACE EVEN-MONEY BETS IN ROULETTE?
Yes! An outside bet covers numbers that have an equal chance of winning, including red or black numbers or all odd or all even numbers. These wagers, however, do not include the zero pockets.