Top casinos offering online slots
One email, once a week
Get new bonus codes, player tips & alerts about hot new online casinos.
How to Play Roulette Online — Online Casino Gems
Roulette is a casino that is loved by many around the world and is prominently featured in almost every live and online casino. It has a place in the hearts of both rookies and seasoned gamblers for good reason. The aptly named “devil’s wheel” is deceptively simple, but easy to play and master.
While newcomers may view roulette as a game of pure chance, it's actually a game of strategy. Players can use certain strategies and tactics to win at the game of roulette.
At first glance, roulette may look simple, but the devil’s wheel isn’t exactly easy to beat. The deeper you delve into the gameplay and rules of roulette, the more you will realize the game’s hidden complexities. If you think playing and winning revolves around a small ball, a little luck, and a spinning wheel, you’re in for a big surprise.
While it’s true that you can play roulette without possessing an in-depth knowledge or understanding of the rules of the game, savvy casino players will tell you there’s a smarter, more strategic approach to playing roulette.
Similar to Baccarat, Blackjack, and Craps, roulette can only be beaten using a well-defined winning strategy. You also need to have a strong understanding of the rules and familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the game. That’s why we’re here and you’re in good hands.
Whether you’re a novice player trying to immerse yourself into the world of roulette or a seasoned player looking to brush up on your gaming strategy, we’ve got you covered. In this extensive guide, you will learn the ins and outs of roulette from its long journey to the best way to play it, and all things in between.
A Brief History of Roulette
Roulette is one of the oldest casino games, probably even older than the gambling industry itself. The game traces its origins back to France. Roulette means “little wheel” or “small wheel” in French.
It has been widely thought that the wheel was accidentally invented by mathematician and physicist, Blaise Pascal in Paris. While trying to create the perpetual motion machine, Pascal stumbled upon the spinning wheel, which would later be fashioned into this fabulous casino game.
The origins of roulette is subject to debate. Some scholars argue that the original concept of roulette can be traced as far back as the 8th century BC. There’s also a mounting pile of evidence that several ancient civilizations may have played some elementary versions of the game.
Liubo, an ancient Chinese board game is the most notable example. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, this game was played by 2 or more players who arranged 37 animal figurines to determine the outcome. Dominican monks later unearthed this game and allegedly altered its layout and gaming rules by adding classic double zero and zero slots.
It is also believed that ancient Roman soldiers passed time playing a game that’s quite similar to roulette. They spun a chariot wheel or shield and wherever it stopped determined the winning results.
There’s an ancient Greek gambling game that also resembled modern-day roulette where soldiers placed a shield in an upside-down position and symbols were drawn on the inside surface. The shield was spun and whatever symbol was adjacent to an arrow when the spinning stop was the winning symbol.
With so many rudimentary examples of roulette from ancient times, how exactly did modern roulette come to be? As it turns out, an unnamed person had the idea to make pockets in a moveable wheel similar to the kind Blaise Pascal devised. The dug-out slot would be able to hold a small ball or marble and later, colors, numbers, and the game table was added.
The game of roulette has presented itself in many different forms across the world throughout the course of human history. However, the credit for popularizing roulette as we know it today falls in the lap of two ingenious Frenchmen, Louis, and Francois Blanc. In 1942, they revamped the game by getting rid of double zero slots and in essence, came up with what we now know s European roulette. Because gambling was largely outlawed in France, they took their invention to Hamburg, Germany.
Two decades later, the duo was summoned by Prince Charles III of Monaco to bring the game back. In 1863, Louis Blanc opened the legendary Monte Carlo Resort featuring roulette. From that day forward, the game spread across France and Europe like wildfire.
Over the next ten years, roulette gained immense popularity among casino players. Charles Wells, a well-known con man, became the first person to profit from playing the game. He walked away with almost half a million dollars at the Monte Carlo in 1873 and ironically, without cheating.
It was not until the early 20th century that the game of roulette crossed the pond. French settlers who came to Louisiana are often credited for bringing and popularizing roulette in America. And the rest, as they say, is history.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the game of roulette made its way into the United States. French settlers who came to Louisiana are often credited for bringing and popularizing the game in America, and the rest is history.
Today, there are many different renditions of roulette available in both live and online casinos. In 1994, Microgaming – one of the largest casino game developers created the very first online casino.
Common Types of Roulettes: An Overview
As we’ve touched on before, there are countless variations of roulette. This especially holds true in the online casino world. American, French, and European Roulette are the most common types. Read on for an overview.
(i) French Roulette
French roulette is the version that’s recognized to be the closest to the original version that emerged in France in the 17th century. In the beginning, the wheel only had 36 numbers ranging from 1 through 36 but a zero slot was later added to create the famous French Roulette. This upped the numbers you can bet on by one, making it 37.
There are two rules that differentiate French Roulette from the other versions: 1) La Partage: Even money bets such as black/red, high/low, and so on will get half of their wager back, and 2) En Prison, where players who even-money wagers on red/black bets can choose to either get 50% of their wager back or leave their bets on the table for the next spin.
The way at French Roulette is set up cuts the traditional house edge in half, from 2.7% to 1.35%. Interestingly, the origin of French Roulette traces back to the United States, not France.
(ii) European Roulette
European roulette, also known as classic roulette features black/red colored names on the table and the wheel itself. Reds include odd numbers 1-9, even numbers 12-18, odd numbers 19-27, and even numbers 30-36. Blacks numbers include even numbers from 2-10, odd numbers 11-17, even numbers 20-28, and odd numbers 29-35.
Both European and French Roulette feature a zero slot in green but European roulette doesn’t have La Partage and En Prison rules. This is why European Roulette has a higher house edge at 2.7%
(iii) American Roulette
The thing that distinguishes American Roulette from its European counterpart is the order of numbers. American Roulette features an extra slot for double zero. 0 and 00 are added in addition to the regular numbers (1-36), making it a total of 38 numbers you can bet on.
How to Play Roulette – The Rules and Gameplay
The roulette wheel, by design, usually comprises 37 or 38 partitions around the diameter of a spinning disk. They are marked with numbers 1-16 as well as 0 and 00 depending on which version. Half the colors are colored in red while the other half is black. The zeros spaces are usually colored in green.
A similarly numbered and colored table accompanies the wheel. The basic rules of roulette are actually quite simple and intuitive. If you think that the ball is more likely to land on a certain number or numbers, all you have to do is a wager on them. The bet is made by placing your chips on the top of the number(s) you choose on the betting table.
Next, the croupier, also referred to as the dealer will throw the ball into the curve of the spinning disk. You can continue placing your bets as long as the wheel is turning or until the dealer declares, “No more bets!” Once this happens, no additional wagers can be placed at the table, and bets that are already made are locked in.
The small ball will make its spin around the small wheel as you eagerly wait for it to determine the fate of your bets. Where the ball eventually lands will decide the outcome. In a perfect world, the chances of the ball landing on any of the 37 or 38 possibles are equal but when it comes to wagering on roulette, the bets go beyond the numbers. (More on this later.)
The Most Popular Roulette Bets
You need to buy and bring chips to your side on the roulette table. But which bets should you wager? Here’s a rundown of the most popular types of bets you can make in a game of roulette:
Split Bet: If you are running out of chips to cover all of your numbers, the split bet will come in handy. This bet allows you to wager equally on two neighboring numbers by placing chips on the line that divides them, hence its name.
For example, you can place a split bet on the line separating numbers 13 and 14, or numbers 17 and 20. The odds on this type of bet is 17:1.
Corner Bet: This is similar to a split bet, but instead of two, you are wagering on four adjacent numbers. As the name of the bet suggests, you place your chips on the corner where all the 4 numbers touch.
For instance, you can place a chip on the corner connecting 20, 21, 23, and 24. The odds on this are slightly lower-paying 8:1.
Street Bet: This is sometimes referred to as the trio bet, the three-number bet or the side bet. It’s just a fancy way of placing a bet on all 3 numbers in a specific row.
For example, you can wager on 13-14-15 street. This pays 11:1.
Straight Up Bet: This type of bet is exactly what it sounds like – you place your chips directly on a single number. The odds on this bet are a whopping 35:1.
Five-Number Bet: This is one of the most ambitious bets you can make on an American Roulette table. Essentially, you are only betting on the first five numbers at the table – i.e., 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. The payout is 6:1 and the house edge is 7.89%.
Line Bet: This is a cousin of the street bet. Here, you are betting on six numbers on two adjacent rows. Betting on the 7/10 line, for instance, means that you’re wagering on numbers 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. The payout is 5:1, which brings the house edge to 2.7% or 5.76% depending on which type of the roulette you’re playing.
Dozens Bet: You are betting that the ball will land on a number within one of the three dozens. You can wager on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd dozen. It pays 2:1.
Color Bet: With this bet, you are wagering on whether the ball with land on a red or black number. The payout is 1:1.
Low/High Bet: Low numbers range from 1-18, while high numbers range from 19-36. Like color bets, high/low bets pay 1 to 1. In other words, it’s an even bet.
Column Bet: This is more or less similar to the dozens bet. Instead of wagering on the dozen, you can bet on First Column, Second Column or Third Column. The chips go to the very end of each column. This bet pays 2:1.
What Are Minimum and Maximum Bets?
The maximum and minimum stakes are dictated by the casino. For online casinos, all you have to do is read the terms and conditions attached to the roulette game. Outside bets (column, dozen, color, high/low, etc.) typically have a higher minimum wagering requirement than inside or straight-up bets.
The size of the chips usually determines the maximum and minimum stake requirements on inside bets. The maximum stake allowed for a pair of numbers is two times the maximum for straight up bets. The maximum bet allowed for corner and street bets are quadruple and triple the straight-up bet maximum, respectively. This applies to all other bets.
Tips and Strategies for Winning at Roulette
Tip #1: Take the Table Limit Into Consideration
It is critical for all roulette players to take note of the betting limits set at each table. At a minimum, you should always select a roulette room with a table limit that matches your wagering style and budget (read: bankroll).
Another factor to consider when choosing table limits is your playing strategy. Most top-quality online casinos allow you to choose from a wide range of table limits.
In general, the table limits at the majority of casino sites range from $.10-all the way up to $10,000 for high-roller tables. With that said, whether you’re an occasional or casual player, there’s a roulette table for everyone. High stakes roulette players will be glad to know that there are table limits designed especially for them.
Tip #2: If You Want to Experience the Feel Live Casinos, Stick to Live Dealer Roulettes
A nice feature of live-dealer online casinos is that they tend to offer players wide flexibility. This is especially the case if you want to try both high and low-stake roulette tables. Don’t be surprised that some live-dealer casinos allow high rollers to wager at roulette tables with limits as high as $250,000.
Some roulette tables include an internal wagering limit on certain bets within the game itself. This is because online casinos don’t want to put themselves at a huge risk of having to pay out a massive amount of money to a player who wagered on a bet with an equally big payout ratio.
That being said, it is important to stick to live dealer roulette games if you want to get the full land-based casino experience. This allows you to ask these essential questions in real-time. You can even ask the casino to raise your bet limit while you are playing.
Tip #3: Have a Strategy
Most players do a lot of guesswork when playing roulette. If you belong to this group, then you are known as a YAN, which means you go by your gut feeling and intuition. This isn’t always the best approach.
Luckily, there are several tried-and-true betting systems you can use to greatly reduce the casino’s house edge by a great deal. Nearly all strategies and tactics used by advanced players to try to beat roulette borrow a page from the following three betting systems:
MARTINGALE: This is the most popular casino betting system, especially when it comes to table games. Some players may have used the Martingale system without knowing it. There are two versions – the Grand Martingale and the Straight-up Martingale – but the basic strategy is the same for either case.
With the Martingale betting system, you start your gameplay with a small wager, usually the minimum set at the table. Let’s say $2.50. You will wager on the same bet amount over and over again until you lose. When you lose, you double the amount of your wager.
For example, if you are betting $2.50 per spin and you lose on your fourth attempt; your fifth bet should be $5. When you do this, you will recoup your previous losses plus something on top if you win. Note that you must double the bet size every time you lose. When you win after a loss adjustment, you then reset the bet size back to $2.50.
D’ALEMBERT: Coyly referred to as the “Gambler’s Fallacy”, the D’Alembert strategy is based on the “fallacy” that if one outcome is coming up more times than it should, then the opposite will appear sooner than later in order to catch up. That’s why this betting system is very popular with casino players who make outside and even-money bets. For example, if red has appeared 8 times in the last 12 spins, then (by the Dálembert logic) black has a likelihood of showing up next.
LABOUCHERE: This betting system was devised by Henry Labouchere in the 19th century. In a basic sense, Labouchere is a cancellation betting system. That’s because you start with a string of possible numbers you want to bet.
At first, you wager on the combo of the last and first numbers. If you win, you will have to keep going with the same bet. However, if you lose, you are required to add a number to the top one and keep the rest the same. Like Martingale, if you are on a losing streak, you will probably burn through your bankroll very quickly.
REVERSE MARTINGALE: This is the exact opposite of the Martingale betting system. You start with a certain bet, usually the table minimum. For every win you make, you have to double the bet amount. Once you lose, you come back to the original bet amount. It’s simple and can help you safeguard your bankroll.
Tip #4: Stick to Prudent Bankroll Management
As a general rule, it is super important to keep an eye on your money when playing table games like roulette. If you don’t, you’ll have to dip into your personal finances. The following tips will help you stay on top of bankroll management:
Set win/loss limit – This should be the first thing you do before you play. Closely examine your bankroll and decide how much you want to win and how much you are willing to lose on a given roulette table. Don’t just set the win/loss limit; you must also stick to it.
Take advantage of bonuses, free spins, and cashback bonuses – These can be both a blessing and a curse. If the wagering requirement is too high, you can end up losing money. The trick is to place low-stake, low payout bets such as color, dozens, and other even-money bets.
Know when to quit – if the losing streak has persisted, don’t be afraid to take a break from the roulette table. This will give you some time to get yourself together and come back focused and ready to win.
Don’t die with one betting system or table – If things keep going south when you are using a given betting strategy, switch things up by changing your strategy or table.