How to Play Roulette

Welcome to our complete guide on how to play roulette. Roulette is one of the easiest casino games to learn. Although there are multiple different variants, there isn’t too much difference between them when you really break them down.

Whether you’re totally new to the game and are looking for a complete roulette guide for beginners, or have a bit more experience and just want to refresh your mind about the rules of roulette or other aspects of the game, this is the right page for you.

Use the navigation immediately below to jump to the most relevant section for you. If you’re a new roulette player, we suggest grabbing a drink and reading this entire page. It may take a little time, but it’s a worthy investment because playing roulette without understanding it properly will cost you real money.

How to Play Roulette – Navigation Menu

  1. Understand the Roulette Table
  2. Roulette Bets & Payouts
  3. The Different Roulette Variants

How to Play Roulette – The Basics

Are you ready to learn how to play roulette and win? Good, then let’s start. Let’s assume you’re playing a standard version of European roulette with one zero. We’ll talk more about the different roulette variants in a later section. For now, let’s get the hang of how roulette works, and we’ll get into details once we have a firm grasp on the basics.

Understand the Roulette Table

You’ll never understand how to play and win without understanding the roulette table. Here’s a screenshot of a standard European roulette table at an online casino we frequent regularly:

European Roulette Table

Do you see the roulette wheel? Whenever you’ve placed your bets, the dealer (or computer program) will spin that wheel and release a ball on it. The wheel will spin, and the ball will come to settle in one of the red or black numbered slots. On rare occasions, it will come to settle in the green slot – this is known as the zero.

Once the wheel has been spun and the ball settles, the dealer will pay all bets out. Some players will win, some will lose, and a new round of betting will begin. This process will be repeated again and again, and that’s how roulette works in a nutshell.

However, in order to either win or lose money you need to place bets, right? So, how do you do that? Take a look at the image above again. You’ll notice various numbers, red, black, even, odd, 1-18, 19-36, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 12. You’ll also notice the zero and three columns you can bet on. These are the roulette bets you can make. You will place your chips on these squares on the roulette table before the dealer spins the wheel, and that’s how to place a bet in roulette.

Roulette Bets – What Do They Pay?

Each roulette bet has a different payout. You’ll get more money back for making less probable bets. For example, you have a slightly less than 50/50 chance of winning when you bet on red or black, but you have much less chance if you bet on a single number. Obviously, betting on a single number will return more than a bet on red or black.

Here’s a breakdown of the various roulette bets and payouts:

How to Play Roulette - Bets & Payouts

As you can see, betting on single numbers in roulette has the highest payout, but it’s not likely to happen on any given spin. However, there are roulette strategies which leverage betting on clusters of numbers. See our piece on the most successful roulette strategies and look closer at the James Bond Strategy for an example of this.

Understand the Different Roulette Variants

There are a few different roulette variants, and new novelty roulette games are being dreamed up at online casinos all the time. However, the three main variants are American, European, and French roulette. You’ll find these at most of the top roulette casinos on the web.

European Roulette

European roulette only has one zero on the wheel. Therefore the odds are slightly better on each other type of bet for players. Refer to the European roulette table above to inspect the European roulette table closer.

American Roulette

American Roulette

The main thing which sets American roulette apart from European roulette is the second zero (double zero). Notice the second green slot on the wheel in this image? That’s the double zero. When you make a red or black bet, there are two chances to lose, rather than just one. However, there are also two chances to win a zero bet.

French Roulette

The French roulette wheel only has one zero. However, this roulette variant has a unique and interesting set of rules when it comes to losing bets because of the zero.

Let’s say you bet on red, and the roulette ball lands on zero during a game of French roulette. Instead of losing your money, as you would in either of the other variants, your money will either be placed ‘En Prison’ or the ‘La Partage’ rule will apply.

As you probably have guessed, ‘En Prison’ means in prison. This means it will be held on the same bet for another spin. ‘La Partage’ means split. When this happens, you’ll lose half your bet. Which rule applies depends on the casino you’re playing at.

How to Play Roulette – Summary

In summary, you place your bets on any of the possible outcomes on the roulette table. The dealer then spins the wheel and the ball comes to rest in one of the slots. If you guessed correctly, you get paid in accordance with the payout table. If you lose, you are free to make another bet. Now that you understand how to play roulette, why not check out one of your approved roulette casinos and see what they have to offer you?