How to Play Roulette


by James Smith |
Date of Publishing: 02/11/2021


How to Play Roulette

As one of the most popular casino table games, roulette is played in which a small ball is thrown onto a revolving wheel that has 38 numbered pockets, mostly coloured red and green – although all roulette wheels have at least one green pocket.

The aim of the game is to place a bet on a number that you think the ball will land on when the wheel stops revolving, players make their bets before the wheel begins to spin, and then the anticipation sets in.

The Roulette Table

Before the little ball hits the spinning wheel players need to make their bets on the Roulette Table of which there are two main sections.

  • The inside section of the roulette table offers bets on individual numbers which are close to one another on the table and its layout, the other inside bets can be made on groups of up to six numbers in total.
  • The outside section of the roulette table houses pairs of bets for the colours Red or Black, High or Lo, ando Odd or Even. Each of these sections have multiple variations of bets on offer and some of the most common and popular varieties will be listed below.

The Roulette Racetrack

Besides those two main sections of the roulette table mentioned above there is an oval-shaped betting zone that does resemble a racing circuit (hence its name) The Roulette Racetrack is usually found either underneath or to the side of a standard European roulette table and it reflects the roulette wheel and the order in which the numbers on the wheel are displayed.

In the more traditional bricks and mortar casinos, the bets made on the roulette racetrack were referred to as ‘Call Bets’ or sometimes ‘Announced Bets’ as it acceptable for the players to ‘call out’ their bets to the dealer to save them from having to place numerous chips on each number they chose to make a bet on.

*In online roulette games, that is exactly what the roulette racetrack is used for as it allows online players to simply place their bets on groups of numbers on the wheel. All that you need to do is place a betting chip in the relevant section/sections of the racetrack.

The Difference Between European and American Roulette

European roulette is arguably the most popular version of the game and it contains only one zero which means that the house edge is significantly lower than other variations of the game.

American roulette (the Vegas variation) has a double zero added to the wheel which raises the house edge significantly – the numbers are also sequenced differently.

‘There is also French roulette which is very similar to the European version of the game. There is a single zero on the wheel, and the available bets remain the same. In French roulette, there is also the addition of ‘En Prison’, and ‘La Partage’, and these two bets work as a type of insurance. Using these two bets means that you will only lose half of your wagered amount if the wheel does stop on the zero.

Roulette Bets and Strategies

Some bets do pay out more than others as a general rule of thumb. The fewer numbers in your bet, the more you will win if it comes up. The reasoning behind this is that the odds against winning a single number are way higher than winning, say 15 numbers.

Some of the Payouts You Need to be Aware of

  • 0 – 00 or any single number, (payout) 35:1 (odds against winning) 37:1
  • 0 – 00 or any two adjoining numbers (payout) 17:1 (odds against winning) 18:1
  • Any three number (payout) 11:1 (odds against winning) 1.557:1
  • Any four numbers (in a block) (payout) 8:1) (odds against winning) 8.5:1
  • 0 – 00 – 1,2, and 3 (payout) 6:1 (odds against winning 5.33:1
  • Column bet, dozen bet (payout) 2:1 (odds against winning) 2.157:1
  • Odd, even, red, black 1 to 18, 19 to 36 (payout) 1.1 (odds against winning 1.111:1

Even though roulette has been around for way over 300 years, it still continues to delight and surprise players and to that end, there have been hundreds of books, statistics, websites, and suggestions to try to pinpoint exactly which is the most successful roulette strategy.

What should be remembered is that although there is no reason why you should not stick with a roulette strategy that has a proven success rate, that chance will inevitably have the final say in just how much you will end up winning.

Some of the Most Successful Roulette Strategies

Each named strategy below will have its points that appeal to each player, it could be a matter of having the desire to stick to just one strategy or maybe they are the type of player that enjoys mixing things up to try to get an edge.

  • Martingale – a progressive roulette betting system
  • Fibonacci – another popular mathematical sequence that can be found throughout nature
  • Inverse Martingale or Paroli – a slightly safer strategy than the traditional system
  • D’Alembert – another progressvie strategy where flat-bet amounts are wagered.
  • Labouchere – where players break their betting amount down into multiple bets
  • James Bond – a straightforward flat betting system where players do not have to increase the value of their bets

All of the named strategies below do a good job in providing a reliable betting sequence at a ‘not too high risk, but of course, they are never fool-proof so it is the wise player that knows when it is time to call it a day and walk away from the table.

There are many websites dedicated to the different betting strategies. Just type the one that you like the sound of into your search to find out everything you need to know.

Know Which Roulette Variant to Play

Besides European, American and French roulette, there are some other, popular varieties online that you can try for a change of pace.

  • Mini roulette is widely available online and is perfect for players that do not want to deal by the sheer amount of betting options. Mini roulette has only 13 slots which simplifies things – the game also incorporates the ‘La Partage’ concept, which swings the odds in the players favour.
  • Multi-ball roulette offers players the chance to play with up to 10 balls at once, which can boost the action of the classic game. With new groups of bets included, depending on where the balls land, multi-ball roulette is usually played in the European format.
  • Multi-wheel games offer players the option to play with up to 8 wheels at the same time. This game is similar to the multi-ball variation and is also played with the European style layout of table and wheels)
  • Live roulette games are as about as close as you can get to walking into the lobby of a land-based casino. Played in real-time and hosted by a real live human croupier and streamed from a land-based venue.

About the Author

Author: James Smith.

James Smith has been writing about casino games and strategies for over a decade. He is an expert in the industry and loves to help people get started with online gambling. In his free time, James enjoys reading books by other successful authors, cycling around town, or playing poker.