Overview & Basics
The allure of roulette lies in both the luck and strategy involved in playing the casino game. Whether you are playing the game offline or at an online casino, the mystery and history of roulette makes it one of the most popular casino games to play. Often referred to as the King of Casino games, roulette conjures up visions of white smoking jackets, cigars and luxurious casino environments reminiscent of a James Bond movie. Yet its simple, easy-to-follow rules make the game of roulette an accessible online casino game that everyone can play. Playing roulette at an online casino allows you to relax in familiar surroundings while enjoying the high adrenalin rush of the game. Roulette is an equal-opportunity game of class and sophistication that makes it easy for the novice to play, while still presenting a challenge to the experienced player.
No matter what form of roulette you like to play, the object always remains the same– to predict the winning number and then wait for the spinning roulette wheel to come to a stop so you can see where the ball comes to a rest. The spinning wheel consists of 37 to 38 pockets, depending upon whether you play European or American roulette. Players gather around the table placing bets as the croupier, or dealer, spins the wheel. The benefit of playing an online casino game such as roulette is that you get to determine how fast or slow the game goes since you don’t have to wait for the dealer or any other players to be ready. This can be especially helpful for those who are new to the game or new to the online casino environment.
An offline casino’s roulette table accommodates up to eight players, but the number of players is not a concern with casino games online. Nor do you have to stand in line and wait for a space in which to play; at an online casino, there’s always room for you at the roulette table. After the bets are placed and the wheel stops spinning, the croupier distributes payouts to the winning betters.
To prepare for your online casino roulette game, it’s important to become acquainted with the basic elements and rules of the game. Here you’ll find information on the history of the game and how to play roulette. You’ll be introduced to several betting options, strategies and systems to consider as you play. Our information on payouts helps you to know what to expect when you win and our roulette hints and tips will help you get the most out of your game. While roulette is primarily a game of chance, taking the time to learn a few fundamental principles of the game helps you understand what to expect during the different stages of the game and how to handle each phase.
Roulette has seen some changes over the years, but the age-old game remains a good choice for offline and online casino novices as well as online casino game aficionados. The advent of online casino games means you don’t have to save for a trip to Las Vegas or Monte Carlo in order to place your bet. Online casino games bring the roulette table to you.
History of Roulette
“Roulette” comes from the French language and means “small wheel.” The popular casino game actually didn’t start out as a game at all. In the 17th century, French inventor and physicist Blaise Pascal created a small, spinning wheel in his quest to create a perpetual motion machine. One hundred years later, in the 18th century, Pascal’s small wheel was combined with the popular English wheel-based games Roly-Poly and Ace of Hearts, as well as two popular Italian games, and a French board game called Roulette. The game of roulette ended up being banned in 1758, but its popularity couldn’t be subdued for long.
The present day version of roulette was played as far back as 1796 in the Palais Royal located in Paris, France. The first roulette wheels contained a red space for the single zero and a black one for the double zero, setting the standard for what would evolve into American Roulette. Two business-minded French men, Louis and Francois Blanc, introduced the single zero roulette wheel in 1840s Germany to offer an attractive alternative to the traditional wheel every other casino used. The single zero roulette wheel, eventually known as European roulette, lured players away from other casinos with the promise of a new and exciting roulette wheel on which to play.
In the mid to late 1800s, the game of roulette spread throughout Europe and across the ocean to America. The early spinning wheels in America consisted of slots for the single zero, double zero, numbers 1 through 28, and an American eagle to symbolize liberty and freedom in America. Numbers-only slots soon replaced the American eagle wheels, which now fetch tens of thousands of dollars when auctioned off in authentic, excellent condition.
The abolishment of gambling in mid-19th century Europe resulted in a decrease in roulette playing and other casino games. It was at this time that Monte Carlo was put in the position to become the gambling mecca of Europe. The Blanca family of Germany left the country and moved to Monte Carlo immediately following the gambling ban because Monte Carlo was the only place in Europe where gambling was still legal. Here, the standard was set for the European roulette single zero game to become the premier game known around the world as the King of Casino Games.
As roulette’s popularity exploded in 19th century America, the French, double zero spinning wheel migrated from New Orleans up the Mississippi River, and then westward. Eventually, the rampant cheating habits of both the roulette dealers and players resulted in the spinning wheel portion of the roulette table being moved from underneath the table to the top, where everyone could see it. The makeshift roulette wheels that cropped up across the United States were quite a contrast to the stylish, more leisurely-played game tables of France and the rest of Europe. In the end, the simple betting process and fast payouts associated with the American version of roulette become popular worldwide.
Casinos saw the game of roulette decrease in popularity after WWII when card games like craps and blackjack began to rise in popularity due to profitability. Online roulette games started in the 1990s and have steadily increased in popularity. No longer reserved for the elite of Monte Carlo and other regions, online casino roulette is a game that encompasses an entirely new fan base because players can now enjoy the game from the privacy and comfort of their own home.
How to Play the Game
Acquiring an understanding of the basic rules and strategies involved in playing roulette will help you get more enjoyment out of your online casino games. Before you begin to play the game, colored chips must be purchased to help you mark your betting position. At offline casino games, each of the eight roulette players has a different color of chips to avoid mixing up the bets. If you win your bet, you receive cash chips at the end of the game in place of your colored playing chips. Each spin of the roulette wheel is known as a game and payouts occur at the end of each game. When you’re finished playing roulette, your cash chips are exchanged for the total amount of money won throughout the games you played.
When you’re ready to play roulette, you must decide which number or numbers you want to bet on and place your colored chips in the appropriate space on the betting areas of the table layout. For instance, if you’re betting on number 28, you’ll place your colored chip on the square that says “28.” Once the bets are placed, the croupier spins the spinning wheel to set the ball into motion. Bets can be changed or continue to be placed up until the time the croupier says “no more bets.” After that, no one can place anymore bets, nor can they alter the location of their chips.
To declare the winning number in an offline casino game of roulette, the croupier marks it with a dolly and clears away all the losing bets. In an online casino roulette game, the winning number is indicated with a “W” placed on top of the bet. Only after the winning bet is declared can you bet again while the winner is receiving his or her payout. The more you learn about casino games such as roulette, the better you’ll become at deciding how to bet and which playing strategies work best for you.
Online casino roulette games are as straightforward as the offline version, utilizing the same rules, and including the same betting options, and playing strategies or systems. The computer mouse is used to hover over and choose the game vantage point, allowing the player to see the roulette spinning wheel and surrounding table layout just as would occur at an offline casino. Markers are used to let you know the betting limits of the game so you can use your chips accordingly while placing your bets. In European roulette, the house has a 2.7% advantage because, when a single number is played one out of each 37 spins wins and 36 out of every 37 spins loses.
In a nutshell, these are the basic steps involved in playing the game of roulette:
- The player purchases roulette chips
- Bets are chosen and placed before the croupier calls out “no more bets”
- The roulette ball comes to rest in one of the compartments, indicating the winning bet
- The croupier announces the payout rates and distributes the winnings
- Losing bets are collected and removed from the table
- Players decide to continue playing or leave the table to cash in their chips for money
Betting Options and Systems
You can place your bets in one of several ways by choosing a single number, a group of numbers, or placing your bet on a group of numbers according to characteristics– such as even or odd numbers, black or red numbers, and high or low numbers. Types of betting options are divided into two categories– inside bets and outside bets.
Inside Betting Options
- Straight up - place your colored chips on a single number, including zero
- Split bet – position your chips so they sit directly on the line located between two adjacent numbers to include both numbers on either side of the line in the bet
- Street bet – chips are placed at the end of a row of numbers allowing you to bet on three numbers situated in a horizontal line
- Corner bet - set your chips on the corner where a block of four numbers meet
- Line bet – place your chips at the end of two rows, directly on top of the line that intersects the rows. This creates a bet that covers both rows, for a total of six.
Outside Betting Options
- Column bet – a chip placed in a box at the end of one of the columns creates a bet that covers all the numbers in the column for a total of 12 numbers. This excludes the zero.
- Dozen bet – There are three boxes in the betting area marked 12M, 12P, and 12D. Chips placed in the box next to 12M cover the numbers 1 through 12. Chips laid in the box next to 12P create a bet on the numbers 13 through 24, and when chips are laid in the box next to 12D a bet is placed covering numbers 25 through 36.
- Even/Odd, Red/Black, Low/High bet – At the bottom of the board there are six boxes designating Red, Black, Even, Odd, Low and High. Placing a chip in one of these six boxes creates a bet that covers that half of the board. Low bets cover 1 through 18, while high bets cover the numbers19 through 36.
The Zero Rule
- Bets placed on even, odd, red, black, low or high square do not include zero and will be lost if the ball stops in the zero compartment.
Strategies For the Game
Those who play casino games, such as roulette, on a regular basis often adopt a strategy for winning. Players who are brave, swayed by probability and other mathematical concepts, or feeling ingenious sometimes create their own playing strategy. But there are a few commonly chosen strategies that most players adopt as their strategy. Of the dozens of roulette strategies in existence, some date back to the 1800s, while others were more recently developed. Some of the more commonly used European roulette betting strategies include the Martingale System, Betting Only on Red, and a combination of betting only on red and the Martingale system, known as Betting Multiple Times.”
In the late 1700s, John Henry Martindale encouraged players at his casino to double their bets in an effort to keep his casino from going under. One century and a slight name alteration later, the Martingale System helped player Charles Wells go from 4000 francs in Monte Carlo to a winning total of 1 million francs over a period of three days. The Martingale remains a popular, well-known roulette strategy even in today’s game.
The basis of the Martingale System is that the player doubles up his or her bets after each loss. Bets are typically placed on Red, Black, Even, Odd, Low or High. Each subsequent losing bet results in the player doubling up again. The obvious disadvantage to the Martingale System is that the amount of money lost can add up quickly if bets are continuously doubled without an eye on the bankroll.
Betting Only on Red
The strategy of betting only on red slots increases the odds of winning to 48.64 percent. Thirty-seven spaces exist on the European roulette table. Of these 37 spaces, 18 spaces are red, creating odds nearing 50 percent. Those who enjoy figuring out probability enjoy strategies such as the “Betting Only on Red” strategy because of the mathematics involved.
Betting Multiple Times
Based on a combination of the Martingale System and Betting Only on Red strategy, the Betting Multiple Times strategy covers both red and odd numbers. The red bet and the odd bet are separated by the application of the Martingale System, leaving the player with a 25% chance of winning both red and odd, while maintaining an almost 50% chance of breaking even.
Deciding which betting option and playing strategy is best for you is a decision that’s as individual as each player. A novice player can try out different options and strategies until one is found to be most preferred. Over the course of playing casino games you may develop your own version of one of these popular roulette strategies.
The croupier distributes the payout following each game, or spin. The amount of the payout is determined by the type of bet placed.
- A bet placed on 1 number has a payout of 35 to 1
- Betting on 2 numbers results in a payout of 17 to 1
- Placing a bet on 3 numbers equals a payout of 11 to 1
- Bets covering 4 numbers equal a payout of 8 to 1
- A bet placed on 6 numbers has a payout of 5 to 1
- Bets that cover 12 numbers result in a payout of 2 to 1
- Placing a bet that covers 18 numbers has a payout of 1 to 1
Roulette Hints and Tips
- Search for a well-established online casino that’s reputable, reliable and licensed by trusted gambling authorities.
- Before you become serious about playing online casino games, read about the game and practice your roulette strategies and betting options so you’re familiar with the rules, procedures and how the different phases of the game work.
- Experiment with different betting systems and strategies until you find a good fit for you.
- Determine how much you’re comfortable spending before you begin playing. Set a bankroll, and then manage it wisely to avoid risking your entire amount of money on one spin. Divide your bankroll into smaller groups of money to be spread out over several spins. You can also decide how many spins you want to take and divide your bankroll by that number to determine the exact amount you can bet on each spin. By being precise in the management of your money, you can avoid spending too much too quickly.
- Keep your winnings separate from your bankroll. Automatically placing your winnings into your spending bankroll puts you at risk of losing your bankroll and any profits you’ve made.
- Set a time limit for how long you intend to play online casino roulette. The old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” holds true here. Use a timer or alarm to help you keep track of your playing time to avoid losing the better part of a day.
- Consider your betting options, as well as the odds of winning and the potential payouts, but remember that roulette is a game of chance.
- Choose European roulette to decrease the house’s odds. European Roulette house odds are 2.7%, whereas American Roulette house odds are almost double that at 5.26%.
- Take advantage of the best odds, which are 1:1 or 2:1. These would include bets that cover 18 or 12 numbers, respectively.
- Avoid the purchase of online roulette systems or computer programs that proclaim to help you cheat at roulette. Not only are they a waste of time, but they’re ineffective and sometimes illegal.
- Enjoy your game but know when it’s time to end it. If you’re getting frustrated or feeling angry and upset the fun has ended and it’s time to stop playing.
Myths and Superstitions
Myth #1: All roulette wheels are the same.
There are two roulette wheels, European with a single zero and a house edge of 2.7%, and the American wheel with the single zero and double zero, plus a house edge of 5.26%.
Myth #2: The outcome of the spin is not random.
Some people who play online casino roulette believe that the result of a spin has an impact on the next spin. All the numbers have the same odds and subsequent spins are not affected by the spins that occurred before. The theory that there are sleeping numbers subscribes to the thought that numbers that haven’t shown up in a while will become the winning numbers soon. The outcome of the spin is random. Just because the number 11 hasn’t won in a while doesn’t mean it’s due to win soon.
Myth #3: Using a mathematical system will help you beat the game.
Since roulette is a game of chance, mathematical systems are ineffective in determining what number might show up on your next spin. The better approach is to become well-acquainted with your betting options, the odds and payouts, and our hints and tips for playing the game.
Myth #4: Lucky colors, numbers or items can help win the game.
Offline and online casino games are full of superstitions. One such superstition states that it’s good luck to bet on the first color that catches your eye when you see the roulette table. Placing a bet on your lucky number isn’t likely to affect the outcome of the spin either and, unfortunately, neither is a four leaf clover or other good luck token.
Myth #5: Don’t play if you’ve experience bad luck.
This is the opposite of myth #4. Just as no particular object, person or occurrence can bring you good luck, nothing can make you have bad luck either. Don’t be afraid to enjoy your favorite online casino game of roulette just because you spilled salt, broke a mirror or walked under a ladder. None of these occurrences will affect the outcome of your spins.
Online Roulette Preview Video
Glossary of Roulette Terminology
Each of the many casino games available comes with its own set of rules and terminology. If you’re not familiar with some of the terms used regularly, it can make the game confusing. Learning some of the basic roulette terminology is important to understanding how to play the game. Becoming familiar with more extensive terminology is a fun way to expand your knowledge of roulette, allowing you to toss out a few special words when discussing casino games with your friends and fellow players.
Action A bet or group of bets played during the roulette game
American wheel A roulette for online and offline casino games that contains a single zero (0) and double zero (00) slot
Ball The small sphere made of ivory or plastic that rolls around once the wheel is spun, eventually coming to rest in a pocket.
Ball track Also referred to as the backtrack, the ball track is the outer rim in which the ball spins as it goes around the roulette wheel.
Bankroll The amount of money a roulette player sets aside to use during one session of roulette.
Biased wheel A roulette wheel that has a known pattern of imperfections. Sometimes this occurs due to age or wear.
Bottom track The stationary inner circle of the roulette wheel that provides a track for the ball to slide down before it stops in one of the pockets.
Chasing losses A group of bets placed by a losing player in an effort to win back money lost during the game
Column bet A type of outside bet that covers a group of 12 numbers situated in one long column
Corner bet A type of inside bet placed on the corners where four numbers intersect and including all four numbers in the bet
Croupier The dealer in a casino who operates the roulette table and manages the flow of the roulette game
Dozen bet A type of outside bet that covers one group of a dozen numbers, ranging from 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36. This is also referred to as the Column bet.
European wheel A roulette wheel consisting of 37 pockets, including the numbers 1 through 36, plus the single zero. The European roulette wheel is also referred to as the French wheel.
Even money A type of outside bet placed on red or black, odd or even, low or high numbers with a payout of 1:1
House edge The average percentage a casino expects to win with each bet placed. The European Roulette table has a house edge, or advantage, of 2.7% and the American Roulette table has a house edge of 5.26% due to the presence of the double zero. The house edge or advantage is also referred to as the casino edge.
Inside bet One of six different bets placed in-between or directly upon any of the numbered boxes. When the chip is placed directly inside the numbered box it covers one number. Depending upon the chip’s location on the line, it could represent one of several types of bets and covers more than one number.
Layout The roulette table’s design, including the spinning wheel and betting areas
Line bet An outside bet placed on two rows and covering six numbers on the roulette table. There are 12 rows altogether.
Martingale System A system of playing roulette in which the bets are doubled after each bet lost. Named after John Henry Martindale.
Outside bet A 1:1, or even money bet, covering red/black, low/high/ or even/odd. Or dozen or column bets with a 2:1 payout
Spin Each time the croupier spins the roulette wheel, one game takes place
Split bet A type of inside bet where the chips lie directly on the line between two numbers and include both numbers in the bet
Straight bet The most common type of bet placed in the game of roulette offering the highest payout at 35:1. A straight bet occurs when chips are placed on a single number.
Street bet A type of inside bet with the chip placed at the end of one row to cover three numbers