When most people think of roulette, the first image that comes to mind is James Bond, the famous British secret agent. He was constantly finding himself in casinos all around the world to meet someone, tail a suspect, or infiltrate a villain’s lair. The scene always seemed to involve a few rounds of roulette. It’s really no wonder, considering that roulette is one of the most popular games of chance played today. It has been around since about 1796 and comes in a few variations.
No matter which one you would like to try, you can visit one of our many recommended casinos to get your game on, detailed here:
As with many online casino games, there are multiple versions of roulette for you to choose from and each offers its own unique twist on the classic. The most well-known and often played are American Roulette, European Roulette, and French Roulette with the main differences being the number of slots on the wheels and some of the payouts for various types of bets and results.
Rules of Roulette
So, now that you are interested in online roulette and looking for a game let’s learn some more about the actual mechanics of play and basic rules.
Roulette is played using a wheel, ball, table, and marker. The traditional wheel is divided into 38 slots each containing a number from 1-36 and coloured either black or red, a 0, and a 00 slot each coloured green. The table is laid out in a pattern of columns containing squares with the numbers from the wheel as well as some additional areas for additional bets. The basic grid of numbers on the table reflecting the wheel is known as the inside bet. At the beginning of each round, players can select a single square by placing their chip within the cell, or multiple adjacent squares by placing a chip on the adjoining lines or corners. There is another section of the table known as the outside bet that contains additional combinations for you to choose from. You can select a whole column of numbers, first, second, or third dozen, choose black or red or go for even or odd numbers. Each of these areas will correspond to a set of numbers or slots on the wheel. Choosing an outside bet will increase your chances of picking the slot that ends up with the ball.
After all of the bets have been placed, the dealer will close betting by putting a marker down on the table and spinning the wheel. Next, they will spin the ball in the opposite direction around the edge of the wheel in a special track above the numbered slots. As the wheel and the ball begin to slow down, the ball will start to spin lower until it starts to bounce from slot to slot and eventually land in a single slot. This is the winning number, and the dealer will place the marker on the corresponding square on the table. Any bets within that cell are winners.
Your odds change according to the number of selections made with the highest payouts going to the least number of selections. For example, if you select one number to bet on, your chances of the ball landing in that slot are 37 to 1 against, or on the European and French wheels, 36 to 1 against. This bet will then pay out at 35 to 1; if you bet a dollar, you could win 35 in return. As you move up in the number of squares you select for your bet, the odds of success increase and therefore, the payout is reduced. If you chose even/odd or black/red, you have a much higher chance of winning, but the payout is reduced to 1 to 1 meaning you get your original bet back along with an equal amount from the house. You can choose other types of bets such as columns, top, middle or bottom thirds or various combinations of adjacent squares. With all of these choices, it is clear why this game has something for every type of player. Another reason online roulette is so attractive is that the house edge is much lower than many other games. The house edge is the percentage of advantage that the house has over the player. In some casino games, it can be in the 17-20% range, while in American Roulette it is about 5.2% and only 2.7% in European or French Roulette due to the difference in the American wheel containing an additional slot for the 00.
Like any game, you will want to learn about it before you play and then practice with some low-level betting to learn the flow and get comfortable with your style of play. There are strategies you can learn and adopt for all types of players whether you are a high or low-risk type of person. You can review our detailed article on various roulette strategies here.
Top 5 Playing Tips
Although online roulette is mostly a game of chance, there are some tips you can take to help you stay in the game longer and even coming out ahead.
- Know your limits: any time you step up to the table, you should know what you have to play with and what you can afford to lose. Never play with money you can’t say goodbye to. Think of this as a form of entertainment and decide what you are willing and able to spend at each session. This way, you won’t end up in trouble or regretting anything, and you could even walk away with a nice bankroll of winnings.
- If you have the option, go for European or French Roulette While American Roulette has a house advantage of 5.2%, they have a house advantage of only 2.7% which is 50% better for you.
- Look for ‘en prison’ or ‘la partage’ in French or European games. These phrases mean that if you place a bet with A 1 to 1 payout like even/odd or black/red and the ball lands in the 0, you do not lose your bet, but it must stay on the table in the same spot for the next spin. In effect, this doubles the value of your original bet and keeps you on the table for an extra spin.
- Pay attention to the laws of variance: While you may know on some level that longer odds are harder to hit, you have to remember that when it comes to your bets. You may really like the 35 to 1 payout for a single number bet, but if you only play that way, you will see tremendous swings in your wins vs. losses. Those bets pay the way they do because they result in wins much less frequently.
- Use the outside, low-risk bets to learn the flow of the game and get comfortable with your betting style. The outside bets will keep you on the table longer and increase your chances of a win.
You can go for American Roulette with the extra 00 slot or play the French or European with a single 0 slot and ‘en prison’ or ‘la partage’ safeties. If you want to learn more about the differences, check out our more detailed article.
As you can see, online roulette has something for everyone. It requires little skill and has some of the lowest house advantages. Check out this fast-paced game at our top recommended casinos and spin to win.