How to Play Roulette

When visiting the casino, roulette is one of the must-try games. If you have yet to play, you’ve been missing out on a simple, exciting and often intense gaming experience. Fortunately, roulette isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you can catch up on all the entertainment that comes with spinning the world’s most famous wheel game.

We’ll cover the basics of how to play roulette, from the setup to the numerous betting options available.


Anne Ifeanyi

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Table of Contents

Basic Rules of Roulette Gameplay

Roulette is a straightforward game where players bet on the outcome of a spinning wheel. Any roulette game involves the roulette wheel, a table layout, and a roulette ball. The standard gameplay goes like this:

  • Players place bets on various betting options on the table layout.
  • To start the round, the dealer spins the roulette wheel in one direction and drops a small ball in the opposite direction.
  • As the wheel slows to a halt, the ball comes to rest in one of the pockets on the wheel, determining the winning number and colour.
  • Players who have bet on the winning number or category receive payouts based on the odds associated with their bets.
  • Players can continue placing bets on the next round or collect their winnings.

A good way to get up to speed with this game is to try free roulette online. You’ll be able to play as much as you want with no risk.

The Roulette Wheel

The roulette wheel is where all the action takes place in this game. With live roulette, the thrill of the gameplay is in watching the spinning wheel slow to halt in order to reveal the winning number. The European wheel has 37 pockets numbered from 0 to 36, while the American wheel has an additional 00 pocket, making it a total of 38 pockets. Pockets alternate between red and black, except for the 0 and 00, which are typically green.

Info: The wheel is set up so that numbers are evenly distributed, and there’s no cluster of high, low, odd, or even numbers. The arrangement of numbers on the wheel is different for European and American roulette.

The Roulette Table Layout

The roulette table mirrors the numbers on the wheel, and this is where you place your bets. The table layout is divided into two sections: an inside section where you find the inside bets and an outside section where you find the outside bets.

Some roulette tables have additional sections for special bets. For instance, French roulette tables often have a racetrack section which holds ‘call’ bets like the orphans bet, neighbours bet, etc. Players typically place their bets by putting their chips on the various betting options. When playing online roulette, you can simply tap on the section you wish to bet on.

Types of Roulette Bets

Roulette’s popularity lies in its simplicity and the variety of bets that can be made. The only other casino game that has as many betting options as roulette is craps. Roulette bets are easy to understand and can be separated into two types depending on where they’re found on the table layout.

Inside Bets

These are higher-risk bets, and as such, they come with higher payouts. They usually involve betting on an outright number or a small group of numbers. Below are the inside bets on roulette:

Straight up

This is a bet on a single number. It pays the most but is also the riskiest. If you’ve got a favourite number, you could give this a shot. A good idea is to combine it with a safer bet. If the straight-up wins, you’ll take home a hefty payout. If not, you’ll likely win the safer bet and have cushioned your losses.

Split bet

The split bet involves two adjacent numbers on the table, e.g. 5 and 6. Usually, chips are placed on the line between the two numbers.

Street bet

This is a three number bet and involves any three numbers in a row. Players can place chips at the edge of the row to select this bet.

Corner bet

This is betting on four numbers that meet at a corner (e.g., 11, 12, 14, and 15). It’s also called a square bet.

Basket Bet

This is a five-number bet on the following numbers – 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. It is only available on the American version since the European wheel does not have the 00 pocket.

Line bet

This is a bet on six consecutive numbers (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6). The numbers have to be in two adjacent rows, so it’s basically a bet on two streets that are side-by-side.

Outside Bets

Outside bets cover larger groups of numbers and typically offer better odds of winning, though with lower payouts compared to inside bets. They are the most popular betting options and are great for beginners.

Even money bets

These are bets that have a nearly 50% chance of winning because they cover half of the numbers on the wheel (excluding 0 and 00).

  • Red/black – a bet on whether the winning number will be red or black.
  • Odd/Even – a bet on whether the winning number will be odd or even.
  • Low/High Bet – a bet on whether the winning number will be in the low range (1-18) or high range (19-36).

Dozens bet

The dozen bet involves one of the three groups of 12 numbers – 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36. It offers roughly a one-third chance of winning. Chips are placed in designated boxes outside the main grid.

Columns bet

Like the dozen bet, this one also involves 12 numbers. Here, you’ll be betting on one of the three columns of numbers on the grid. This also offers approximately a one-third chance of winning.

Table Overview of Betting Options with their Odds and Payouts

Bet TypePayoutEuropean OddsAmerican Odds
Inside Bets
Straight up35:11 in 37 (2.70%)1 in 38 (2.63%)
Split17:12 in 37 (5.41%)2 in 38 (5.26%)
Street11:13 in 37 (8.11%)3 in 38 (7.89%)
Corner8:14 in 37 (10.81%)4 in 38 (10.53%)
Basket6:15 in 38 (13.16%)
Line5:16 in 37 (16.22%)6 in 38 (15.79%)
Outside Bets
Red/Black1:118 in 37 (48.65%)18 in 38 (47.37%)
Odd/Even1:118 in 37 (48.65%)18 in 38 (47.37%)
Low/High1:118 in 37 (48.65%)18 in 38 (47.37%)
Dozens2:112 in 37 (32.43%)12 in 38 (31.58%)
Column2:112 in 37 (32.43%)12 in 38 (31.58%)

What are Call Bets in Roulette?

All the standard roulette bets are the ones listed above. However, some roulette variants allow for specialised bet types known as call bets or announced bets. These bets are mostly found in French roulette (for this reason, they are often called French bets) and sometimes in European roulette. These bets are typically made by more experienced roulette players who are familiar with the specific combinations and patterns they cover. They include the following:

  • Neighbours of Zero (Voisins du Zéro)
  • Thirds of the Wheel (Tiers du Cylindre)
  • Orphans (Orphelins)
  • Zero Game (Jeu Zéro)
  • Neighbours Bets
  • Finals Bets

Info: Roulette variants featuring call bets also come with a racetrack – a separate betting area that holds these special bets. The layout covers specific groups of numbers on the roulette wheel in a visually organised manner, making it easier to place these bets more accurately.

The Roulette Snake Bet

You may sometimes hear mention of snake bets when playing this game. A snake bet is a specific type of bet that covers a sequence of numbers on the roulette table layout in a zigzag or “snake-like” pattern. For example, if you start with the number 1 in a snake bet, you might place chips on numbers 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, and so on. The exact sequence and the number of consecutive bets you place may vary, but the idea is to create a visually winding pattern on the table layout.

It’s not a standard bet type. It’s more of a way to diversify your betting strategy and is best suited to more experienced or adventurous roulette players.

How to Win at Roulette for Beginners

Roulette is an excellent game for beginners. If you’re playing at an online casino for the first time, you should either opt for real money slot games or head to the roulette table. Roulette is undoubtedly the simplest table game to play, but that’s on the condition that you stick to the safer bets.

As a new roulette player, your greatest chance of winning is on those outside bets with even odds – red/black, high/low, and even/odd bets. We refer to these as safe bets because there’s roughly a 50% chance of either outcome. They pay even money, meaning that if you place a ₹80 bet, you’ll get back ₹80 in profits. There’s no guarantee for constant wins, but when you apply roulette betting strategies, you can statistically increase your chances of winnings or, at the very least, reduce unnecessary losses and enjoy a longer gaming session.

How to Play Roulette FAQ

Is roulette easy to play?

Yes, roulette is an easy game to play. Unlike skill games like poker, you can jump into roulette with minimal knowledge and pick up the gameplay in minutes.

What is the best bet in roulette?

The best bet in roulette is an even money bet. These bets, which include red/black, even/odd, and high/low, have the highest chances of winning.

Can I bet on green?

Yes, many roulette games will allow you to bet on the green 0. This works just like a single bet and pays 35:1. If betting on both 0 and 00, it works like a two-number bet and pays 17:1.

Can I place multiple roulette bets at a time?

There are no restrictions on how many bets you can place per round. You could place an even/odd bet and a straight-up bet simultaneously. In that case, even if you lose the straight-up bet, you have a good chance of getting your starting wagers back since the even/odd pays 1:1.

Should I play inside bets in roulette?

Although they are riskier, inside bets potentially allow much bigger wins. As long as you’re aware of the odds, you can try them out occasionally if you prefer. However, we typically recommend that new players start with outside bets.