How to Play Roulette – Basic Roulette Rules & Tips

Wondering how to play roulette? We have advice on playing roulette, including the basic rules, bet types, games, and other tips to get you started. Online roulette offers a low house edge too if you choose the right games and bets. Discover more with our guide.

Basic Rules of Roulette

Roulette is an easy game where the objective is to predict where the ball will rest on the roulette wheel after a spin. You make your prediction by placing chips on the roulette table. At online casinos, you drag and drop chips to the areas and numbers you wish to bet on.

Roulette games are available at all the best online casinos in the US. You will also be able to play some games at land-based casino sites. The best thing about online casino games is that you can play for free or real money. This gives you the chance to check out games like American Roulette, French Roulette, or European Roulette.

Now this is just a high-level overview of how to play roulette, and we understand that you need more information to feel comfortable playing. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how roulette works.

lucky creek roulette - how to play roulette

Placing Bets

You have two options when it comes to bets in roulette: inside bets and outside bets. Inside bets are wagers on single numbers or small groups of numbers. The outside bets cover up to half the total numbers on the roulette table. First, you’ll need to place bets before spinning the roulette wheel.

Follow these steps to place your first bet.

  1. Choose your bet size
  2. Drag chips onto the table
  3. Clear or amend your bets

Spin the Wheel

When you have selected and made your bets, you just need to spin the roulette wheel. Online roulette games will have a spin button that you can click to start. There are no time limits, either, compared to the roulette rules in live dealer games or the land-based casinos. In a brick-and-mortar casino, the dealer handles the action and gives everyone a short time limit to place their wagers.

Receive Payouts

The desired outcome in any casino game is that you will collect a payout. Online roulette payouts are processed automatically as soon as the wheel stops spinning. This is the virtual equivalent of the dealer passing you your winnings in chips in a land-based casino.

Clear / Redo / Double Bets

Online roulette has many features that make it easy to manage your bets. After a spin, you can either clear, redo, or double your bet. When you clear your bets, it means you are erasing any wagers made in the previous spin. You can also choose to redo the same bets and bet values. Furthermore, depending on your roulette bankroll management system, you can double your wager for the next round.

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Roulette Betting: Wagers & Payouts

One factor that makes roulette exciting is that there are multiple ways to play this game. Roulette comes with tons of betting options, though they are classified into two main categories; inside and outside bets. The type of bet you make depends on your desired payout and also the level of risk you are prepared to take on. Let’s consider how to bet in roulette in more detail.

How to Play Roulette - Payouts

Inside Bets

Inside bets are made on specific numbers located in the middle part of the betting table. These bets can be on one number or a connected group.

It is important to note that inside bets are some of the riskiest wagers you can make. However, they also carry the largest potential roulette payouts.

Examples of inside bets:

  • Straight-Up – A bet on an individual winning number. Betting on a single number is easy: simply drag and drop your chips onto your favorite number on the roulette table.
  • Split – The split bet picks two numbers. You must place your chips on the line between these two options to make the bet.
  • Corner –  also known as the square bet. This is a bet that one of the numbers forming a square on the betting table will be the winner. You place your chips on the corner connecting these four numbers to make a wager.
  • Street – The Street bet is another grouped number bet. However, this time, it’s a wager on three numbers at once. You make this bet by placing chips on the outside border of where the three numbers are located.
  • Five Number – Also known as the “Monster”, this bet is only available in American Roulette because it requires a wager on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 at the same time. The double zero isn’t featured on a European Roulette wheel.
  • Six Line – Place your chips on the outer line bordering the six numbers you are selecting.

The table below shows the inside bets you can make in casino roulette. We have also included payout figures and the house edge you can expect. European Roulette generally offers a better overall house edge at 2.7%. However, even American Roulette offers a better long-term return than some slots and table games.

Inside Bets & Payouts

Bet Type Bets Included Payout House Edge
Straight Up One number 35/1 2.7% to 5.26%
Split Two numbers 17/1 2.7% to 5.26%
Corner Four numbers 8/1 2.7% to 5.26%
Street Three numbers 11/1 2.7% to 5.26%
Six Line Six numbers 5/1 2.7% to 5.26%
Five-number 0,00,1,2,3 6/1 2.7% to 7.89%

Outside Bets

If you are looking for less risky wagers in casino roulette, try outside bets. These are wagers placed on whole sections of the betting table as opposed to individual numbers. Because they cover a greater portion, outside bets also have lower roulette payouts.

Examples of outside bets are:

  • Column – A bet on a whole column of numbers. This bet is indicated by placing chips at the bottom of the column. The payout is 2/1 and the bet loses if the ball lands in either 0 or 00.
  • Even/Odd – the roulette wheel has 18 odd and 18-even numbers. You make this bet by placing your chips on the table where it reads Odd, or Even.
  • High/Low – A bet on the 1-18 or 19-36 sections on the roulette table. The presence of the 00 will increase the house’s edge when you are playing American Roulette.
  • Red/Black – This is a simple roulette wager on the next number being red or black.
  • Dozens – A bet on the roulette table one of three dozens (1-12, 13-24, 25-36).

Outside Bets & Payouts

Bet Type Numbers included Payout House Edge
Dozens 1-12, 13-24, 25-36 2/1 2.70% to 5.26%
Columns Numbers in a column 2/1 2.70% to 5.26%
Even 18 even numbers 1/1 2.70% to 5.26%
Odd 18 odd numbers 1/1 2.70% to 5.26%
Red All red numbers 1/1 2.70% to 5.26%
Black All black numbers 1/1 2.70% to 5.26%
High 19-36 1/1 2.70% to 5.26%
Low 1-18 1/1 2.70% to 5.26%

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Pros & Cons of Roulette

Roulette offers a fun, easy gaming experience for new and experienced players alike. As with all casino roulette games, however, you must be aware of the drawbacks.

Pros:

  • Easy to learn and play online
  • No need for specialized knowledge before you play
  • Available in most land-based and online casinos
  • Roulette payouts can go as high as 35/1

Cons:

  • Some roulette variants not widely available
  • House edge as high as 11% on some bets

Types of Online Roulette Games

The best way to learn how to play roulette is to do it online. You can play for free and access the best roulette game versions you won’t find in your local casino.

American Roulette

One of the most popular versions of this game is American Roulette. The odds and payouts differ slightly from European Roulette because of the double zero pocket on the American Roulette wheel. There are more ways to win the Straight Up bet in American Roulette, but the house edge is higher at 5.26%.

How to Play Roulette - American Roulette

European Roulette

European Roulette offers a better house edge than American Roulette at 2.7%. There is just one green pocket (the single zero), which improves the chances of your Red/Black or Odd/Even bet not being voided.

How-to-Play-Roulette-European-Roulette

French Roulette

Most aspects of French Roulette are identical to European Roulette, with one or two exceptions. The main difference is the La Partage rule. If you are in French roulette, you get half of your losing wagers if the ball lands in the zero pocket. This lowers the house edge on even money bets to 1.35%.

How to Play Roulette - French Roulette

Live Dealer Roulette

You can also play roulette against a human dealer at the best live casinos. In these games, you place bets online through your keyboard or smartphone. However, the table game is handled in real-time by a trained croupier.

Top 5 Roulette Tips

So far, we have answered, “How do you play roulette for free?” Now, let’s consider how to play roulette like a pro. These tips are valid whether you are playing American Roulette or any other variant.

  1. Choose the Correct Roulette Variant

    It’s important to select the right roulette game variant from the onset. That means understanding the house edge. European Roulette and French Roulette have a lower house edge than American Roulette, so you’ll be better off in the long term playing those games.
  2. Understand Roulette Betting Options

    Taking time to understand how roulette betting works will ensure you get off to a good start. The mistake most players make is to try to figure out all the available options in one go. But how many of those options are you going to realistically use when learning how to play roulette? A better approach is to knuckle down on only the bets you need to get going. This includes simple bets like odd or even, and red or black.
  3. Master Basic Roulette Betting Strategy

    You must have a simple roulette strategy to play this game properly. Betting strategies help manage wins and losses. When you win you want to make sure you go away with as many roulette chips as possible. And when you lose, you want to avoid being wiped out. Start with free money at online casinos and try roulette betting strategies like the Martingale, Fibonacci, and d’Alembert to see how they stack up. We have a detailed roulette strategy page you can check out too.
  4. Look Out for Special Online Roulette Rules

    Taking advantage of special features can positively affect your roulette game experience in many ways. These features may not be as apparent as you would expect. So ensure you know all about the game you are playing and take full advantage of every feature. For example, some games have a surrender rule that returns 50% on even money bets lost when the ball lands in the single zero or the double zero.
  5. Use Good Bankroll Management

    Learning how to play roulette is easy but maintaining a bankroll is a lot harder. Always decide how much you are going to spend at the roulette table in advance, and stick to a strict plan. Remember, the house edge in online roulette means you’ll be a loser in the long term. Avoid the swings by increasing and decreasing your stakes as your luck changes.

Play Free Roulette Online

How do you play roulette? Casinos allow you to play roulette online for free. You can sign up for an account and enjoy American Roulette or European Roulette in demo mode. Online casinos offer both computerized RNG roulette games and live dealer tables where you can play with a real-life wheel.

Demo games have lots of benefits when you’re learning to play roulette. You can use free roulette table games as a sandbox to test new strategies. In addition, you can observe other players and learn how the game works sitting at free live dealer roulette tables.

In the demo mode, you are essentially playing with casino credits which you can’t withdraw. However, it’s a great way of understanding roulette strategy without breaking the bank.

In addition, you can sign up at our top-rated roulette casinos online and play with a few dollars. Test out European Roulette or go for the single zero in American Roulette. You can even claim bonuses to test the waters of real-money roulette for the first time.

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How to Play Roulette FAQs

Is learning how to play roulette easy?

What is roulette house edge?

Is European Roulette better than American Roulette?

Is online roulette rigged?

Responsible Gambling

When playing casino games, you must always have responsible gambling in mind. It makes no difference whether you are playing American Roulette or any other variant, ensure you are safe by using responsible gambling practices.

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Pride Kazunga
iGaming Expert

Pride is a iGaming expert writer with over 10 years of experience. He is a seasoned casino content specialist, with a simple, relatable, and easy-to-read writing style. He loves staying up to date with the latest industry trends, providing readers with the most actionable insights. Pride is featured on multiple websites including TheGameDayCasino.com, BestOdds.com, UsOnlineCasino.com, PACasino.com, and Sportlens.com

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