The Definitive Guide to Online Roulette 2024

The complete guide for roulette, including everything from basic rules to the most complex tips, strategies, and a glossary. You will read about the game overview, different versions of the game as well as the best free and real money titles available at online casinos, according to our experts.

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Overview

The classic game of roulette was invented centuries ago but it remains popular after all these years. A simple system is at the cornerstone of the game and it proved suitable for land-based casinos and most recently online operators. This is a game of chance that requires players to predict the final resting point of the ball. There are many possible bets, grouped into two main categories, called inside and outside bets.

Risk-averse punters can stick to wagering on colors, low and high numbers, old and even ones, and rows or columns. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have risk-takers, who don’t mind betting on a single number or taking a leap of faith with a cluster. The return on investment depends on the risks taken, so there is an indissoluble link that should be taken into account. That’s why it is so useful to play on virtual currency before switching to real money games, especially at higher stakes.

Roulette comes in different flavors, so you can freely choose between American and European roulette, French roulette, or some of the newest versions. At its core, the game uses the same concepts, so no matter what you choose, the learning curve will be smooth. European and French roulette have an obvious advantage because of the lower house edge, yet American roulette has its fans. The same goes for the many other types of games, with the rules slightly tweaked to ensure variety.

The return to the player is influenced by the house edge, with the most important element being the extra zero slot on the wheel. Some online casinos have added roulette games with progressive jackpots, which offer the promise of bigger gains. Arguably the main reason for playing roulette online is the opportunity to compete against real dealers at live tables.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Available against real dealers
Easy to learn by beginners
Many strategies available
Cons
Average house edge
Few versions of the game

History

As with so many casino games, there are several legends about how Roulette came into being, with various accounts of Roman soldiers firing arrows between the spokes of a cart wheel, or even the Chinese basing a game on a method of torture.

What is known, is that in the 1600's a Frenchman by the name of Blaise Pascal devised a game called 'little wheel', which translates into 'roulette'. He also devised most of the rules which have lasted through to the modern era, but it was a few years later that Francois and Lois Blanc modified the game to include the '0', giving the casino an edge over the players.

The game became a huge hit across Europe, even becoming one of the main sources of income for King Charles III and the principality of Monaco and as millions of Europeans left for the New World, they brought Roulette with them. This would prove to be the step that made it famous around the globe.

As the western states of the USA grew in wealth, with more and more  gold miners finding gambling a good way to enjoy their riches, European Roulette evolved into American Roulette with the addition of a double zero section, which instantly doubled the house edge.

Since the first online casinos opened in the 1990's Roulette has been discovered by a whole new generation of players, and many of these casinos now offer several different variations including European, American, Multi-wheel, 3D, Live and Mini Roulette.


Terminology

Before participating in a game of Roulette, players should get to know at least some of the terminology attached to it, with its' rich mix of French and American origins.

American Wheel:  This wheel contains the numbers 0 - 36, plus an extra 00 section, not found on European wheels, to improve the house edge.

Ball:  A small ball that is released into the wheel, in the opposite direction to the spin, which will lose momentum and come to rest in a single numbered section.

Column Bet:  A bet placed on any of the three vertical columns which contain the numbers 1 -12, 13 - 24, and 25 - 36. Also referred to as a dozens bet. A win pays out at 2:1.

Corner Bet:  A bet placed at the crossing point where any four numbers adjoin each other. A win pays out at 8:1.

Croupier:  The French term for the dealer, which is still used at many American casinos, including online ones.

European Wheel: A wheel consisting of the numbers 0 -36, without the 00 section. This gives the house a smaller edge over the players.

Even Bet:  A bet that covers all of the even numbers and pays out at 1:1.

Even Money Bet:  Any bet that has a payout of 1;1 such as red / black, even /odd, 1 -18 / 19 - 36, and high / low.

Five Number Bet: A bet that can only be placed on American tables covering the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3.

High/Low Bet: A bet on the high numbers from 19 to 36, or the low numbers from 1 to 18 that pays out at 1:1.

Inside Bet:  A bet on the section of the table that contains the numbers 1 - 36 only.

Line Bet:  A bet placed where two 'streets' of three numbers each join. Example - 13/14/15 and 16/17/18.

Odd Bet:  A bet that covers all of the odd numbers.

Outside Bet:  A bet anywhere outside of the section containing the numbers 1 - 36.

Split Bet:  A bet covering two adjoining numbers.

Straight Up Bet:  A bet placed on just a single number.

Street Bet:  A bet placed at the end of a row of three numbers. Example - 28/29/30.


Rules

Goal: The aim of Roulette is to correctly guess which numbered slot on the wheel that the ball will eventually come to a rest in.

Opponent: The game is played against the casino, not the other players who may be around the table placing their own bets.

Process:

  1. Each player makes as many bets as they wish, which can be single number, evens, odds, street, or any combination.
  2. The croupier spins the wheel and then gets the ball to spin in the opposite direction, whereupon it will roll around for a few seconds before coming to a rest in one numbered section with bets placed on that number winning.
  3. The players then receive any winnings due to them.

House advantage:  In a European Roulette the game, the house edge is 2.7%, but because of the extra 00 section, American Roulette gives the house a 5.26% advantage over the players.

Payout odds:

Straight-up bet on one number – 36:1

Split bet on two numbers - 17:1.

Street bet on three numbers - 11:1.

Corner bet on four numbers - 8:1.

Six-number bet - 5:1.

Column or outside dozen bet - 2:1

Even Money Bets - 1:1.


Strategy

Roulette is a game of chance, where no mathematical system will influence the outcome of the next round. The ball has no memory of where it landed last time, and the result of each spin is completely independent of the last. There are, however, several popular betting strategies that can improve your chances of making some short term gains.

Martingale Strategy:  This is the most popular betting strategy for Roulette players, and using it is simply a matter of making an even money bet, such as red or black, and doubling the bet size after a losing spin. The theory is that if a player sticks to the one bet type, say red, it is bound to appear soon, winning back all the losses from spins where black appeared. Even money bets pay out at 1:1, but have a slightly less than 50% chance of winning, due to the presence of the 0, or 00. Additionally, by the time black has appeared several times in a row, the bet sizes can increase rapidly, possibly exceeding even a big bankroll.

D’Alembert Strategy: This is a less risky variation of the Martingale in which the player increases their stake by one unit following a losing spin, and decreases it by the same amount following a win. The idea is that the player can stop once the number of wins at least equals the number of losses, but again this does not take into account the fact that due to the 0's, losses will always exceed wins over the longer term. It can work well over a shorter run, however, and if possible players should keep going until they have recovered any losses, or cash out when ahead after a few winning spins.

James Bond Strategy: A system for high rollers only, with at least $200 to risk, this method works on European Roulette tables only. Put 60% of your money on the high numbers, 20% on the low numbers, and 10% on the 0. Hitting the high numbers or 0 will result in a win, but hitting the low numbers will leave you shaken not stirred.

Useful tactics to keep in mind:

  • Roulette is an easy game for new casino players, as it is requires little skill, but provides lots of excitement.
  • As the house edge can never be overturned, Roulette is not a good game for professional gamblers to make a living from. If you wish to make consistent money, you are best advised to become a good Poker player.
  • Choose even money bets which pay out less, but are far less risky. Combine them with good bankroll management and a sensible betting system and you can make a profit on the night.
  • Avoid American Roulette where possible, but by all means try some of the other varieties offered by the best online casinos.

If you have not played before, you should always look for an online casino with a free-play option that will let you practice the game so you can get to learn the rules and betting options without the need to stake any real money.

Tips

Roulette has the uncanny advantage of being an easy-to-understand game that can be played by beginners with minimal practice and no previous experience.

Getting Started

Anyone can start playing roulette due to its simplicity and you can use your computer or mobile device. Log in and follow these five steps to get the ball in motion at roulette tables

1 Join a licensed casino

Sign up for an account in the casino that is licensed to enjoy a safe and fun game of roulette.

2 Make a deposit

Load your account using one of the payment methods provided by the online casino of choice

3 Choose RNG or Live Roulette

Play against the algorithms for faster games or compete against real dealers at live tables.

4 Try the game for free

Use the demo version whenever possible to get a better sense of what Roulette has to offer

5 Try exotic types of roulette

Online casinos offer plenty of alternative options that punters should consider for roulette.

Glossary

Learn all the terms of online roulette game with our free dictionary

Roulette Terminology

Roulette Game Versions

The beauty of roulette is that even if you choose one of the exotic versions, the core game mechanics are the same. The ball needs to land on the spot where you predict it, with multiple data based on your appetite for risk. These are the most popular versions of roulette you can find at online casinos.

Bingo Roulette

Bingo Roulette is a hybrid game that combines elements of bingo and roulette, with players betting on where a ball will land on a roulette-style wheel.

Live Bingo Roulette

Live Bingo Roulette is the popular live dealer version of the game, where players can interact with a live dealer while playing a bingo-themed game.

Mini Roulette

Mini Roulette is a scaled-down version of roulette with fewer numbers and betting options. It usually features only 13 numbers instead of the standard 36.

Multi-wheel Roulette

Multi-wheel Roulette is a game where players can bet on multiple roulette wheels at the same time. This increases the number of possible outcomes and potential payouts.

Roulette Royale

Roulette Royale is a progressive jackpot version of roulette, where a small percentage of each bet is added to a constantly growing jackpot pool, hence the possibility of big wins.

French Roulette

French Roulette is a variant of the game that features a unique betting layout and additional rules such as "La Partage" and "En Prison" which has the lowest house edge.

American Roulette

American Roulette is a version of the game with an additional "00" pocket on the wheel, increasing the house edge and decreasing the odds of winning.

Live Roulette

Live Roulette is a version of the game that uses live dealers and streaming video technology to allow players to interact with a real-life casino environment.

European Roulette

European roulette is the default version of the game, with 36 numbers and a single "0" pocket, with better odds than American roulette, hence more popular.

Lightning Roulette

Lightning Roulette is a version of the game that adds additional random multipliers to certain numbers. This greatly increases the payouts, based on the amount wagered.

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FAQ

You need to choose a reputable online casino that offers the game, create an account, and make a deposit. You also have the option of playing for free if you don’t want to deposit.

The game is only as fair as the casino offering it and the software developer providing it. To stay safe, you should play roulette games supplied by respectable providers, at licensed casinos.

Most online casinos offer the option to play roulette for free in demo mode. This allows you to practice and familiarize yourself with the game mechanics and strategies.

To choose the best online roulette casino, look for a licensed and regulated casino with a wide selection of roulette games. Make sure they also offer the games for free.

European roulette features a single "0" pocket on the wheel, while American roulette has an additional "00" pocket. This increases the house edge so you are less likely to win at American roulette.

There are plenty of strategies out there, but no one can guarantee winnings. Some of the popular strategies go by the name of Martingale, Fibonacci, and D'Alembert.

Yes, you can win real money playing online roulette if you make a deposit. Play money games will only award virtual currency, which can’t be cashed out.

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