How to Play Roulette May 2024

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games, and it is believed to have been developed from the Italian game Biribi. Players choose to bet where the ball will land after it has been spun in the roulette wheel, and an array of different betting options are available. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the basics of how to play roulette games, the various betting options, variants of the game, basic strategies you can employ, and how to win.



Roulette is a casino game involving a spinning wheel with numbered pockets and a small, usually white ball released onto the wheel by a croupier. On the table is a grid of numbers and phrases outlining the available betting options for players trying to predict where the ball will land. You can choose from individual numbers, groups of numbers, red or black colors, high or low, or other options you think the ball will land on. Playing roulette is relatively straightforward and relies more on luck than skill, although there are some strategies you can implement, which we dive into below.


When it comes to playing roulette or any of its many variants, you need to know all the available betting options, such as the back of your hand. Various betting options and kinds of bets can be placed when playing roulette, primarily grouped into outside bets - also known as general picks - and inside bets.


Outside bets cover some of the most well-known roulette bets, such as red or black, odd or even, and high or low. They are a good choice for players who are just starting out. One of the pluses of an outside bet is they are more likely to succeed; however, outside bets do come with a lower payout.

Here are the different types of outside bets:

  • Red or Black: You are betting on whether the ball will land on a red or black number. Red or black bets pay out at even money, which means you will keep your original wager and the same amount back as winnings. The simplicity of these bets makes them well-suited to beginners.
  • Odd or Even: You are betting on whether the ball will land on an odd or even number. Like red or black, odd or even bets pay out at even money and are suitable for newcomers.
  • High or Low: Most roulette tables are numbered 36, with 1-18 falling into the low category and 19-36 considered high. Another even-money bet that is good for beginners.
  • Column: You will notice that a roulette table is split into three columns, so column bets refer to one of these columns. There are 12 numbers in each column, and you can bet on one, two, or three columns every round. The chances of winning on one column are higher than even-money bets, paying 2 to 1.
  • Dozens: The numbers on a roulette table are also divided into dozens, with 1-12 in the first dozen, 13-24 in the second dozen, and 25 to 36 in the third dozen. Like column bets, one dozen pays out at 2 to 1.


Inside bets are named because they are found in the center of a roulette table and refer to individual numbers or specific combinations of numbers. Unlike outside bets, inside bets have a much lower chance of winning, but the payouts are much higher. Because of this, there is inherently more risk associated with inside bets, which makes them more suited towards experienced players.

  • Straight/Single: These bets are on single numbers, with players able to choose any number on the table from 1-36 and 0 or even 00 if they are playing the American Roulette variant. This is a simple bet, and the chances of winning are low, with payouts of 35 to 1 each.
  • Split: You are covering two adjacent numbers on the roulette table with chips placed on the line between the two numbers, such as 16 and 17. Winning split bets pay out at 17 to 1, and remember that numbers next to each other on the table won't be next to each other on the roulette wheel.
  • Street: Also known as row bets, these cover three numbers in a row and are all consecutive, such as 1, 2, 3 or 4, 5, 6. Place your roulette chips at the bottom of the row below the first number, with the payout for street bets at 11 to 1.
  • Corner: Also known as square bets, these cover four numbers in a row that must form a square, such as 1, 2, 4, 5. Players place chips on the corner where the four numbers meet with payouts of 8 to 1.
  • Basket: Also known as a sucker or five-number bet, these bets are unique to American Roulette and include five specific numbers - the two zero pockets (0 and 0) as well as 1, 2, and 3. Their odds of winning are 6 to 1.
  • Six Line: These cover six consecutive numbers on two adjacent rows such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 - with odds of 5 to 1. They are sometimes referred to as a quint bet.
  • Read: Learn more in our casino glossary.


A regular roulette table roughly forms the shape of a rectangle. It is arranged into inside and outside sections corresponding to the inside and outside bets we've explained above. The inside section has 36 squares of either red or black, while the outside section has boxes that refer to groupings of numbers like columns, dozens, high or low numbers, odd or even numbers, or red or black numbers. Depending on the game, there is also a significant zero (0) and double zero (00), depending on the variant you are playing. Players can bet on any of the squares on the table and combinations of the squares.

The roulette wheel is numbered from 0 to 36, but the numbers do not go in order around the wheel or correspond to how they are laid out on the table. Depending on the type of roulette title you are playing, the wheel will be different, with European wheels containing 18 red pockets, 18 black pockets, and one single green zero (0), while American wheels are the same but with an additional green double zero (00). The order in which the numbers go is designed to balance high, low, odd, and even numbers, and it will look different for European and American games.


Despite the seemingly confusing numbers and bet types, roulette is still a simple game, with players winning by placing correct bets on where the ball will land.

In this section, we have outlined some tips that might help your chances of winning at roulette:

  • Know the Odds: You should familiarize yourself with the odds and payouts for the different bet types so they are second nature and understand the house edge.
  • Pick the Right Roulette Variant: European Roulette has a lower house edge than American Roulette, while French Roulette has unique rules like 'La Partage' and 'En Prison'. There are also a host of other roulette variants offering different ways to play.
  • Manage Your Bankroll: The best players exercise discipline, choosing an amount to wager with and sticking to it. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, and learn how to manage your bankroll most effectively.
  • Practice: We recommend utilizing free-play roulette games before wagering your own real money, especially if you are a new player or trying a variant out for the first time. Refine your approach, try different betting strategies, and get a feel for a game's dynamics and features before jumping in for real.
  • Use Betting Strategies: Several roulette betting strategies, such as Martingale, D'Alembert, Fibonacci, and more, could increase your chances of winning. There is no promise or guarantee of success, however.
  • Remain Calm and Focused: The best players stay cool under pressure, whatever the circumstances. Don't gamble when you are feeling emotional, and we recommend avoiding alcohol when playing roulette as it could affect your play. Stay in the zone, master patience, and don't chase your losses.
  • Enjoy Your Play: Remember that you are playing roulette to enjoy yourself, so focus on having fun and either take a break or stop altogether if that doesn't happen. Roulette is a game of chance, after all.


Playing roulette online will always have to contend with the house edge, essentially a casino's advantage over a player. In roulette - as with other casino games - it will be outlined as a percentage, and the higher the rate of the house edge, the higher the advantage for the casino will be. You cannot avoid this, but you can choose games that offer a lower house edge. For example, American Roulette offers a higher house edge than European Roulette, while French Roulette is even lower than that.


Roulette has many different variants, changing how the game is played. The main three types of roulette are American, European, and French, and they refer to where the games originated or became popular.


American Roulette became a favorite at Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos and is now hugely popular at online casinos. The game has a table with 38 numbers in total—1-36, zero (0), and double zero (00). The numbers 1-36 are either red or black, while 0 and 00 are green. The additional 00 slot increases the house edge to 5.26%.

The maximum payout for a single number bet in a game of American Roulette is 35 to 1. Here are the odds of success for the main bet types:

  • Straight: 2.6%
  • Split: 5.3%
  • Street: 7.9%
  • Corner: 10.5%
  • Column/Dozen: 31.6%
  • Red or Black/Odd or Even/High or Low: 47.4%


European Roulette tables look very similar to the American variant, with the only difference being that there is no double zero (00). There are 37 numbers, from 1 to 36 to zero (0), with 1 to 36 being either red or black, while 0 is green. The house edge for European Roulette is 2.7%.

Again, the maximum payout for a single number bet is 35 to 1. Here are the odds of success for the main bet types in European Roulette:

  • Straight: 2.7%
  • Split: 5.4%
  • Street: 8.1%
  • Corner: 10.8%
  • Column/Dozen: 32.4%
  • Red or Black/Odd or Even/High or Low: 48.6%


French roulette is very similar to the European variant, with the same numbers and betting options but an even lower house edge of 1.35%. Unlike the American or European versions, French Roulette has two unique rules that make it a separate game - 'La Partage' and 'En Prison.'

The 'La Partage' rule is only applicable for even money bets, and players get half of their wager back if the ball lands on a zero (0). The 'En Prison' rule sees the dealer mark all these bets to keep them in place for the next round, where if your bet wins, you will get your stake back, and if the ball lands on zero (0) again, your bet will stay 'En Prison' for another spin.

French Roulette tables will look different from European tables, but their odds of success for the main bet types in the game are the same as those of their European cousin. French Roulette does have some call bets that are unique to the game, though, including:

  • Voisins du Zero: Roughly translates to 'neighbors of zero' and is a bet on all 17 numbers between 22 and 25 on the roulette wheel. These wagers require nine chips to place and comprise five split bets, a cornet bet, and a three-number bet.
  • Tiers du Cylindre: These wagers cover one-third of the entire wheel, spanning the numbers from 33 to 27. They are made up of six split bets.
  • Les Orphelins: These bets cover eight numbers in total - the three remaining numbers to the right of the zero (0) pocket (17, 34, and 6), as well as the five remaining numbers on the other side of the wheel (1, 20, 14, 31 and 9). Five chips are needed in total, with bets made up of four split bets and one straight-up bet.
  • Jeu Zero: These bets cover the seven numbers closest to the zero (0) pocket on the wheel, including 32, 26, 15, 3, 35, 12, and 0. Four chips are needed to place this bet: three splits and a straight-up bet.
  • Finales en Plein: Here, you wager on individual numbers that end in the same digit, so a 'Finale 5 en Plein' bet would include the numbers 5, 15, 25, and 35. They are made up of straight-up bets, so the payout for a winning number is 35 to 1.
  • Finales a Cheval: Here, you make a series of split and straight-up bets, including two numbers of your choice. For example, a 'Finales a Cheval' bet on 2 and 3 will include all the numbers on the roulette wheel that end in either a 2 or 3 - encompassing 2, 3, 12, 13, 22, 23, 32, and 33.


You can use several different strategies for how to play roulette at online casinos, which will hopefully increase your chances of winning, such as:


One of the more widely used strategies in roulette is the Martingale, which is based on recovering your losses. With every losing spin, you double your wager so that when you win again, you'll recover any previous losses and potentially gain a small profit. It is easy to understand and apply, but you may need a big bankroll, so the Martingale system is best suited to high-rollers.


With the Paroli Roulette strategy, the reverse of the Martingale is that if you lose a round, you keep your stake the same, but if you win, you double your stake. This is known as 'progression staking,' and the overall aim is to double your stake for three wins in a row, at which point you go back to your starting stake. It is also suitable for first-timers.


Created by a French mathematician in the 19th century, the D'Alembert system only works on even money bets like red or black or high or low. Before starting, you decide on a set amount to act as a unit - for example, $1 - and if you win a bet, you decrease the next bet by one unit, and if you lose, you increase the next bet by one unit. It is a good option for first-timers as it is easy to pick up and useful for bankroll management, but you may not win considerable sums.


The Fibonacci strategy uses the Fibonacci sequence of numbers named after an Italian mathematician. The sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc, and in line with the sequence, you will make each stake from the sum of the two stakes before. Every time you lose a bet, you progress to the following number in the sequence, while each win takes you back two places or to the start. This system is best suited to risk-takers.


Another one for risk-takers, the Andrucci strategy, is based on the chaos theory and relies on the idea that specific numbers will have periods where they appear more often over time on the roulette table. We only recommend this approach for players with big bankrolls.


A system for high rollers, the Labouchere strategy is named after British politician and journalist Henry Labouchere and works on random number sequences. First, you decide how much you want to win - for example, $10 - and then break that figure down into smaller random numbers such as 1, 2, 4, 1, 2. You combine the furthest left and correct numbers in the sequence to make a bet (1 + 2 = $3). If it wins, you cross off those numbers, and if it loses, you don't cross off any numbers and add the bet (in this case, 3) to the far right of your sequence and start over.

Other Casino Games 'How To' Guides

Besides Roulette there are plenty of other games at retail casinos or online casinos. Here are a few other 'how to' guides and strategies to help you grow as a player.

  • How To Play Blackjack


Below, we've compiled some common questions and answers about playing roulette. Read on to learn more!


Players can implement a range of betting strategies, such as Martingale, Paroli, D'Alembert, Fibonacci, Andrucci, or Labouchere, which are believed to boost their chances of success. If you are looking to win more often or are new to roulette, we recommend outside bets, while experienced players who are happy to win less often but with bigger payouts should opt for inside bets.


The most significant returns in roulette are found in outside bets, with straight-up wagers on individual numbers paying out at 35 to 1 each. These bets won't win as often, but when they do, the payouts are much higher than even-money outside bets like red, black, odd, or even.


This varies depending on the roulette variant you are playing, but each bet type will have an accompanying percentage of success representing its odds. Even money bets like red or black have a 47.4% odds of success in American Roulette, while straight bets have odds of success of just 2.6% but payout 35 to 1.


To play roulette, you must first join a game and then place your chips in specified positions on the table indicating your bet type. A straight-up number bet on one number requires chips on just that number, while other bets like column nets will require you to place chips on that option on the table.