Master the Rules & Odds of Roulette
We will have you mastering the rules of roulette in less than five minutes. After reading this article, you will feel like a professional.
Looking at the odds of roulette, you have better odds at winning European/French Roulette at 32.43% than American Roulette at 31.58%.
The objective of roulette is for each player to guess the numbered pocket the white ball will land on once the wheel has spun.
Important terms you need to know
Aside from knowing what a roulette wheel is, here are some of the other terms you should know:
- Pockets – what the white ball of the roulette wheel lands in once the wheel has spun.
- Zero – The green space on the roulette wheel marked 0.
- Double Zero – The green space on the roulette wheel marked 00 (American Roulette wheels only).
- Layout – to bet on the layout is a wager placed anywhere on the numbers portion of the table.
- Table Limits – represents the minimum and maximum bets allowed.
- Croupier – the casino employee in charge of the roulette table. Also known as a dealer, but croupier is a more accurate term.
- Bankroll – Finances available to you.
Every roulette table has a minimum bet to dictate the stake levels. This could be $1 (₹75), meaning you must bet $1 per spin of the wheel.
In roulette, all strategies are risky. Here are a few common strategies used in roulette:
- James Bond Strategy: This is a combination of bets that give you the best odds of winning. An example for European/French Roulette could be $5 (₹375) on zero, $25 (₹1,875) on the 19 – 36 box and $15 (₹1 125) on the 13 – 18 box. You only lose if the wheel stops and the ball pockets on a number between 1 and 12.
- Martingale Strategy: Anytime you lose a bet, you repeat the same bet with two times the money. This strategy guarantees that you break even, but you will need to win in a handful of spins, otherwise it becomes very expensive. Start with the minimum bet and progress slowly.
- The Grand Martingale Betting Strategy: This follows the same principles as the Martingale Strategy; however, you add an amount equal to your initial bet each time you double your bet.
Only the sum of all your bets needs to be equal to the minimum amount. So if the minimum amount is $1 (₹75) you can have four chips of $0.25 spread over various numbers.
- Straight Up
This is the simplest of all the wagers. Bet on one number between 1 – 36 that you think the ball will land on.
Two numbers touching the bet, this is double a straight-up bet. You place a chip or stack of chips between the two numbers you would like to bet on.
- Street / Row
Bet on any three numbers in a row (on the line) by placing your chip/s on the far line of the row.
Three numbers, the chip/s are placed at intersections connecting the numbers on the table.
- Corner / Quad
Place your chip/s at the corner (or intersection) where four numbers meet.
- Double Street
Bet on two streets (or rows) – six numbers in total. Place your chip/s on the far side of the row between two numbers and their street.
- Basket / First Five
A basket is 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. This is not possible in European/French Roulette.
If the ball lands on 0 or 00, everything on the outside loses.
- Even / Odd
A bet on 18 even or odd numbers.
- Red or Black
A bet on 18 black or red numbers.
- High 18
Placing a bet on numbers 19 to 36.
- Low 18
Placing a bet on numbers 1 to 18.
A bet on twelve non-sequential numbers in a column.
A bet on twelve sequential numbers in a block.
Bets can be placed on multiple single numbers at one time or combined with outside bets.
Don’t bet what you can’t afford to lose. Keep all your winnings separate from the money you are prepared to gamble, that way if you lose all you were prepared to bet, you have your winnings separate.
You can still place your bets when the roulette wheel starts to spin; the croupier will wave off when there are no more bets.
There are some casinos that accept ‘call or announced bets’.
The player must be known to the casino and have the means to cover the wager – these bets are only accepted if the Croupier acknowledges it.
Some of the most famous call bets are available in French Roulette, and occasionally in the European variant.
A final bet (finale) is made on the last digit of a number, for example, the final three 3, 13, 23, and 33.
Please remember if you are playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, respect the croupier. You can only pick up your money once the marker comes off.
Full complete/complete/maximum bet
A full bet places all of the wagers on a certain number. High rollers usually wage full complete bets as maximum bets.
With European/French Roulette, the maximum bet is based on a progressive betting model. Table maximums are usually 1,000 times the minimum bet.
A complete bet is a wager placed to cover each betting area within a number or a dozen – columns, even chances or dozens are not included in a complete bet.
The Odds and Payouts
There are two main roulette variants, American Roulette and European Roulette. French Roulette is almost identical to European Roulette, with extra rules but the same odds.
The odds of winning at European/French Roulette are higher than winning at American Roulette.
|Roulette Bet Type||Example Roulette Bet||Potential Payout||European Roulette Odds||American Roulette odds|
|Column (There are 3 columns)||Any number in the third column||2:1||32.40%||31.6%|
|Dozen||Any of 1 to 12, 13 to 24 or 25 to 36||2:1||32.40%||31.6%|
|Even bets||Black over red or red over black||1:1||48.60%||47.4%|
|Two numbers||2 & 5 or 7 & 8||17:1||5.41%||5.26%|
|Three numbers||4, 5 & 6 or 0, 2 &00||11:1||8.11%||7.89%|
|Four numbers||4, 5, 7 & 8||8:1||10.81%||10.53%|
|Five numbers||0, 00, 1, 2 & 3||6:1||N/A||13.16%|
|Six numbers||7,8 9,10,11 & 12||5:1||16.22%||15.79%|
House edge: This is the advantage that the casino holds over the player. The house edge is expressed as a percentage of every bet that the casino expects to keep, on average in the long run.
The rules can get a little complicated between the two main variants of roulette.
There are some options available to European Roulette players that are not available to American Roulette players, and vice versa.
European & American Roulette Rules
European (and French) Roulette has one zero (0) at the top of the roulette table, which lowers the house’s edge.
American Roulette has zero (0) and double zero (00) at the top of the table.
‘En Prison’ Rule
‘En Prison’ literally means ‘in prison.’ This term refers to even-money wages only.
When the outcome is zero, there are casinos that will allow players to take back half the bet made or leave it ‘in prison’ for another spin.
If this spin is zero again, the entire bet is lost. Available in all French Roulette games, and in some games of European Roulette.
‘La Partage’ Rule
The player loses half their bet when the result is zero, without the option to leave their bet ‘en prison’ for a later spin. La Partage refers to ‘outside’ even-money wagers, red/black, odd/even, and high/low.
Also available in all French variants, and in some games of European Roulette.
How to Play Roulette Online – Breakdown of a Round
Let’s take a look at how to get this exciting game going!
- Fund your balance
This can be done by using your favourite method of payment at your online casino of choice.
- Decision time: place your bet
Remember how this works: the outside is probably the safest bet with a 48.65% chance to win in European/French Roulette and a 47.37% chance in American Roulette. Always remember to be cautious when betting, especially when you’re just starting out.
- The croupier will now spin the wheel
Everyone at the table needs to place their bets so that the croupier can spin the wheel. If the wheel goes clockwise, the ball goes anti-clockwise, and vice versa. The wheel must go a minimum of three revolutions before the ball lands in a pocket.
- Results and payouts
Roulette is as easy as it sounds; the Croupier does all the hard work for you by working out your winnings, especially with inside bets. If the ball lands in one of the pockets you placed your bet on, you’ll win.
Payouts depend on the bets you choose to play in step 2. The odds and the roulette variant can be seen in the table above.