How to Play Roulette: The Rules Step-by-Step

Roulette is one of those casino games that you can pick up really easily. Learning how to play roulette is not too difficult, as there are a lot of strategies and different bets that can be placed, but almost anyone with a pair of hands is going to be capable of enjoying the game – provided that you’re over 18, of course.

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There are some fantastic roulette guides out there, including the web’s most complete roulette guide, but we’re here to go over the basics of this fantastic casino game. As one of the most popular gambling titles in the history of online casinos, we want everyone to easily pick up the game and understand it from the start.

This guide will take you through the basic rules of roulette, how to play roulette, and how to maximize your time playing the game – including using some fantastic strategies that many players have grown to love!

Basic Roulette Rules

One of the best aspects of roulette is that the game allows for it to be played in any way that you want, and you don’t have to do anything other than place a bet on a number, group of numbers, or even on any section of the roulette board that you want.

As such, the only basic roulette rule that you need to know is that you can place bets according to the limits of the table. These are other basic rules that will help you learn the game quicker:

  • Never touch the numbers or anything on the board when playing on a land-based casino
  • The chips on the board should not be touched by players – only by the dealers
  • You can sometimes place bets after the ball has started spinning, depending on the rules of your table of choice
  • You can place bets on a single number, on two numbers, or even on up to four numbers with one chip. Your bet will be divided and payouts split depending on how many numbers you’ve bet on with the same chip.

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How to Play Roulette

We don’t want you to feel confused by any means when playing the beautiful game of roulette. As such, we’ve decided to create a list of 5 steps to follow that will help you go through any roulette round – no matter which type of betting system you’re using. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to play roulette in any casino that you choose to visit:

  • Decide How Much to Spend on Each Bet
  • Choose a Bet that Catches Your Eye and Place It
  • Watch the Wheel Spin
  • Collect Your Prize
  • Go Again!

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Types of Roulette Bets

There are three types of bets that you can place in roulette, which make it easier to understand all sections of a roulette board when gambling on American or European variations of the game.

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Inside Bets

Inside bets are the types of roulette bets that aim to cover the inside of the number board, which is where they get their name from.

  • Straight – Pick a number and bet on it
  • Split – Place one chip to bet on two numbers (place the chip between both contiguous numbers)
  • Street – Place the chips on 3 numbers at once (like 1, 2, 3)
  • Corner – Place your bet on a corner, which takes 4 numbers in one bet
  • Line – Line bets are regular bets that take 6 numbers at once
  • Five-Number Bet – A bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3
  • Basket – A bet on 0, 1, 2, and 3
  • Snake – A bet on 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. The pattern it creates makes it look like a snake, which is where it gets its name from

Outside Bets

Outside bets get their name for the fact that these are bets that are not inside the number section of the roulette board, but rather on the outside part of the section. These are the best that usually include text over them instead of numbers, or the colors themselves. These are the bets that come with close to a 50% return rate, or close to 33% if you opt for columns or dozens betting instead.

Outside bets in a regular game of roulette comprise the following:

  • Red/Black
  • Odd/Even
  • High/Low
  • Columns
  • Dozens

Announced or Called Bets

These bets can only be made in roulette tables that don’t have the double zero (French and European). They are betting patterns that make the game more fun to play, but ultimately offer similar odds to any other inside bet that you can place:

  • Final Bet – A bet that you place on numbers that have the same “final” number (4, 14, 24, 34 or 2, 12, 22, 32, for example)
  • Neighbors of Zero – A bet on all numbers that are close to 0 in a single-zero wheel (22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25)
  • Zero Game – A bet on all numbers right beside the 0, plus the 0 itself (12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15)
  • Thirds of the Wheel – A bet on six splits with six different chips (5/8, 10/11, 13/16, 23/24, 27/30, and 33/36)
  • Orphans – A bet on 1, and split bets on 6/9, 14/17, 17/20, and 31/34

Beating Roulette Odds – Is It Possible?

Beating the odds of roulette is impossible, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t win when playing the game. In fact, we’d argue that it’s quite the contrary.

Using roulette strategies or simply resorting to basic luck, there’s a good chance that you can win in the short term. The RTP of roulette takes into account all the strategies that you can use, but that doesn’t mean that you can quickly beat the odds in a short period of time – especially if you focus on low-risk betting.

In any case, becoming rich while playing roulette is not possible unless you are the luckiest gambler in the world.

Online Roulette vs Land-Based Roulette

Some people will argue that land-based casinos provide you with a worse chance of beating the odds in a game of roulette because they are easier to predict, or because you can take external factors into consideration that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to consider in online roulette.

For example, it’s a well-known fact that some dealers have the ability to choose where the ball lands. This is unethical and doesn’t have a 100% success rate, but it has happened before – even in renowned casinos.

There’s not a clear way in which you can counter this, but playing online usually guarantees a better return rate if this factor is not having to be considered.

Don’t Believe in Fairy Tales

We know that you’re probably going to come across hundreds of “experts” telling you that the odds of roulette can be easily overcome if you follow a few simple tricks. We want you to know that roulette odds are impossible to overcome, so don’t fall victim to any scams that you may encounter online.

Strategy guides exist and they work, but betting systems and strategies should always be seen as ways to try out your luck in the short term. There’s a reason why RTP rates exist – they portray the expected return rate of all casino games and they take into consideration all of those “tips and tricks” that you read online!

Popular Roulette Strategies & Betting Systems

Betting systems in casino table games (and even slot games) are extremely popular. They are not sure-fire ways in which you can make a profit, but they do enhance your chances of winning in the short term and make the game even more fun to play. These are some roulette strategies that we loved to try out, as well as how to implement them:

Martingale Strategy

Arguably the most popular roulette betting system in the world, the Martingale system is based on the premise of multiplying your wins and increasing your profits to a standard that always looks to double everything you do.

You will always bet the same amount of money until you lose. If you win, you bet the same amount of money. If you lose, you double your bet. If you lose once more, you double it again. Once you win, you go back to the amount of your first wager and repeat the process.

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For this system to work, you will need to place the bets on close-to-50% chances, like odds/evens or red/black. You can swap your bets between black or red and odds or evens if you like, but the main point of this is to always double your original bet to try and recoup your losses.

As you can imagine, you need to start off with a small percentage of your bankroll as you can easily burn through it all in a bad streak of losses.

Fibonacci Strategy

The Fibonacci strategy uses the Fibonacci sequence to try to maximize your results in a game of roulette, but it’s quite a versatile system. You can choose to go one step back in the sequence when you win, or start again as you would do with the Martingale system.

The sequence of bets that you will need to follow is: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, and so on.

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As such, your first bet should be worth 1. If you lose, you bet 1 again. If you lose, you bet 2. If you lose again, you bet 3. If you win, you can choose to either go back to 2 or start from 1. It’s quite simple and it helps you test your luck in different ways.

The Fibonacci system takes a more long-term approach than the Martingale strategy and it could help you keep more cash for more extended periods of time.

Labouchere Strategy

The Labouchere system is another one that is made to work with outside bets, as anything close to a 50% chance will help you almost maximize the profit made with the system. You will need to set the amount of cash that you want to win before you begin using the system.

It works the following way: let’s say that you pick a total of €60 to win on any game that you want. You will then have to divide that number into various smaller numbers that make up the total. For example, €60 could be divided like this: 10-5-5-10-20-5-5

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Once you’ve created your bet, and to keep going with the same example, you would need to place your first bet by adding the first number to the left and the first number to the right and betting that amount of money (in this case, it would be 10 + 5 = €15). If you win, cross out both numbers. If you lose, add the added amount to the rightmost part of the table and go again.

For example, if you win, you’d have 5-5-10-20-5. If you’d lose, you’d have 10-5-5-10-20-5-5-15. If you run out of numbers, you will have won the total amount of cash of all bets without having lost a dime!

D’Alembert Strategy

The D’Alembert betting system is like a safer version of the Martingale system, which guarantees fewer profits but also much fewer risks. As most of the betting systems that you’ll find online, this is a betting system that is completely based on the odds/evens or black/red wagers.

Basically, you’re going to start by picking a number and then increasing your bet by 1 every time that you win, and decreasing it by 1 every time that you lose.

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For example, let’s say that you start by betting €5. If you win, you’ll bet €4 in the next bet. Then, if you lose, you’ll bet €5 in the next one again. Lose again, you bet €6. Lose again, bet €7, and so on. It’s an easy system and, if you do the math, you’ll notice that it’s much safer than the Martingale.

Do Roulette Betting Systems Work?

There are many roulette betting strategies out there. With the number of people that look for them and the number of gamblers that implement them both in land-based and online casinos, it would be safe to assume that some of these strategies work and help players maximize their chances of winning money when playing the game.

That’s not entirely true, though.

Roulette strategies help you formulate a plan and device an idea of how you’re going to be spending your money on the game. They don’t necessarily increase your chances of winning.

Roulette strategies should be used to have more fun at the game, but they should never be seen as clear ways to improve your chances of earning a ton of money. Statistically speaking, it’s not possible to beat the odds of roulette, and luck will always play a major part in your path towards victory.

Choosing the Right Roulette Game to Play

If you’re new to the world of iGaming or if you’re just learning how to play roulette, the best thing you can do is stick to playing European roulette. Other variations of the game can be extremely fun and even come with in-game jackpots or multipliers to enjoy, but they are more difficult to pick up and even harder to enjoy.

Is It Safe to Play Online Roulette?

Gone are the days of online casinos being deemed as insecure places to visit. The many gambling sites that now exist, combined with the large number of casino regulators that keep things safe for all players to enjoy, have made online casinos the safest places in which you can gamble online.

There are two things that you will need to consider when choosing an online casino in which you spend your money in roulette, though:

Check Game RTP

Always check the RTP of your roulette game of choice. As you may know, single-zero roulette (also known as European roulette) has an RTP of 97.30%, which is one of the highest out of all table games in the iGaming world. However, different variations of the game come with different RTP rates.

Games like Age of the Gods roulette, for example, come with lower RTP rates. That particular roulette variation has a 95.73% RTP, but there are many other games with different rates that make it easy for you to lose (or win) more money.

Always check the RTP of any roulette game that you come across if you want to avoid playing games that are not worth your time or money.

Choose Trustworthy Casinos

The most important aspect of a safe casino experience is picking an online casino that you can trust. You can tell which sites to trust by checking out the licenses of each website, which tells you whether the site is properly regulated or if it’s one that you better avoid.

This list of the most reputable gambling authorities in the world will let you know whether you should trust some of these casinos or if you’d be doing yourself a favor by avoiding them.

Reputable online casinos ensure a quality gambling experience with good RTP rates and player safety.

Double-Zero Roulette vs Single-Zero Roulette

American roulette has two zeros on the board, whilst European roulette has one. It might not seem like a huge difference, but that single additional pocket makes American roulette a game with a 5.26% house edge, whilst classic European roulette keeps its fantastic 2.70% house edge and makes it an even fairer game to gamblers.

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If you ever have the chance to choose between American Roulette and European Roulette, always go for the European version. You’ll have a better shot at winning if you avoid playing American roulette.

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Other Roulette Variations to Try Out

If you’ve made it this far, then you’re probably one of those fans of roulette that will be happy to try out many of the game’s incredible variants. If you’re like us and you love this amazing casino game, learn how to play roulette and discover the magic of other popular roulette games like these three:

  • Age of the Gods Roulette – a Fun variation of roulette that mixes a popular slot concept and turns roulette into a jackpot-winning game
  • Double Ball Roulette – An incredibly fun variant of the game with twice the fun and twice the chances of winning
  • Pinball Roulette – A crazy combination that mixes pinball with roulette to create a unique casino game!

The Best Casinos to Play Roulette Online

We know that finding a reliable place to play online roulette is almost as important as knowing how to play the game per se. As such, we have compiled a list of the world’s best online casinos that you can visit and enjoy from the comfort of your home or with your mobile phone or tablet.

These casinos allow you to play roulette, live roulette, and many of the game’s popular variations in live dealer and virtual versions:

  • Betsson (find a full review here)
  • mBitCasino (find a full review here)
  • N1 Casino (find a full review here)

Your Roulette Journey Awaits – Choose Wisely and Win Big!

Now that you’ve made it this far and you’re probably more than ready to play roulette and any of its variations, it’s time for you to pick your favorite casino to visit and discover the magic of roulette. You now know how to play roulette, so make the best of your time and visit the best casinos with the best roulette bonuses to start off your journey with a bang.

It doesn’t matter which type of casino game you choose to play, as long as you know how to play it, you’ll have a ton of fun doing it. There are many fantastic variations of roulette to choose from – make sure you select the one you like the most in the best online casino and you’ll be good to go!

Your adventure is waiting to begin. Get going and bet big!

Last updated  May 18, 2022
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About the author

Marco

Marco

Marco

Marco holds the title as Chief Content Writer and has a Mass Communications Major with a Specialization in Digital Marketing. He's an experienced casino writer with more than half a decade of gambling-related work on his back. He took a keen interest in gambling as a young adult and started writing expert content for the casino and sports betting niche in 2015. Now, he specializes in online slots, table games, and sports betting – producing well-researched content on all fronts of the iGaming world. He's also a regular contributor to Quora, where you can ask him anything related to online gambling and he’ll happily answer!

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