Guide to Playing Real Money Roulette Games Online
Roulette is one of the most popular casino table games in the world and its roots can be traced back to 18th century France. In fact, the name comes from the French for ‘little wheel’, and it is the spinning wheel that forms the focal point of the game.
There are references to Roulette being played in its current form in novels dating from the very end of the 18th century and the game spread to Germany in the first half of the 19th century. Over the next hundred years, the game continued to spread across the world and steadily rose in popularity to become a firm favourite of casino players.
From electronic games to live casino experiences, you can recreate that buzz at the best online casino. Our must-read guide will give you everything you need.
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Over the years, two distinct forms of Roulette have emerged – European Roulette and American Roulette. The main difference between these games is that the European Roulette wheel features the numbers 0 to 36, while the American Roulette wheel has an extra ‘00’ segment and this of course slightly alters the odds. A third form of the game is French Roulette; this is extremely similar to European Roulette but has slightly different rules and tends to use French betting terms.
At the centre of all of the games is the spinning Roulette wheel. It is divided into numbered segments and each segment is coloured red or black, except for 0 (and 00), which is green. Next to the spinning wheel on the Roulette table is the betting area, which is a large grid, and some tables will feature a second betting area known as the ‘Racetrack’.
A ball is released into the spinning wheel and the basic idea of the game is to bet on which segment it will come to rest on. However, the betting options go far beyond betting on an individual number. You can also bet on groups of numbers and broadly speaking there are two types of groups. The first group is numbers that are next to each other on either the wheel or the betting area and the second group is numbers that share a characteristic, such as all the Red, Black, Odd or Even numbers.
This means that there are many different types of bets in Roulette and each has its own payout and odds. For example, a bet on an individual number has the best payout of 35:1, while a bet on a large group of numbers has the smallest payout of 1:1.
To play all you need to do is place your chips in the relevant section of the betting area and then watch as the ball is released and it slowly comes to a rest, deciding your fate.
If you are playing online then you will find that there are many forms of e-Roulette, some of which offer exciting new takes on the game. For instance, you will find Multi Wheel Roulette, Multi-Ball Roulette, 3D Roulette, Rapid Roulette, and more. A great advantage of playing at a reputable online casino is that you can be sure you won’t be playing with a biased wheel and the games are completely fair.
You may also find some of these Roulette variants in land casinos. For example, some casinos now offer Electronic Roulette, where the wheel is controlled by machinery allowing for much faster play. There are also casinos that offer Roulette with a 000 segment, and much more.
However, it doesn’t matter which form of the game you choose to play – at its heart, it will most likely follow the rules explained here.
How to Play Roulette Like an Expert
The key to becoming a true expert Roulette player is to understand fully all the different types of bets available and how they best work together. Below you will find a detailed explanation of all the different types of bet. None of them are very complicated – just go through them carefully and you will be ready to play in no time.
Once you have familiarised yourself with the different types of bet it is time to build a strategy. There are numerous Roulette strategies, the most popular of which are explained later on. Find one that you like and stick to it; that way you should be able to maximise your winnings.
Finally, as with all gambling, make sure that you don’t bet money you can’t afford to lose. This will make sure that the game remains fun and you won’t ever run into problems.
Roulette has very simple rules. All you have to do is place your bet and watch as the ball spins. However, you do need to understand all of the bets and thanks to the flexibility inbuilt in the game there are many different types of bets. The bets vary slightly between European, American and French Roulette, but most of them are the same. The basic bets are as follows:
- Straight Up: This is the simplest kind of bet; it is on an individual number. The chips are placed on the number in the betting area.
- Split Bet: A bet on two numbers that are adjacent to one another in the betting area. The chips are placed on the line dividing the two numbers.
- Street Bet: The betting area features a number of rows of three numbers known as ‘Streets’. To bet on a street place the chips on the line at the lower edge of the Street. Bets on 0/1/2 or 0/2/3 are special street bets and the chips should be placed on the ‘T’ section dividing the three numbers. In American Roulette you can also bet on 00/2/3 and 3/0/00.
- Corner Bet: A bet on four numbers that form a square in the betting area. The chips should be placed at the corner where all four numbers meet.
- Four Bet: A bet on the numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3. The chips are placed on the lower edge of the board, at the end of the line between 0 and the first row.
- Five Bet: This bet is only available in American Roulette. It is a bet on the numbers 0/00/1/2/3. The chips should be placed at the lower edge of the betting area along the line that divides 0 and 00 from the first row of numbers.
- Line Bet: This is a bet on two neighbouring streets, a total of six numbers. The chips are placed on the ‘T’ section where the two streets meet.
- Column Bet: The betting area features three columns of 12 numbers. To bet on all the numbers in one column place the chips in one of the boxes labelled ‘2 to 1’ at the end of the appropriate column.
- Dozen Bet: The numbers in the betting area (excluding 0) can be divided into three groups of twelve: 1 – 12, 13 – 24 and 25 – 36. To bet on all the numbers in one group place the chips in one of the boxes labelled ‘1st 12’, ‘2nd 12’ or ‘3rd 12’.
- Red/Black Bet: This is a bet on all the red numbers or all the black numbers. Place the chips in either the red or the black square on the betting area.
- Even/Odd Bet: This is a bet on either all the odd or all the even numbers on the wheel. Place the chips in the area marked ‘Even’ or ‘Odd’ on the betting area.
- Low/High Bet: The numbers 1 – 18 are considered low and the numbers 19 – 36 are high. To bet on either group place the chips in the boxes marked ‘1 to 18’ or ’19 to 36’ in the betting area.
These bets all offer different payouts and often have different betting limits. Here is a table showing the bet type, the payout and the odds for both European and American Roulette.
|Bet Type||Payout||European Roulette Odds & American Roulette Odds|
|Straight Up||35:1||2.7% & 2.63%|
|Split||17:1||5.4% & 5.26%|
|Street||11:1||8.1% & 7.89%|
|Corner/Four||8:1||10.8% & 10.53%|
|Five||6:1||N/A & 13.16%|
|Line||5:1||16.2% & 15.79%|
|Column/Dozen||2:1||32.4% & 31.58%|
|Red/Black, Odd/Even, Low/High||1:1||48.6% & 46.37%|
The bets are often divided into two groups called ‘Inside Bets’ and ‘Outside Bets’. An Outside Bet has a better chance of winning but a lower payout and an Inside Bet has a high payout but is rarely won. The Inside Bets are Straight Up, Street, Split, Corner and Line. The Outside Bets are 1 to 18, 19 to 36, Red, Black, Even, Odd, Dozen Bets and Column Bets. Another common piece of terminology is a Straddle – this is simply an inside bet that covers more than one number.
As mentioned, some Roulette games also feature a second betting area called the Racetrack (because of its oval shape). It allows you to place some common betting patterns quickly and easily. The betting patterns are made using the bet types explained above.
- Voisins du Zero: This is a bet on the numbers neighbouring 0 on the wheel. It includes the numbers 22 through 25, so it covers close to half of the wheel. The bet uses nine chips as follows: one split bet on each of 4/7, 12/15, 18/21, 19/22 and 32/35, two chips on the triplet 0/2/3 and two chips on the corner bet 25/29.
- Tier: This is a bet on the numbers that occupy the third of the wheel opposite 0. The bet requires six chips, each one placed on a different split bet: 5/8, 10/11, 13/16, 23/24, 27/30 and 33/36.
- Orphelins: This is a bet on the numbers that are not included in the Tier or Voisins bet. The bet covers 8 numbers and requires 5 chips. One chip is placed on the number 1 and one on each of the following splits: 6/9, 14/17, 17/20 and 31/34.
- Neighbours: This is a bet on a number and the two numbers either side of it on the roulette wheel. The bet requires five chips and they are all placed as straight bets. For instance a neighbours bet on 10 would place a chip on 5, 8, 19, 23 and 24.
- Final Bet: This is a bet on all the numbers that have the same last number. For example, a final bet on 5 would place chips on 5, 15, 25 and 35.
As mentioned, French Roulette uses slightly different betting terms, but the bets themselves work in exactly the same way. Here is a translation of the terms from English to French:
English to French
Straight Up / Plein
Split / Cheval
Street / Transversale Pleine
Corner / Carré
Line / Transversale Simple
Column / Colonne
Dozen / Souzaine
Red/ Black / Rouge/Noir
Even/ Odd / Pair/Impair
Low/ High / Manque/Passe
You will also find a few more pattern bets in many French Roulette games:
- Orphelins a Cheval: This is another types of Orphelins bet that requires fewer chips. It uses five and places them on 1, 6/9, 14/17, 17/20 and 31/34.
- Jeu 7/9: This is a bet on all numbers ending in 7, 8 and 9. It requires six chips that are placed on 7/8, 8/9, 17/18, 19, 27 and 28/29.
- Jeu 0: This is a bet on the numbers immediately next to zero. It requires four chips on 0/3, 12/15, 26 and 32/35.
- Finales a Cheval: This is a series of bets placed on numbers ending in two digits. For example if a Finales a Cheval 1/2 is placed then chips are placed on 1/2, 11/12, 21, 22, 31/32.
The only other important difference in French Roulette is a special rule called “La Partage”. This rule means that if the ball comes to rest on the number zero then half of all even-money bets are returned to players.
There are numerous Roulette betting strategies and here we will teach you two of the most popular ones – the Martingale system and the D’Alembert system.
The Martingale Roulette strategy is by far the most common. It is quick and easy to learn, making it a good starting point for newcomers to the game. The strategy operates on a simple principle; you should double your bets after every consecutive loss and then return to your original betting amount when you win.
The idea behind the Martingale strategy is that you can improve your chances in the short term by betting large amounts to win small amounts. If you follow the system strictly then you should have more winning sessions than losing sessions. However, it will never result in huge wins.
You should use the Martingale system with Outside Bets, such as Odd/Even, Red/Black and Low/High. If you were to start with a bet of 1 on Reds and you lose then you double your bet to 2, then to 4, then 8, and so on. You will no doubt have realised that the bets begin to increase very quickly, and starting with a bet of 1 if you were to lose fourteen bets in a row you would need to bet 8,192. This is why it is probably best to start by playing the minimum bet allowed by the game.
You need to keep doubling up your bet until you win at which point you return to betting 1 on the next round. You don’t necessarily have to place the same bet every time, but you do need to stick to bets with the same odds and payouts. Thanks to this, it is possible to change between betting on Red, Black, Even, Odd, Low and High.
If you stick to the system, as long as you end your gaming session with a winning bet then you will always come out on top. Your winning bet will cover all previous losses and you should end with a profit of 1. You won’t get rich with the Martingale system, but you should be able to have a great deal of fun without suffering any major losses.
The D’Alembert strategy is very popular as it is not very risky. It requires you to increase your bet after a loss, but the rate of increase is far slower than when using the Martingale system.
You can use the D’Alembert strategy when betting on Red/Black, Odd/Even and High/Low bets. Due to the way that the system works, you cannot use it with Dozen/Column bets and inside bets.
The system requires you to pick a starting bet and then increase it by one after a loss or decrease it by one after a win. Thanks to the way the system works, once you have the same number of wins as losses, you will have won a profit equal to the amount of winning bets placed.
Here is a simple example starting with a bet of five:
- Bet 5 and lose
- Bet 6 and lose
- Bet 7 and win
- Bet 6 and lose
- Bet 7 and win
- Bet 6 and win
- Bet 5 and lose
- Bet 6 and win
Assuming you have won nothing before starting, the maths for this sequence looks like this: 0 – 5 – 6 + 7 – 6 + 7 + 6 – 5 + 6 = 4.
The example showed four losses and four wins and ended with a profit of four. As long as you do not deviate from the system, you will always come out with a profit. As a result, this is one of the safer betting strategies and it does not require you to have a huge bankroll in order to use it.
As with the Martingale system, it will never win you huge profits. However, it will allow you to play for longer. It carries the risk of becoming stuck in a long losing streak, but there will always be a risk when gambling.
The D’Alembert strategy can also be reversed. This means that you would increase your bets by one after a win and decrease them by one after a loss. If you start with a bet of 5 it may look like this:
- Bet 5 and win
- Bet 6 and win
- Bet 7 and lose
- Bet 6 and lose
- Bet 5 and lose
- Bet 4 and win
- Bet 5 and win
- Bet 6 and lose
Here is the maths for this example: 5 + 6 + 7 – 8 + 7 + 8 – 9 + 8 + 9 = 33
While a profit of 33 is good, these results are very favourable and in the long term, it is unlikely that they will be maintained. Furthermore, if you reverse the system you will only be in profit if you have more wins than losses. As a result, most people prefer the regular D’Alembert strategy, but risk takers may enjoy trying the reverse system.
If you have mastered the above strategies and you want to take your play to the next level then you may wish to try a more advanced betting strategy such as the Labouchere system.
It is like the Martingale system in that it is an even chance betting system so can be used with Red/Black, Odd/Even and High/Low bets. Before you start playing, you first need to decide on the ‘Betting Line’. This is the sequence of bets that you will place and it can be as simple as 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1.
In fact, this betting line is probably a good one to start with as you learn the system, as it will keep the bets very small. You use the betting line by taking the number from the left-hand side of the line and the number from the right-hand side and adding them together. This gives you the number you need to bet.
Using the above example, you would have to bet 2. If your bet wins then you cross the left and right-hand numbers off the betting line; it then becomes 1 – 1 – 1 – 1.
You then take the new left and right-hand side numbers and total them for your next bet. If you keep winning then you simply keep repeating the process until there are no numbers left in the line, at which point you can stop playing or play again with another betting line.
However, if you lose a bet, you need to add the amount that you bet to the right hand side of the line. Using the above example this would make the line 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 2. This is the most important thing to remember: always add the number you have just bet to the right hand side of the line after a loss and do not cross any numbers off.
Here is a worked example of the Labouchere using a betting line of 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 2 – 1:
- First Bet: 1 + 1 = 2 so you bet 2. You lose the bet and the line becomes: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 2 – 1 – 2
- Second Bet: 1 + 2 = 3 so you bet 3. This time you win and the line becomes: 2 – 3 – 4 – 2 – 1
- Third Bet: 2 + 1 = 3 so you bet 3. It wins again and the line becomes: 3 – 4 – 2
- Fourth Bet: 3 + 2 = 5 so you bet 5. This time it loses and the line becomes: 3 – 4 – 2 – 5
- Fifth Bet: 3 + 5 = 7 so you bet of 7. You win once again and the line becomes: 4 – 2
- Sixth Bet: 4 + 2 = 6 so you place a bet of 6. It wins and the line is finished.
If you see a betting line through to completion, your profit will be the total of all the numbers in the original betting line added together. Using the above example your profit would be: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 13.