How to Play Roulette

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Online roulette is one of the most popular online casino games, and for a reason! Roulette doesn’t require a lot of knowledge and specific strategies – this game is based on a pure chance. Although there are some professional casino players, that are still trying to reveal the best strategy to play roulette, the truth is the only thing you can approach with strategy in roulette is your own betting amount.

Roulette is an iconic game to both – online and land-based casinos. It’s named after the French word “little wheel”, because in the center of the game is red, black and green colored wheel with certain numbers on it. Players place a bet on the Roulette table, choosing a color and a number. There are different versions of Roulette – not only common European and American games, but nowadays casinos have come up with other variants too.

If you are eager to try this traditional and fun casino game, but want to know a little more, get familiar with concepts and terms in our Roulette guide!

Roulette Glossary - Common Terminology Used in Roulette

Before you start to play online Roulette with real money, take a minute to come acquainted with the basic terms and variants of Roulette casino game.

European Roulette

European Roulette is the origin of all Roulette versions, and till this day it is one of the most played table games in both online casinos and land-based venues. It emerged in 17th century in France. In this version there is only one zero pocket in the wheel, compared to American version, with two zeros, so there are higher chances of win in the European version. The pays are the same in both versions.

Zero pocket in Roulette represents the casino house edge, which is 1/37 or approximately 2,7% in European version.

American roulette

There are two basic versions of Roulette – European and American. While European Roulette is considered the first of game variants, American Roulette has gained as much popularity as its ancestor. Lot of gamblers express that American version is easier, but it European has the best odds.

The main difference between two variants is that American Roulette has double zero pockets – 0 and 00. There are 38 numbered pockets in total, 1 to 36, and two zero pockets. The house edge in this case is 5,26%, which is more than European (2,7%). If the game applies En Prison rule, the house edge is lowered to 1,35%.

Roulette odds and payouts
BET PAYS European Roulette winning probability European Roulette house edge American Roulette winning probability American Roulette house edge
Black 1 48.65% 2.7% 47.37% 5.26%
Red 1 48.65% 2.7% 47.37% 5.26%
Even 1 48.65% 2.7% 47.37% 5.26%
Odd 1 48.65% 2.7% 47.37% 5.26%
1-18 1 48.65% 2.7% 47.37% 5.26%
19-36 1 48.65% 2.7% 47.37% 5.26%
1st dozen (1-12) 2 32.43% 2.7% 31.58% 5.26%
2nd dozen (13-24) 2 32.43% 2.7% 31.58% 5.26%
3rd dozen (25-36) 2 32.43% 2.7% 31.58% 5.26%
Six line (6 numbers) 5 16.22% 2.7% 15.79% 5.26%
First five (5 numbers) 6 - - 13.16% 7.89%
Corner (4 numbers) 8 10.81% 2.7% 10.53% 5.26%
Street (3 numbers) 11 8.11% 2.7% 7.89% 5.26%
Split (2 numbers) 17 5.41% 2.7% 5.26% 5.26%
Straight (any single number) 35 2.70% 2.7% 2.63% 5.26%

En Prison rule

The En Prison rule in Roulette provides the opportunity for gamblers to recover if the ball lands on the 0 pocket. The rule applies only to even odds, for example, red – black. En prison rule changes the house advantage of the casino to 1,25% (compared to 2,7% in European and 5,26% in American as standard). If the ball lands on the 0 pocket, player has the chance to spin again, but if it doesn’t land on a win again, the bet is lost. If you win, you only receive your wager back.

Inside Bets in Roulette

Inside bets in Roulette refers to any bet placed in the numbered field. This counts for single number bets (straight bet) and bets placed on the joint area (line between numbers). The second mentioned are combination bets, which refers to a single chip or a stack placement between two numbers (a split). You can also place a bet in the midline of four numbers (corner bet). If you place a bet to cover six numbers or on two adjacent rows, it’s called line bet.

Outside Bets in Roulette

Outside bets in Roulette refers to any bet placed outside the main field of numbers. This counts for:

  • Dozen bets – dozen bets refers to three groups that divide numbers 1-12 (1st 12), 13-24 (2nd 12), 25-36 (3rd 12). All of groups include twelve numbers. Neither zero or double zero is featured in dozen bets.

  • Column bets – another three groups that divide numbers are called columns, labeled “2 to 1” on the field. Neither zero or double zero is included in these bets.

  • Color bets – Players can place bet on all 18 red or 18 black numbers. Outside the numbered field there is either color squares or labels “Red” and “Black”. Neither zero or double zero is featured in color bets. Both zero fields are colored green.

  • Even/odd bets – usually next to color bets, there are fields labeled as “Even” and “Odd”. Players can place a bet on all 18 even numbers, or all 18 odd numbers. In this case too neither zero or double zero counts as even bet.

  • High/low bets – last but not least of outside bets are highs and lows. Outside the main Roulette numbered field, there are boxes labeled as “1-18” which refers lows and “19-36” which refers highs. Also, as in all other outside bets, neither zero or double zero is featured in these bets.


In Roulette pockets refers to numbered spaces in the roulette wheel, ranging between 1 and 36 and a single zero in European Roulette, or two zeros – single and double – in American roulette. 18 numbers are colored red, but other 18 are colored black, but the zeros either single or double are colored green.


Ball and wheel in Roulette are the main elements of the game. After the bets are placed, ball gets thrown into the wheel on opposite spinning direction. When it lands in a certain pocket of the wheel, winning bets are recognized.

Online roulette variants

The emergence of online casinos and their growing popularity has led to more competition amongst them and amongst casino game software developers. This has resulted in more than two traditional variants of Roulette – game providers try to come up with more exciting features to get your attention. This of course gives you the chance to try something a little bit different than the usual.

These Roulette variants include French Roulette, Mini Roulette (only 13 numbers on the wheel), Multi-ball Roulette (game variant with more than one ball – from 2 or 3 balls to 10), Multi-wheel Roulette (game uses more than one wheel), Roulette Pro and Roulette Royale, 3D Roulette (improved game graphics) and Pinball Roulette (a game without a wheel, the winning number is chosen by playing pinball machine).

Video by Casinotordotcom
Video by The Great Courses Plus

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