Vying for the title of ‘most popular casino game’, roulette has been delighting audiences of gamblers for centuries. The simplicity of the rules combined with the antcipation of the ball landing makes for an electrifying game. In fact, you are in for a treat because there are so many different versions of roulette that you can play for free and for real money. For instance, some different game variants include European Roulette, American Roulette, French Roulette, 100/1 Roulette, Lightening Roulette, 20p Roulette and even Age of Gods Roulette to name a few. So, whether you like to play classic online roulette or are considering trying a new version, the options are almost endless.
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How To Play Roulette
Since the earliest versions of roulette in regal France, it has had players on tenterhooks as the ball spins around the wheel. A large part of the appeal in roulette comes from the fact that the game itself is one of pure chance – there’s nothing you can do to increase or decrease your chances of landing a winner, other than structuring your bets.
This means that anyone can play roulette, and more importantly, anyone can win at roulette, regardless of your skill or experience. That being said, it’s still crucial to understand the basic elements of the game and to have an idea of what to expect when you set foot at a roulette table. Broadly the same rules apply online as offline, except for a few specific roulette variations.
Roulette Game Basics
The Roulette Table
The basics of roulette are very straightforward and its the same for both land based and online roulette. If you’ve never played the game before, it’s easy to get the hang of things. The action unfolds on a wheel with anywhere between 37-38 numbered slots, depending on the variation you’re playing (European roulette has 37 slots and American 38). European roulette has one zero and American roulette has a single zero and a double zero, with the double zero counting for the extra slot number.
The aim of the game is to guess which number the ball will land on when it stops spinning, with players winning 35-1 for a correct outright call. So £10 on number 7 will net you £350, plus your £10 stake back should you land a winner.
Players place their bets by laying chips on the game layout table. In most cases, this can even be done during the spin, up to a certain point – there’s usually 10 seconds or so of grace in online games where you can place your bets with the ball in motion. When the ball comes to rest, the dealer calls out the winning number, and players are paid according to their bets and stakes.
Each spin takes anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds to complete, and players are invited to bet at the beginning of each new spin. Different game versions have their own timings and other unique elements, but by and large the action unfolds in a similar way with each spin.
When you bet outright on a single number, 35-1 is paid over true odds of 36-1 or 37-1, with the difference representing the house edge on any given spin. In reality, there are a number of different types of bets you can put in place which pay out at different rates of return, depending on the numbers covered in each spin.
Eurpean Roulette Wheel – 37 numbers (0 to 36):
Betting in Roulette
There are two main classifications of bet in roulette – known as ‘outside’ bets and ‘inside’ bets respectively. Each different bet has a slightly different structure, covering slightly different numbers, and more importantly, skewing the odds and probabilities in different ways to the standard outright bet.
The Straight is the name of the outright bet in which players pick a single number. This pays 35-1, but obviously you could be waiting a while to strike it lucky on a single number. The inside bets provide a number of alternative betting patterns for you to choose from.
Inside Roulette Bets
- Straight Up: A bet that only covers one number and therefore the chip is placed on one number. Pays 35/1
- Split: A bet on any two adjacent numbers, made by placing chips on the border between two number squares on the layout. Pays 17/1
- Street: Place chips on the outer corner of a row of three numbers to back any of the three in a single bet. Pays 11/1
- Six Line: Two street bets in one. Place the chip on the common external corner of two rows of three to bet on these lines. Pays 5/1
- Corner: Also known as a square bet, this is a bet on four numbers made by placing chips on the common corner of all four positions. Pays 8/1
- Trio: Two numbers plus zero – place the chips on the zero line bordering the numbers you want to bet on. Pays 11/1
- Basket: A bet on 0, 1, 2 and 3, or 00, 0, 1, 2 and 3 in American roulette. Place chips on the outermost corner of the zero line and the first number for this bet. Pays 11/1
Each bet influences the probability of your outcome arising on any given spin, and therefore distorts the odds you’re paid for a win. More numbers covered per spin means a lower multiple win, but obviously you can expect to win more frequently than if you were to place single number bets.The other category of bets, the ‘Outside’ bets, are so called because they fall outside of the numbers on the board. Instead, they cover more broad brush outcomes, and there are five specific types commonly open to roulette players.
Outside Roulette Bets
- Odd or Even: A bet on odd or even numbers. Pays 1/1
- Red or Black: A bet on red or black numbers. Pays 1/1
- 1 to 18, 19 to 36: A bet on a range of 18 numbers, either first or second 18. Pays 1/1
- Columns: A bet on any of the three columns on the table, covering a non-consecutive dozen numbers. Pays 2/1
- Dozens: A bet on any of the three possible dozens on the table, covered by a single spin. Pays 2/1
Most table layouts indicate the exact payout for different types of bets. Alternatively if you’re playing online, check out the game information where you’ll find a full rundown of all the different types of bets supported in your game variations.
Other Roulette Rules
Aside from the basic spinning and betting elements of the game, there are a couple of other rules that can crop up from time to time. ‘La Partage’ rules mean the house divides even money bets when the outcome is zero – effectively halving the house edge. This means you get pushed half your stake back, rather than losing the hand altogether in cases where a zero appears. This isn’t played universally, but you’ll find it explicitly explained in the game rules whether or not La Partage rules apply.
Similarly, the other rule you’re likely to come across is known as ‘En Prison’. This locks even money bets on spins where a zero appears. If you win on the next spin, your even money stake is returned to you, no harm done. When En Prison rules are not in play, you would lose your stake in the usual way if a zero appeared, so again, En Prison contributes to a lower house edge and a better chance of holding on to your stake.
Although we’ve covered the basics, there are dozens of different types of roulette, with each varying slightly from the last. Once you’re equipped with an understanding of the most basic types of bets open to you, you’re free to explore different game versions and variants from there. Not only will this help keep things fresh, but you can also discover some variations with additional prizes, jackpots, side bets and more.
So what are you waiting for? Now you’re equipped with the basics, you can practice for free or if you are feeling lucky start playing roulette for real money today – available in its many forms.
Zonal betting is one of the simplest roulette strategies you can deploy, but it certainly does not guarantee a big win of any kind. Zonal betting involves betting on a section of the wheel, or a series of numbers so that you can increase your chances of landing in a favourable pocket.
The Martingale System is based on even money bets (red or black, odd or even). You will place a minimum bet on a colour (for instance), and if you win, you keep wagering the same amount on that colour. If you lose, you will double that original stake, and if you lose again you will double that one, and so on and so forth. The basic idea is that by doubling your losses each time you place a new bet, you will eventually win back what you have wagered, plus a little extra. When a win breaks the chain, you go back to a basic minimum bet. It is imperative that you don’t alter your bet (stay on the same colour) when using the Martingale System. You also need to a sizeable stack of chips to see you through long losing spells.
For Example: A player bets on the colour black and bets 1 chip and loses. The player then bet 2 chips and loses again. The player then bets 4 chips and loses again. The player then bets 8 chips and wins. The player then goes back down to the original stake of 1 chip and starts the betting sequence again. The player may at this point change the colour if so desired.
The Martingale System cannot guarantee big wins, but it can guarantee that you won’t lose very much at the end of the day, provided you have a good stack of chips. The Grand Martingale is a similar strategy, except that you double your original losing bet, plus add one more unit to your total. You can win considerably more than with the standard Martingale System when you do break a losing streak, but naturally, you will need to wager a lot more before that happens.
Laboucher is a cancellation system that is deignjed to be used on even money bets (red/black, odd/even, high/low). With it, players can create a sequence of numbers.
For Example: 1-2-2-1-1-2-1
Players stake a bet based on the first and last numbers in the sequence. Looking at the sequence above the first and last numbers are both 1, so £1 + £1 = a £2 bet.
When a bet is won, the player will cross of the first and last numbers of sequence, so the new sequence will consist of:
A bet is now placed with the new left and right numbers, so 2+2 = a £4 bet.
You keep following this process until all bets are won.
However, should the bet be lost, the bet is added to the end of the sequence. For example if the above mentioned £4 was to lose, then 4 would be added to the end of the sequence which then becomes:
The basic idea of cancellation systems such as Laboucher, is that once all numbers are crossed off the sequence, you will win the combination of the sequence. However, the more you lose, the bigger the sequence becomes, and the bigger that sequence becomes the harder it is to clear.
There is nothing overly complicated about the D’Alembert System. This is a simple roulette system which assumes that if Bet A appears more frequently than Bet B, Bet A is less likely to win on the roulette wheel again, so Bet B is more likely to. Following a win, players decrease their bet by $1 and increase their bet by $1 following a loss. This system isn’t too different from the Martingale betting strategy we have already looked at, except there is less risk involved because bets are not doubled after a loss.
Other Betting Strategies
If you are interested in learning more about roulette strategies and betting systems, there are others you may wish to take a look at. Players can and may wish to do their homework on the Paroli (designed to work on winning streaks), the Red System (betting on the third column, since it contains more reds than blacks) and the Shotwell System (based on specific numbers dispersed across the wheel).
Other strategies include making your bets based on how the croupier spins the wheel, where the ball has entered play (known as orbital decay) and many more observational skills. This requires a lot of money being spent whilst you get to know your table, croupier and dealers.
Our advice is to use the Martingale System if you are a newbie. This is a more than useful, simple to grasp betting system which can see you avoid big losses when you are just starting out in the roulette gaming world. However, in the long run this is still a losing system.
Tips For Playing Roulette
If you are new to online roulette then it’s a good idea to play for free in practice/demo mode first. This will allow you to get used to the rules and how to place bets. There is no pressure of losing any money and you can take your time. Understanding the basic rules will not take long to learn and once you feel comfortable you can then progress to playing roulette for real money.
European vs American
Always try to play the European version of roulette as it only has one zero compared to the two zero’s on an American roulette table. There is one less number and both pay at the same odds of 35/1 for guessing the correct number, therefore it is a no-brainer to choose European roulette as the house has less of an advantage.
Set A Budget
Gambling in any form is all about enjoyment and therfore it is important to set yourself a budget. Always play with money you can afford to lose and if you happen to lose the money you set aside to play roulette then call it a day. If lady luck is on your side and you win, then think of it as a bonus!
Get Stuck In
Remember, no skill is required to play online roulette and therefore it is a simple game to play. It is just you (the player) vs the house. Once the chips have been placed on the roulette table, the croupier spins the ball in one direction and the wheel in the other and all that is required from you is a bit of luck to guess the correct finishing position of the ball on the roulette wheel. The bets are then paid out accordingly. So let loose and start playing roulette today by joining one of our top rated online roulette casinos!