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A Guide to Roulette Online and Offline
Roulette, a name derived from the French word meaning “little wheel” has been a popular game ever since it was introduced in France in the 18th century. The game’s intrigue stems, in part, from the combination of its simple design and straightforward rules, with the excitement of the spin of the wheel.
The game is so slick that many brick-and-mortar casinos reserve a large part of their casino floor for roulette tables, and countless iconic movie scenes are set at the roulette table. The proliferation of online casinos has increased roulette’s popularity, delivering a wide range of roulette games and variations to online and mobile players worldwide.
The fundamentals of roulette are simple:
- Place your chip(s) on a number (or a combination of numbers) or another bet type on the table.
- Spin the roulette wheel.
- Watch as the ball circles the roulette wheel.
- Wait for the wheel to stop spinning.
- Check which number the ball landed on.
- If it’s the number or bet you selected, you win.
Despite its simplicity, the nuances of roulette can be tricky, which is part of the game’s charm. It’s also important to understand the game in detail before you go betting your bankroll at the tables. Our roulette guide includes key information that could help improve your performance.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- The different types of roulette games, including live dealer and mobile games.
- How to play roulette.
- Odds and roulette betting strategies.
- Our expert gaming tips.
- Why and how to play free roulette games.
Online Roulette Games and Variants
You can choose from a wide range of online roulette games and variants, including:
- American Roulette
- Played with a double zero (00) wheel
- Carries the highest house edge at 5.26%
- European Roulette
- Played with a single zero (0) wheel
- Carries a lower house edge than American roulette at 2.7%
- French Roulette
- Played with a single zero (0) wheel, like European roulette
- French text/bet names mark the roulette table
- Two special rules cut the house edge on a single zero wheel in half
- Carries the lowest house edge at 1.35%
- Progressive Jackpot Roulette
- Combines roulette with the chance to hit progressive jackpot wins
- Live Dealer Roulette
- Live-streamed roulette dealer action
- Provides the closest experience to playing at a land-based casino.
- Unique live-only game options in addition to a wide range of roulette variants
- Advanced graphics and video features
- Mobile Roulette Games
- Optimized for mobile players
- Top-notch touch screen gameplay
- Unique mobile-only games
- Play conveniently on the go
- Mini Roulette
- Played with a smaller single zero wheel with numbers 1-12 only.
- Multi-Wheel Roulette
- Online roulette that features multiple spinning wheels simultaneously
- 3-D Roulette
- Enhanced graphics rendered in stunning 3-D details
- Realistic casino table look and feel
Mobile Roulette Games
Mobile is the future of online gambling, with 70% of online gambling transactions taking place on mobile devices in 2019. Roulette is particularly well-suited for mobile gaming environments. With intuitive touch screen commands and responsive graphics, mobile roulette games have quickly become a player favorite.
- Wide variety of mobile roulette games and variants
- Convenient gameplay on the go
- User-friendly touch screen gameplay
- Optimized for smartphone and tablet/iPad devices
- Mobile-specific gaming incentives and promotions
- Live mobile roulette options are widely available
- Impressive quality and speed
Check out our Mobile Roulette page to learn about mobile roulette considerations, including:
- Native app (download) versus in-browser casino (no download/instant play)
- Smartphone versus tablet/iPad gameplay
- Live dealer versus RNG/virtual roulette games
- Portrait and/or landscape screen mode options
- Free/demo play and real-money options
- Casino bonuses and mobile bonus offers
- Mobile roulette games and variations
Live Dealer Roulette
Live dealer roulette games live stream dealer action from live casino studios to online and mobile players. A real spin of a wheel determines the outcome of each spin, as opposed to a computer algorithm like in other roulette games.
In live dealer roulette games, online players can place bets on the live roulette game and interact with the dealer. Live dealer roulette games are available in a wide variety of game variations, and some sites even offer unique live roulette games, like Dual Player Roulette, that integrate player interactions at the live casino with online players.
Live stream roulette games are currently the closest that online players can come to experiencing live roulette action on a casino floor.
Live Roulette Games:
- Live, interactive gaming experience
- Similar to playing on a casino floor
- Advanced graphics and performance features
- Full-screen HD video
- Multiple camera views and immersive views
- Slow-motion replays
- Multiple language options
- Unique roulette game variant options only available at live online casinos
- Examples: Dual Player Roulette, Dual Ball Roulette
- Limited free play/demo mode options are available
- Live stream feeds require a strong and stable Wi-Fi connection
- Live game selection varies widely between online casinos
- Live roulette games may not be available 24/7 at online betting sites
You can learn details about exciting live roulette options on our Live Dealer Roulette page.
How to Play Roulette
On our How to Play Roulette page, we break down the simple steps involved in playing roulette in more detail.
- Choose an online roulette game
- Place your bet(s)
- Spin the wheel
- View the winning number
- Collect your winnings (or not)
Playing roulette is straightforward as long as you know the rules and bet types involved. We lay out all of the possible inside and outside bet types along with their payouts and probabilities so you’ll be prepared to hit the tables confidently, knowing how to place specific bets and which bets you prefer.
For example, did you know that:
- Even money bets only pay out one to one (1:1), but they pay out most often with almost a 50/50 chance of success.
- Single-number bets can pay out big time, but your chances of hitting a single number bet are pretty slim.
- You can place as many bets on the table as you want as long as the total of all your bets is within the minimum and maximum bet guidelines for the table.
Learn more fun facts about how to play online roulette like a pro on our How to Play Roulette page.
Although roulette is a game of pure chance, our roulette tips can help you play a savvy roulette game. Learning how roulette works some key tips about the game can help to improve your gambling experience. Below are some general tips that can come in handy at the roulette table.
Top Roulette Tips:
- Play free roulette games in demo mode
- Try out different roulette games and variations for free
- Try out different online betting sites for free
- Unlimited free playtime on demo mode games.
- Practice playing roulette
- Practice makes perfect
- Practice placing roulette bets and using roulette betting strategies
- Know the house edge
- Understand the two types of roulette wheels (single zero and double zero wheels) and how the house edge is different for the two wheels
- Learn special bet rules that can cut the house edge in half
- Learn roulette bet types, payouts, and odds
- Learn the difference between inside and outside bets
- Choose whether you prefer more frequent wins for smaller amounts of money or less frequent wins for larger amounts of money, then bet accordingly
- Roulette knowledge can help you bet more wisely
- Know the table limits
- Choose appropriate limits for your skill level
- For example, beginners can start playing on tables with very low minimum bets
- Choose appropriate limits for your skill level
- Check bonus playthrough requirements for roulette
- At many online casinos, roulette games count less than 100% toward playthrough requirements for fulfilling bonus requirements.
Learn more details about these and other hot tips on our Top Roulette Tips page.
It’s helpful to understand the odds and implications of different roulette bets to help you make the best possible decisions about your gameplay.
On our Roulette Odds page, we’ll go over all of the different possible roulette bets, the odds for hitting each type of roulette bet, and the house edge they carry on different roulette wheels (single and double zero wheels).
Even if looking at odds seems overwhelming at first, calculating roulette odds is relatively simple compared to some other casino games.
House Edge on Roulette Wheels
American Roulette House Edge (Double Zero Wheels):
- 5.26% House Edge (94.74% RTP)
European Roulette House Edge (Single Zero Wheels):
- 2.7% House Edge (97.3% RTP)
French Roulette House Edge (Single Zero Wheels):
- 1.35% House Edge (98.65% RTP)
The house edge is higher for American roulette than European and French roulette, which makes it the most favorable roulette game for casinos—and the least favorable for players. Choose to play European or French roulette games instead of American roulette to get as much of a statistical edge as possible.
Special Bet Rules
Some roulette games offer special rules that reduce the house edge.
French Roulette – Special Rules
The La Partage and En Prison rules in French Roulette can reduce the house edge from 2.70% to 1.35%, giving players a theoretical 98.65% RTP.
American Roulette – Special Rules
The Surrender rule can reduce the house edge on a double zero wheel from 5.26% to 2.63%.
Odds on Roulette Bets
Low Payouts with High Odds
Outside bets, located outside the individual numbers on the roulette table, generally cover a large group of numbers. These bets carry the highest odds but offer the lowest payouts.
High Payouts with Low Odds
Inside bets, located in the area of the roulette table that displays the individual numbers (1-36), can be placed on individual numbers or bets that cover a combination (small group) of numbers. Inside bets offer the highest payouts, but they also carry the lowest odds.
For more information about different bet types, check out our How to Play Roulette Page and our Roulette Odds page.
Below is a table with a list of the odds for each type of roulette bet on both a single zero wheel and a double zero wheel.
Table: Roulette Bet Types, Payouts, and Odds
|Bet||Payout||Odds (Double Zero Wheel)||Odds (Single Zero Wheel)|
|Low (1 to 18)||1:1||47.37%||48.65%|
|High (19 to 36)||1:1||47.37%||48.65%|
|Dozen bet (1 to 12, 13 to 24, 25 to 36)||2:1||31.58%||32.43%|
|Straight up bet / One number||35:1||2.63%||2.70%|
|Split bet / Two numbers||17:1||5.26%||5.40%|
|Street bet / Three numbers||11:1||7.89%||8.11%|
|Corner bet / Four numbers||8:1||10.53%||10.81%|
|Line bet / Six numbers||5:1||15.79%||16.22%|
To learn more about the house edge for roulette games and the odds for different roulette bets, check out our Roulette Odds page.
Although it’s impossible to influence or calculate the pocket the ball will land in on the roulette wheel to determine the winning number, roulette betting strategies can be helpful for players who are willing to learn.
Various detailed roulette betting approaches and strategies can help players with their roulette gameplay, including:
- The Martingale system
- After every losing bet, double your bet.
- Theoretically, a win will recover the original bet and previous losses.
- The Labouchere system
- Divide a target win amount into a series of small numbers that are sequenced to determine the bets.
- The D’Alembert system
- A less aggressive progressive betting system than the Martingale system.
- Bet even money bets and keep betting as long as you’re winning. After a losing bet, bet an additional coin and continue to do so until another win.
- The Fibonacci system
- Uses the Fibonacci mathematical sequence (each number is the sum of the previous two numbers) as a foundation for bets.
- Fibonacci mathematical sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on.
- Think of each number as a betting unit. So, if one betting unit is $1, the betting sequence is: $1, $1, $2, $3, $5, $8, $13, $21, $34, and so on.
You can learn details about how roulette strategies like these work and how to use them on our Roulette Strategy page.