How to play roulette

Whether you’re playing in Vegas or at an online casino, the rules of roulette are much the same. Follow our how to play roulette guide and you’ll be a pro in no time.

How to play Roulette - Getting started
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How to play Roulette - Getting started

How to play online roulette: 4 steps


1. Place your bet

If you’re playing online, select your chip size to bet with. Then place your chips on the bet that you’d like to make.

    How to play roulette step 1

    2. Spin the wheel

    With online roulette, there’s no time limit. So whenever you’re ready, hit the ‘Spin’ button. This will release the ball into the virtual wheel.

      How to play roulette - step 2

      3. The outcome

      The wheel will come to a stop and the ball will settle into a pocket. Online roulette games use a random number generator (or RNG for short) to determine the outcome.

        How to play roulette - step 3

        4. The result

        Hold your breath. If you’re in luck, you’ll receive a payout. The next round begins after the result.

          How to play roulette - step 4

          Roulette table explained

          The roulette table is arranged into two sections: the inside and the outside. The inside area has 36 numbered squares which are either red or black. The outside area has boxes that cover a broader range of numbers – like odd or even. At the top of the table, there’s also a large zero or double zero depending on the game.

          You can bet on any of the squares on the table or even a combination of them. To learn more about placing bets, check out our roulette bet types guide.


          US Roulette Table Layout

          Roulette wheel explained

          Roulette wheels are numbered from 0 to 36. On European wheels, there are 18 red pockets, 18 black pockets, and a single green 0. American roulette wheels are the same, but with an additional green 00 pocket.

          However, the numbers don’t run in order around the wheel. The sequence is designed to balance high, low, odd, and even numbers. And on top of that, the wheels are different for European and American roulette. It’s not as complicated as it sounds though – take a look at the two variations you’ll come across below.


          European roulette wheel with ballAmerican roulette wheel with ball

          Roulette variants

          There are three main types of roulette to play: European, American and French, with live roulette versions available at many online casinos.


          What is European roulette?

          European roulette is the most common roulette game at online casinos. The European wheel has 37 pockets numbered from 0 to 36. The single zero brings the house edge, also known as the casino’s advantage, down to just 2.7%. The low house edge is one of the reasons European roulette is a favorite among players.

          You can learn the full ins and outs of the game with our European roulette guide.

          Table - European roulette with icons
          What do we mean by house edge?

          The ‘house edge’ is the advantage that a casino has over a player. For each casino game, the house edge is written as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the larger the advantage for the house.

          Comparing roulette variants

          Feature American roulette European roulette French roulette
          Pockets
          38
          37
          37
          Zeros
          Double zero
          Single zero
          Single zero
          House edge
          5.26%
          2.7%
          1.35%
          Free play
          Live dealer

          Roulette FAQs


          How many numbers are there in roulette?

          European and French roulette wheels have 37 pockets, numbered from 0 to 36. The numbers are split evenly between black and red, except for the single green 0. The pockets of an American roulette wheel are the same but with an additional 00.

          What is the best bet in roulette?

          The best bet for a big payout is a single number wager. Any bet on a single number has odds of 37 to 1 and so offers a huge reward. That said, the chances of this bet winning are far less likely than say red or black, or another outside bet.

          How do the odds work in roulette?

          Typically, roulette odds come in the form of ‘x to 1’. This means you’ll win ‘x’ amount for every $1 you bet. For example, a single number on the table has odds of 35 to 1. If you were to wager $1 and win the bet, you’d receive your stake back as well as $35 in winnings.

          What does a number on roulette pay?

          A bet on a single number pays 35 to 1. This includes any bets made on the green 0 or 00 pockets. Odd or even number bets payout at 1 to 1, and so do bets on 18 numbers like 1-18 or 19-36.

          How much do you win on green?

          Green bets have odds of 35 to 1, so you would win 35 times your stake wagered. If you were to bet on 0 and 00 at the same time in American roulette, the payout would be 17 to 1.

          Can you bet on red and black at the same time?

          Yes, you can bet on both red and black at the same time. Most would advise against this though, as the bets effectively cancel each other out. The green pocket is also in play meaning there’s a chance you’d lose on both bets regardless.

          How can I increase my chances of winning roulette?

          For a better chance of winning, stick to outside bets. Though they payout less, outside bets have far better odds of winning than inside bets.

          How do you place a roulette bet?

          In online roulette, you place a bet simply by clicking the relevant part of the roulette board, after selecting your bet amount. You can take as much time as you need. In a real casino, you would do the same by physically placing chips on the board with a croupier present. The croupier tells the table when betting is over and then spins the wheel.

          Why is a French roulette table red?

          The first French roulette wheels in Paris originally used red table layouts with red for the single zero. Nowadays, French roulette tables are only red at some physical casinos. Green is the preference for online roulette because it helps avoid any color confusion at the table.