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How to play Roulette?

Disa Stigh

Estimated Time 12 min

August 14, 2020

Roulette is French for ‘Little Wheel’, but there is nothing little about this incredible game. It is the poster child of casinos around the world and is certainly one of the most exciting games to play. The objective of the game is simple. You must place a bet on the Roulette wheel exactly where you think the ball will land. Now the exciting version which is even more fun to play is the online version of Roulette. The best thing about online Roulette is that it is easier to play. You just have to pick a number, place a bet, and wait for the dealer to spin the wheel.

The basic rules when playing Roulette

  1. Roulette starts with players making bets.
  2. The dealer throws a ball into the spinning Roulette wheel. Players can still make bets within the process.
  3. While the ball is rolling at the Roulette wheel, the croupier/dealer announces: “No more bets.”
  4. At that point, players are not allowed making bets
  5. The ball lands on a number in the roulette wheel. If there are winners who bet the number, section or colour, they will be rewarded according to their betting odds.

The different types of Roulette bets

The players place their bets on any number of propositions:

  • Inside bets are placed directly on one or more numbers
  • Outside bets are placed on certain propositions such as high-low, odd-even, red-black, first, second and third dozen, etc.
  • There are other combinations of bets that can also be made

Inside bets

  • The Straight Up – You bet one or more numbers by placing your bet on that or those numbers on the layout. If your number or one of your numbers hit you win 35 to 1 on that number. 
  • Split bet – This bet is placed on more than one number by placing your chip(s) on the line between two numbers. They payoff if either number hits 17 to 1.
  • The Street Bet or Number Three Bet – You’d think with all these titles for the bet that it would pay off at thousands to one. Nope. It is merely a bet on three numbers. You make the bet by placing your chips on the outside border of the three numbers. A winning bet pays off at 11 to1.
  • The Four-Number Bet – The bet is that one of four selected numbers will win. The bet can only be accepted if the four numbers form a square and, of course, being clever someone named the bet the Square. The bet is placed on the intersection where all four numbers meet. A winning bet pays 8 to 1.
  • The Five Number Bet – Also known as “The Monster” or “The Beast”. This bet is only found on the American double-zero wheels. It incorporates five numbers: the 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. A winning wager is paid at 6 to 1.
  • The Column Bet – Here you are wagering that one of the columns of numbers on the layout will have the winning number. You place this number at the bottom of the column that you think will win. A winning bet is paid 2 to 1. The 0 or 00 are not a part of either column so if these two show the wager is lost.
  • The Dozens Bet – The bet is whether one of a dozen numbers on the layout will hit. These are not a dozen consecutive numbers on the wheel, they are strictly layout numbers. You place this bet on First Dozen, Second Dozen or Third Dozen. You can bet two of the dozens. The payout is 2 to 1. Again the 0 and 00 will cause your bet to lose.
  • The Odd or Even Bet – To be placed on either the Odd or Even section of the layout. There are 18 odd numbers and 18 even numbers. Neither the 0 or 00 count for either bet and if one of them hits the house wins. The winning bet is paid even money which means one to one.
  • High or Low Bet – This bet is placed either from 1 to 18 or the 19 to 36 section of the layout. Once again if the 0 or 00 shows, the bet loses. The payoff is even money (one to one).
  • Red or Black Bet – This is another even-money bet that you can pick the colour of the number that will hit.

European Roulette rules

Assuming that the possible bets are all understood, there are additional optional rules that some casinos and houses play. Both the La Partage and the En Prison Roulette rules effectively halve the casino edge on even-money bets. If playing at home, decide at the start which, if any of the following rules you would like to play.

‘En Prison’ Rule

This is a Roulette rule that can be applied to even-money bets only. When a zero turns up, the player has two options:

  • Reclaim half the bet and lose the other half.
  • Leave the bet (en prison = in prison) for the next spin of the Roulette wheel for an all or nothing gamble. If the subsequent spin is again zero or does not match the imprisoned bet, then the whole bet is lost. Otherwise, if the subsequent spin’s outcome matches the bet, the player’s money is returned.

‘La Partage’ Rule

The La Partage Roulette rule is similar to the en prison rule, only in this case the player has no option when a zero turns up and simply loses half the bet.

North American Roulette Rules

In North America and the Caribbean, Roulette wheels have a double zero, and all bets (except a direct bet on the selected zero) are lost when either zero turns up. The result is significantly poorer odds for the punter and an increase in the Casino’s cut. The rules are the same as for European Roulette above except that the double zero works in the same way as a single zero result.


There have been several innovations and versions of Roulette available for players now. Realistic Roulette is something new that takes the experience of 2D games to the next immersive level, just shy from virtual reality. Realistic Games has recently partnered with Microgaming to offer their realistic portfolio, which has made the game accessible to dozens of online casinos. Spearhead has also developed a similar 3D European Roulette but focused on mobile devices. Evolution Gaming has also launched the world’s fastest online Live Roulette game called Speed Roulette. As you can see, the game of roulette continues to evolve with new times and technology. VR Roulette will soon be common and who knows what the future will hold.

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