Basics of Online Roulette

We will take you through the basics

How to Play Roulette

Roulette is played using a wheel and a layout, both of which have the same set of numbers. Players have to place their bets by putting the chips on the appropriate locations on the layout. Your bet can cover from a single number to a group of 18 numbers. Each type of bet will have a different payout. When all bets are placed, the wheel is spun and a ball is rolled within it. The ball will rest on the slot of one number, which is called as the winning number for that spin. All bets that have covered the called number win and the other bets lose.

At online casinos you will see a roulette wheel spinning on the screen, but the winning number is selected by software using a random number generator. The software undergoes rigorous testing and we assure you that the results are absolutely fair.

Roulette Bets and Payouts

Roulette bets can be grouped in three distinct sections and each one will be explained here.

Inside Bets

The chips are placed within the number grid in the roulette layout.

  • Straight: Covers a single number. Payout is 35 to 1
  • Split: Covers two vertically or horizontally adjacent numbers. Payout is 17 to 1
  • Street: Covers three numbers in a horizontal row. Payout is 11 to 1
  • Square: Covers four numbers in a square. Payout is 8 to 1
  • Six: Covers six numbers in adjacent rows. Payout is 5 to 1

Outside Bets

The chips are placed outside the main number grid.

  • Dozen: Covers the first or second or third set of 12 numbers. Payout is 2 to 1
  • Column: Covers one of the three vertical rows of 12 numbers. Payout is 2 to 1
  • Low/High: Covers the first or second set of 18 numbers. Payout is 1 to 1
  • Red/Black: Covers the red or black numbers. Payout is 1 to 1
  • Odd/Even: Covers the odd or even numbers. Payout is 1 to 1

Call Bets

These are slightly advance bets that do not follow the roulette table layout, but follow the sequence of numbers on the roulette wheel. In land casinos there is no set location for placing the chips. You usually hand them to the croupier mentioning the particular bet that you are going for. This is the reason that these are referred to as call bets.

  • Neighbours of zero: Covers a sequence of numbers centred on 0
  • Third of the wheel: Covers a sequence of numbers opposite 0 in the wheel
  • Orphans: Covers the left over numbers

House Edge

In land casinos and online casinos the payouts awarded in any game are marginally less than the mathematically fair odds. This is called house edge and it enables the casino to cover its costs and earn return for its investors. In roulette the house edge is created in a unique way. If 0 (or 00) is called then all bets except on these single numbers will lose.

How to Choose Roulette Bets

At one end is the single bet, which will win rarely but pay handsomely when it does. This bet is suited for players willing to take a risk in search of large wins. At the other extreme are bets like red/black that pay only even money but are likely to win on every second spin. These bets are for the conservative players whose first priority is in safeguarding their bankrolls.

We have seen that there are many bets between these two and you will soon be able find a combination of bets perfect for your level of risk.

Common Online Roulette Variants

There are three common roulette games that you will find at most online casinos and here we explain the pros and cons of each so as to help you select the right variant.

American Roulette

The American Roulette wheel has 38 numbers, which are 1 to 36, 0 and 00. If any of the two zeroes, 0 or 00, are called then all bets other than on these numbers lose. This set up results in a house edge of 5.26%. This house edge is significantly larger than in other roulette variants and there is no compensating advantage, so American Roulette must be avoided at all costs.

European Roulette

The European Roulette wheel has 37 numbers, which are 1 to 36 and 0. Here all other bets lose only when 0 is called and this reduces the house edge to half at 2.70%. The bets and payouts in American Roulette and European Roulette and so it is obvious that the latter is the preferred variant.

French Roulette

French Roulette uses the single zero wheel, like in European Roulette. The difference is the unique La Partage rule. When 0 is called, players that have placed even money bets will have half their stake returned to them. So, if you are a conservative player, focussing on even money bets then you should opt for French Roulette. For other bets both European and French Roulette are on par.

Online Casinos Add Excitement to Roulette

There are many ways in which software providers to online casinos add spice to the basic roulette variants to make them more exciting. We leave you with information on a few of them. You will find many more at our recommended online casinos.

  • Microgaming Multi-Wheel Roulette allows you to bet on eight independently spinning wheels at a time. It does not increase your chances of winning but makes the gameplay faster and more interesting.
  • Playtech Video Roulette generates hot and cold numbers for the next spin. This is for the show only because each roulette spin is independent of past history.