Arguably the most popular of all casino games is Roulette. The iconic red-and-black roulette wheel is a true source of laughter, fun, excitement and absolute anticipation. The wheel spins, the ball rolls and everyone holds their breath until the ball rests in any given slot. The fascinating game of roulette has stood the test of time and both its American and European versions are still widely available at online and land-based casinos today.
But how do you play roulette and what are the origins of the two versions? Have a look at our handy online roulette guide and you’ll find the answers.
American and European Roulette
There are two types of roulette you can play online, namely American and European roulette, also known as French roulette. The difference between the two is rather minimal, but if you look at the European roulette closely, you’ll discover that the double zero slot is missing. There are numbers 1 to 37 with only one extra slot marked 0. This is because the double zero space feature is only present in the American roulette, which has a total of 38 slots.
The double zero slot lowers the chance of winning. Instead of a 1 in 37 probability, the player only has a 1 in 38 chance to win. This is why it is a lot easier to win playing the European roulette. Also, the European house rule “en prison”, which we will further explain later, is not applicable to the American version.
How to Play Roulette
The rules of roulette obviously vary with the version you’re playing, but generally speaking the rules of both games are very similar, only with some minor differences.
To start any game of roulette, bets have to be placed on the roulette table. There are many different types of bets you can choose from, including straight bets, column bets, street bets, basket bets, outside bets, dozen bets, column bets and double street bets. The betting limits can be anything from pennies to a few pounds. Once everyone has selected the numbers they wish to bet on and placed their bets, the croupier will call “no more bets” before spinning the wheel and throwing the ball in the opposite direction to the spinning wheel. The ball will eventually comes to rest in a particular slot and winning bets will be paid out accordingly.
The Different Bets
Above we have mentioned some of the bets players can place during a roulette game. There are actually even more options, but now let’s first have a closer look at inside and outside bets. Inside bets offer bigger winnings but are more difficult to win, while outside bets allow higher chances to win but the winner won’t be offered as much.
Inside bets mean betting on an individual number. The winner receives the best payout but it’s extremely difficult to win. Players can also bet on adjacent numbers, for example, one and two, or one, two, four and five by selecting the corner where the desired boxes meet.
As for outside bets, they are placed in the boxes surrounding the red and black numbers. If you’re playing roulette at an online casino, the boxes are likely to be clearly marked and may even indicate which numbers you’ll be betting on. Placing a bet on the “Even” box will make you a winner if the ball falls into an even numbered slot. Betting on the “Odd” box shares the same concept, as does placing your bet on the red or black boxes.
The three sections directly below the board, namely the first 12 (1-12), second 12 (13-24) and third 12 (25-36) boxes, allow you to bet on a number in one of the three thirds.
There are three boxes that reads “two to one” at the side of the board and each of them corresponds to the row they’re sat beside. Players who have placed bets on any of these boxes will only win if the ball comes to a rest in the slot of one of the numbers in the same row. As for the “1 to 18” and “19 to 36” boxes, betting on either of them means you’ll only win if the ball falls into a number in that specific group.
The two boxes with zeros inside enable players to win when the ball settles on the zero or double zero. However, the zero and double zero are not classified as the red, black, even, odd or thirds categories.
Interested in understanding even more bets? You may find the terminology guide at the bottom of this page helpful.
What is “En Prison”?
If a player is placing an even-money bet during the game, their chances of winning and losing are the same. In this case, if the ball falls into the zero slot, the gamer will have their bet returned and given the choice to either put their money in prison or lose half of it.
If the player decides to place their money in prison, winning their next spin will give them their full money back. On the contrary, the money will stay in prison if the ball lands on a zero, until a non-zero is spun.
The exciting game of roulette is one that guarantees you huge returns once you get the hang of it. The beauty of this casino game is that there are so many different betting options that, when bet correctly, you can always be on the winning side.
- American Roulette: One of two versions of roulette. American roulette features an additional double zero slot.
- Ball Track/Backtrack: The area on the outside of the wheel where the ball travels before landing in a slot.
- Big Number: A number that appears more often than others.
- Column Bet: Betting on one of three columns on the inside of the betting table.
- Corner Bet: Betting on four numbers at one time by selecting or placing a chip on the corner where all four numbers meet.
- Croupier/Dealer: The croupier is the dealer, otherwise known as the person who spins the roulette wheel.
- Double Zero: The 38th slot found on the American version of roulette.
- Dozen Bet: Betting on one of the three sets of twelve numbers.
- En Prison: A rule in European roulette in which players can place their money “in prison” after hitting a zero.
- European Roulette: One of two versions of roulette. European roulette lacks the additional double zero slot from American roulette.
- Five-Number Bet: Used in American Roulette, when a player bets on zero, double zero, one, two and three at one time.
- Inside Bet: Betting on individual numbers or small combination of numbers.
- Neighbours: Betting on a number and the two numbers beside it on the roulette wheel.
- Outside Bet: Betting on odd or even numbers, red or black numbers or betting on large number combinations.
- Orphans: Betting on three numbers close together on the roulette wheel, but not on the roulette table.
- Parlay: When a player leaves their bet on the table from a previous win and adds to it, hoping to turn it into a bigger profit.
- Payout: The money the croupier or dealer pays you if you win.
- Single/Straight Bet: Betting on one number on the board.
- Six-Number Bet: Betting on six numbers at one time.
- Split Bet: Betting on two adjacent numbers at the same time, made by selecting or placing a chip on the line dividing two numbers.
- Stack: Mostly used in games at real-life casinos, a stack is the player’s bankroll of roulette chips.
- Street Bet: Betting on three numbers at a time all in the same row.
- Wheel: The numbered wheel used to spin the roulette ball.
- Zero-Game: Betting on the numbers either side of the zeros.