Learning how to play roulette may look daunting if you are new to the game, but actually its very simple to get to grips with and for the most part, the croupier or the online casino will do most of the work for you. By the end of this guide, you will have a full overview of the full spectrum of casino roulette rules.
Once you understand the rules, and you play a few coups, you will soon gain confidence and become an established roulette player. By the way, if you are wondering what the word ‘coup’ means, it is the technical name for each round of betting. Therefore, a coup is the ‘betting phase + spin’.
Lesson 1: The Different Roulette Wheels
Before you play roulette, it is a good idea to understand which variants of roulette are available. This is actually quite easy because there are only 2 types of wheels. Now there are a few different names for both versions we are about to introduce to, but the rules are still exactly the same, so try not to get confused or overwhelmed!
Single zero ‘0’
This wheel has 37 numbers. Including the ‘0’ the numbers range from ‘0’ to ‘36’ and the house edge on these tables is 2.7% which is a 97.3% RTP. You will see a few different names for the single ‘0’ table, but in essence this style of roulette is European.
Other names you may see for single ‘0’ roulette games:
Tip: French roulette is the same as European roulette, with the only difference being is the writing on the table is French language. For example, ‘High-Low’ is ‘Manque-Passe’ and ‘Odd-Even’ is ‘Impair-Pair’!
Double Zero ‘00’
This wheel has 38 numbers. Including the ‘0’ and ‘00’ the numbers range from ‘00’ to ‘36’ and the house edge on these tables is 5.26% which is a 94.74% RTP. Like the single ‘0’ version of roulette, the double ‘00’ version also has several names.
Other names you may see for double ‘00’ roulette games:
Lesson 2: Roulette Bet Types
Now you know the difference between 0 and 00 tables, it’s time to learn the 3 bet types you can place on roulette. These are ‘Outside Bets’, ‘Inside Bets’, and ‘Section Bets’. Under each of these bet types are the roulette bets that you will use to win money. Below, we will explain what each bet type is and how much they pay. Once you learn this, you are ready to play roulette.
You will find outside bets in the betting area on the outside of the roulette betting board. In this case, you ignore all the numbers on the inside of the table which we will cover in the next section.
Altogether there are 5 types of outside bets. These are the lowest paying bets on roulette, but they also have the highest chance of winning. These bets are split into ‘even odds bets’ and ‘2-1 bets’ which represents how much you win versus how much you bet.
Even Odds Bets
Odd or Even: This is self-explanatory. Place a chip on the odd or even bet, and if the roulette wheel produces the odd or even result you bet, you will win 1-1 on your bet.
High or Low: Place a chip on the high (17-36) or low (1-16) and if success you will win even odds 1-1 on your bet.
Column Bets: The column bets run horizontally in a straight row up the roulette board. There are 3 of them and each one contains 12 numbers. If you win this bet option, you win 2-1 on your bet.
Dozen Bets: Dozen bets run the width of the roulette board. Like column bets, there are 3 options to choose and there are 12 numbers in each box. If successful, you will receive 2-1 payment.
Note: If you bet on any of the outside bets, and the ball lands on any of the zeros, all these bets are void because the zero numbers regardless of ‘0’ or ‘00’ are not covered by these bets
Lesson 3: Inside Bets
This is where roulette starts to ger interesting because most seasoned roulette players prefer to take risks by betting directly on the numbers inside the betting board. Below there is a table with all the roulette inside bets, and the difference in payouts between the European and American Roulette variants.
In this example, there are 6 bets. Below, we will explain the roulette name for each of these bets. For example, in the table above, a Single Number bet is a ‘Straight Bet’ and a ‘2 Number Combination is a ‘Split Bet’.
Straight or Straight Up Bet
Simply place your chip directly inside the box for any of the numbers on the roulette table. Therefore, you are betting on 1 number. This bet has a 36 to 1 chance of winning on a European table and a 37 to 1 chance of winning on a US roulette table, but pays 35 to 1 on the amount you stake on both variants.
A split bet requires you to place a chip on the line between 2 numbers on the inside of the board. Now you are betting 2 numbers. This bet has roughly a 17.5 to 1 chance of winning on a European table and about an 18.5 to 1 chance of winning on a US roulette table, but pays 17 to 1 on the amount you stake on both variants.
This bet covers 3 numbers stretching the width of the roulette bet area. You need to place your chip on the line between the ‘outside bets’ and the ‘inside bets’. The line of 3 numbers you choose will be your street bet. You have around a 11.33 to 1 chance of winning while on a US roulette table the odds are slightly higher. If you win, a ‘Street Bet’ pays 11 to 1, so its actually a pretty decent bet to make.
Tip: There is also another bet called called the ‘Trio’ that involves 3 numbers with the ‘0’ which would be either ‘0-2-3’ or ‘0-2-1’
With this bet, you can stake 4 numbers. You need to place the chip on the centre point of 4 numbers covering the cross ‘+’. That’s it. Your chances of winning on a European roulette are roughly 8.25 to 1 while on a US roulette table the odds are about 8.5 to 1. When successful, the house pays you 8 to 1.
A basket bet is only available on a US roulette table. It covers 5 numbers which are the ‘0’, ’00’, ‘1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’. You do his by placing your chips on the line between the zeros and the number 2. Your odds of winning this bet are roughly 6.3 to 1 while it pays 6-1 so it’s not a great bet to make, while it is handy if you want to cover all the zeros.
Six Line Bet
This bet is similar to a street bet. You still need to place your chip between the ‘outside bets’ and the ‘inside bets’. However, you will need to make sure the chip clearly touches both rows of 3 numbers to make it a 6 line bet. On a European table you have roughly a 5.25 to 1 chance of winning and US roulette tables give you a round 5.5 to1 and the bet pays 5 to 1.
Note: As you can see from the way these bets pay out, the American roulette table’s additional ’00’ brings the number count up from 37 to 38 which reduces your chances of winning
Lesson 4: Racetrack Bets
The racetrack bet area looks like a racetrack as it is literally a thin oval shape or circular ‘ish’ area on the roulette bet board. Now before you think that this bet is complicated, it really isn’t once you understand the dynamics of it. It is also very useful because you can use it to look pro by spreading your bets, but you will be making these bets a purpose.
Luckily to keep things simple, the racetrack bets are not available on US/American tables, so that eliminates one complexity already.
Tip: The best way to describe racetrack is ‘wheel section bets’ and ‘neighbours’. This is because you are betting on sections of the roulette wheel where the numbers are next to each other
To make these wheel ‘section bets’ someone devised a plan so you do not have to lay out straight bets (Single Number) on all the numbers involved. Instead every section bet has a mix of straight bets, split bets, and corner bets. Each bet also has a certain number of chips you need to use.
Below we describe each of the 4 sections of the wheel to bet on in detail:
Neighbors of Zero – (Voisins du Zéro)
This is arguably the most popular bet of the 4. You are essentially betting on a group of numbers either side of the zero on the roulette wheel as well as the ‘o’ itself. The numbers in this ber are (22-18-29-7-28-12-35-3-26-0-32-15-19-4-21-2-25).
You will bet 17 numbers using 9 chips:
- Trio Bet (2 chips) 0-2-3
- Split Bet (1 chip) 4-7
- Split Bet (1 chip) 12-15
- Split Bet (1 chip) 18-21
- Split Bet (1 chip) 19-22
- Corner Bet (2 chips) 25-26-28-29
- Split Bet (1 chip) 32-35
Your chances of winning come in at 17/37 which is around 45% .Your winning prospects for this bet are at best the 17 to 1 pay off, so in theory you make a 9 chip profit if a ‘Split Bet’ comes in. If you win the ‘Corner Bet’, you win 8-1 giving you a slight loss, while the ‘Trio Bet’ will give you an 11-1 pay off.
Zero Game (Jeu zéro)
This is a smaller bet that includes a smaller set of numbers around zero. These numbers are (12-35-3-26-0-32-15).
You will bet 7 numbers using 4 chips:
- Split Bet (1 chip) 0-3
- Split Bet (1 chip) 12-15
- Straight Bet (1 chip) 26
- Split Bet 1 (1 chip) 32-35
You have around an 19% chance of winning this bet. Your winning pay-out for this bet is at best 35 to 1, so in theory you make a 31 chip profit if the ‘Straight Bet’ comes in. If you win any of the ‘Split Bet’ stakes, you win 11-1 giving you a 7 chip profit.
Third of the Wheel (Le tiers du cylindre)
This set of bets is a set of neighbouring numbers on the opposite of the wheel to Neighbors of Zero. The numbers you will use are (27-13-36-11-30-8-23-10-5-24-16-33).
You will bet 12 numbers using 6 chips:
- Split Bet (1 chip) 5-8
- Split Bet (1 chip) 10-11
- Split Bet (1 chip) 13-16
- Split Bet (1 chip) 23-24
- Split Bet (1 chip) 27-30
- Split Bet (1 chip) 33-36
There is a 32.4% chance of this winning bet. As all the bets are split bets, you will win 17-1 on your bet, which is a 11 chip profit.
This sequence of bets covers 2 sections of the roulette wheel ignored by the other ‘section bets’ hence the name ‘Orphans’. The numbers in this bet are (17-34-6) and (1-20-14-31-9).
You will bet 8 numbers using 5 chips:
- Straight Bet (1 chip) 1
- Split Bet (1 chip) 6-9
- Split Bet (1 chip) 14-17
- Split Bet (1 chip) 17-20
- Split Bet (1 chip) 31-34
There is a 21.6% chance of this winning bet. The best win could pay 35-1 giving you a nice 30 chip profit, while all the other bets are split bets, so you will win 17-1 on your bet giving you a 12 chip profit.
Tip: In land-based casinos this bet is also known as a ‘Call Bet’ because you can announce to the dealer you are betting on ‘Orphelins’ for example without actually putting money on the table
Lesson 5: Getting Paid
The final rule you need to understand is how to get paid in roulette. All you need to do is understand the concept of how the casino pays. First of all, when you win a bet, the casino gives you your bet back, then more chips are pushed your way for the winning pay out.
Even Odds (1-1): You bet 1 chip, and the house adds another chip on top if you win. As a result, you have 2 chips and a 1 chip profit. If you bet 2 chips, then house adds 2 chips on top and so you have 4 chips with a 2 chip profit.
Two to One (2-1): You bet 1 chip, and the house adds 2 chips on top if you win. As a result, you have 3 chips and a 2 chip profit. If you bet 2 chips, then house adds 4 chips on top and so you have 6 chips with a 4 chip profit.
Seventeen to One (17-1): You bet 1 chip, and the house adds 17 chips on top if you win. As a result, you have 18 chips and a 17 chip profit. If you bet 2 chips, then house adds 34 chips on top and so you have 36 chips with a 34 chip profit.
Thirty-Five to One (35-1): You bet 1 chip, and the house adds 35 chips on top if you win. As a result, you have 36 chips and a 35 chip profit. If you bet 2 chips, then house adds 70 chips on top and so you have 72 chips with a 70 chip profit.
Lesson 6: Start Practising Casino Roulette Rules
When you are new to any casino game, the general rule of thumb is start with low stakes tables, or at least at stakes where if you lose, the loss from a session is not going to affect you.
Play at an online casino
The best place to practise with low stakes is of course online via your mobile device or PC/Laptop. Today HTML5 technology means you do not need to download an app to play. You can simply open your web browser from any device or operating system, surf to an online casino, and then sign up and play.
Sometimes you do not need to sign up to practice. For example, mBitcasino offers demo mode play on all virtual roulette tables. This is a great way to get used to the rules of roulette and practice bets such as Le tiers du cylindre from the race track.
Playing at a land-based casino
If you happen to be at a brick and mortar casino, and you are new to roulette, have a look around the casino for ‘Auto Roulette‘ or ‘Electronic Roulette‘ tables. These are often low stakes tables and there is no croupier adding pressure.