Roulette: How To Play Guide

Roulette is one of the biggest names among all casino games that ever existed, and as such, it requires special attention and a completely different approach.

How To Play Roulette

Roulette is easily of one the most famous casino games of all time, if not the biggest of them all. There is not a single person at some point who hasn’t heard of or played on the roulette wheels. Especially since there isn’t a casino on this planet that doesn’t have a roulette table. That is the case for both land and online casinos. One of the biggest reasons for this notoriety of roulette surely can be attributed to the fact that it simply offers a completely different level of excitement. The entire concept of gambling games is to entice the player, and roulette does exactly that. Regardless of the fact if you play land-based roulette or online, the concept of the game remains the same.

How To Play Roulette · Origin

Originating from Paris, it is believed that Roulette exists thanks to the French mathematician, physicist and inventor, Blaise Pascal. What is interesting, is that the majority of historians believe that the game was created by chance. Specifically, during the search for a perpetual motion machine, Blaise Pascal laid the foundation for the mechanism of the modern-day roulette wheel. Consequently, today’s mechanism is a hybrid of the Italian board game Birbi, and the special gaming wheel that was invented back in 1720.

Blaise Pascal

It didn’t take long for roulette to become the number one game at almost every casino in the world. Ever since the late 1700s when it first emerged in Paris as the roulette we know today, this game enjoys the reputation as probably the most exhilarating out of all casino games. The first roulette tables used in Paris in the early 1800s had the single zero with red and the double zero with black. However, in order to distinguish them more clearly, the colour green was decided for the zeros.

Yet, it wasn’t until 1843 in the German spa-casino town Bad Homburg, that the first single zero roulette emerged. More specifically, French entrepreneur and casino operator Louis Blanc, together with his brother Francois, did this in order to compete with the casinos that operate with two zeros. After moving his family to Monaco, where he was head of the Monte Carlo casino, he implemented the single zero into the roulette table. This clear advantage quickly became a hit among the elite, and instantly spread around the world. Even to this day, except for the USA, South America, Canada, and the Caribbean, the rest of the world still uses the single zero roulette tables.

Today we have the same roulette game that was played a couple of hundred years ago, in several variations. In addition to the completely modern online roulette tables, which are not so much different than their land counterparts.

The Basics of How To Play Roulette

The game of roulette is quite simple and easy to master. In order to play successfully, you only need to predict where the ball will land. That is it. Specifically, the number that the spinning ball is about to land on. The way you do this is by placing bets on the roulette board. This board can come with either 37 or 38 numbers, depending on the roulette type you are playing. Regardless, the process of placing the bets is quite similar for all roulette types, and for both online and land roulette tables. You just pick your number, place your money, and wait for the ball to spin.

Finally, you can bet on a single number, colour (red or black), odd or even numbers, a set of numbers, or anything that is a combo of the above. Consequently, what makes roulette one of the go-to machines at almost all casinos, is the fact that it requires no skill whatsoever in order to be successful. In fact, the entire game is based on pure luck. This makes it one of the main reasons why even beginners are instantly fond of roulette. Anyone can win.


Considering both how long it exists and how popular it is, the game of Roulette comes with a plethora of variations. However, there are three types which is the golden standard. Those are American, European, and French. All operate pretty much the same and are very alike. The only things that differ between the main roulette types are the ‘En Prison’ rules, ‘la partage’ rules, and the double zero digits. The la partage or ‘en prison’ rules are quite useful since they exist to benefit the player. Particularly, they allow the player to recover his stake after a spin of zero. This only works if the bet of the player is an even-odds bet (i.e. red-black, even-odd, low-high).

American Roulette

You can instantly tell the American roulette table from its counterparts thanks to the unique double zero digit. Although it is a wonderful homage to staying true to the first wheel, sadly, this greatly reduces the player’s chances of winning. In particular, with American roulette, the house always has a 5.26% edge on this game. This results in a greatly higher percentage than the other roulette games. Additionally, with American roulette, you also lose if you place an even money bet and the ball lands on any of the zeros. All of this can make American roulette a bit tricky for beginners. If that is the case, it is always best to start with the other roulette types.

American Roulette
American Roulette

European Roulette

Just the fact that European roulette comes with a single zero is enough. This means that, unlike its American cousin, the European roulette gives you a bigger chance of winning. And that is not a small thing at all. Especially if you consider that with the European, the house has a 2.7% edge on this game. Substantially lower than the American. However, due to the lack of the “en prison” and “la partage” rules, this edge is still not as low as their French counterpart. Same as American roulette, with European roulette you will also lose your money if the ball lands on zero.

European Roulette
European Roulette

French Roulette

Definitely, with the biggest rewarding potential out of the three, French roulette comes with a 1.35% house edge. This and the single zero, are the biggest reasons why a vast number of players decide to go for the French roulette tables. What makes this roulette stand out is the ‘la partage’ and “en prison” rules.

La partage means sharing in French. This cool feature has the purpose of getting you half of your stake back if the ball drops to zero. That is in case you previously bet on an even money bet.

The en-prison rules are meant to replace the la partage. Meaning that half of the player’s stake will remain on the table, instead of a refund. This amount must be played in the next round/bet.

French Roulette
French Roulette

Types Of Bets

Although there is a plethora of different types of bets, there are two which are considered the main ones. Those are inside and outside bets. The inside bets are the ones placed in the inner section of the roulette table. More specifically, that is the section with all of the numbers. These types of bets have a lower win rate, yet also a far greater payout. The outside bets on the other hand have a higher win rate, on account of more frequent payouts.

Inside Bets

  • Straight up – single number bet: 2.7% winning chance European & French – 2.6% American
  • Split – bet on any 2 numbers in a row: 5.4% winning chance European & French – 5.3% American
  • Street – bet on any 3 numbers in a row: (trio bet) 10.8% winning chance European & French – 10.5% American
  • Corner – bet on any 4 numbers that make a square on the table: 2.7% winning chance European & French – 2.6% American
  • Basket – bet on 5 numbers (0, 00, 1, 2 & 3): no basket option with European & French – 13.20% American
  • Line – bet on two neighbouring lines (streets): 16.8% winning chance European & French – 15.8% American

Outside Bets

  • Red & Black – bet on what colour will the ball land: 48.65% winning chance European & French – 47.37% American
  • Even & Odd – bet on the type of numbers (odds or even): 48.65% winning chance European & French – 47.37% American
  • High & Low – bet if the ball will land on low(1-18) or high (19-36): 46.65% winning chance European & French – 47.37% American
  • Column – bet on one of the three columns of numbers: 32.40% winning chance European & French – 31.60% American
  • Dozen – bet on one of the three groups with consecutive numbers: 32.40% winning chance European & French – 31.60% American.

How To Play

One of the best things about roulette is that it doesn’t require any knowledge whatsoever. That is because the whole concept is based on luck, and is completely unpredictable. Meaning that it absolutely doesn’t mean anything if the ball hits the same number even 3 times in a row. There are no patterns, nor any particular gimmicks. This means that each time you spin the ball, you get the same 1 in 37 (or 38 depending on the roulette) chances of winning.

Roulette - How To Play

Hence, unlike games such as poker which also require skill, roulette is a completely different story. That is why there are several tricks that even beginners can use to their advantage, with the purpose of tailoring the right strategy and approach.

For that matter, it is best for players with less experience to stick with French or European roulette. We suggest starting with the French since it is the version that is most ‘understanding’ for newbies. It comes with the “en prison” and ‘la partage’ rules, the lowest house edge,and uses a single-digit zero. This already raises your winning chances substantially. Moreover, new players should probably start by making Outside bets only. It is always best to start by betting on red or black, odd or even, columns, etc.

This way, you still get a grasp of the spirit of the game, yet you can increase your chances of winning. That is because it is much easier to guess a general term than to guess a specific number. Naturally, as time progresses and you master the game, you will start using more complex and daring combinations. Just always remember to quit while you are ahead!

The Difference Between Online and Land-Based

The only difference between land-based and online roulette is the setting. Given that both the digital and analog roulette tables come with the same way of playing and rules. The only thing that stands as a clear distinction is the customer type. This depends on whether you are a fan of spinning the wheels from the convenience of your living room. Or you are a fan of the old-school, land-based casino experience. Whatever the case, the game of roulette and its rules apply the same for both.

You can say that one major benefit that online casinos have over land-based is the convenience of having an abundance of options. More specifically, with thousands of online casinos emerging by the day, players are left with a list of gaming options. This makes online roulette much more frequent than land-based. And what is cool about online casinos is that they are all unique in theme and style.

This makes for a bit more personal touch since customization can be a great deal for many players. Also, nothing beats playing a classic casino game from the comfort of your home. Safe, ultra-fast, and convenient. The reasons why many online casinos are just starting to experience their boom.

However, if you wish for a real casino experience then nothing beats land-based casinos. If you consider that land casinos exist for several hundreds of years, you can bet that it is a place that you won’t forget easily. Just starting with the beautiful architecture and design, up to the lightning and the inviting smell. It truly feels like you are in a completely different world.

Nothing beats the excitement of placing your next bet manually on the green felt. Even if you are just passing or looking, land casinos are bound to get your attention and make you think twice, something that even hardcore online roulette buffs will confirm is true.

Final Thoughts

To sum it all up, you do not become the most thrilling casino game by accident. The unique mechanism, in combination with the exhilarating nature of the game, is what makes roulette probably the biggest nail-bitter of all time. Rarely you will find a game that is so easy to play, yet so exciting and volatile at the same time. We say volatile since this game has the potential to either make or break you.

Regardless of the roulette type, or in which casino are you playing. Never underestimate the nature of roulette and what it can do if you are not careful especially if you start betting without proper prior education and don’t know how to play.


That is why it is always best to fully learn everything there is about the game before playing it. Only then will you be able to have at least some advantage against the already favoured house. Whatever the case, and regardless of your niche, one thing is for sure. You can enjoy roulette wherever you please, however you please. Just make sure that you are well-prepared, and good luck!

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