Roulette Rules – Learn How to Play Roulette and Master This Wheel Game

Roulette Rules

14 minutes

Last Updated: May 13, 2022


Roulette Rules – Learn How to Play Roulette and Master This Wheel Game

Roulette is one of the oldest casino games, dating back several centuries. It’s an exciting, glamorous, and fun game to play, as no one can resist watching the wheel spin from round to round.

But, even though it’s one of the simplest games around, roulette rules offer a mind-boggling selection of bets, which can easily overwhelm a beginner player and lead to making poor decisions.

But whether you’re playing under the bright lights of Las Vegas or online from the comfort of your chair, there’s no difference in terms of core gameplay features.

Roulette always comes with the same set of rules and betting options. And, on this page, we’ll teach you how to play roulette and master the roulette wheel without much effort.

Roulette Rules – How to Play Roulette

Roulette odds, payouts, and strategies aside, the first and most important thing you need to know is how to play the game.

Roulette is mainly a luck-based game, meaning that it’s simple to learn and easy to play. Plus, as the player, you don’t have many roles in the game, aside from placing the bets. To help you learn the ropes as quickly as possible, we’ve drafted this step-by-step guide on how to play roulette:

  1. Place a Bet – The first and only thing you do when at the roulette table is place bets on the number or combination you think will net you a win. You have a fixed timeframe during which you must place a bet. If you fail to do it within the time limit, you have to wait until the round is over so you can get back in the game.
  2. The Croupier Spins the Roulette Wheel – After the betting round is finished, the croupier will spin the wheel and the ball. If you’re playing online, this is when you press on the spin button to spin the wheel.
  3. The Outcome and Payouts – After the ball has spun around and settled in a particular pocket, the round is over. If you’ve made a winning bet, the croupier will pay you out, and everything picks up again from the step one.

As you can see from just the three simple steps above, there’s not much to roulette rules. All that you can and need to do is place a bet and hope for the best.

How to play roulette

This simplicity and easy-to-follow gameplay are precisely what make roulette one of the most popular casino games worldwide.

Most Important Additional Roulette Rules to Know

With the three steps we’ve shared with you above, you can be confident in your knowledge of how to play roulette and start betting.

However, we should mention a few additional rules that will make your experience more enjoyable and ensure you stay in line with the commonly accepted roulette etiquette. These rules mainly apply if you’re playing in a real brick-and-mortar casino.

  • Getting the Chips – Before you can start betting, you’ll need to purchase casino chips from the croupier. The croupier will split up and slide to you the number of chips you’ve said you want.
  • Starting Betting – As we’ve mentioned above, the croupier often sets a specific time frame during which the players can bet. They’ll indicate this by removing a small puck-shaped object from the table, after which the betting can begin.
  • Stopping Betting – After some time, the croupier will spin the roulette wheel, still allowing players to place their bets. After a few seconds, they’ll announce “no more bets” after which you should stop betting unless you want to risk getting disqualified.
  • Starting Betting Again – When the ball stops, the dealer will place the puck-shaped object on the winning field and sweep the betting board of all losing bets. He’ll then payout the winners. After all of the winners have been paid, the croupier will open betting for the next round.

These are pretty much all the basic roulette rules you need to know to get involved with the game. However, keep on reading this guide to find out more about types of bets, odds, and roulette payouts available to you.

Types of Roulette Bets

When you’ve mastered the steps above, you can start playing and practicing roulette. That said, without a deeper understanding and knowledge of all of the roulette rules, you’re not giving yourself the best chances of winning.

Roulette odds

If you ask roulette players around or search online for how many types of roulette bets there are, you’ll likely get a variety of answers.

In gambling movies, you can also come across some crazy roulette bets that you may not have heard of or seen before.

Some people stick with the widely popular opinion that there are 16 types of roulette bets, while others claim there are 17 or even 20 different betting options.

This disagreement aside, we’ll take a look at the most commonly accepted betting options you’ll usually find on a roulette wheel.

Before we dig deeper and talk about each type of bet, we should highlight that all roulette bets are divided into two separate categories – inside bets and outside bets.

Inside Bets

Inside bets are more specific bets that often cover a smaller range of numbers or target specific numbers and combinations.

They offer significantly higher roulette payouts than outside, bets but have lower winning odds. Here’s a rundown of the most common bets you’ll come across:

  • Straight Up – The straight bet is as simple as roulette bets get. You just pick a number you like and bet on it. If the ball lands on the number you’ve chosen, you win. If it lands on any other number, you lose. It’s the most rewarding bet, but also one that you have to be extremely lucky to get right.
  • Split – Instead of placing a bet on just one number, you’re putting the chips on the line that separates two numbers. If any of the two numbers hit, you win.
  • Street – This roulette bet involves betting on any number within a row of three consecutive numbers. This can include any three numbers on the betting table, whether 1-2-3 or 33-34-35. If any of the three numbers you’ve selected hits, you get an 11:1 payout.
  • Corner (Square) – Similar to the split bet, the corner bet covers twice as many numbers. To make this bet, you simply need to put the chips on a corner where the four numbers meet. For example, on a corner of 10-12-13-14 or 29-30-32-33.
  • Trio – A simple three-number bet that covers at least one zero. For instance, a 0-2-3 or 00-2-3 combination, depending on the roulette table layout.
  • Line – Also called the six-line and double street bet, this one is similar to the street bet, only it covers numbers in two consecutive rows. For example, this can be from 1 to 6, 4 to 9, 31 to 36, or any similar combination.
  • First Four – This roulette bet covers the first four numbers on the paytable, spreading across 0-1-2-3. Many roulette players also mistakenly call it a basket bet, which is a different combination.
  • Basket – Similar to the first four bet, but only available on roulette tables with a double zero layout. The basket bet covers numbers 00-0-1-2- 3.

Roulette rules may vary slightly from one casino to another, but this list pretty much covers the kind of inside bets you’ll come across at most places.

Roulette wheel

Outside Bets

Oppositely to inside bets, outside bets often offer you better roulette odds but smaller payouts. Let’s take a closer look at the outside bets on the roulette wheel:

  • Red or Black – One of the simplest roulette bets. You’re guessing whether the ball will land in a red or black number. This is an even-money bet, but the house still has the advantage, as there’s a 0, and sometimes also 00, on the wheel.
  • Odd or Even – Same as the previous bet, you’re choosing between two options, this time in the form of odd or even numbers. Again, you don’t exactly have a fifty-fifty chance because of the 0 and 00 on the wheel.
  • 1 to 18 or 19 to 36 – Also known as the high/low bet, this is an even-money bet in which you’re betting that the ball will land on a number either between 1 and 18 or 19 and 36.
  • Dozens Bets – When making the dozens bet, you can choose between three options, each paying 2:1. You can bet on numbers 1-12, 13-24, or 25 to 36.
  • Column Bet – Similar to a dozen bet, you’re betting that the ball will land in one of three fields, in this case, columns containing a specific set of numbers spanning on the longest side of the betting table layout.
  • Snake Bet – This bet is not available in all casinos but is certainly a fun one to make. The snake bet covers a zigzagging pattern of numbers that trace a snakelike shape across the table.

If you’re new to the roulette wheel, it’s probably a good idea to get the feel for the game by placing some outside bets first. When you get more comfortable about roulette rules, you’ll probably want to switch to inside bets, as these are much more exciting.

Roulette Rules: Odds & Payouts

Remembering all of the roulette odds and payouts is a bit challenging, especially if you’re just beginning to learn your way around the roulette wheel.

This is not only because roulette has much more betting options than, say, blackjack, but also because there are several different variations of the game.

To make this a bit clearer, I’ve created this table that contains roulette payouts for several different variations:

Type of Bet Roulette Payout European Roulette Odds American Roulette Odds
Straight Up 35 to 1 36 to 1 37 to 1
Split 17 to 1 17 ½ to 1 18 to 1
Street 11 to 1 11 ⅓ to 1 11 ⅔ to 1
Corner (Square) 8 to 1 8 ¼ to 1 8 ½ to 1
Trio 11 to 1 11 ⅓ to 1 11 ⅔ to 1
Line 5 to 1 5 ⅙ to 1 5 ⅓ to 1
First Four 8 to 1 8 ¼ to 1 N/A
Basket 6 to 1 N/A 6 ⅗ to 1
Red or Black 1 to 1 1 1⁄18 to 1 1 1⁄9 to 1
Odd or Even 1 to 1 1 1⁄18 to 1 1 1⁄9 to 1
1 to 18 or 19 to 36 1 to 1 1 1⁄18 to 1 1 1⁄9 to 1
Dozens Bet 2 to 1 2 1⁄12 to 1 2 1⁄6 to 1
Column Bet 2 to 1 2 1⁄12 to 1 2 1⁄6 to 1
Snake Bet 2 to 1 2 1⁄12 to 1 2 1⁄6 to 1

What’s the House Edge in Roulette?

Just like every other casino game, roulette comes with a predetermined house edge that gives the casino a slight advantage over the players. But, since roulette comes in different variations, the house edge also varies.

For example, the expected house edge for European roulette is around 2.6%-2.7%. For American roulette, the house edge is around 5.2%-5.3%.

There are also triple zero roulette wheels, which are much less common and the least favorable. For this variation, the house edge is between 7.6% and 7.7%.

With these numbers in mind, you can see that roulette is fairly mid-range and falls into a similar range as video slots.

Some casino games can have a house edge of over 20%, meaning that the roulette odds aren’t that bad for the player.

Still, you should remember that roulette is entirely luck-based, and a lower house edge doesn’t mean you’ll win more. It’s just something to keep track of if you’re in it for the long term and want to make the most of your bets.

La Partage and En Prison – Extra Roulette Rules for the House Edge

Depending on where and which variation you play, you might also have a couple of player-friendly options available to you to further lower the house edge.

These options are La Partage and En Prison and are available on the European roulette wheel variation. Here’s a bit more on each of the two rules:

La Partage

This roulette rule comes into effect if the outcome of a spin is a zero. In such a case, the croupier will divide all of your even money bets, keep one half and return half to you.

Special roulette rules

From this perspective, La Partage effectively cuts the house edge in half, from 2.7% to 1.35%. This rule only applies to even money bets. If you’ve placed any other bet and the zero lands, you’ll lose your bet.

En Prison

In simple terms, En Prison is a variation of the La Partage rule. Like the previous one, it only covers even money bets.

If zero lands after a spin, the croupier places a special marker by your bet, pointing that it is En Prison (in prison).

On the following spin, if the ball lands on the field you’ve bet on before your bet was put in prison, you get your original bet back in its entirety. If it doesn’t, you lose your original bet.

From Learning to Mastering the Roulette Wheel

Roulette is undoubtedly a game every fan of gambling should try out at least once, as it doesn’t take much to learn. At the same time, you’re guaranteed excitement every time you play. I

If you took the time to read the entire roulette rules’ guide we’ve put together for you, you now know more than most casual roulette players out there.

To be completely objective, you can’t do much to affect the spin’s outcome, but knowing all of the roulette rules and game features can certainly help you be better at it.

Remember all of the rules and tips we’ve shared with you on this page, and be sure always to gamble responsibly. If you do so, you’ll give yourself the best chances of making smart bets and winning more often.

If roulette isn’t your thing after all and you prefer games with cards, that’s no problem. We recommend you check out our Ultimate Texas Hold’em guide and see if this game is more your type.

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