An Introduction to Roulette
Roulette is a game that dates back to the 18th century, when Blaise Pascal started to create the first perpetual motion gaming machine. The game has remained largely similar to the game which was becoming popular in Paris by the late 1700s, although today you’ll find many more variants inspired by the original. Our beginner’s guide to roulette walks you through the basics of roulette, including how to play and the types of bet you can place.
Getting to Know Roulette
Roulette is an ideal game to start with for those new to online casino, as you can ultimately make it as simple or complex as you’d like. While the aim of the game remains the same, the variations in bets you can place sees a large swing in odds and probabilities, with a single bet ranging from almost a 50% chance of winning to a 1 in 37 chance when betting on a single number. Both online and land-based roulette work in much the same way, with the sole purpose of the game being to beat the casino.
The Aim of Roulette
How players do that is by correctly predicting where the ball will land when spun on a wheel. There are several ways to do this, dependent on the type of bet they wish to place. There are two main types of bet you can play with roulette. These are broken down into:
- Inside Bets
- Outside Bets
These all carry different odds but with the same goal of predicting where the ball will land on the roulette wheel. Correctly do so, and you win the round of betting. When playing roulette, you are playing against the casino, and therefore you may find other players make the same bet as you, or multiple winners within a round.
Before we run through the varying bets you can place with roulette, it’s important to get a full understanding of the table itself. You can break down the table into two sections, the wheel and the betting table. The table is where you place your bets, with the wheel itself determining the outcome.
As you can see the table is broken down into various sections. All 36 numbers and the ‘0’ are featured on the inside of the box, with various other aspects, such as ‘Even’, ‘Odd’ and ‘1st 12’ around the outside. These are the types of bet you can play. The layout of roulette will vary slightly dependent on the variation you are playing. In European Roulette, which is the more commonly found, you’ll find just one zero on both the wheel and table, with American Roulette containing two on both, increasing the casino’s house edge.
There are a variety of bets that can be placed on the table. Those inside the numbers box, and those on the outside. These are known as Inside and Outside bets.
Inside make up the more predominant space on the roulette table, and are those bets which are placed within the larger box containing numbers. This therefore involves betting on specific numbers or a selection of. Inside bets also carry the highest odds, with a straight bet enjoying a payout of 35 to 1. Below you’ll find the inside bets with definitions and information on how to play them.
Outside bets are just as simple to understand and are generally the types of bets that carry lower odds and more chance of winning. They are also the more popular bets to place and ones that players who have never even played roulette before will have heard of, such as red or black. They are called outside bets as they are the bets positioned around the edges of the main numbers on the roulette table. Outside bets you can place are:
How to Play Roulette
Once you have a firm idea of how placing a roulette bet works, it’s then time to start making them. The process of playing roulette is straight-forward as you only really have to make one move, and you’re playing against the house (casino), so there’s no huge need to be paying attention to what other players at your table are doing. If you are looking to learn about roulette and how it works though, then below you’ll find a series of steps to place your bets and play the game.
Step 1: Placing Your Bet
The first step of roulette, and indeed any casino game is to buy in to the game. This is done by placing your bet. You can place multiple side bets in a round, with all outside and inside bets, or a combination of the two available to back. These bets are not linked, so it is possible for you to both win and lose on the same spin. To place your bet, you must place the number of chips you wish to bet on the relevant sections of the table. It is possible for you to bet different amounts on different bets.
Step 2: No More Bets: Spinning The Wheel
The Dealer will call “no more bets”. At this point the ball will be dropped onto the wheel and no more wagers can be placed. The ball is dropped into the wheel in the opposite direction to which the wheel is spinning.
Step 3: Winning & Losing
Once the ball has settled, the dealer will announce the winner by placing a marker on the winning number. All losing bets will be cleared from the table first, with the winners then paid out in accordance with the tables above.
Roulette Odds & Understanding the House Edge
If you’re going to start playing roulette, then it’s always useful to understand your chances of winning. Outside bets will always give you a better chance of winning in comparison to a single inside bet, but in return the payout will be smaller, although you can also place multiple inside bets to increase your chance of winning. The most common bet, Red or Black, offers players around a 50:50 chance of winning, with that figure just below due to the house edge. The house edge should always be factored in as there is a 1 in 37 chance (2 in 38 on an American Roulette wheel), that the ball will land on 0. Unless you bet on the 0, this will always lead to a losing bet. The house edge in European Roulette is 2.7%. Because of this a bet on red or black, in reality has a 48.65% chance of winning, meaning in theory your payout should be 101.35% of your bet. However, you are only paid out at 1:1.
Your Chance of Winning
Below you’ll find your percentage chance of winning for all the key bets across the roulette table:
- Red or Black/Odd or Even/1 to 18 or 19 to 36: 6%
- Single Number:7%
- Six Line:2%
There are a number of different variants that can be played at casinos and online casinos, with the three main games being European Roulette, French Roulette and American Roulette. These three are the classic versions of the game, although down the years there have been many newer variants offering a twist.
This is the most popular version of the game and is played as above. It has just one 0 in the game, so a lower house edge than other versions and is widely available across land based and online casinos, including our BetVictor Roulette game.
American Roulette is played in much the same manner, except the house edge is higher as there is a 0 and a 00 on a 38-number wheel. This means the house edge of this game is 5.3%. The game itself originates from New Orleans, where it’s believed casino owners weren’t happy with the low house edge of the European variant, adding an extra 0 to increase it.
French Roulette dates back to 1655 and the birth of roulette itself. However, the rule that makes French roulette different to the European variation didn’t come until much later. This variation pays out half of even money bets should the ball land on 0. This reduces the house edge to 1.32%.
This game is the same variant as European Roulette, carrying the same rules except also includes a progressive jackpot. To trigger this a player must land the same number five times consecutively.
This is a roulette game with no 0’s on the playing wheel and therefore carries the lowest house edge of all variants. It is also much rarer that the other versions.
This is predominantly an online game and is essentially a scaled down version of European Roulette. As you can probably guess, it has a smaller wheel and playing table, with fewer numbers to choose from.
In comparison, multi-wheel roulette is a scaled-up version of European Roulette and allows players to play multiple wheels at once. The number of wheels can vary from two to eight and is largely played online.
Like every online casino game, there are terms which can cause confusion for even the most advanced player. Find all the definitions of terms you need to know in our glossary below.
American Roulette: A type of roulette game that has a 0 and 00 on the wheel compared to just one 0.
Backtrack: Also known as Ball-Track, this is the outer rim of the wheel that the ball is tossed into before hitting the wheel. It always remains stationary.
Bankroll: The money you have in your betting account to gamble.
Bottom Track: The lower slanting inner section just before the roulette wheel. This is the final section a ball hits before entering the wheel.
Carre: This is a French term for a Corner Bet.
Casino Advantage: This is another name for House Edge.
Cheval: This is the French term for a Split Bet.
Cold Table: This is a nickname given to a table which has had a string of losing bets.
Colonne: A French term for the Column Bet.
Derniere: A French term for a Dozen bet that is specifically on the last 12 numbers on the wheel.
Douzane: A French term for a Dozen bet.
En Plein: The French term for a Straight Up bet.
European Wheel: This is a roulette wheel that has 37 numbers ranging from 0-36.
Even Money: A bet that pays out 1 to 1 such as ‘Red’ or ‘Even’.
Five-Number Bet: A bet played on in American Roulette which predicts the ball will land on 0, 00, 1, 2 or 3.
Hot Table: A term used when a table is paying out regularly.
House Edge: The mathematical edge a casino has on a particular game. This is explained in the Odds & House Edge section.
Impair: The French term for an Odd bet.
Inside Bet: A wager on the numbered section of a roulette table.
Low Bet: A bet that the ball will land on a number between one and 18.
Manque: The French term for a Low Bet.
Outside Bet: A bet on the markets available around the outer edge of the main numbers section on a roulette table.
Pair: The French term for an Even bet.
Parlay: This means to double your bet after a winning round.
Passe: The French term for an Even bet.
Premiere: This is a French term for a Dozen bet that’s specifically on the first 12 numbers.
Quarter Bet: This is another term used for a Corner bet.
Single-Wheel Zero: Another name for the European Roulette wheel.
Sixain: The French term for a Six Number/Line bet.
Transversale: The French term for a Street bet.
Wager: Another word used for placing a bet.
Wheel Chips: These are the special chips used specifically for roulette.