How to play roulette

Familiarise yourself with roulette rules and odds and become an ace at the wheel!

Roulette is a deceptively simple game, in spite of the intricate equipment involved. Our first lesson will take you through the fundamentals of this casino classic, teaching you the rules and showing you the odds attached to all possible betting options.

How to play

The rules of roulette are very simple. There’s no real strategy involved, you just place your bets and cross your fingers.

Roulette is made up of two components, the wheel and the table (see diagram below) In live games, the wheel is manned by a croupier, while in virtual games the wheel is controlled by a computer. The rules on this page are based on casino roulette.

As you can see below, the wheel contains numbered red and black pockets around the rim, with a green ‘0’ pocket in French and European roulette and an additional ‘00’ pocket for American roulette.

The table is where players place their chips. Its surface contains numbered/coloured segments that correspond to the pockets on the roulette wheel (this is called the layout). In virtual roulette, the physical table is replaced with an electronic interface.

The wheel

roulette wheel

The table

roulette board
roulette bets

Placing bets

Between spins, the croupier will invite players to bet by placing their chips on parts of the table that correspond to numbers/segments of the wheel. The time between spins will vary and casinos will usually set different min/max bet limits.

roulette no more bets

Ball hits the wheel, 'No more bets'.

Once the croupier throws the ball into the wheel, they will declare ‘no more bets’ (traditionally: ‘rein ne va plus.’) The ball will be thrown in the opposite direction to the spin of the wheel. Deflectors in the centre of the wheel will knock the ball around and randomise its movement as its momentum decreases...

roulette winning

The winning pocket

Eventually, the ball will slow to the point that it is captured by one of the pockets around the circumference of the wheel. When it settles, the croupier will declare the winning number and colour.

roulette pay

Winnings distributed

The croupier will collect losses and distribute winnings according to the outcome of the spin, paying-out according to the probability attached to players’ bets. The process will then repeat.

roulette prison

En prison

Some, but not all, casinos employ the ‘en prison’ rule. This only applies to even bets (e.g. red/black, odd/even) and is enforced when the ball falls on a ‘0’ or ’00.’ If this happens on a losing bet, you will be able to reclaim half your initial bet or keep it all in play for the next spin. Your cash will be kept ‘in prison’ for as long as the ball keeps falling in a green pocket.

Available bets and payout odds

There are two main types of bets in roulette: inside bets with long odds and outside bets with shorter odds. In the following section you will find an overview of all the different types of bets and their corresponding odds.

Inside bets

These bets are so called because they are placed on the inside of the roulette table and include individual numbers or small groups.

roulette straight up
Straight up

A single number – chips are placed in the centre of a numbered square.

roulette split bet
Split bet

Two numbers – chips are placed on the line between two numbered squares.

roulette street bet
Street bet

Three numbers – chips are placed on the edge of a row of three numbered squares.

roulette corner bet
Corner bet

Four numbers – chips are placed on the adjoining corner of four numbers.

roulette line bet
Line bet

Six numbers – chips are placed on the line separating two rows of three numbered squares.

American roulette bets

The following three bets are only available if you're playing the American version of roulette.

Roulette Row Bet
Row bet

A bet on both 0 and 00.

Roulette Basket Bet
Basket bet

There are three possible basket bets: 0, 1 & 2; 0, 00 & 2 or 00, 2 & 3.

Roulette Top Row Bet
Top row bet

A bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 & 3.

Outside bets

Outside bets are placed on the outside of the table and have much shorter odds for the player.

roulette dozen bet
Dozen bet

12 numbers grouped sequentially (1-12, 13-24 or 25-36) – chips are placed in the table squares marked ‘1st 12’, ‘2nd 12’ and ‘3rd 12'.

roulette column bet
Column bet

12 numbers grouped in a column – chips are placed in the table squares marked ‘2 to 1’.

roulette colours bet
Colours bet

18 numbers grouped by colour – chips are placed in the table square containing a red or black diamond.

roulette high low bet
High/low bet

18 numbers grouped sequentially – chips are placed in the table squares marked ‘1 to 18’ and ‘19 to 36’.

roulette odds evens
Odds/Evens Bet

18 numbers grouped according to ‘even’ and ‘odd’ value – chips are placed in the table squares marked ‘EVEN’ and ‘ODD’.

Odds

Type of bet Pay-out Odds of winning (American) Odds of winning (European/French)
Straight up 35 to 1 37 to 1 36 to 1
Split 17 to 1 18 to 1 17.5 to 1
Street 11 to 1 11.667 to 1 11.334 to 1
Corner 8 to 1 8.5 to 1 8.25 to 1
Line 5 to 1 5.33 to 1 5.167 to 1
Column 2 to 1 2.167 to 1 2.083 to 1
Dozen 2 to 1 2.167 to 1 2.083 to 1
Even / Odd 1 to 1 1.111 to 1 1.055 to 1
High / Low 1 to 1 1.111 to 1 1.055 to 1
Coloured 1 to 1 1.111 to 1 1.055 to 1
 

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