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What is roulette?
The Roulette wheel was originally designed by a physicist in the 17th century who was trying in vain to produce a perpetual motion machine. While this type of wheel was used for other forms of gambling in the 17th century, it wasn’t until a hundred years later the Roulette was first played in France.
Roulette is French for little wheel, and the game revolves around the spinning wheel. Roulette wheels are each numbered from 0 to 36, with some variants having two zeros. The numbers are also coloured either red or black, and it’s these options that players bet on.
The game is very simple to play. The dealer or croupier spins a small ball in the opposite direction to the spinning wheel and wherever the ball lands is the winning option. Each number around the wheel has a small pocket for the ball to land in once it’s lost enough speed.
Different betting options have different payouts, with players able to bet on single numbers, groups of numbers, or colours as some examples. The simplicity of the game, coupled with the range of different betting options, is one of the reasons why it’s so popular.
Loads of different variations of the game exist which have different rules, so make sure you understand the game type you’re playing before you get started.
Why play roulette?
If you’ve never played Roulette before you might be wondering what’s so special about this game? It’s one of the most popular games in the world for good reason, here are some of the main reasons why so many people love to play Roulette:
- Good variety of odds – There are loads of different betting odds in Roulette, giving you plenty of variety and options. Depending on what you prefer, you can play it safe or go for the big payouts.
- Watching the wheel– The spinning Roulette wheel is the main attraction of the game and makes Roulette very exciting. There’s something about waiting for that ball to slow and drop that adds so much drama to the game.
- Easy to play – Roulette is one of the easiest casino games to get into. Just place your bet, and the dealer does the rest, easy!
- Different variations available – Alongside most classic casino games, Roulette has plenty of different versions out there. It’s no surprise that a game as old as Roulette has changed a little down the years. Different versions give you lots of options when you fancy a change of pace.
- Fairly low house edge – Compared to some games, Roulette has a relatively low house edge. OK, it’s not as low as games like Blackjack, but it’s still better than many others.
Before you start playing Roulette online, we’ve put together some tips to help you understand the game. While it’s true that Roulette is completely luck-based, it helps to know the different types of bets available. You should also make sure you know the different rules for each game type, which we’ll cover later.
Understanding roulette bets
One of the main reasons for the popularity of Roulette is the fact that there are so many different betting options. If you fancy a high risk, high reward game, you can play Roulette. Likewise, if you prefer to play it safe, you can also play Roulette. There are different betting options for all types of players, and depending on how you like to bet, some may be better than others.
We’ve put together this short explanation of the different types of bets and the payouts of each.
What are inside and outside bets?
Roulette tables have a series of betting options inside and outside the specific numbers on the wheel. When you got to a land-based casino, the Roulette table is next to the wheel, and you can place your chips down on the table for each bet you want to make. With online Roulette, simply select your bet from the provided options and choose your stake.
Inside bets refer to any type of bet relating to the specific numbers or groups of numbers. These are higher risk bets but with higher risk comes bigger payouts. Inside bets include the following:
- Straight number – This is where you choose a particular number on the wheel. Odds are 35 to 1. So for instance, if you picked the number 10 and bet $10, you’d win $350 if the ball lands on 10. All numbers have equal odds and equal chance of winning.
- Split bet – This bet allows you to bet on any two adjacent numbers on the wheel. If either number comes up, you win. For example, you might choose 1|2. The odds for this are 17 to 1. So if you bet $10 on 1|2 and the ball lands on 2, you’ll win $170.
- Street bet – A street bet covers a row of three numbers. You choose a row of adjacent numbers to bet on, and if the ball lands on any in the row, you’ll win. This bet pays out 11 to 1. So a bet of $10 will make you $110 if you win.
- Corner bet – A corner bet is a bet that the ball will land on one of four numbers. The numbers need to touch each other in a square on the Roulette table. This bet pays out 8 to 1, betting $10 will give you $80 if the ball lands on any of your numbers.
- Line bet – Similar to the street bet, only instead of a three-number row, you’re betting on two rows, six numbers in total. They have to be consecutive rows on the Roulette table. Sometimes known as six number bets, these payout 5 to 1.
- Five-number bet – The five-number bet has the highest house edge of any Roulette bet at 7.9%. It’s a bet on the first five numbers on the Roulette table and pays out 6 to 1. If you bet $10, you’ll win back $60 if any of the numbers land.
Outside bets are located at the outside of the Roulette table. These are typically safer bets and allow you to bet on large numbers of groups. All of these bets lose if the ball lands on 0 or 00. They include the following:
- Red or Black – This is betting on whether a red or black number will win. If you look at the Roulette wheel, you’ll see that all the numbers have a colour of either red, black or green. The 0 and 00 are the only green numbers. All others are either red or black. This bet is an even money bet, giving you your stake 1x if you win. The presence of the 0 and 00 mean it’s not a 50/50 bet though. If you bet $10 on black and the ball lands on black, you’ll win $10.
- Odds or Evens – Another even money bet, you’ll bet on whether the ball will land on an odd number or an even number. Again, if the ball lands on 0 or 00, you’ll lose, even if you picked evens.
- High or Low – This is a bet on whether the ball will land on low numbers (1-18) or high numbers (19-36). This is another even money bet. A win from $10 will win you $10.
- Columns – The Roulette table can be split into three vertical columns. This is a bet that the ball will land on any of the twelve numbers from your chosen column. Each column pays out at odds of 2 to 1, doubling your stake if you land a win.
- Dozens – This bet also covers twelve numbers, but this time in consecutive order. So you can choose the first twelve with numbers of 1-12, the second twelve from 13-24 or the third from 25-36. Odds are also 2 to 1, giving you $20 if you bet $10 and win.
Other types of bets
Some special types of Roulette, including French Roulette, may feature some other betting types. These can include the following:
- Voisons du zero – This is French for neighbors of zero. In other words, this bet is for the seventeen numbers that lie on each side of the number zero on the wheel. The bet is split nine ways, with five splits and a double on both a trio and corner bet.
- Jeu zero – Known as zero game. Similar to voisons du zero, this involves the numbers closest to the number zero but will be placed differently. The bet is split into four parts and placed on three splits and one straight bet.
- Tiers du cylindre -The third of the wheel. This bet covers twelve numbers across six splits in roughly a third of the Roulette wheel.
- Orphelins – These are the orphans, the eight numbers which aren’t included in either the tiers or voisons Your bet is split five ways between four splits and one straight bet.
- Neighbours – Neighbour bets are when you choose a number to place a straight bet and also place bets on the two adjacent numbers on each side.
- Final bets – A final bet is a bet placed on all numbers with the same final digit. For example, if you place a final bet on zeros, all numbers ending in zero will have a straight bet placed on them. For most numbers this is four individual bets. For seven and nine, it’s just three.
What is La Partage rule?
La partage is French for the divide and is a rule found in French Roulette. It’s one of the reasons why many online casino players favour French Roulette as it lowers the house edge. This makes the game more player-friendly and a lot more enjoyable.
This rule is only in effect for outside bets, so if you’re placing straight bets or any of the other inside bets, it won’t apply. If you’re playing French Roulette with an outside bet and the ball lands on zero, instead of automatically losing your stake, the dealer will instead divide your stake and return half back to you.
What is the En Prison rule?
The en prison rule is another rule in effect while playing French Roulette. Again, it helps lower the house advantage and also gives players a more interesting way to make outside bets.
As with la partage, en prison comes into effect when you’re placing an outside bet. If the ball lands on zero, you can choose to either get half of your stake back or place your bet in prison. If you choose to keep it in prison, your stake will be active the next spin, and if it wins, you’ll get your whole stake back.
As an example, if you bet $100 on black and the ball lands on zero, you’ll have the choice between prison or split. If you choose split, you’ll receive $50 back while the casino takes the other half. If you choose prison, your $100 bet remains in play for the next spin. If the ball lands on black, you’ll win the whole stake back. If it lands on red or green, you’ll lose.
Online roulette strategy
As Roulette is a purely luck-based game, there isn’t anything you can do to swing the odds in your favour. Online games are based on random number generation (RNG), that ensures each outcome is completely random and impossible to influence.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps you can take to improve your odds of being successful, however. Follow these tips and you’ll start to see improved luck when playing Roulette online:
- Know the rules – This seems obvious, but many players like to rush in without reading the rules first. Don’t assume that the game type you’re playing is the same as the one you’re used to. Many different types of Roulette introduce different rules and betting types, and some are more player-friendly than others.
- Understand house edge – The house edge is the advantage that the casino has over you. Before playing any online casino game, it’s important to understand that all games have rules that favour the casino. This doesn’t mean that you can’t win, but it does mean that some games are a lot less appealing than others. Roulette has a relatively low house edge, meaning it is possible to get some good wins from spinning the wheel.
- Play French Roulette for the best odds – Roulette generally has a low house edge, but some versions of the game are much higher than others. Double zero Roulette is one of the worse types to play as the two zeros mean the house has a much higher edge. French Roulette has the lowest house edge, thanks in part to the single zero and the la partage rule.
- Manage your bankroll – Your bankroll is how much you have available to bet. You want to make sure you set aside a bit each month to play with and be careful not to go over it. When placing bets, try to place them as a percentage of your bankroll. That way, as you win your bets get bigger, and as you lose, they get smaller. This will help to prolong your bankroll and keep you in profit for longer.
- Limit your losses and wins – Before starting, make sure you set realistic limits on both your wins and your losses. You should always stop when you reach your limit. This way, you can avoid chasing losses or getting too carried away with wins.
Playing roulette for free
Before you get started playing any online casino game, it’s always a good idea to get to know the rules. Roulette is no different, and even though it’s a simple game to get into, there are plenty of different rules and variations to be aware of.
The best ways to get to grips with a new game is to practice. If you’re new to the casino and don’t want to risk your own money on practising, don’t worry, there is a better option. Most online casinos provide free demo versions of the most popular games.
With a demo, you don’t need to risk your own cash to play. Simply load up the game and play with credits instead of real money. Just bear in mind that you won’t be able to cash in on any winnings you make while playing demo games.
Practice makes perfect, and demo Roulette is a great way to learn how the game works and what to expect. Before you start playing for money, we always recommend checking out the free demo version of a game.
Online roulette bonuses
Another way to try out casino games with minimal risk is by using online casino bonuses. Most sites offer special bonuses and promotions to both new and current players. As a new player, you’ll usually be able to claim a matched deposit bonus which can be used to play any game on the site.
A lot of casinos will also provide free bets or bonuses to current or returning players as a way to encourage loyalty towards a site. Sometimes these bonuses are for specific games and other times they can be used across all games on the site.
Before you sign up and claim a bonus, make sure you read the full terms and conditions. You should check to see whether the bonus can be used to play Roulette or if it is locked to only be used on certain games. It’s also a good idea to look up the wagering requirements and make sure they’re not too restrictive. Some bonuses look good at first but have big wagering requirements that make them impossible to fully unlock. Many bonuses also have a lower wagering requirement contribution for table games like Roulette than for games like slots.
If you want to find out the latest and best casino bonuses, Xfire is the best place to look. Here at Xfire, we always keep up to date with the best deals offered by online casinos and keep players like you in the loop. We look for bonuses that can be used to play games like Roulette and have minimal wagering requirements. Whether you prefer matched deposits or no deposit bonuses, you can find them all here on our site.
Types of roulette
As we’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of different versions of Roulette out there. Some of them are more commonly found online than others. Depending on where you live, you might be used to playing one type over another as there are a few different regional variations of Roulette across the world.
If you’re looking to get a better understanding of the different types of Roulette available, we’ve written up this guide on some of the most popular Roulette game types. We’ve also added some detail about what to expect from each game and the lowest house edge of each.
You can use this guide to assess which type of Roulette you should be playing and hopefully have more success when at the Roulette table!
Online roulette vs roulette in a land-based casino
A lot of new players often ask us what the difference is between online Roulette and Roulette in a real, brick and mortar casino. In truth, there aren’t that many differences as the online casinos want to give you as close to an authentic casino experience as possible. There are a lot of benefits of playing Roulette online, however. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of online Roulette compared to land-based Roulette.
Advantages of online roulette
- Convenience – The biggest advantage of online Roulette is the fact that you can play whenever you want. Most land-based casinos have opening times, and unless you live right outside, you’ll have to travel to get there. With an online casino, you just load up the site in your browser or app and start playing. Most modern online casinos even allow you to play on a mobile device, letting you take your casino experience wherever you go.
- More variety – In most cases, the selection of different game types and the number of tables available is much better online than in real life. Land-based casinos might offer one or two types of Roulette, but you can find loads of different variations online.
- Faster gameplay – Online casino games do away with the need to wait for lots of players around the table to place their bets. As soon as you bet and confirm, the wheel starts spinning. This faster gameplay allows you to get a lot more bets in and hopefully more wins too!
- More gameplay options – With online Roulette, there are usually much more gameplay options to make things more exciting. Examples include playing at multiple tables at once and having more betting options.
- Casino bonuses – Unlike land-based casinos, almost all online casinos offer bonuses to their players. There are loads of sites offering big welcome bonuses that can be used to play Roulette. On top of this, you can often get regular bonuses and offers from some sites, allowing you to get more out of your online Roulette experience.
Disadvantages of online roulette
- Less social – A trip to the casino can be a great social experience, and it’s one of the main things that a lot of online casinos are missing. Nothing beats going to the casino with your mates and coming home with lots of wins and stories. With online casinos, it’s more of a solitary experience.
- Playing against a computer can get boring – For a lot of players, playing against the computer can’t compare to playing against a real dealer. Playing in a real land-based casino adds a lot of excitement that can’t be matched with online casinos. Live casino games are a good way to improve this aspect, however.
Live roulette vs regular online roulette
Live casino games are the answer to the two main disadvantages of online casino games. Rather than playing with a computer program, you’ll instead be playing across from a real dealer. Just like playing at a land-based casino, you’ll get an authentic casino experience with live casino games.
Roulette is one of the most popular live casinos games and instead of a computer, the game uses a real wheel in a live studio. The dealer and the wheel are live-streamed to your computer or mobile device, giving you maximum convenience.
With live casino games, you join a table rather than just starting a game straight away. This does mean that you might have to wait during peak times, but it also gives you an added social benefit. Most sites will allow you to chat with other players and the dealer as you play, giving you a more interactive experience.
Live casino games are the future of online casinos in our opinion, and they manage to perfectly recreate casino experience in the comfort of your home. If you want to discover the best sites that offer live Roulette games, check out our dedicated live casino page. We list all of the top casinos that provide live casino games and even include live casino bonuses for you to enjoy.
Popular online roulette game types
One of our favourite things about online Roulette over Roulette at a land-based casino is the huge variety of game types available. While some are definitely better than others, it’s always good to have options. With so many different types of Roulette available online, it’s hard to ever get bored. Here are the three most popular Roulette game types you’ll come across:
European Roulette is probably the most common type of Roulette you’ll come across online. Almost all online casinos offer at least one version of European Roulette, even if you’re not in Europe.
The Roulette wheel here has thirty-seven pockets, with thirty-six red or black numbers and one green, the zero. This game type’s lowest possible house edge is 2.7%. Make sure you read the rules before you play, as some sites use slightly different rules than others.
American Roulette is different from any other type of Roulette in that it has thirty-eight pockets, one more than European or French Roulette. Unfortunately, this extra pocket is taken up by a second zero.
American Roulette has two green numbers, the 0 and 00. Because of this, the house edge is higher, and because payouts in the game are the same, it’s an unfavourable game type to play. The lowest possible house edge in American Roulette is 5.26%, nearly double that of European Roulette.
French Roulette uses the same type of wheel as European Roulette, but it has a slightly different table and betting options. If you want to see the extra betting options, they’re including in the Roulette betting options above. The main things that set French Roulette apart from European Roulette and give it the lowest house edge are the la partage and en prison rules.
These special rules mean that just because the ball lands on zero for an outside bet, it doesn’t mean that you lose your stake. La partage gives you half your stake back, and en prison allows you to bet your stake again on the next spin. These rules make French Roulette the most player-friendly game type and give it house edge as low as 1.35%.
Online Roulette tournaments are fairly rare but can sometimes be found at big online casinos. These competitions give you a new way to enjoy Roulette online, rather than playing against the dealer, you’ll be trying to beat other players.
Roulette tournaments are fairly straightforward. You’ll enter the tournament and be given a set amount of chips to play with. Then you’ll play with a group of other players around the same table and have to try and last longer than the rest.
Each time you beat a table, you’ll progress in the tournament until the final table. Most online casinos offer lots of big prizes for tournament winners. You can find full details of the latest online casino tournaments on our tournament page. We’ll let you know the best tournaments to enter and how to win the biggest prizes!
Playing roulette on the go
If you enjoy taking your games on the go, you’re in luck! Most online casinos now allow you to play Roulette on your mobile device, meaning you can spin the wheel and place your bets wherever you go. Playing online casino games has quickly become one of our favourite ways to alleviate the boredom of long journeys.
Whether you have an iOS or Android device, online casinos are now available to play on mobile devices without needing to download additional software. Some sites do offer dedicated apps to players, allowing for a smoother and more mobile-friendly experience.
Some online casinos even offer special bonuses to mobile users. If you want to find the best online casinos that offer mobile Roulette, you can check out our site reviews. We always test the mobile functionality of a site and whether it has a complete collection of games available for mobile players.