How to Play Roulette

There’s a lot more to playing roulette than just guessing the pocket in which the ball will land after your spin. Most importantly, roulette involves strategies, tricks, knowing the rules.

In this case, if you want to excel at playing roulette, you will need to master the game and become excellent at everything it entails. Let’s take it step by step and learn how to play roulette once and for all.

The Steps to Playing Roulette

1. Buy chips

Roulette requires precision and speed. After all, you need to make quick but realistic predictions the minute you join the game. Before you do any of that, you will have to exchange your money for chips, since playing with real money is not allowed.

Note: your number of chips will equal your traded dollar value.

2. Find a table with adequate table limits

Once you purchase your chips, the next step will be locating a suitable table. Typically, it’s best to choose a table with minimum limits that pair with your budget.

Additionally, take note of the number of zeros on the roulette wheel. Since the total number of pockets in roulette is 37, if you go for a double zero wheel, that will add an extra 00 slot making the total number of pockets 38.

Another crucial aspect to consider when finding a table is to identify the wheel roller. Essentially, the wheel roller uses a marker to identify the winning numbers of the previous spins. Even if you see specific repeating numbers on a table, every bet on the layout has a 50-50 chance of occurring in the next spin, unless you are dealing with a biased wheel.

3. Observe What is Happening on the Table

Instead of getting to a table and wagering right off the bat, take a step back to observe everything happening on the table. One of the biggest tips when playing roulette is to be patient and trust the process.

Likewise, make sure to watch the croupier and take note of any repetitive actions. Although it’s uncommon, some croupiers tend to drop the ball in a particular fashion, and it ends up landing in similar pockets. Furthermore, take this time to observe the players already in action. This is a great time to take note of the strategies other players are using, and also a key moment to determine if the table you’re considering is hot or cold.

4. Place the bet

The next step when learning how to play roulette is to know how and when to place your bets.

In reference to the second step, each table has minimum and maximum betting limits. Besides that, you must calculate whether you need to place roulette outside bets or roulette inside bets.

5. Dealer spins the wheel

Once everyone on the table is done placing bets, the dealer will proceed to spin the roulette wheel. The wheel spinning portion will only take a few seconds, but the outcome depends on the bets you’ve placed.

Each spin will result in the ball dropping on a particular pocket, and if you’re lucky, the winner will be the pocket you have chosen.

6. Outcome and Payouts

Depending on whether you placed a black bet or a Voisins du Zero, you stand to either lose or win cash once the ball bounces on the pocket from the bottom track.

Players who win can either withdraw and enjoy their payouts or parlay. On the other hand, losers can choose to stop the game or apply the double-up system of betting to regain lost money. Overall, the type of roulette bets you make depends on your strategy.

Roulette Payouts Compared

Understanding the roulette payouts is crucial when learning the basics of how to win in roulette. All roulette rules have different house edges, and those play a massive role in your payouts regardless of the bet you chose. Usually, the payouts in roulette are denoted in the form of x:1. This means that for every dollar you wager, you have a chance to win x payout.

Additionally, house margin affects the overall payout. The higher the house margin, the lower the chances of receiving a payout. So far, there are three primary types of roulette wheels, and each has a different house edge.

For example, French roulette is usually the best roulette wheel since the house edge is only 1.35%, courtesy of the La Partage rule and the ability to push for a tie. On the other hand, the European wheel has a house edge of 2.7%. The worst wheel to play is the American Roulette, whose house edge is 5.26%, due to the availability of a double zero.

Types of Bets

Even though the amount you can earn depends on the type of wheel you are playing, the types of bets placed determine your payout as well. Since the payouts differ depending on inside or outside bets, the breakdown for each is as follows:

Inside Bets

Type of BetHouse EdgeRTP/ Odds to Win
Straight Up2.6%35:1
Six Line13.2%5:1
Five Number 15.8%6:1

Outside Bets

Type of BetHouse EdgeRTP/ Odds to Win

Top Roulette Strategies

Mastering the best roulette strategies involves establishing working methods that you can use to win the roulette game. Even though the game is all about luck, a good roulette strategy can go a long way in helping you manage your bankroll and increase your winning chances.

Moreover, the best roulette strategies include the following:

Martingale Strategy

The Martingale is an incredible winning approach that works best on roulette tables with low bet limits. If you apply this strategy to tables with high limits, you can end up losing a significant amount of money within a short time.

The Martingale tactic involves doubling your stake after every loss. This approach guarantees you will break even the moment you place a winning bet.

The D’Alembert Strategy

The D’Alembert approach is considered a less aggressive strategy and is great when placing even money bet. If you want to try out this method, you will need to increase your stakes by one after a loss, and multiply by two after a win. By using this tactic, you are likely to avoid losing too much money, unless you are already on a losing streak.

The Fibonacci Strategy

Another great roulette betting strategy that applies only to even bets is the Fibonacci method. Since it follows the Fibonacci sequence, it is one of the safest methods for traditional players. The Fibonacci sequence is accomplished by adding the two bets preceding your next bet and then wager the sum. A typical example of the Fibonacci sequence is 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8.

The James Bond Strategy

The last roulette strategy we highly recommend is known as the James Bond strategy. Typically, this method is intended for players that want to spend a shorter amount of time on the table. This tactic raises the winning chances to 2/3.

By following the James Bond strategy, your initial $140 should be placed on a high bet. From there, your second bet of $50 should be on numbers 13 to 18. To finish, you need to reserve $10 to bet on a single zero.

Why Roulette Strategies Don't Always Work

Prior to applying any of the previously mentioned strategies, you should know that it is not a guarantee that each of the tactics will work, and here are reasons why.

  • Changing your bet type progressively does not increase your winning chances.

The strategy might be incredible, but tactics do not impact your winning probability. In this case, you may end up losing the whole session making the method useless. Usually, this is the case for players using the Martingale and the D’Alembert betting methods.

  • There is no winning or losing streak in roulette.

The chances of a ball landing on a particular number or color are equal throughout the table. Moreover, this means that it’s hard to come across biased numbers or winning streak colors. Thus, in turn, making it hard to effectively apply roulette strategies.

  • Roulette spins don’t entail rare events.

The rarity of a particular number happening is equal all throughout the wheel. This cancels out the idea of rare events on a roulette game. The only reason why players may assume these rare events exist is that they haven’t watched the roulette wheel long enough.

Roulette Tips

Like any other casino game, your winning chances when playing online roulette depend on the number of winning tips you have. In fact, that is one of the vital topics to pay attention to when learning how to play roulette or how to successfully win at roulette.

Note that most of these tips cover a wide scope, and all have been proven successful over time. To become a successful player, you must know the amount of probable winning numbers on a roulette wheel as well as the best roulette bets. Besides, it’s equally important to understand the rules for roulette in order to use the following tips.

  • Always consider a roulette table with en prison or surrender– If you want to increase your chances of winning by cutting the house edge into half, go for games that have en prison or surrender bets. Such games allow the player to keep half the bet in case zero shows.
  • Favor single zero roulette wheels over double zero ones- Calculated players will always go for roulette wheels with single zeros since they increase players’ winning chances. A roulette wheel with only one zero cuts the house edge in half compared to double zero roulette wheels.
  • Always check your bankroll– Wagering blindly is one of the top mistakes new roulette players make. Being a game of pure chance, set aside the money you want to wager. If your bankroll runs dry prior to winning, stop playing. While this tip may not be on the list of roulette table rules, it is undoubtedly an incredible way to avoid substantial losses.
  • Only make wagers that pay even money– Try and stick to even-money stakes when placing your bet. Even money stakes have impressive payouts, and that's as good as it can get on a roulette game.
  • Focus more on placing the minimum bet possible– The more you play, the higher the chances of winning. In that case, make sure you stretch your bankroll by placing manqué bets.
  • Keep part of your winnings– Admittedly, it’s easy to lose track of your money while playing any type of roulette game. So, unless you have a choppy game, make sure you save part of your earnings. We recommend getting in the habit of keeping half of what you win. By doing so, you are more likely to end up with a profit at the end of the game.
  • Always bring money you are ready to lose- Once you decide to play roulette, make sure you only use the money you can afford to lose. Even if you notice biased numbers, we don’t advise increasing your bankroll in an attempt to regain lost cash.
  • Try to apply combination bets once a chance appears– After observing the table, it’s recommended to place a strategic combination bet because it increases your chances of winning by a small percentage.

Despite any roulette tips and tricks, the house will always have the edge. Regardless, these are small, impactful tips that can make a difference and ultimately increase your chances of winning.

Play Roulette with Bonus Money

Above all, this information is important for both in-person roulette and online roulette games. Many experts encourage playing online roulette games because they offer bonuses that can be used to increase your winning chances, all while sparing your real money.

Additional advantages of online roulette include:

  • It provides complete access to the table, unlike physical roulette games.
  • Enjoy the games at your pace.
  • Online roulette tends to have various betting options, not just colonne and cheval.
  • Players have access to other roulette varieties, not just American and European roulette.
  • Online roulette sites allow players to keep track of their moves for reference.

Final Thoughts

All in all, understanding how to play roulette is straightforward, and the game itself is a lot of fun. Though there are a couple of strategies that can help you beat the house in the long run, winning at any of the roulette variations is pure luck.

Thus, gamble responsibly and remember that the game stops when the fun stops.

Roulette Rules Glossary

  • American Roulette– A roulette version where the roulette wheel has 38 pockets inclusive of zero and a double zero usually popular in South, Central, and North America.
  • Backtrack– The outer rim of the roulette wheel where the live dealer spins the ball.
  • Bet on the layout– A bet placed on the number portions of the roulette table
  • Biased numbers– A number that occurs continually due to a biased wheel.
  • Biased wheel– An imperfect roulette wheel where certain numbers appear more frequently than others.
  • Black bet– A wager indicating the ball will stop on a black number.
  • Block betting– A block of numbers covering a particular section of the wheel.
  • Bottom track– The inner section of any roulette wheel usually where the ball slides to before bouncing to a pocket.
  • Call bets– Calling your bets while the wheel is spinning instead of placing chips on a marked table area.
  • Carre– A French term for placing a bet where four numbers in a particular segment will win.
  • Chameleon Strategy– A roulette strategy where a player copies other winning players’ strategies.
  • Check rack– The tray that holds casino chips.
  • Cheval– A roulette French word for slip bet.
  • Choppy Game– A table where both the player and the house haven’t been consistently winning.
  • Cold Table– A roulette table where losses are frequent.
  • Colonne– A roulette French word for column bet.
  • Combination Bet– Placing a bet on two or more numbers regardless of the number of chips.
  • Croupier– A person who mans the roulette table by taking bets and spinning the roulette wheel.
  • Double Up System of betting– Doubling your stakes after losing, also known as the Martingale system.
  • Double Zero– A roulette wheel where one of the pockets has a double zero.
  • Dozen Bet– A wager that covers 12 numbers of an entire column.
  • En Plein– A straight-up bet in French.
  • En Prison– A French term that allows the player not to lose even bets once zero displays. Instead, the bet is locked or prisoned, awaiting another spin.
  • European wheel– A roulette wheel where there is only a single zero pocket.
  • Even money– A flat bet or a bet with a payout chance of 1:1.
  • High Bet– A bet or prediction indicating that the ball will land on one of the highest numbers.
  • Impair– A bet indicating the ball will fall on an odd number.
  • La Partage– A bet where the player loses half the wager if zero shows.
  • Manque– A French word indicating a low bet.
  • Marker– A device used by dealers to show a winning number after every spin.
  • Orphans– A bet on three close numbers on the wheel but not on the table.
  • Orphelins– A bet on a group of numbers neighboring each other on the roulette wheel but not on the roulette table.
  • Parlay– To double a bet following winning spin.
  • Six Line– An inside bet or a line bet typically on six numbers.
  • Split– Staking on two numbers that are side by side.
  • Straight Up Bet– Wagering on only one number.
  • Street– A wager on a row of numbers on the roulette table.
  • Transversale– A trio bet or a street bet in French.
  • Visual wheel tracking– Following the wheel visually and predicting where it will land.
  • Voisins du Zero– A wager covering the final third of the wheel.
  • Wheel checks– Unmarked chips that only apply on the roulette table.
  • Wheel clocking– Tracking the roulette wheel either to determine a biased wheel or to get an edge.
  • Wheel roller– A dealer who explicitly operates the roulette wheel.

How to Play Roulette FAQs

What is the possibility of winning an even-money bet on an American roulette wheel?

On an American roulette wheel, you stand a chance to win 18 times and lose your bet 30 times if you stake on even money.

Why do people refer to the five number bet as the beast on American roulette?

The reason why people refer to the number five as the beast is because it has the highest house edge. For American roulette, the number five bet has a house edge of 7.89%.

How much time do I have before placing a bet?

Even though it all depends on how many players are on the table, we recommend taking 20 seconds to place a bet. The more people that are at a table, the dealer will focus on keeping the game running in a timely fashion.

What is the expected payout if you bet on green?

Betting on green gives a player a chance to win of 35:1. This means that you can ultimately earn 35 times your stake.

Is there a way to increase my winning probability?

If you want to increase your winning possibilities, consider making roulette outside bets. Roulette outside bets occur more often, raising the overall odds.