Learn How to Play Roulette
If we called this article Roulette Rules for Dummies we’d be right on the money, but the truth is, roulette is easy enough for anyone to learn quickly and easily.
Pick a number or group of numbers, place your bet, and hope the ball lands on a winner. After reading just that one sentence you could start playing right now. But wait.
When you’re gambling, information is power and we want you to have every edge possible when you hit the roulette table. That’s why we’re taking a deep-dive into roulette rules right here.
Top 10 Most Important Roulette Rules
Roulette isn’t complicated but if you want the best chance of winning and having fun you have to learn the basics.
Here’s a rundown of the ten most important points to remember.
- The roulette wheel and table layout has 36 numbered pockets that alternate between black and red.
- European roulette has a single green zero while an American roulette wheel also has a green double-zero.
- Live roulette tables usually have a maximum of seven players at one time while online roulette tables can accommodate an unlimited number of players.
- Players bet on numbers or groups of numbers by placing chips in betting boxes on the table layout.
- There are separate minimum bets for inside bets (numbers in the grid) and outside bets (bets on groups of numbers arranged outside the number grid).
- The dealer spins a small metal ball in the turning roulette wheel. When the ball loses momentum it falls into the wheel’s bowl and lands in a random pocket to determine the winning number.
- After the dealer has spun the ball there is a short period of time before he will call, “No more bets.”
- When a winning number is chosen by the wheel, the dealer places a marker called a “dolly” on the corresponding number on the table.
No one is allowed to take back their chips, collect their winnings, or place new bets until the dealer has paid all the winning bets and removed the dolly.
- Live roulette uses special color-coded chips for each player. Exchange cash or casino chips for roulette chips at the roulette table when you start playing.
- When you’re finished playing, exchange your roulette chips for regular casino chips from the dealer.
Remember these key rules and then take your game to the next level with our roulette strategy guide.
UNDERSTANDING ROULETTE GAMEPLAY
It doesn’t matter if you’re playing online or at a brick and mortar casino, basic roulette gameplay is pretty much identical.
Let’s go through an example of a roulette game to make things really clear.
Join the Table
If you’re playing online, just click on the roulette game in the lobby and you’ll automatically join the game.
If you’re playing live, approach an empty space at the table and exchange your cash or casino chips for colored roulette chips from the dealer.
Wait for Next Spin
Chances are there will be a spin in progress when you arrive. Wait until a winning number is chosen and the dealer has paid off winning bets and removed the dolly before getting involved.
Place Your Bets
In roulette it’s really common for people to make lots of different bets. The big thing to remember is that every table has a specific minimum bet for inside bets and outside bets.
In our example the minimum for inside bets is $10 and the minimum for outside bets is also $10. On inside bets the minimum you can place on each bet is $1. This usually corresponds to the denomination given to you in colored roulette chips.
As players are making bets the dealer will make sure the wheel is gently spinning clockwise and then quickly spin the ball in the opposite direction along the top of the wheel’s bowl.
After a few moments the dealer will call, “No more bets,” and wave his hand over the table.
The Winning Number
As the ball slows down it drops into the bowl and eventually lands on a random number to determine the winner.
The dealer will call out the number and it will appear on the roulette board above the wheel.
The dealer places a marker called a dolly on the winning number on the table. The dealer pulls all losing bets off the table and then pays all the winning bets.
Only when the dealer is done and has removed the dolly may the players take back their bets and winnings and then place new bets for the next spin.
One great way to learn roulette is to play for free at any of our top-rated online casinos. You can sign up and practice playing free roulette with no deposit and zero risk.
Insider Roulette Tips
Roulette is a great game because even with basic strategy the house edge is relatively low.
That said, there are a few powerful tips that can increase your chances of winning even further.
Always choose European (single-zero) roulette
Probably THE biggest roulette tip is to stay away from double-zero roulette completely.
American roulette has twice the house edge compared to the single-zero version so there’s really no good reason to ever play it.
That’s especially true since all our top-rated online casinos offer single-zero roulette along with big bonuses to get you started.
Try to find tables with Surrender or En Prison rules
European roulette already has a really low house edge of around 2.7% but that number goes down even further if the game uses Surrender or En Prison rules.
Both of these rules cut the house edge in half.
Surrender means that when you lose an even-money bet like red/black because the ball lands on the green zero, you only lose half your bet.
En prison is similar except when it hits zero, your even-money bet is locked up until the next spin. If the bet wins on the next spin you get it back, if not you lose.
Always play roulette responsibly
Another tip that’s really important whenever you’re gambling for money is to play within your bankroll.
If you’re playing real money roulette only bet what you can afford to lose, keep it fun, keep it recreational, and keep it affordable.
Another helpful tip is to get familiar with all the different roulette bets, odds, and payouts available when you’re playing roulette.
Play Real Money Roulette
Whether you want to learn how to play roulette or cash in on the strategies you already know, online casinos are by far the best place to do it.
Nowadays the best casinos offer live dealer roulette. That means the dealer’s a real person you can chat to who uses a real roulette table to play with. It’s super interactive and it makes online gaming way more social and fun.
Use our expert site reviews to find an online casino you’ll love and get a valuable welcome bonus when you sign up and deposit.