How to play roulette – A Beginner’s Guide

Roulette is a classic casino game that combines chance with a spectrum of betting options. Players bet on where they believe a ball will land on a spinning wheel, which is divided into numbered and colored compartments. The allure of roulette lies in its blend of simplicity and the potential for varied betting strategies. Whether a player prefers to bet on single numbers for high payouts or to cover broader options like red or black, the game caters to a wide range of risk appetites.


The layout of the roulette table reflects the variety of bets available. Players have the option of placing ‘inside bets’ on specific numbers or small combinations, offering higher odds but lower chances of winning. Alternatively, ‘outside bets’ cover larger groups of numbers, such as even/odd or red/black, providing better odds of winning but with smaller payouts. Understanding the different types of bets and their odds is crucial to navigating the game.

Each spin of the roulette wheel brings with it the anticipation of a potential win. The dealer, or croupier, spins the wheel in one direction and rolls the ball in another; wherever the ball comes to rest determines the winning number and color. The randomness of the spin is what makes roulette a game of luck, and players must be prepared for any outcome. As with any form of gambling, success at the roulette table is never guaranteed, and individuals should gamble responsibly.

Roulette Equipment

Roulette, a classic casino game, relies on specific equipment for gameplay. The right equipment ensures that the game is fair, standardized, and enjoyable.

The Roulette Wheel

The centerpiece of roulette is the wheel itself. It consists of a spinning disk with divisions numbered from 1 to 36 in a seemingly random pattern and alternating red and black colors. Additionally, it includes one or two green divisions numbered 0 and, in American roulette, 00. The wheel must be balanced and regularly inspected for biases.

The Betting Table

Adjacent to the wheel is the betting table, where players place their bets. The layout is marked with numbers and various bet categories. There are two styles:

Roulette Balls

Made of ivory or synthetic plastic, these balls must be of a specific size and weight. There are typically two balls used interchangeably to ensure fair play.

Chips and Cashier

Players use distinct chips to place bets. These are different than those used for other casino games to avoid confusion. The cashier stand is where players obtain chips and redeem them for cash. A typical arrangement is as follows:

Type Function
Color Chip Used exclusively at the roulette table. Available in various colors.
Cash Chip Represents monetary value and can be used across different games.

Basic Rules of Roulette

Roulette is a game of chance played on a wheel with 37 or 38 numbered pockets. Players bet on where a ball will land after the wheel is spun. The rules are simple, but understanding the specifics of betting and payouts is critical for players.


Players must exchange their cash or casino chips for special roulette chips, each with a distinct color to differentiate player bets. These chips have a value assigned upon purchase which is often the table’s minimum bet.

Placing Bets

Bets are placed on a layout where numbers are arranged in 12 rows of three numbers forming three vertical columns. The 0 and 00 (in American Roulette) are at the top of the columns. Players can make various types of bets:

Gameplay Procedure

The dealer spins the wheel in one direction and the ball in the opposite. Bets can be placed until the dealer calls “no more bets.” The ball eventually lands in a numbered pocket, determining the winning number and color.


Payouts depend on the type of bet placed by the player:

Bet Type Payout Ratio Example of Winning Bet
Straight 35:1 1 chip on number 6 wins 35 chips
Split 17:1 1 chip on 5/6 split wins 17 chips
Street 11:1 1 chip on street 1-2-3 wins 11 chips
Corner 8:1 1 chip on corner 1-2-4-5 wins 8 chips
Six Line 5:1 1 chip on six line 1-6 wins 5 chips
Column 2:1 1 chip on column one (all numbers in column) wins 2 chips
Dozen 2:1 1 chip on dozen 1-12 wins 2 chips
Red or Black 1:1 1 chip on red wins 1 chip if the red number comes up
Even or Odd 1:1 1 chip on even wins 1 chip if an even number comes up
Low or High 1:1 1 chip on low (1-18) wins 1 chip if a number in this range comes up

Winning bets are paid out after each spin, while losing bets are collected by the dealer.

Betting Options

In roulette, players have a variety of betting options which fall into two categories: inside bets and outside bets. Each type offers different odds and payouts.

Inside Bets

Inside bets are placed on specific numbers or combinations of numbers on the inside part of the roulette table layout. They offer higher payouts but have lower odds of winning. Here’s a brief overview:

Outside Bets

Outside bets offer better odds of winning but come with smaller payouts. They are made on categories of numbers or specific colors. Descriptions for common outside bets include:

Roulette Strategies

Roulette strategies aim to manage bets and potentially enhance winning odds, although no strategy guarantees success. Players should comprehend the benefits and limitations of each approach, ensuring informed decision-making at the roulette table.

Martingale System

The Martingale System is a progression betting strategy. After a loss, the player doubles their bet, returning to the initial bet after a win. This system aims to recover past losses and gain a small profit.

Martingale Progression:

  1. Bet 1 unit, lose (-1)
  2. Bet 2 units, lose (-3)
  3. Bet 4 units, win (+1)
  4. Bet 1 unit (restart)

D’Alembert System

The D’Alembert System increases bets by one unit after a loss and decreases by one unit after a win, balancing out wagering amounts. It’s a less aggressive approach than Martingale, suitable for players preferring lower risk.

Fibonacci System

In the Fibonacci System, bets follow the Fibonacci sequence, where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones. Following a loss, bets move one step forward in the sequence; after a win, they move back two steps.

Fibonacci Sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, …

James Bond Strategy

The James Bond Strategy involves a flat betting system in which the bet distribution covers more than half of possible outcomes, except for the numbers 1-12. The bets are divided among high numbers, 0, and a 6-line bet.

Bet Type Numbers Covered Units Bet
High numbers 19-36 14
0 0 1
6-line 13-18 5

Roulette Variants

The various types of roulette offer different layouts and house edges. Each variant has specific rules that affect the gameplay and betting strategies.

European Roulette

European Roulette features a wheel with 37 pockets: numbers 1 to 36 and a single zero. The house edge is 2.7%, making it a favored option among players. Bets are placed on a combination of numbers, colors, or odds/evens.

American Roulette

American Roulette is distinguished by the inclusion of an extra pocket: the double zero (00). This version has a total of 38 pockets and a higher house edge of 5.26%. The presence of the double zero increases the number of betting options.

French Roulette

French Roulette is similar to the European version, with a single zero wheel. However, it features two additional rules: La Partage and En Prison, which can be applied when zero is spun.

Etiquette and Tips

In roulette, respectful interaction with dealers and other players is key. Understanding tipping practices and table manners contributes to an enjoyable experience.

Dealer Interaction

Dealers are central to the roulette experience, and players should address them politely. It’s important to follow their instructions, especially regarding when to place bets and when betting is closed. Players should not touch the marker of the winning number until payouts are complete.

Tipping Etiquette

It is customary to tip the dealer, especially after a winning streak. Tips can be given either by placing a bet for the dealer or handing them chips directly. A common approach is to tip around 5% of the winnings, but this can vary based on the casino’s culture and player’s discretion.

Table Manners

Players should maintain good table manners by keeping chips organized and not throwing them on the betting layout. It is courteous to give others space to place their bets and to avoid loud or disruptive behavior. One should refrain from using electronic devices at the table, as this can be distracting and is often against casino rules.

Odds and Payouts

In roulette, a player’s chance of winning is quantified by odds, while payouts determine the amount won for each bet. It’s crucial to grasp these concepts to make informed betting choices.

win roulette

Understanding Odds

Odds in roulette are expressed as the probability that a particular bet will win. The European roulette wheel contains 37 numbered slots, including a single zero, while the American wheel has 38, due to an additional double zero. The presence of zeros skews the odds slightly in favor of the house. For instance, a straight-up bet on a single number:

Other bets, such as red or black, have nearly a 50% chance of winning, except for the influence of zero slots, which again provide an edge to the house. To display these odds more formally:

Bet Type European Odds American Odds
Single Number 2.70% 2.63%
Red/Black 48.65% 47.37%
Odd/Even 48.65% 47.37%
1-18/19-36 48.65% 47.37%

Payouts for Bets

Payouts in roulette are inversely related to the odds of winning; the lower the odds, the higher the payout. The table below lists common bets and their respective payouts:

Bet Type Payout (European & American)
Single Number 35 to 1
Split 17 to 1
Street 11 to 1
Square (Corner) 8 to 1
Six Line 5 to 1
Columns/Dozens 2 to 1
Red/Black 1 to 1
Odd/Even 1 to 1
1-18/19-36 1 to 1

Bets on single numbers, while less likely to win, yield the greatest return, while more likely outcomes, such as red or black, pay out even money. It’s important for players to understand both the probabilities and the potential return when placing bets.

Playing Roulette Online

When playing roulette online, players have access to a multitude of platforms, each offering variations like live dealer games and computer-generated roulette that employs random number generation.

Online Roulette Platforms

Navigating online roulette platforms, especially within the best online casinos for real money australia, involves factors like game variety, security, and user experience. Choose reputable platforms to ensure fair play and an enjoyable roulette experience, balancing both entertainment and potential winnings.

Different online casinos provide various roulette games, with interfaces that range from simple and user-friendly to graphically complex ones that mimic real-life casino ambiance. Players should look for:

Live Dealer Roulette

Live dealer roulette offers an immersive experience that closely resembles playing in a physical casino. Features include:

Random Number Generation

RNG (Random Number Generation) roulette is the digital version of the game where outcomes are determined by computer algorithms. Here’s what players should know:

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When playing roulette, gamblers often fall into traps that can diminish their chances of success. Recognizing these pitfalls is essential for informed, strategic play.

Chasing Losses

A common error players make is trying to recover losses by placing increasingly larger bets. This compulsive behavior can lead to significant financial harm.

Misunderstanding Odds

Players sometimes assume that past outcomes influence future events, which is known as the gambler’s fallacy.

Ignoring Table Limits

Not adhering to the maximum and minimum bet limits of a roulette table can disrupt a player’s betting pattern and financial strategy.

Players are advised to choose a table with limits that match their bankroll and strategy.


In conclusion, playing roulette is about understanding the layout of the wheel and betting table, and knowing the types of bets available. Players place bets on where they believe the ball will land, with options ranging from specific numbers to colors and odd or even numbers. While there are various betting strategies, such as the Martingale or Fibonacci, it’s important to remember that roulette is primarily a game of chance. Bankroll management and setting limits are crucial for a responsible and enjoyable experience. Ultimately, success in roulette comes down to luck, making it a thrilling and unpredictable game for players of all levels.