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How to Play Online Roulette

Roulette is a game that requires you to guess which number/collection of numbers will appear on the roulette wheel. To decide which number/s appear, the wheel spins in one direction and a small ball is spun in the other direction by a croupier.

This combination of opposing spins ensures that the croupier has no control over the outcome. Indeed, it’s virtually impossible to predict where the ball is going to stop because the speed and force of each spin will always be slightly different.

Once the ball comes to a stop, the number it lands on will determine whether you’re a winner or not. To show you want we mean, let’s run through a quick scenario:

  1. You walk up to a European roulette table and place three chips on the following: 12, Red and 3rd 12.
  2. At this point, your bets will have covered the following number of options 12 = one number, Red = 18 numbers, 3rd 12 = 12 numbers.
  3. The wheel is spun, and the croupier calls time. This means the ball is about to be spun and your bets are locked on the roulette board.
  4. Eventually, the ball stops on the number 34.
  5. Because 34 is a red number located in the 3rd 12 section of the board, two of your bets have won.
  6. If we take the same scenario but the ball stops on 13, you’d lose because this number isn’t 12, is black and is in the 2nd 12 section of the roulette table.

That, in a nutshell, is how roulette works. The reason it’s become popular with players of all skill levels is that you can be as general or specific as you like. For those that want high returns, you can bet on individual numbers. For those that prefer to win more frequently, outside bets are better.

For more on roulette rules and payouts, check out the next section.

Online Roulette Betting Rules

All forms of online roulette will have a general set of rules that include:

  • Bet amounts must be equal to or greater than the table minimum and not more than the table maximum.
  • Betting limits will vary. Limits are typically lower for inside bets than outside bets.
  • You have to make your bet before the croupier calls time.
  • Once you’ve made a bet, you have to wait until the croupier clears the table before collecting your winnings (only matters live).

In practice, the rules of roulette are fairly simple. As long as you stick to the right limits and get your bets down on time, that’s it. In terms of what you can win, payouts for each betting option are as follows 

Roulette Betting Options: Inside Bets

  • Straight Up/Single Number: This is a bet on just one number. Get this right and you’ll receive a 35:1 payout
  • Split: This is a bet on two adjacent numbers i.e. you’re splitting the two. The payout on a split bet is 17:1
  • Street: A street bet covers three numbers in a row. When you place a chip on the end of a row and win, you’ll receive an 11:1 payout.
  • Quarter: To cover four numbers at once, you place a chip in the centre of an imaginary square. Doing this will split four numbers and earn you an 8:1 payout if successful.
  • Six-Line: This is two street bets rolled into one and is worth 5:1.
  • Top-Line Bet: This is a bet that’s exclusive to American roulette. To make this bet, place a chip on the line the runs through the middle of 0, 00 and 1, 2, 3. A successful top-line bet is worth 6:1.

Roulette Betting Options: Outside Bets

  • Dozen: Also referred to as 12s, cover 12 numbers and have payouts worth 2:1.
  • Column: Similar to a dozen bets, columns payout at 2:1 and cover 12 numbers.
  • Red/Black: This bet allows you to speculate on whether the number that hits will be red or black. Wins are worth 1:1.
  • Odd/Even: By betting on the number being odd or even, you can win 1:1 on your bet.
  • High/Low: Also known as 1 to 18 and 19 to 36, these bets cover half the board and payout at 1:1.

Online Roulette Strategies and Tips

Okay, so now we’ve covered the basics, let’s think about the best way to play roulette. Although there are no guarantees when you play this or any other casino game, there are a few things you can do to improve your experience:

Bet what you can afford. The beauty of roulette is that you can be as general or specific as you like. Use this dynamic to your advantage and choose options that not only fit with your level of tolerance for risk but your budget.

Play in sessions. Staying focused for an extended period of time is tough. To ensure you don’t lose your concentration and make silly moves, split your playtime into sessions. As a general rule, bursts of 10/15 minutes should ensure you’re always on the ball.

Go for the double dozen. Perhaps the best way to play roulette is to bet on two 12s at the same time. Doing this allows you to cover 24 numbers with just two bets. What’s more, when you wager equal amounts, you can still make a profit if the right number comes in. In other words, if you bet £5 and £5, the potential return on either is £5. Therefore, you’ll make a £5 profit and have almost 66% of the roulette table covered.

Play Online Roulette

The final thing to look at when it comes to roulette is the evolution of the game online. Thanks to innovative software and some creative ideas, it’s now possible to play in a myriad of ways via your desktop or mobile.

As a standard, American and European roulette are the most popular options inside any online casino. However, because virtual platforms don’t have the same space restrictions as live venues, new variants have emerged in recent years. A great example of this is multi-wheel roulette. Instead of betting on the outcome of a single wheel, you can speculate on as many as six.

Beyond the ability to try new variants, online roulette is great if you want to play for free. Using practice roulette tables, you can get a feel for the flow of a game, familiarise yourself with the general layout and try some betting techniques. More importantly, you can use practise roulette tables to have fun. Then, once you’re ready to win something tangible, you can play for real money by clicking a single button.

You can also play Live Roulette as part of our exclusive Live Casino.

Okay, that’s great, but is online roulette fair?

Absolutely. Just as the dealer has no control over the outcome in a live game, online casinos can’t influence the results in their own games. By using something known as a random number generator (RNG), casinos are able to offer games that are 100% fair. RNGs are audited and certified by third-party testing agencies and any operator without a fair system won’t be granted a gaming license. Therefore, when you play roulette online for free or for real money, you can be confident the action is just as fair and entertaining as it was back in Pascal’s day.

Roulette FAQs

How to play online roulette?

Online roulette is as elegantly simple as its land-based counterpart. Once you're signed up to the Betfair casino platform, you simply open the roulette table you want to play at, decide on your wager, and place that wager on the roulette bet of your choice. After this, the croupier spins the wheel and you simply wait to see if your numbers land.

What are the odds on roulette?

The odds of roulette depend on the roulette variant you are playing and the type of bet you place. For example, American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%, with 37 to 1 odds of winning a single number bet. Meanwhile, European roulette has a lower house edge of 2.7%, with 36 to 1 odds on a single number bet.

How to win at roulette?

There is no sure-fire way to win at roulette. While there are a number of roulette betting and bankroll strategies you can follow to stretch out your bankroll, there is nothing you can do to change where the wheel lands. Of course, this is part of the fun.

How many numbers are on a roulette wheel?

In American roulette, there are a total of 38 numbered pockets. There are the numbers 1 to 36, plus a zero pocket and a double zero ('00') pocket. In European roulette there is only one zero pocket, meaning that there are 37 numbers in total.

How does roulette work?

Roulette is a game of pure chance. As the player, you must decide how many numbers or combinations of numbers you would like to wager on. Once you have done this, simply let the croupier spin the wheel and see where the white ball lands. If the ball lands in your favour, winnings are paid out according to your bet and stake.

How to bet on roulette?

Betting on roulette is easy. When you begin the round, you put down a wager that is above the minimum wagering requirement for that table and below the maximum. Once you have picked a bet or combination of bets, place your chips on the corresponding table next to the wheel. The croupier then ends the betting session and spins the wheel.

What are the numbers on a roulette wheel?

The numbers on the wheel are 1 to 36, assorted in a specific, non-chronological order. In addition, there will be one green zero pocket on a European roulette wheel or two green zero pockets on an American roulette wheel.

What colour is zero on a roulette wheel?

The zero pockets on any roulette wheel are always green, whether you are playing online at Betfair or in a land-based casino.

What is the highest number on a roulette wheel?

The highest number on any roulette wheel is always the number 36.

What is the best roulette strategy?

A number of roulette betting strategies are popular among seasoned roulette players. These include the Martingale Strategy, the Fibonacci Strategy, and the aptly-named James Bond System!