How To Play Online Roulette

Since the 18th century, roulette has been a pit favourite in casinos around the world. And with online and live dealer casinos, it’s never been easier to play this classic game. But what if you’ve never played before? In this guide, we’ll teach you the basics of roulette – scroll below for the details!

roulette rules

How To Play Online Roulette

Perpetual motion and gaming can’t be related… right?

Guess again. According to some historical accounts, it’s thought that inventor Blaise Pascal, in his search for a perpetual motion machine, accidentally invented the roulette wheel in the 17th century.

A century later, gaming pioneers adapted and improved Pascal’s concept, creating the game we know and love by the 1840s.

And in the internet age, roulette continued to evolve. Rather than driving to the nearest casino, you could now enjoy this classic game from your couch at an online live roulette site.

New to the game? Below, we’ll teach you the basics of online Roulette.

Roulette Terms

But before we jump into the gameplay, let’s define some common roulette terms first:

Term What It Means
🇺🇸 American Roulette .A version of roulette that contains an extra green slot - double 00. This addition increases the house edge to 5.26%.
💰 Bankroll Money set aside for gaming purposes.
⚪️ Croupier The dealer at the roulette table.
👮 En Prison A French Roulette rule. If the ball lands on 0, players with even money bets can either take half their stake or leave the bet "in prison" for the next spin. If they win, they get their wager back, but if they lose, the entire amount is taken.
🇪🇺 European Roulette A version of roulette with only one green slot - single 0. This setup reduces the house edge to 2.7%, which is roughly half the house edge in the American game.
🇫🇷 French Roulette A version of roulette with two unique rules - En Prison and La Partage. When either of these rules is in effect, the house edge is reduced to 1.35%.
🏠 House Edge The advantage a gaming site has over players. Assume the house edge is 2%. If you wager $1/round over 100 rounds, the house will (on average) make a $2 profit over that span. However, due to short-term luck, players can turn a profit over that same period.
👿 Inside Bets Bets placed inside the main grid, such as single numbers or streets. While these wagers pay out at higher odds, they have a much lower chance of succeeding.
💰🔪 La Partage A French Roulette rule. When in effect, players get half their stake back if the ball lands on 0.
😇 Outside Bets Bets placed outside the main grid, such as red/black and odd/even. These wagers pay out at 1:1/2:1 odds - as such, they have a higher chance of success.
🎡 Roulette A game where the croupier drops a ball onto a spinning wheel with slots. The player wagers on what number, series of numbers, or colour the ball will land in. If the result matches the player wager, they win money.

Getting Started: The Basics of Online Roulette

Roulette is fairly simple to understand. You bet on a colour, number, or series of numbers – if the ball lands in a slot corresponding to your wager, you win money . If it doesn’t, you lose your bet.

Now, the amount won depends on your wager: the more risks taken, the greater the potential payoff. However, the more conservative you are, the greater your chances of winning (but the payouts will be smaller).

Understanding the Roulette Board

If you’re new to Roulette, the board can be confusing. But it’s easy to learn – you’ll feel like an old pro within an hour.

Below, we’ll explain what each part of the board means:

Board Segment What It Means
Numbers (1-36, 0, 00) Each number represents its corresponding slot on the roulette wheel.
Columns (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) These three segments represent 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36.
High/Low These two segments represent 1-18 and 19-36 respectively.
Even/Odd These two segments represent even and odd numbers (not including 0/00).
Red/Black These two segments represent red and black numbers.

Understanding Roulette Wagers

In Blackjack, payouts are pretty static – wins are paid at 1:1, and Blackjack at 3:2. So when your luck is average, progress can be slow.

Not in Roulette. In this game, you can play as conservatively (or as aggressively) as you want. There are plenty of even money wagers (red/black, even/odd, etc.) available, but if you’re feeling saucy, you can really turn up the heat!

Below, we’ll talk about all the wagers available, ordered from low to high risk.

Wager Payout Explanation
Red/Black 1:1 Pick the winning colour. To make this wager, place a chip on your chosen colour in the Outside Bets section.
Even/Odd 1:1 Pick whether the winning number will be even or odd (not including 0/00). To make this wager, place a chip on either Even or Odd in the Outside Bets section.
Low/High 1:1 Pick whether the winning number will be 1-18 or 19-36. To make this wager, place a chip on either the 1 to 18, or the 19 to 36 segment in the Outside Bets section.
Dozens 2:1 Pick which grouping of dozen numbers (1-12, 13-24, or 25-36) will be the winner. To make this wager, place a chip on either 1st 12 (1-12), 2nd 12 (13-24), and 3rd 12 (25-36).
Columns 2:1 Pick which of the three horizontal columns (the top column is 1,4,7..., the second column is 2, 5, 8..., and the third column is 3, 6, 9...) will win. To make this wager, place a chip on the corresponding 2 to 1 square alongside your chosen column.
Six-Line 5:1 Pick two adjacent rows of three numbers each (such as 4,5,6 and 7,8,9). To make this wager, place the chip on the line between the outside and inside bets AND on the line separating the two rows you wish to bet on.
Corner 8:1 A bet on four adjacent numbers. You make this wager, place the chip in the centre/intersection of all four numbers.
Street 11:1 Wager on a vertical row of numbers (like 1, 2, 3). Place a chip on the line between your chosen row and the outside bets to make this wager. However, be sure to place it between the row lines - if you cover the row line, that is a six-line wager.
Split 17:1 A wager on two numbers next to each other, like 4 and 5, or 5 and 8. To make this wager, put the chip on the line between the two numbers.
Straight Up 35:1 Pick a single number (1-36, 0-00), and bet on it. As the odds suggest, you will not win often, so remember that when wagering.

How Does a Roulette Round Work?

So now you know the bets, but how does a round of roulette actually work?

The round starts when the croupier invites players to place their bets. After a short time, the croupier will close betting, and then they’ll spin the wheel. Once it reaches full speed, the croupier will drop a small white ball onto the spinning wheel.

As the ball loses speed, it will fall into a numbered slot. If that number matches up with your chosen wager, you win!

Which Roulette Game is Best?

On the internet, you’ll find numerous Roulette variants. However, there are three main types – American, European, and French.

Below, we’ll discuss how each game varies from the others.

European Roulette

European Roulette is the most common roulette type out there. This game features a wheel with 37 pockets, numbered 0-36. These numbers are distributed evenly between red and black slots, except for the zero (which is green).

European Roulette has a ‘house edge’ of 2.7% – far better than the American game.

American Roulette

This game is nearly the same as European Roulette. However, there’s one key difference – you’ll find one additional pocket on the roulette wheel: the double zero (00). This change increases the house edge to 5.26%, making it a less favourable game for players.

French Roulette

In French Roulette, the wheel is identical to the European wheel. So, what’s the difference? French roulette boasts two rules not found in the European game – La Partage and En Prison.

When La Partage is in effect, players receive half their wager back if the ball lands on zero. When En Prison is available, you can ‘imprison’ your bet if the ball lands on zero. If you win the next spin, you’ll get your original stake back.

Because of these rules, French Roulette’s house edge is a skinny 1.3%, making it the best Roulette game from the player’s perspective.

What Are The Most Popular Roulette Variants?

There is more to roulette than just the French, American, and European games. With hundreds of gaming studios competing against each other, they’ve come up with some truly innovative Roulette variants.

Below, we’ll give you a taste of what you can find in a Kiwi online live dealer casino.

Lightning Roulette

Created by Evolution Gaming, Lightning Roulette is a staple in many live dealer casinos. But there’s more to this variant than electrifying graphics and an illuminating host.

In addition to hitting numbers on standard spins, “lucky numbers” also pay out at a random multiplier. Get lucky, and you could receive up to 500x your wager!

Double Ball Roulette

As its name implies, Double Ball Roulette is played with two balls. The croupier drops both onto the wheel at the same time. And because there are two balls, you have two chances to win your wager.

But that’s not all there is to this game. If both balls land in the same slot AND you wagered on this outcome, you’ll enjoy an incredible 1300:1 payout on your bet!

Multi-Wheel Roulette

This roulette variant will appeal to hardcore action junkies, as you can play up to 8 wheels at once.

But while this makes winning more likely, it also exposes your bankroll to significant risk. For example, if you bet $1 on red with eight wheels running, that’s actually a wager of $8, as you’ve wagered $1 on each one.

Roulette: A Surefire Crowd Pleaser

We hope our guide has helped you understand Roulette better. Ready to hit the tables? Check out our recommended online casinos – many have excellent welcome bonuses and table game promotions.

Some even target Roulette fans specifically, so be sure to shop around!

Head of Content

Internationally renowned author Henri Ojala has spent more than a decade mastering the ins and outs of the gambling industry, focusing on online poker, sports betting, and casino games. With over 10 years of experience in the gambling industry, he is a respected expert in various forms. Henri shares his extensive knowledge of strategies, odds, and risk management, earning him recognition as an authority in the online casino field.