How to Play Roulette: The Beginner’s Guide to Roulette Betting

Types of roulette bets, basic rules and strategies

Roulette is one of the least complex but most diverse casino games you can play. Owing to its wealth of betting options, players of all skill levels can enjoy a spin of the wheel at a level that suits. However, even with so many betting options, the basics of roulette are actually fairly simple to master. As long as you can learn a single premise, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an online roulette pro.

That simple premise is: “predict where the ball is going to land on the betting wheel”. That’s right, when you play roulette games online or live, you’re basically trying to predict where the ball will stop. Now, if you’re learning how to play roulette for the first time, that might seem like a tall order given there are 37 (or 38) numbers to choose from. Fortunately, this is where the game’s diversity comes into play.

When you look at roulette payouts, you’ll see you can be as general or specific as you like. In other words, you can choose to predict the exact number the ball will land on or you can be less specific and simply pick the colour. Between two extremes, there are plenty of alternative options that allow you to assume a greater or lesser degree of risk. Naturally, roulette payouts adjust accordingly. The more specific your predictions are, the bigger your return could be and vice versa.

Therefore, in terms of learning how to play roulette at casino sites such as ours, the main thing you need to keep in mind is that it’s a game or predictions. From there, the best way to play roulette is to find the betting options that suit you in terms of their risk/rewards ratio.

Playing Roulette: The Necessary Ingredients

Playing roulette online or in a live casino requires a few pieces of equipment. Although you only need to know how to answer the question “how does roulette work” from a betting perspective, it’s worth understanding the game’s mechanics. Indeed, by knowing what’s required, as well as roulette rules and more, you can get the most out of your time at the tables.

The standard kit required to play roulette games are:

Roulette Wheel – An essential ingredient to any roulette variant, the wheel determines the outcome of a betting round. In general, the wheel will feature 37 numbers (0-36) if the game is using the European format and 38 numbers (0-36 + 00) if it’s using the American. Wherever the ball stops on the wheel defines the result of that round of betting.

Roulette Board – The area where you place your roulette bets is known as the board. The numbers on the board will mirror those on the wheel. As well as individual numbers, a roulette board features columns, rows, and outside bets. Because each number is framed using intersecting lines, you can place chips around a single number as well as directly on it. This process is known as splitting and means you can use a single chip to bet on two numbers, three numbers and so on.

Roulette Ball – Wherever you play roulette games, a small ball (either physical or virtual) will be dropped into the centre of the wheel as it spins. Wherever it comes to rest will determine the outcome of the betting round. For example, if the ball lands on black 13, the following bets would all receive a return on their investment:

  • Bets made on 13
  • Any splits/rows surrounding 13
  • Bets on “odd” numbers
  • Bets on the second column/dozen
  • Bets on “black”
  • Bets on “1-18”

Roulette Chips – It’s great knowing how to play roulette but if you don’t have any chips, you’ll never win any money. To make your predictions, you need to place chips on the betting board. Simple!

How to Play Roulette: The Betting Basics

As we move through this guide and unpack questions such as “how do you play roulette”, the next important point to cover is betting. Yes, this is a game of predictions but these predictions can only be made in the form of a bet. Therefore, any roulette play you make will always involve a wager. In the section below, we’ll outline the types of roulette bets you can make. However, before we do that, it’s necessary to talk about sizing.

Obviously, we can’t tell you how much to bet. Our job is to show you how to play roulette UK legal games via your desktop, mobile or inside a live casino. In practice, the amount you stake is up to you. However, as a general guide, you should never bet more than you can afford. The beauty of roulette payouts is that they allow for maximum flexibility. If you only want to make low-risk bets for a small amount of money, you can. If you want to chase larger returns, that’s also possible. Whichever online roulette strategy you adopt, make sure the size of your bets is small in comparison to your total bankroll.

Most experienced players will only sit down with an amount of money that’s equal to 2%-3% of their total bankroll. For example, if they have £1,000, they’d take £20 to £30 into a single session. From there, they’ll divide up their bets up accordingly. By doing this, they’re giving themselves the best chance to avoid losing everything if luck isn’t on their side. So, as someone that’s learning how to play roulette, you need to ensure you set your bets in accordance with the size of your bankroll.

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Top Types of Bets in Roulette & Payouts

Each time you play roulette games, you have the opportunity to be as general or specific as you like. This means you can make inside bets, outside bets, or a combination of the two. The more specific you are, the greater the potential returns will be. The reason for this is that the roulette house edge will differ depending on the moves you make.

For example, a single number bet (straight up bet) is 37:1 against on a European roulette table. Therefore, if you win, you’ll receive a payout worth 35X your stake. Conversely, if you bet on red (which is basically a 50/50 wager), you stand to make a 1X profit. So, when it comes to tactics, you need to weigh up the roulette house edge, your risk tolerance, your potential returns and the size of your stake. Once you’ve considered all of these variables, you’ll be well placed to make the best roulette bets for you.

Roulette Inside Bets

In terms of potential returns, inside bets have the best payouts. However, as you’d expect, they’re also the most difficult to win because your predictions are extremely specific. In general, when you make an inside bet, you’ll either be betting on a single number or a small group of numbers rather than a general category such as red or black.

The main inside roulette bets are their associated payouts are:

Straight Up Bets aka a Single – These are bets on a single numbers and offer a 35:1 payout ratio.

Split Bet aka a Double - These are bets on two numbers and offer a 17:1 payout ratio.

Street Bet aka a Trio -  These are bets on three numbers and offer a 11:1 payout ratio.

Corner Bet/Square Bet aka a Four-Number-Split - These are bets on four numbers and offer an 8:1 payout ratio.

Basket Bet - These are bets are only available on American Roulette tables and allow you to speculate on five numbers: zero, double zero, 1, 2, and 3. This bet offers a 6:1 payout ratio.

Double Street Bet aka Six-Number-Split - These are bets on six numbers (two streets combined) and offer a 5:1 payout ratio.

Roulette Outside Bets

Outside bets in roulette are where the categories come into play. As you’d expect, betting on general categories is less specific and, therefore, the roulette payouts for these wagers is lower than inside bets. However, the great thing about these options is that they have a better success rate. In other words, the roulette house edge is lower for outside bets. For example, a red/black wager is almost a 50/50 proposition as the house edge is 48.60% on a European table.

Therefore, if you’re a novice learning how to play roulette, you should consider the following outside bets as a starting point:

Red/Black – This bet allows you to predict whether the colour of the number will be red or black. The payout for a correct pick is 1:1.

Odd/Even – This bet allows you to predict whether the number will be odd or even. The payout for a correct pick is 1:1.

1-18 (Low) or 19-36 (High) - This bet allows you to predict whether the value of the number will be low (between 1 and 18) or high (between 19 to 36). The payout for a correct pick is 1:1.

Dozen Bet - This bet allows you to bet on a group of 12 numbers either in the first, second or third section of the board. The payout for a correct pick is 2:1.

Column Bet – Like a dozen bet, column bets allow you to cover 12 numbers with a single chip. This time, the numbers are arranged in columns running vertically across the board. The payout for a correct pick is 2:1.

Snake Bet – Another 12-number wager, roulette snake bets allow you to make a S shape across the board. To make a snake bet, you need to place chips on the following numbers: 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. As these are singles, the payout for a win is 35:1. However, because you’re staking 12 chips, you’re essentially getting a 2:1 payout when you win (i.e. 2:1 return on 12 chips is 36).

Roulette Called out Bets (Announced bets)

For those that like an exotic game, it’s possible to make alternative group bets. These are similar to dozens but cover a more diverse selection of numbers. Because these options aren’t always visible, you may have to announce them if you’re in a live casino or call up a submenu if you’re playing online. Because of this, they’re often known as announced bets.

Voisins du Zero aka Neighbours of Zero – This roulette bet covers 17 numbers either side of zero: 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25. The payout for this bet will differ depending on the number combinations that win. The maximum return is 17:1.

Jeu Zero aka Zero – This roulette bet covers seven numbers situated near to zero i.e. 0/3 12/15, 28 and 32/35. Because this wager combines splits and straight up bets, the payouts are 17:1 or 35:1.

Le Tiers du Cylindre aka Third of the Wheel – This roulette bet covers numbers on one-third of the wheel i.e. those that fall between 27 and 33. These numbers are: 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33. This bet splits numbers, which means the potential payout is 17:1.

Orphelins aka Orphans – This bet features numbers that aren’t covered by Voisins du Zero or Le Tiers du Cylindre i.e. 17, 34, 6 and 1, 20, 14, 31, 9. Because this is a mix of splits and straight up bets, the payouts are either 17:1 or 35:1.

Finale aka Final Bets – Only available in single zero roulette games, final bets allow you to cover numbers with the same final digit. For example, Finale 4 would cover four numbers ending in four e.g. 4, 14, 24, and 34. As singles, these wagers have a payout of 35:1.

Roulette FAQ

What is the best bet in roulette?

What is the best bet in roulette? That’s a common question from people that want to know how to play roulette. In reality, the answer is “it depends”. As we’ve already said in this guide to live and online roulette rules, the wagers you make can vary from general to specific. Therefore, you have the choice to play in a way that suits you.

From that, logic dictates that the best roulette bet is the one that’s right for you. If you’re a novice, making an outside bet such as a dozen could be ideal as it’s fairly low risk and has a decent payout. If you’re a pro that wants to win big, the best roulette bet will be a single.

What is the safest bet in roulette?

The safest roulette bet is an outside one that covers almost 50% of the numbers in play. In other words, red/black, odd/even and low/high are the safest bets in roulette. Obviously, because zero doesn’t fit into any of these categories, it’s never a true 50/50 proposition. However, it’s about as close to one as you’re going to get in a casino setting.

What is the roulette house edge?

We’ve touched on it already, but roulette house edge is the advantage the casino has on any given bet. For example, even though red or black is almost 50/50, it’s not quite that even due to the presence of zero. In practice, the odds of the roulette ball landing on a red or black number is just over 48%.

This small discrepancy is the house edge. The casino’s advantage also shows up in roulette payouts. For example, the return for a straight up win is 35:1 yet there are 37 or 38 numbers in play. It’s these very small differences that give the house an edge.

How to Play Roulette Online

We’ve already told you how to play roulette at a casino or online. However, before we close out this guide, we’ll recap the steps you need to make in order to enjoy a round of roulette:

  1. Choose a roulette table from our lobby.
  2. Pick a chip denomination in line with your intended bet size.
  3. Pick one or more bet type, ensuring you’re meeting the minimum stake and not exceeding the maximum.
  4. Hit the bet button/wait for the croupier to spin the wheel.
  5. Wait as the wheel comes to a stop and collect your returns if it’s successful.

Popular Roulette Games at Paddy Power

Hopefully by now you’re familiar with the basics of roulette and feel confident you can play in any setting. Of course, the best way to find the game for you is to play. Being purveyors of all things great in the online casino world, our gaming lobby features a wealth of options. Alongside the traditional, you’ll find the exotic, the affordable, and everything else in between. So, by way of a parting shot, here are some of the top roulette games here at Paddy Power:

Premium European Roulette – Our most impressive tables, Premium Roulette feature a wealth of added extras, including custom bets, statistics, and quick betting.

Live Roulette – Using HD cameras and RFID technology, Live Roulette allows you to interact with croupiers on physical tables rather than virtual ones.

Classic Roulette – The ideal game for novices, Classic Roulette allows you to play a traditional variant that’s not packed with potentially complex features.

Penny Roulette - One for the low rollers, Penny Roulette literally allows you to play for a few pennies per round. This game is ideal if you’re new to roulette or on a budget.

European Roulette – Perhaps the most popular roulette variant, European tables feature 37 numbers ranging from 0 to 36.

French Roulette – Almost identical to European Roulette, French tables have the added benefit of La Partage. This feature allows you to receive 50% of your stake back if you make a 50/50 bet and the ball lands on zero.

Premium American Roulette – Also known as Double Zero Roulette, American games feature 38 numbers ranging from 00 to 36.

Roulette Pro – Perfect for professionals, Roulette Pro offers instant one-touch multi-bets; a 97.30% RTP and the ability to bet up to £25,000 per round.

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