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What is the aim of roulette?
The aim of roulette is to correctly guess which number will come up next. To determine this, a croupier spins a ball around a roulette wheel, with numbers ranging from 0 to 36. There is also sometimes a double zero.
You can try to guess the exact number for the best odds, or you can spread your bets across multiple numbers. This lowers your odds, but increases your chance of winning.
You can place multiple bets at once in roulette, and you’re only taking on the house – not other players at the table. Once the ball lands on the wheel, winners are paid and there is a brief period to bet before the croupier spins the wheel again to initiate the next round.
Different bet types in roulette
There are many different types of bet in roulette. You can get started by simply betting on the basics, like red or black. But if you really want to know how to play online roulette, it’s important you understand all the different types of bet.
Online roulette bets can be summarised in one of two ways – ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ bets. When you look at the layout of a roulette betting table, anything within the numbers 0-36 is an inside bet. Anything outside the numbers is an outside bet.
Here are the different types of roulette bet:
- Straight: Betting on a single number
- Split: Betting on two numbers at once
- Street: Covers three numbers in a line
- Corner / Square Placed: Covers four numbers, placed on a corner of each
- Six Line / Double Street: Covers six numbers over two lines
- Trio: Covers three numbers including a zero
- First Four: Bet on 0-1-2-3 specifically
- Basket: First four (see above) plus the double zero
- 1-18 (Low, Manque) or 19-36 (High, Passe): Bet on the highest or lowest 18 numbers, excluding zero
- Red or Black: Bet on red or black
- Odd or Even: Bet on odd or even
- Dozen: Like 1-18, but covering a dozen numbers instead. Three options available
- Column: Bet in a vertical column (12 numbers)
- Snake: An unusual and specific bet which covers 1-5-9-12-14-16-19-23-27-30-32-34. If it’s available, place your bet where the corner of the 34 square meets the 19-36 betting box
Roulette betting odds
As you would expect, the more likely bets in roulette have lower odds. You may want to focus on low-paying bets like red or black, which have a pretty good chance of landing. Or you might prefer to shoot for the stars with higher paying bets, like choosing a specific number.
When you’re deciding on the best option of how to play roulette, make sure you consider all the different odds and payouts. Here’s a handy list to help you figure it out:
|Six Line / Double Street||5/1|
|1-18 or 19-36||Evens|
|Red / Black||Evens|
|Odd / Even||Evens|
Versions of roulette
When learning how to play roulette, it’s very important to remember that there are multiple versions of the game – and this can have a significant impact on your betting odds.
When you read up on how to play roulette, you’ll likely be reading about European roulette. This is the most common version of the game and one you’ll want to choose ahead of American roulette. It consists of numbers 0-36.
American roulette is a version of the game you should avoid if an alternative is available. That’s because, in addition to 0-36, the wheel also houses a double zero. This heavily alters the house edge, weighing the odds further in the casino’s favour.
French roulette is the least common but the best. If you know how to play European roulette you already know the rules. The key difference is that, when the wheel lands on zero, you stand a chance of receiving all or part of your bet back. So, it’s basically European roulette with an added bonus – but it’s hard to find online. Check out the casinos listed on this page for the best chance of finding French roulette.
Live roulette is played with a real dealer and you watch the action via a video link. You can choose from a wide variety of live roulette tables.
All the major variants of roulette are available live and you can also find exciting side bets and games like Lightning Roulette that aren't available at regular roulette tables.