Learning the fascinating casino game of roulette can be both exhilarating and intimidating, while gaining experience can improve your winning chances somewhat. That's why it's important to gain a better understanding of the game and the betting rules before you start committing your money to the table.
With experience will come confidence and this will enable you to play wisely while enjoying the game so much more completely. This article sets out arguably the best way to play roulette along with its basic rules and betting strategies to make the experience a happy and fulfilling one.
When faced with a busy roulette table with its array of squared off numbers and areas, the croupier busily moving chips around and taking bets, not to mention the intimidating wheel itself, a newcomer to the game can be a little overwhelmed by it all. The first unspoken rule of the game is therefore to stand back a while and simply watch others play before taking the plunge yourself.
By watching how other players interact with a busy table, you will gain an insight into where the majority of the bets are placed. You'll also start to see how the croupier works his magic with so many chips being placed in what at first would appear to be a haphazard and chaotic mess!
Things to watch for are:
- The different types of wheel (European and American versions) on different tables
- Where most of the chips are placed on the table and their values
- Which placements are paid out after the ball comes to rest on the wheel
There are many different ways to win other than choosing the exact number the ball lands on, as you will see.
The majority of rules are the same for the main two versions (European and American) of the game. They mostly centre around betting and the different kinds of bet that can be made, since there is no player skill involved in this game of chance.
In brick and mortar casinos (and live games online), the croupier's job is to take bets and pay out winnings. Before the wheel is spun, he will call "No more bets" signalling that no more chips can be placed. In the online version, the issue doesn't exist as you must have placed your bet before the game will start.
Below is an explanation of the different kinds of bet that you can make at the roulette table, whether at a brink and mortar or online casino.
There are two main groups of bets available at the roulette table. These are classes as "outside bets" and "inside bets". Outside bets refer to the boxes outside the main group of numbered squares and are meant for betting on larger groups of numbers. Inside bets refer to placing chips within the main box of numbered squares on individual numbers 1 through 36 plus 0 and 00; or smaller groups of two, three, four or six numbers with different odds corresponding to each bet.
The simplest kind of bets are the ones with 1:1 odds that will pay out even money, meaning if you bet a pound you will win a pound if the ball lands on the corresponding number group. However, with evens bets, if the ball lands on the green "0" (or "00" on a US wheel) you lose.
There are three varieties of "inside" evens bet:
- Red/Black: When you place your chips in the red box, if the ball lands on a red number you win. Likewise if you place your chips in the black box and the balls lands on a black number you will win
- Odds/Evens: Place your chips in the "evens" box to win if the ball lands on an even number, or in the "odds" box to win if the ball lands on an odd number
- High/Low: Place your chips in the "high" box to win if the ball lands on any number between 1 to 18 inclusive, or in the "low" box to win of the ball lands on any number between 19 to 36 inclusive
A slightly better payout can be obtained from going for a one of the 2:1 odds bets, where you bet a pound to win £2. If the ball lands on a number in the group corresponding to the box you have your chips placed, you win.
There are two varieties of this kind of "outside" bet:
- Dozen bet: Place your chips in one of the three boxes that you'll find at the sides of the three long rows of numbers labelled "1st 12"; "2nd 12"; "3rd 12" to cover the numbers 1-12 inclusive, 13-24 inclusive and 25-36 inclusive
- Column Bet: Place your chips in one of the three boxes that you'll find at the ends of the three long rows of numbers labelled "Columns: '1st' '2nd' '3rd'." These cover the groups of 12 numbers in each "column"
If you're looking for better odds, you'll need to place your chips on one of the "inside bets" which we'll look at here.
- Six number bet: Place your chips on a group of six connecting number squares for 5:1 odds (a pound bet wins £5) if the ball lands on any one of the six numbers in the boxes you have marked. This is done by placing chips on the outside line on the corner connecting the first two number of the group of six squares going across the short axis of the table
- Four number bet: Place your chips on a group of four interconnecting number squares for 8:1 odds (a pound bet wins £8) if the ball lands on any one of the four numbers in the boxes you have marked. This bet is placed by putting chips in the centre of the four number squares (where the lines cross)
- Three number bet: Place your chips on the outside line at the end of a line of three number on a group of three interconnecting number squares for 11:1 odds (a pound bet wins £11) if the ball lands on any one of the three numbers in the boxes you have marked
- Two number bet: Place your chips on the line between the two connecting number squares for 17:1 odds (a pound bet wins £17) if the ball lands on either number you have marked
- Single number bet: The simplest bet where you place your chips directly on the number square you have chosen. It can be any of the main numbers 1 through 36 as well as the 0 (and 00 on American tables) and pays out at 35:1 odds (a pound bet wins £35) if the ball lands on your number
Best Roulette Strategy
Working out a viable strategy for playing roulette is made fairly simple thanks to the fact that there is no player skill required to influence the outcome of the game. It is purely a game of chance and therefore there is nothing a player can do that will alter the outcome.
Despite this, many gambling fallacies surround this popular casino game. In reality, the best strategy is to be aware of the fallacies and to avoid being suckered into them. Here are some examples:
Doubling your bet after each loss is a long believed mathematical strategy that, while theoretically correct, does not work in practice. This is because of the way numbers escalate in value rapidly as you continue to double them. The reality is that you will invariably reach the table limit or simply run out of money long before your wager doubling system bears any fruit.
Many believe that if a red comes up several times in a row, the odds of a black coming up on the next spin of the wheel are greater. The fact is that every spin is independent of the previous spin, so there is an even chance of red or black coming up no matter how many times one or the other may have won in previous spins.
The same goes for any combination of numbers. Every instance of a number or group has the same chance of winning on each new spin as it did on the previous one!
A good strategy for managing your bankroll will be much more fruitful than trying to follow any strategy. By being sensible about how much you are willing to bet each time and avoiding hot headed or rash decisions, you can prolong your game and enjoy it all the more.
Best Online Casinos to Play Roulette
Now that you have a good insight into the best ways to play online roulette, I'm pretty sure you'll want to try out your skills and knowledge at the table for real. There are many online casinos that offer the main types of roulette game, but it is a great advantage to be recommended to good establishments that are trustworthy and secure while having a good reputation among players.
To set you on the right path, I can recommend a short list of these better casinos that are well worth spending time getting to know. For your convenience, I'll provide two lists. One contains casinos that accept US players and the other contains those that are Europe facing and do not accept US players.
Casinos that Accept US PlayersPlayers in the US will not have access to many casinos since they are reluctant to allow players from that demographic. However there are some casinos that DO allow players from the United States and below are the best of those in our opinion (this list will be addd to over time):
Casinos that Do Not Accept US Players
For UK and European players, the following casinos are recommended as some of the best in the world for roulette players:
- Betfred Casino
- Betfair Casino
- William Hill Casino
- Ladbrokes Casino
- Swiss Casino
- Europa Casino
- Bet365 Casino
- Paddy Power Casino
In the end, the whole reason to play roulette should be for enjoyment and never as a way to make a lot of easy money. The gambler's fallacy will beat you in the end and if you are gambling with money that you cannot afford to lose, you run the risk of getting yourself into real financial difficulty. Always set aside a limit to how much of your bankroll you will spend on any one visit to the table and stick to it no matter what.