Roulette Basics: How to Play?

Last updated: 18.04.2022 by Chris Mwangi

When it comes to casino games, there are few that match the popularity of the devil’s wheel. The game is extremely easy to play, features a relatively favorable casino edge, allows both smaller and bigger stakes and offers loads of betting options to suit everyone's preferences. While the game of roulette is very easy to play with straightforward rules, there are still some things to be discussed, especially if you want to give yourself the best chance every time. The general sequence players usually have to take looks something like this:

  1. Players need to select their chip value
  2. They decide on which betting options they want to wager
  3. When all bets are made, the ball spins until it finally stops in one of the slots
  4. Different betting options correspond to different payouts
  5. Players get paid according to a preset payouts table
  6. Steps 1-5 are repeated as many times as one chooses

Whether one chooses to play European, American or French roulette, we promise you that you will have a great time either way. The games all feature many similar elements and in this guide we are going to explore into more detail the particulars of each game and how you should approach them to have the most fun and make the most money.

Roulette Chips

As mentioned in the introduction, every roulette gaming session starts with players picking their chip value. While the game is extremely easy, super fun to play, its chips add a veil of complexity especially when examining how they work. Players can use different chip denominations to place their bets, and placing a single chip on a number can mean quite different things for different players.

In most online versions, chips could be worth anywhere between $1 or $100. When playing the land-based version of the game, the dealer keeps track of players’ chip values. This is extremely important as different players seated at a single table could be playing with different valued chips at the same time. It should be noted that for the most part, chips are worth the minimum chip value determined by casinos. In the majority of land-based casino facilities, the minimum chip value is $1.

When playing the game online, players can usually play with chips in four different nominals including 1, 5, 25, 100 such as in the Roulette77 game. No matter which chips players use either color or cash, the gameplay stays the same. When playing online, chips are chosen by simply clicking on them while playing live requires the players to ask the dealer for chips and the dealer will ask players which chip denomination they want.

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Types of Bets

There are many different bets which players can choose to make. This is actually one of the main reasons for the game being so fun to play. As expected, betting on more number combinations means better winning chances. In roulette, players can choose to bet on a single number and these bets bring the bets payouts. Players can also choose to bet on different number groups and these bets offer slightly lower payouts as expected.

Some games offer announced bets as well. However, the first two categories are the primary categories included in all games of this kind while announced bets are more advanced and featured only in some variants. All in all, for newbies, it is important to get familiar with outside and inside bets.

Inside Bets

These are the bets that players place on the numbers themselves. There are six major types of inside bets in roulette including straight up, street, split, corner, basket and line bets. As suggested by their names, straight bets are placed on a single number, split bets cover two numbers, street bets cover three numbers, corner covers four numbers, top line bets cover five numbers, six line bets cover six numbers and basket bets featured in the American version of the game cover 0-00-1-2-3. Further, we take a look at six major roulette inside bets.

  1. Straight Bets: Straight bets pay the most simply because they cover only one number. To make these bets, players just have to place their chips within the square of the specific number they want to bet on. The probability of these bets winning in the American version of the game is 2.63% and 2.7% in the European version of the game.
  2. Split Bets: As mentioned in the previous section, split bets cover two numbers. Specifically they can cover any two adjacent numbers. In order to place these bets, players have to place their chips on the two numbers’ shared lines between the squares. The probability of split bets being winners is around 5.26% in both European and American version of roulette as only two numbers are covered.
  3. Street Bets: Street bets are bets which cover three consecutive numbers that are located on the same line on the table. Hence, in order to make these bets, players have to place their chips on the table layout’s outer corner. The probability of street bets happening in the European version of the game is 8.11% and around 7.89% in the American version.
  4. Corner Bets: Corner bets cover any four numbers which make a square. In order to make these four-number bets, players have to place their bets on the layout’s common corner between the four numbers. The probability of these bets landing is around 10.81% in both American and European format.
  5. Top Line Bets: Top line bets placed in roulette cover 5 numbers in total including 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. These bets are also known as basket bets any they are only featured in the American version of the game since they cover double zeros in addition to single zeros. The probability of these bets landing is around 13.16%.
  6. Six Line Bets: As suggested by their name, six lien bets cover six numbers or any two adjacent number rows featuring three numbers. Hence, in order to make these bets, players place their chips on the layout’s common outer corner with two number lines. The probability of six line bets occurring in the American version of roulette is 15.79% and around 122% in the European variant.

As you can see, roulette inside bets are very logical, hence easily recognizable. They range between one and six numbers and they cover specific table’s sections which are clearly recognizable. Since they cover specific numbers rather than number groups as with outside bets, inside bets bring bigger payouts, especially the straight and split bets. However, it is important to remember that inside bets are much harder to land than the outside bets.

Inside bets

Outside Bets

In this section, we take a deeper look at the outside bets. When looking at the game’s table layout, you will definitely notice that the main part features the numbers running from zero to thirty-six while the remaining areas are reserved for betting on number groups including dozens, red or black, odd or even, columns and betting on number sections including 1 to 18 and 19 to 36. The bets placed on these specific number groups are called roulette outside bets while other bets featured in the game are called outside bets.

  1. Dozen Bets: When it comes to dozen bets, they cover twelve numbers in total. The first group or dozen includes numbers from one to twelve, the second group includes numbers from thirteen to twenty-four and the third group includes numbers from twenty-five through thirty-six. The probability of these roulette bets being winners is around 32.43% in both versions of the game.
  2. Column Bets: In roulette, column bets are placed on three different columns which cover different numbers. The column covers numbers 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, and 34. The column two covers numbers 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, and 3 The column three covers numbers 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33 and 36. Each column covers twelve different numbers and the probability of these bets is also around 32.43% as with dozens.
  3. Red or Black: Bets placed on the winning number color which is either red or black. These bets are the most commonly placed roulette bets alongside odd or even bets. Hence, another name for these bets is color bets simply because they are placed on colors, not on numbers. When it comes to their probability, in the European version of the game they land 48.61% of the time while in the American version, they happen 47.37% of the time.
  4. Even or Odd Bets: Unlike red or black bets, even or odd bets are placed on the winning number which is either even or odd. Just like red or black bets, these bets cover eighteen numbers. When it comes to their probability, they happen around 48.61% of the time in the European version of roulette and around 47.37% in the American version of the game which is the same for red and black bets.
  5. Low or High Bets or 1-18/19-36 Bets: As suggested by their name, low or high bets are placed on low numbers which run from one through eighteen or on high numbers which run from nineteen through thirty-six. As with the other two betting options mentioned, low or high bets also cover eighteen numbers and feature the same probability as with the other two options mentioned above.

As described in the previous section, bets which are placed on other sections of the roulette table besides its number sections are called outside roulette bets. In other words, they cover the larger number groups with five major types including red or black, high or low, dozens, columns and odd or even.

Outside bets


Generally speaking, players can expect bigger payouts when making inside bets than with outside bets which cover up to eighteen numbers. Fortunately, the game’s payouts are very straightforward, so players know what to expect at all times. Further, we will take a look at payouts for both outside and inside bets.

Inside BetsOutside Bets
Straight: 35/1Red of Black: 1 /1
Split: 17/1Odd or Even: 1/1
Street: 11/1  Low or high: 1/1
Corner: 8/1 Columns: 2/1
Top Line: 6/1Dozens: 2/11
Six Line: 5/1

As seen in this table of roulette payouts, players can expect the biggest payouts of 35 to 1 from straight bets followed by 17 to 1 paid with split bets. Other high-valued bets include street bets which pay 11 to 1, corner bets which pay 8 to 1, top line or five-number bets which pay 6 to 1 and six line or six-number bets paying 5 to 1. When it comes to outside bets, players can expect payouts of 1 to 1 and 2 to 1 simply because these bets cover much more numbers than their inside counterparts.

Which Bet is Better?

With so many different betting options offered, the main question here is which bets to make to boost your winning odds and enjoy some success in the long run. One of the most common advice you can get around is to bet on evens and odds or red or blacks. The reason behind this is quite logical, these bets give you 50/50 winning odds. By playing these betting options, you actually give yourself the chance of hitting almost half of the numbers on the wheel.

Since the zero and the double zero are not counted, the payout ratio may be slightly lower, but these are the roulette’s safest bets you can go with. Another great option is to bet on 1-18/19-36 which also pay 1 to 1, but give you just under 50 percent chances of winning. If payouts of 1 to 1 are not that exciting, you can play with the second safest option, columns which pay 2 to 1. With this option, you cover a great chunk of the wheel while at the same time you double your winnings.

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Explanation of House Edge

In this section, we take a look at the roulette casino edge or house edge and how it affects your winnings and gameplay. Before we explore the game’s casino edge, the term should be explained. In its essence, the casino edge is the way both online casinos and land-based casinos make a profit. All casino games both online and offline have a predetermined, or built-in advantage which works purely to the facility’s favor. This is called the casino or house edge.

As something that exists in every single game played including classic table games, lottery games, and slot games, the casino edge tells you how much every single casino game pays out on average throughout its lifespan. Moreover, the casino edge also tells you which games offer you the very best return on your bets invested.

It should be noted that this house edge is always the product of the casino games themselves and it is not set by casinos. This means that no matter you have chosen a land-based or an online casino, no matter where you decide to invest your money, you cannot escape the casino edge. However, the great thing about the casino edge is that it can guide players to tell them which casino games are more profitable to play.

Casino games with higher casino edge logically pay out less over time when compared to casino games which have lower casino edge. By using this information which is always readily available, players can avoid playing less profitable games or games which give the gaming facilities a larger advantage over the punter. When it comes to the casino edge on the roulette games, it differs between the American and European version of the game. The American roulette has a casino edge of around 5.26% while the European roulette has a more player-friendly casino edge of 2.7%.

The End of the Game

The game of roulette ends with the ball landing in one of the slots on the wheel and players getting paid according to the bets they have made. Of course, each new spin brings you a new chance to win, but every time a ball lands you get to walk away with your profits, which is why the game is over for the time being.

We suggest using a smart bankroll management and approaching roulette with care in order to get the very best results. A strategy that many good players use is to walk away after a hot streak, without hoping for it to repeat right away. If you hit a few consecutive big wins and then lose a spin or two, walking away in profit is a much better idea than sticking around and chasing the “losses”.

No matter which roulette strategy you choose, it is impossible to win every single time. However, what you can do is boost your winning odds, focus on placing the right bets, focus on bets which offer the best winning odds, keep in mind your bankroll and never forget to have fun.

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