At casinos across the nation, roulette tables are among the more popular attractions. Crowds can form quickly at busy establishments, especially when a player is having a good run of luck or a table seems to be spitting out money like an ATM machine.
Just like many other things in life, it’s tough to top the excitement of being there live and in-person as the action happens. That said, kicking back on the sofa and taking a shot with some games of chance can be an awfully appealing alternative.
Online gaming continues to grow at a meteoric pace. That’s only going to continue as more and more states legalize gambling. While there will always be a place for brick-and-mortar casinos, folks across the nation are beginning to take note of the online gaming boom.
Games such as roulette can now be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Actually, they can be played wherever the heck you want in states where online gaming is legal. That’s right - you can know kick things up a notch while working on mundane tasks like laundry.
Or waiting for your takeout order…
You get the picture. Playing online roulette is a great way to pass the time. As an added bonus, you may even make some extra coin while having a little fun.
If you’re like us, online roulette sounds like a cool way to have some fun and relax. You’re probably ready to jump right in and give it a whirl. Before doing that, you should familiarize yourself with the game.
Fear not, we’re here to help. Let’s take a closer look at online roulette, starting with a little backstory on the game itself.
History of Roulette
Roulette came into existence way back in the 17th century in Europe. Naturally, there have been changes through the years. The version that has stood the test of time has been traced back to the 1790s in France.
In fact, the game itself is named after a French word which translates to ‘little wheel.’ As with many other fun things throughout history, the game gradually grew in popularity. Before anyone knew what hit them, it was the 19th century and roulette had gained traction across Europe and the United States.
Fast forward to today, and the game is a staple at casinos across the world. The same holds true in the world of online gaming. Online casino operators aim to please. Roulette is an incredibly popular casino game, and you’ll have little trouble finding a way to get in on the fun online.
The Basics of Roulette
We’ll get into more detail on how to play the game later on, but here’s what you need to know for now.
The game is played with a ball in a wheel. Simply put, the wheel spins one way while the ball is placed in play in the opposite direction. It bounces around for a while before settling down and making its home in one of the pockets on the wheel.
The pockets are numbered and color-coded. Players can bet on things like the exact number, odds or evens, or even the colors. If where the ball lands aligns with your selection, you’re a winner!
Seems pretty simple, no? It is, and that’s one of the cool things about the game. If you like a number, play it. Colors more of your thing? Then pick your shade and give it a whirl. Did you spend a countless amount of time playing odds and evens as a kid? Then this is the game for you.
Of course, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to roulette. While there are simple ways to play like those mentioned up above, there are also more complex bets which require you to put on the thinking cap.
Don’t sweat it. It’s really not that tough once you get a handle on it. Once again, we’re happy to help. Let’s take a look at what else you need to know.
How to play Roulette
A standard roulette wheel has 37 numbered pockets. Each of the pockets are numbered. Those numbers range from zero to 36. For what’s known as ‘American Roulette,’ there are 38 numbers. The only difference is that a double zero slot is included on this version.
Players can place their wagers on the individual numbers or groups of numbers. They can also just keep it simple and choose the color or odds or evens. For the colors, all of the numbers are either red or black with one notable exception: zero and double zero is the oddball of the group and colored green.
If you can’t make your mind up about what you want to bet on, the overwhelming majority of tables will provide recent results information. Think of this like the stats you would research if you planned to bet on a sporting event.
The display will feature things like recent winning numbers, the ratio of both color and odd and even results, and numbers that are on a hot or cold streak. While past results are not always an indicator of future success, it can be helpful to know which way the ball has been bouncing.
When placing bets at the table, you’ll also notice that there are specific groupings which you can bet on. This covers things like ranges of numbers, columns, and various other combos.
That’s the lay of the land. Now that we have a decent handle on how to play the game, let’s explore the different types of bets you can make.
How to Bet on Roulette
We love to keep things simple. Overthinking can lead to bad decisions and even head pain, and we’re not big fans of either one. For betting on roulette, we can break the types of bets down into two categories: easy and advanced.
Here’s a look at both categories, starting with the easy stuff.
Straight Up: For this bet, you simply pick any number on the table and place a bet. This could be a favorite digit, a number that represents an important date, or whatever else you choose. Straight up bets pay out at 35 to 1. Keep in mind that the house has an implied edge on most games. Four single zero roulette, it’s 2.7 percent in favor of the house. For double zero, the number rises to 5.26 percent.
Even: Placing a bet on the even section table does exactly what you think it would. If the number that comes out is even, then you win. If not, you’re beat.
Odd: This is the same as an even bet. When you select odd, you’re hoping that a number such as 1,3 or 13 comes out. If something like 2, 4, or 24 comes out, you’re out of luck.
Black: Is choosing colors more of your speed? You’re in luck. You can place a bet on black and that will cover all of the numbered pockets which are that color.
Red: Not a fan of the color black? Red will be happy to have you on their team. If you place a bet on red, you’ll be smiling when one of the red numbered pockets comes in.
1-18: A bet on this range of numbers will cover you for the first half of numbers on the wheel. If 17 comes in, then it’s cha-ching. If 19 comes out, there may be some frowning involved.
19-36: This bet will have you covered for the second half of the roulette wheel. Anything over 18 is a winner, while anything below it could lead to a furrowed brow.
First 12: If you’d rather zero in and be a little more precise, then you can just cover a dozen numbers at a time instead of half the numbers. This bet covers the first 12.
Second 12: As the name implies, the second dozen is where you would place your to wager on. If a number in this range comes out, you win.
Third 12: Last but not least, you can place a bet on the final dozen as well. Bets of this type allow you to cover several numbers at once, which naturally increases chances for a win.
All of those bet types are pretty self-explanatory. If you’re looking for simple ways to place roulette without putting too much thought into it, these are the way to go. Naturally, there are advanced strategies for all of these types of wagers.
You can learn more about those if you so choose. The advanced type of bets requires a little more thought. Don’t worry, it’s not exactly rocket science.
Here are the more advanced bet types and what you need to know about them.
Split: If you like two numbers that are right next to each other on the board, then you could consider a split bet. If you place your bet between the two numbers, you’re covered if either one comes out. The payout is fantastic as well at odds of 17 to 1.
Street: Prefer to settle your business on the street? Then you should probably relax a little. While doing so, play some roulette and consider placing a street bet. This bet covers three simultaneous numbers on the board and pays out at 11 to 1 if you’re on the mark.
Corner: If you’re the type that spent much of their youth around the corner, this may intrigue you. A corner bet can also be referred to as a Box of Four or a Square bet. Simply place your bet on the meeting point of four numbers on the grid. This is important because your bet can be invalid if you don’t place it right. Winning wagers pay out at 8 to 1.
Neighbor Bet: Howdy neighbor! There’s nothing wrong with being friendly and tipping the cap when having fun and playing roulette. For this wager, you’re looking at neighboring numbers on the wheel. It covers five numbers, so you have more chances to win than just choosing a single number for a straight-up bet. When placing a neighbor bet, you choose the main number and the two numbers on each side will be included.
Five Number: This one only applies on American Roulette, and it’s totally different from a neighbor bet to boot. The bet covers both of the zero pockets - 0 and 00 - as well as the numbers 1,2, and 3. As with corner bets, chip placement is key, so make sure you have all of the bases covered.
Six Line: When streets collide, you have yourself a six line bet. This bet is a combination of two street bets. The streets must be next to each other, and chips need to be placed at the intersection of both. This bet pays out at odds of 5 to 1.
Playing Roulette Online versus Playing in Person
If you’re interested in playing roulette, then it probably wouldn’t take too much arm twisting to take a trek to a casino. It’s a good time and there’s always plenty of other stuff to do. Whether it’s checking out other games, seeing a show, or just grabbing a bite and some drinks, you’re covered.
There’s also upside to be found by playing roulette online. There’s no travel involved and no additional expenses. You can play whenever and wherever you want, as long as you’re in a state which allows online gambling. That’s a pretty big selling point and part of the reason why the industry continues to explode.
Naturally, there are differences to be found for both experiences. When you’re at the casino, you may have to wait when the place is jumping. Elbow room can be at a premium. That adds to the enjoyment for some, but others may not like feeling crowded.
When playing online, that’s not an issue. You can simply log onto the casino of your choice and find a game to play. They’ll always have space for you, trust us.
While many of those who have been to a physical casino can picture what the experience looks like in their head, those who haven’t played online yet just don’t know what to expect. Once again, we’re here to help.
After you have logged onto your chosen site, you’ll find the casino games section. Just like the pictures up above, you should have a couple of different choices. Let’s say you find that European Roulette sounds like a hoot. You would click the icon to enter the room. Once the game loads, you’ll find something that looks like this.
European Roulette sounds like a hoot. You would click the icon to enter the room. Once the game loads, you’ll find something that looks like this.
As you see, all of the different bet types are laid out for you in plain english. Once you’re ready to go, you’ll typically pick out a chip color. From there, be sure to choose the denomination you wish to bet.
It’s important to pay attention to that last step, as some online casinos can default to a bet amount which you may not be comfortable with. Get in the habit of checking the bet amount before diving in. You’ll thank us later.
Once you have your chip color and bet amount, you can jump right in and play. You can try some of the simple bets like odds or evens. If you’re feeling frisky, you can try one of the advanced types we mentioned up above like corner or street.
In the lower right-hand corner, you see that what’s been happening at the table is readily apparent. There are hot and cold numbers, as well as percentages on the simpler bet types. As you can see, it’s all laid out in a user-friendly manner.
Naturally, experiences will vary based on the online casino you choose. Some operators are ahead of the curve and offer a smooth online gaming experience. Others? Let’s just say they have some kinks to work out.
While that can be a pain in the neck to deal with, it’s also part of the beauty of online gaming. If you find a site or app that’s not up to snuff, you can easily shop around and find a better one. When you’re at the casino and simply not feeling it, you may have to go hunting for awhile depending on which place you have visited.
Basic Roulette Strategies
As with all games of chance and skill, there is a strategy element involved in playing roulette. While there are plenty of players who don’t worry about that and are simply looking to have some fun, other players like to advance their skills.
There are tons of books out there on the subject, but we feel like saving you some time. Here are some of the basic strategies you can try out.
Martingale: This strategy calls for doubling up your bets after taking a loss. It works on colors, odd and even bets, and 1-18 or 19-36 bets on the theory that you’ll recover your losses and squeeze out a profit once fortunes change.
Reverse Martingale: Instead of doubling down after losses, this strategy calls for you to increase bets after wins. The theory behind this says that you’ll reap the rewards on hot streaks while keeping losses low during tough stretches.
D’Alembert: Instead of getting rowdy and doubling, D’Alembert simply calls for you to add or subtract one from your bets based on wins and losses. Some advocates consider this a safer alternative for bankroll management purposes.
Those are among the simpler strategies, but there are plenty of advanced ones out there like the Fibonacci Strategy. Strategies can allow you to play with a game plan, but keep in mind that nothing is foolproof. Stay in your comfort zone no matter what.
The Bottom Line
Online gaming continues to grow. The momentum will only continue as more states loosen up the strings. As with many land-based casinos, roulette is among the more popular offerings.
Playing roulette online is pretty simple, but there are also more advanced strategies that you can employ. Regardless of which way you want to go, it’s important to understand how to play before diving in.
Now that you’ve read all the way through, we hope that we have cut the learning curve down immensely. Best of luck in your online roulette pursuits!