How to Play Roulette? Official Guide for Beginners

Are you new to the game of roulette? Do all those roulette rules intimidate you and make you feel like you won’t ever learn how to play roulette? Then, you have come to the right place. This ultimate roulette guide will tell you all about this perennial casino game that has been around for centuries. Learn more about roulette rules and odds, how to place bets, and what are some strategies you could use to improve your chances of winnings. Read on! 

What Is Roulette?

Roulette is a game of chance devised by a famous French scientist Blaise Pascal in the 17th century while working on a perpetual motion machine. Roulette stands for ‘the little wheel’ in French, which perfectly suits the game essence. Namely, the goal of roulette is to predict where a little white ball will land on the pocketed wheel after being spun. Some bets will offer higher odds and better payouts, based on how likely they will occur. Still, each bet in roulette has a distinct payout structure we shall discuss in detail below. 

It is also worth mentioning that roulette is popular in both brick and mortar and online casinos. One of the reasons for its popularity is that the house edge in the game is between 2.70% and 5.26%, depending on the type of roulette you are playing, which makes it quite attractive to players.

The best way to learn to play roulette is to start with the basics — the game’s table and wheel layout.

Roulette Table and Wheel Layout

By assuming a roulette for dummies approach in this guide, we feel compelled to start with the roulette table and wheel layouts’ explanations. Regarding the wheel, there are two types —  the European/French and the American wheel. Both of these wheels have a series of numbered and colored pockets on them, but the main difference is in the number of pockets on the wheel which influences the house edge. 

In the French/European version of the game, the wheel has 37 numbered pockets, out of which one is reserved for 0. On the other hand, the American roulette has an additional double zero pocket (00), which increases the total number of pockets to 38. 

The difference in the number of pockets on the wheel brings an additional betting option in the American version of the game and drastically increases the house edge, which is almost double the house edge in the European/French version.

On the other hand, the roulette table has a similar structure in all versions of the game. A sequence of numbers and types of bets is indicated on the table, and players place chips on the designated fields on the table that correspond to the types of bets they want to place. The roulette wheel is usually situated at the centre of the table.

How to Play Roulette – the Gameplay 

The roulette rules for playing are very simple, which is another reason this game is so popular worldwide. The dealer or croupier will announce a new betting round by saying Place your bets,please. Players will then put the chips on different positions on the table that indicate different types of bets. The croupier will spin the wheel in one direction and insert and spin a small ceramic ball in another. It is also important to note that players can continue to place their bets even after the wheel starts spinning. The dealer will proclaim No more bets to conclude the betting round.

In online live dealer roulette games, the procedure is just like in the land-based casinos, whereas in the RNG-powered versions of the game, instead of a live dealer, a complex algorithm will produce the outcomes of a spin and send prompts about when to place your bets and when to stop.

After the ball loses its momentum, it will land in one of the wheel’s pockets, and the dealer will announce the winning number and place a little marker on it. At this point, the winnings are paid to the lucky winners and a new betting round is initiated.

Types of Roulette Bets 

In essence, the roulette game allows you to place bets on individual numbers and different groups of them. You will encounter the two main roulette bet categories in all game versions: the inside and outside bets. Apart from these two categories, you can also encounter the so-called announced bets, or specialty bets in the European/French versions of the game. Before we break down each type of these bets, you should know that the main idea is that the more bets you place, the bigger are the chances of success, but the payouts are usually lower. 

Inside Bets 

The inside bets, as their name suggests, are bets located inside the roulette table and focused on the individual numbers or specific combinations of them. The numbers are paired in a variety of ways, but all groups are constructed according to the positions of those numbers on the table. It is important to know that these inside bets offer smaller winning odds but greater payouts when compared to the outside bets. Almost all roulette versions have six inside bets, and these are: 

  • Straight-Up — This is a bet placed on a single number and has a payout ratio of 35:1
  • Split — A Split bet is when you wager on two adjacent numbers, and you do so by placing chips on the shared line of the two numbers. The payout for this bet is 17:1
  • Street — Street is a three-number bet you place on three numbers in line, for example, 5, 6, and 7. The payout for this bet is 11:1
  • Corner — A Corner bet is placed on four numbers that make a square on the table, such as 1, 2, 4, and 5. This bet pays in a 8 to 1 ratio. 
  • Double Street  — As its name suggests, the Double Street Bet is when you bet on two rows of numbers, totaling to 6 numbers. If successful, this bet can bring you a 5:1 payout. 
  • Basket — Basket, or a five-number bet, is placed on a sequence of five numbers and is only available in American Roulette. The payout for this bet is 6:1. 

Outside Bets 

As their name suggests, outside bets are located on the roulette table outskirts, on sectors intended for the larger number groups. These bets are also known as the “even money” bets. There are five most frequently seen types of outside bets in roulette: 

  • Red or Black — With this bet, players hope that the ball will land on either a red or a black pocket on the wheel. The payout for winning this bet is 1:1. 
  • Odd or Even — By placing this bet, you think that the ball will fall either on an odd or an even number. If successful, the payout will be 1:1. 
  • Low or High — The numbers in roulette are also divided into low numbers, from 1 to 18, and high numbers, from 19 to 36. This bet has the same even payout as the previous ones — 1:1.
  • Dozens — Dozens bets allow you to wager on the three dozens of the table (1–12, 13–24, 25–36). This bet pays 2:1.
  • Columns — With a Columns bet, you wager on one of the three vertical columns of the table (1–34, 2–35, 3–36). The payout for this bet is 2:1.

Announced or Specialty Bets 

Announced or Specialty bets are seen in the French version of roulette, hence their distinctively French names. Some of the most popular specialty bets are Voisin du Zero, Orphelins and Tiers du Cylindre bets, and the numbers in them are combined in accordance with their position on the roulette wheel and not the table.

Tips on How to Win at Roulette 

What kind of a roulette guide would this be if we didn’t give you more than just the overview of roulette rules. You can use some important tips and tricks to increase your chances of success while at a roulette table.

The best way to play roulette is to understand the house edge. The European and French versions of the game have the lowest house edge, so these are the best roulette games for beginners. Also, you need to learn how to manage your money wisely. Don’t get carried away and place all your money on a straight bet. Although it offers the biggest payout, the odds are not in your favor there.

Finally, you need to learn about different roulette systems, such as Martingale, Fibonacci, and D’Alembert. As you hone your roulette skills, you will learn more about these complex betting systems and strategies that require you to place certain combinations of bets at particular moments in the game, which might increase your chances of winning.


  • How does roulette work?
  • How many versions of roulette are there?
  • What are the most common types of bets in roulette?
  • What are the odds in roulette?