Welcome to 10bet’s ultimate guide to roulette and roulette strategy, the most extensive and comprehensive guide to the game that you will find anywhere.
Learn about roulette rules and how to play the game. Scroll down or jump to the section you would like to learn more about.
What is roulette?
The game of roulette is regarded as one of the most popular casino games and has been for almost two centuries. When thinking of casinos – and indeed even of gambling in a wider sense – the roulette wheel is one of the things that instantly comes to mind and it is often used as the symbol of the entire industry.
Its origins are somewhat difficult to unravel, with some experts claiming that there is no way of knowing when or where the game began. However, others believe that the modern roulette wheel configuration and rules can be traced back to France in the early nineteenth century.
Among the earliest descriptions of the game is the one presented in the French novel ”La roulette ou le Jouer” by Jacques Lablee, released in 1801. Lablee talked of a wheel with pockets numbered 1 through 36 and two extra pockets marked with a zero and a double zero which were reserved for the “bank” and represented the mathematical advantage of the casino.
The next piece of tangible evidence came in 1843 when twins François and Louis Blanc opened their casino in the German town of Homburg. With a single-zero wheel, it tilted the odds further in favour of players and was a huge success, earning a small fortune for the brothers and for the town itself.
Indeed, so profitable was their casino that François Blanc was able to purchase the world-famous Monte Carlo casino in 1863, prompting Homburg to promote the town as “the mother of Monte Carlo” ever since. Blanc of course took the single-zero wheel with him to Monaco, ensuring not only was it a success there, but so much so that it established the gaming standards for all other regions of the European continent.
By the 1850s, the now surplus double-zero French wheels began to emerge in New Orleans. Prior to that, the typical wheel at a US casino had 28 pockets with numbers. With three zero pockets for the house, that meant the single-number odds at 26 to 1, giving a staggering 12.9% advantage over players.
The double-zero wheels changed those single-number odds to 35 to 1 – a house edge of 5.26% – which was considerably better for the players, who understandably welcomed the new wheels and helped to grow the popularity of the game.
What helped there too was the game being fun, fast-paced and, while appearing complex at first, roulette is actually quite simple. This has led many players to prefer it to other table games like blackjack or poker because it is far more relaxing and easy to understand once you have grasped the basics.
Now we know a little of the intriguing history of the game, let’s start to look at the basics of it. A roulette wheel is made up of three distinct parts:
- The ball track where the croupier first sends the ball round and round.
- The base track where the ball begins its descent once it leaves the ball track.
- The wheel head with the pockets where the ball bounces and finally settles into a pocket.
Modern roulette tables have bumpers on the base track to ensure the ball cannot be controlled, as well as distinct divisions between each pocket, these ensure the ball cannot make a clean descent and guarantee the results are random.
Watching the ball and wheel spin in opposite directions undoubtedly draws players in, a fascinating sight that has lured customers to the table time and time again over the past two centuries.
Types of roulette
There are a few different versions of roulette and knowing how each works can make all the difference to how successful your sessions at the table will be. The three main types of roulette are:
The best way to understand this is to think of French roulette as the original version of the game. It has kept the authentic betting options in the French language and is very popular in both brick and mortar casinos and online.
Some believe that the French betting terminology adds much more authenticity and excitement to the game, but they also offer a good advantage to players.
For example, La Partage (“The Divide”) is an even money bet option only found in the French version and basically, whenever the ball lands on zero, all even money wagers will only lose half their value as they are divided evenly between the house and the players. The La Partage rule effectively cuts the house edge from 2.7% all the way down to just 1.35%!
Often thought of as the most challenging version to play, American roulette is not recommended for casual players or novices.
One of the main reasons for this is the fact that American roulette contains not one but two zero positions. The single zero on one side of the wheel, and the double zero on the other side. Due to that extra slot, the house edge is much higher than both French and European versions at a rather hefty 5.26%.
Basically, European roulette is the modern version of the French style with all wagering terminology changed to English and the traditional betting options like La Partage and En Prison removed.
European roulette is a fast and streamlined game with a house edge of 2.7% and a single zero, just like the French version.
A vital aspect to improving your chances of winning at roulette is understanding the layout of the wheel. When you see one for the first time, you could be forgiven for thinking that the numbers that surround the wheel have been placed in a random fashion as they do not appear to make sense, but that is not the case.
In fact, the numbers are placed in direct opposition – i.e. across the wheel from each other – are always consecutive. So, for example, 26 Black is directly opposite 25 Red, while 9 Red is directly opposite to 10 Black and so forth.
The European and American wheels each have distinct differences, something that can have a major impact upon your chances of winning and which should influence the bets that a player will make.
The American wheel
As we discussed previously, American roulette has 38 numbered pockets for the ball to land in 1-36, 0 and 00. Half the numbers are red: half are black and the 0 and 00 are usually green, although on some wheels these might be blue.
If we look at the image below, you can see that directly (or almost directly) across from each even number is an odd number. Check out 13 and you will see that it is almost directly across from 14. Then look at 28 and it is across from 29.
This is not a perfect design however since the numbers 18 and 19 are only separated by the number 33. Pairs of odd numbers also alternate with pairs of even numbers except in the areas of the 0, which splits 2 and 28, and 00 which splits 27 and 1.
The colours of the numbers match the colour of the numbers on the table.
The French or European wheel
For this one, there are 37 numbered pockets for the ball to land in: 1-36 and 0. Once again, half the numbers are red: half are black and the 0 is either green or blue.
Some of the positions of the numbers are similar to the American wheel with an odd number being directly across from an even number such as 27 across from 28 but this does not prevail throughout the wheel.
How to play roulette
So now we have a grasp of how the game looks, let’s look more closely at how it is played. Each game begins with players making their bets.
- The croupier (or dealer) then sets the wheel spinning and then throws the ball into it in the opposite direction. Players can still make bets while this is happening.
- Once the ball is rolling at the roulette wheel, the croupier announces “no more bets” and at that point, the players must stop.
- Eventually, the ball comes to rest on a number in the roulette wheel. If there are players who bet that specific number, section or colour, they will be rewarded according to the relevant betting odds.
Types of bet
The term “inside bet” is used to describe any wager that can be placed within the numbered grid on the table (see above). These can be anything from playing on a single number, which gives the highest possible payout of 35/1 for a win, to placing bets on a line of numbers, an intersection and so forth.
Inside wagers are generally considered to be a bit more challenging but are also more exciting.
Let’s take a look at the various different types:
The straight up (French: en plein)
You bet one or more numbers by placing your bet on that or those numbers on the layout. If your number or one of your numbers should hit you win 35 to 1 on that number. Straight-up bets can be made on any of the 36 numbers on the layout, as well as on the single zero and the double zero.
Split bet (French: a cheval)
These are combination bets, which are placed on the border between any two adjacent numbers on the layout. In case either of the two numbers appears to win, the payoff for the player will be 17 to 1. By making such a bet, the player actually splits what the bet is worth between the two numbers.
Street bet (French: transversal)
Also known as, a “three-number bet,” “side bet” or “the trio,” these are another type of combination bet, placed on any of the three-number rows on the betting layout. In order for the bet to be placed correctly, the player needs to bet on the outside line near the first number in the row. If one of the three numbers in the row turns out to be profitable, the payoff for the player will be 11 to 1.
Corner bet (French: carre)
Often known as “the square” or the “four number bet,” these are combination bets, which are placed on any square block of four numbers on the betting layout. If one of the four numbers in the block turns out to be the winning number, the payoff for the player will be 8 to 1.
The line bet (French: sixain)
For this one – also known as a “six-number bet” or “six line bet” – players bet on the outside borders of the six numbers they wish to bet on and it pays off at 5 to 1.
The five number bet
Often referred to as a “Sucker Bet,” this allows players to bet on the following numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2, 3. If one of these five numbers wins, the payoff for the player will be 6 to 1. It should be noted that five-number bets cannot be placed on French or European roulette because they do not feature a double zero.
The term ”outside bets” refers to all bets which are placed outside of the main field of numbers on the betting layout. There are several types of bets, which belong to this category, so let’s discuss each of them in turn:
The dozens bet (French: douzaine)
Three groups, each containing twelve numbers, can be seen clearly on the table layout. These groups are: the ”1st 12,” or ”1st Dozen” which includes the numbers 1 through 12, the ”2nd 12” or the ”2nd Dozen” that features the numbers 13 through 24, and the ”3rd 12”, or ”3rd Dozen” that includes the numbers 25 through 36.
It is important here to note that neither single zero nor double zero is featured in those groups. That means that if 0 or 00 wins, any bet placed on the dozens will be a loss for the player. However, if one of the twelve numbers in the player’s group wins, the payoff will be 2 to 1.
Column bets (French: colonne)
Alongside the three dozens, there are three columns – each also comprised of twelve numbers – which can be seen on the table layout. At the bottom of each column there is a box containing the ”2 to 1” label which is where players place their column bets.
Neither the single zero nor the double zero are featured in the three columns so again, if 0 or 00 wins, any bet placed on the columns will be a losing one. But if one of the 12 numbers in the chosen column does win, the payoff will again be 2 to 1.
Red or black bets (French: rouge et noir)
Undoubtedly the most well-known bet in any game of roulette, this option sees players bet on either all of the 18 red numbers or all 18 black numbers. Again, zero and double zero are excluded to maintain the advantage of the house, but if a player’s colour wins, the pay off is even money.
The odd or even bet (French: impair et pair)
Here, a player bets on either the 18 even or the 18 odd numbers on the layout. Unlike in mathematics however, in roulette, zero is not considered as an even number so the 0 and the 00 will be a loss for any player. If a bet wins,the payoff will be even money.
High or low bet (French: passe et manque)
On this type of bet, a player backs either the 18 low numbers (1 through 18), or the 18 high numbers (19 through 36) on the layout. The single zero and the double zero are once again not featured, but if the player’s bet wins, the payoff will be even money.
Roulette terms and slang
The entire amount of funds that the player wagers over a specific time period.
Sometimes a “Ball-track,” this term refers to the outer rim that remains stationary as the ball spins on the roulette wheel.
This term refers to the outer rim that remains stationary as the ball spins on the roulette wheel. Often called a “Backtrack”.
The bankroll indicates the total funds that a player sets aside and uses during the game.
When a number hits more often than its mathematical probability, it is called a Big Number.
Before the ball falls onto the wheel head and then into the pocket, it slides through the inner stationary area called the bottom track.
Often referred to as the “House Edge,” it’s a percentage of the mathematical advantage that the casino has over the player.
When neither the house nor the players win in a particular game consistently. It can also describe a roulette game with no winning patterns.
A more formal term for the dealer. In roulette, the croupier is the employee who works at the roulette table and spins the wheel.
Hot and cold
Betting on a side that won in the last round. It is also called “Streak Betting.”
When players bet on neighbouring numbers 34, 17, and 6. The term is popular mainly in Europe.
When a player doubles their bet after winning.
Pockets are the numbered boxes on a roulette wheel. Pockets are usually numbered 1 to 36, with an additional zero and a double zero, depending on the roulette variant. The pockets for zeroes are green or blue, and half of the other numbers are black, while the other half is red.
When players increase their bet, often by doubling it after winning.
The roulette croupier or dealer.
The area on the wheel with the numbered pockets.
As you begin to play roulette, you will undoubtedly hear the term ”Casino’s edge.” What is it? Also known as “House Edge,” it is simply the mathematical advantage that the casino has in a particular game which results in an assured return over time.
This also means that in turn, there is also an assured percentage loss for players based on the size of the bets they make. For a casino – whether an actual one or an online one – this return is used to cover the cost of providing the games, paying staff and other overheads and ensuring that the business runs at profit.
When it comes to players, this is the risk they take. For American roulette, the house edge is 5.26 percent, while in European or French roulette that figure improves 2.70 percent thanks to the absence of the 00 pocket.
What does that mean for you?
Given that this guide can be read in so many countries, we will use the word “unit” rather than a specific currency. If we consider a bet that has a 5 to one chance of winning, that means you would win five units for every one that you wager – just swap your own currency for the term unit.
A 2.7% house edge means that out of 100 units, the player is expected to lose 2.7 units. So, if you were betting on European roulette in England, the rules of probability state that you should lose £2.70 for every £100 that you bet.
However, by learning the game, understanding how it works and learning the strategies contained in this guide, you can reduce that edge, improve your chances and perhaps turn those losses into wins.
The first way to do so is by taking advantage of two types of bet that are offered by some casinos:
Foremost among these is a Surrender bet, which is occasionally available on American roulette. If you employ this option on any of the even money wagers (red or black, odd or even and high-low) and either 0 or 00 hits, the croupier will take only half your bet and return the other half.
That reduces the casino’s edge down from 5.26 percent to 2.63 percent, exactly half. Some casinos also offer this type of bet on European roulette, reducing the house edge to an incredible 1.35 percent.
This alternative bet is only available on European roulette and it cuts your losing expectation in half. What happens is you again use this option on those even money wagers mentioned previously, and if 0 hits then your bet isn’t won or lost, it is put “in prison.”
For example, let’s say you bet red and 0 is the winning number. Rather than lose immediately, your bet stays on the table until the next game. Then, if red hits, you get your money back but if black hits, then you lose. If 0 wins again, your bet remains en prison.
This type of bet also reduces the casino’s edge to 1.35 percent, an approach you should certainly consider taking whenever it is available.
No matter whether you play roulette just for fun or you take it more seriously, having a clear and methodical approach is essential. Simply placing bets in random order with no thought given to the likely outcomes only serves to improve the casino’s edge and make winning even more unlikely in every game.
However, with a little effort, you can instead learn a sensible and coherent roulette strategy that will tilt the odds more in your favour and in turn make Roulette an even more enjoyable and exciting experience for you.
There are no roulette strategies that will yield instant results within the first few spins. Let’s say that again: there are no roulette strategies that will yield instant results within the first few spins.
With that in mind, the most important skill a player can learn is how to manage their resources. You want to be able to play for as long as possible because the longer you play, the more likely you are to recognise the patterns within the game. In order to do so, you must learn how much you can afford to lose, then break that down into how much you can bet on each game.
- Go 50/50. Something that helps here is taking a 50-50 approach. By making small but effective wagers on the even money outside bets such as red/black, high/low or odd/even, you can steadily and safely increase your bankroll before switching over to making larger wagers.
- Switch between outside bets and inside bets. Both types of wager have pros and cons, but mixing them up will undoubtedly help. As mentioned previously, outside bets will help build up your bankroll, but moving on to inside bets brings maximum returns and maximum excitement!
A simple roulette strategy worth learning
This approach is very simple, and keeps the bets small enough so they can be recouped even after some losses. It is best used on the even-money wagers and at its heart is the idea that the bets never get too high and the player simply grinds out a small win each day.
To begin, a player must choose a table-stakes bankroll to risk and keep playing without missing a single spin. The best game to maximise this approach is a single-zero wheel, preferably in a game which offers either the En Prison or Surrender bets discussed earlier in this guide as those factors offer the best house edge for players.
So a player starts by betting one unit on a 50/50 outside bets and continues to do so after a loss. Only when you win do you increase to 2 units, staying there again until you win, then moving on to three and so on.
Here is an example of what might happen:
- Bet 1 unit and lose (-1)
- Bet 1 unit and lose (-2)
- Bet 1 unit and lose (-3)
- Bet 1 unit and win (-2) – time to raise bet
- Bet 2 units and lose (-4)
- Bet 2 units and lose (-6)
- Bet 2 units and win (-4) – still in the negative, time to raise bet.
- Bet 3 units and win (-1) – still in the negative, but drop bet to 2 units so a win ends string at +1
- Bet 2 units and win (+1) – start a new string
To be successful, the Oscar’s Grind strategy must experience a succession of spins where there are three or more winners in a 4 or 5 spin group. It is possible to have a string of hundreds of spins, moving slowly towards the loss of 100 units, but then ever so gradually recouping a few units each 10 spins or so.
Stick with it and quite often the higher bets of 5 or 6 units will work their way back down to where there is finally a win of 1 unit.
Now you are ready to put your new-found skills to the test and practice your approach in a real game. 10bet offers a great range of roulette variations and is a great way to experiment with our tips, tricks and strategies. What are you waiting for?
Take your knowledge
to the tables.
Advanced roulette strategies
There are any number of alternative approaches to roulette to be found online or in books. These are slightly more complex but let’s take a look at a few of them and examine how they can be used:
This one starts with a very simple premise: every time you lose, you double your bet. The Martingale can often deliver early success, leading to some enjoyable wins along the way if it is executed correctly.
As an example, we will start with a 5 unit bet on an even-money outside bet. So the first bet is 5 units and you lose, your next bet must be 10 units. If you win that bet you are now ahead 5 units. If you lose that bet you go up to 20 units. Every time you win, you are ahead by 5 units and you start all over again.
The D’Alembert strategy
This is a safer alternative than the Martingale but eventually a player using it may find themselves up against that house limit. This is an even chance betting system that can be used on red/black, odd/even or high/low but it is unsuitable for dozens, columns or the inside bets.
How does it work? You simply pick a starting bet, then you increase your bets by one after a loss, and decrease them by one after a win. The theory is that once you have as many wins as losses, you will be in profit by the amount of bets you’ve placed.
Let’s go through a quick example starting with a bet of 5:
- Bet 5 and lose
- Bet 6 and lose
- Bet 7 and win
- Bet 6 and lose
- Bet 7 and win
- Bet 6 and win
- Bet 5 and lose
- Bet 6 and win
Over that streak, here is how the wins and losses stack up; 0 -5 -6 +7 -6 +7 +6 -5 +6 = 4
So in the above sequence, there were 4 losses and 4 wins but the player finished in profit by 4 units. This is the golden rule with the D’Alembert: If the number of wins is the same as the number of losses, you will always be in profit by that number of bets.
The advantage of this approach is that it requires a relatively low bankroll because players don’t need to double their bets. It would take a much longer losing run to reach the table limit.
This one follows the famous “Fibonacci sequence” in which each bet is the sum of the two previous numbers. An example would be – 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34.
So instead of doubling your bet after a loss, a player would increase their bet in accordance with the sequence until they win, at which point you go back two steps in the sequence. Here is an example of what might happen:
- Bet 1 and lose
- Bet 1 and lose
- Bet 2 and lose
- Bet 3 and lose
- Bet 5 and lose
- Bet 8 and lose
- Bet 13 and lose
- Bet 21 and lose
- Bet 34 and win
- Bet 13 and lose
- Bet 21 and win
- Bet 8 and win
- Bet 3 and lose
- Bet 5 and win
- Bet 2 and lose
- Bet 3 and lose
- Bet 5 and win
- Bet 2 and win
- Bet 1 and win
So the player would have made their way back to the start of the sequence and would have a profit of one unit, just like with the Martingale. The key difference is that, in the above example, the Fibonacci lost eight bets in a row and the highest bet was 21 but with the Martingale, that eighth bet would have been for 128 units.
Like all strategies however, the Fibonacci is not immune to a long losing run and when this happens you can find yourself in a hole that only a major slice of luck will remedy. For this reason you should set yourself a stop loss limit and stick to it just like you would with any other strategy. Manage your bankroll!
Managing your risk when playing roulette
Like any game of chance, roulette has its ups and downs. With that in mind, it is worth remembering that there are a number of things to remember in order to avoid making losses a more regular occurrence
Indeed, many players who do suffer losses make the same mistakes and by avoiding the most obvious errors, you will develop good habits. These simple ideas are easy to incorporate into your daily game and will help you achieve your overall roulette goals which are surely to have fun and win as often as possible.
Don’t change your game plan midway through
While it may seem like a good idea at the time, changing your strategy halfway through a game is not a good idea at all. By moving to a different approach you will confuse yourself and it is unlikely to help end any losing streak.
Never chase losses.
Just as changing your game plan halfway through usually spells disaster, chasing losses will also lead to a fast exit and an empty bankroll. It is far more constructive to spend time developing a stronger and more effective strategy and then sticking with it throughout your game.
Have faith in your strategy.
When suffering a string of bad luck, it is hard to stick with your approach and have the faith to know your luck will turn eventually. But if you’ve put in the effort to learn the right approach, believe in it and make conservative wagers until you turn the tide back in your favour.
Sometimes, it’s just luck
While we hope this strategy guide can help you enjoy playing roulette even more, one key point to remember is that, sometimes, it can just be your lucky day. That has been the case for a number of players, including these players who hit the right number at just the right time:
During the 2020 Coronavirus lockdown, UK salesman Josh Spurling got lucky not once but twice. First, the 26 year old collected £294,000 on an online slots game, then won more than £110,000 on a roulette game a week later.
“I feel I’ve had my luck and I’ve done really well…” “…If I carried on I’d jinx it.”Spurling said when speaking to The Sun.
Big bets on roulette can occasionally pay off too and perhaps none more famously than the one made by Pedro Grendene Bartelle back in 2017. The Brazilian businessman piled $100,000 on one spin at Uruguay’s Hotel Conrad and, when his number (32) hit, he walked away with a cool $3.5 million!
While Bartelle was clearly overjoyed, his win perhaps pales in significance when compared to the bet Ashley Revell made back in 2004. The 32 year old from Kent placed £76,840 on red in a Las Vegas casino and won a staggering £153,680 when the ball came to rest on red 7.
“The main thing I have learned from all this was that it wasn’t really about the money,” he told BBC News at the time. “It’s easy for me to say now I have won of course, but it is important my family and my friends were there to back me up – and if they weren’t there I wouldn’t have risked everything.”
What are the main points of the online roulette rules?
While it may appear complex at first, on most sites there are six basic steps to online roulette. First, you place your bet (chips) in a specific way on the table and for a specific period of time, then the dealer closes the betting window and spins the ball around the wheel. Finally, the dealer announces the winning number and pays out on the winning bets.
What are the main differences between the European and American rules of roulette?
The rules for the European and American versions are basically the same, with one major difference. The table is laid out differently and the American version features a double-zero slot, taking the total number of slots to 38, which causes a slight change in the odds and payouts.
Are there any different online roulette rules?
Yes, there are many types of online roulette that use different or slightly different rules. Examples include high-stakes tables that allow higher betting limits, as well as Mini roulette that has a 13-slot wheel. Also, you can find different Russian roulette rules and simplified roulette rules for dummies.
What are the online eoulette rules for neighbour bets?
The ‘Neighbours’ roulette rules allow you to place your bets on entire sections of the wheel. The length of the sections and respectively the number of the neighbouring pockets can be adjusted upon placing your bet. Different sites have different rules regarding these, be sure to check them before you play.
Can a strategy make a difference in online roulette game rules?
A correctly used strategy can certainly affect your game. Properly executed, the strategies laid out in this guide can help you enjoy roulette even more.
Armed with this information, are you ready to play and have fun with online roulette? Play here with 10bet and we wish you the very best of luck!