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Online Roulette basics

Published by Niki | March 28, 2019 | Last updated: July 22, 2021

Introduction to Roulette

Roulette is an incredibly popular table game. Often the mention of table-based casino games will trigger thoughts of the wooden rolling wheel with red and black segments notched into its circumference. The original variation of the game originates from France, and hence we get the French name, “Roulette”, which quite literally means, “Little Wheel”.

Online Roulette basics

Game varieties

The game ‘caught on’ quite rapidly throughout Europe and even into the United States of America. Here, subtle changes or adaptations were made to the base game, to the point that we now have three main Roulette game variations available in both terrestrial and online casinos gamblers throughout the world.

These variations are namely:

  • French Roulette
  • European Roulette
  • American Roulette

Although these three categories are the main set segments of the game, there are still slight adaptations to these games, found from casino to casino, however, the base guidelines of each principle game are kept throughout.

The European and French games are all played on the same wheel format of 37 black and red positions, which include numbers 1 – 36 and one green position for the number ‘0’. The American wheel differs from its cousin in the fact that it has one extra green notch for a ‘00’ position.

Roulette jargon and terms

Roulette, like many other games, comes with a unique set term. Because the game is really like no other, a number of the phrases may contain words that you have never heard of before. To avoid embarrassment or misunderstanding, which in this industry could cost you dearly, we have provided a list of some of the keywords you will need to learn if you desire to become an avid Roulette patron.

  • Croupier: This is the term for the person in charge of the table; the rolling of the wheel, the oversight of the betting, and the distribution of winnings.
  • Chips: These are the round coloured tokens that bear monetary value, used by you to stake your wager on the game grid.
  • Wager: Also called a ‘bet’ or a ‘stake’; this refers to the amount of money you wish to gamble in favour of where you think the white ball will land on the wheel. Wins are paid out in direct relation to the amount wagered.
  • Inside bet: This is a bet placed on specific numbers on the grid, from 0 – 36. The greatest odds are paid on getting this play correct. It will pay 35:1.
  • Outside bet: This is a wager placed on other categories, outside the number grid, and encompasses groups of possibilities. This includes betting on red/black, or odd/even, or First 12, Second 12, or Third 12 etc. Because the advantage is in favour of this type of bet rather than precise betting methods, the odds of winning are higher, so the payouts are far less.
  • House edge: This is the degree of advantage the house has in order to yield profits. The house edge in Roulette can vary on average from around 3% to 1%, meaning that the odds are actually in favour of a wise player. The house edge is far lower in French and European styled games, over the edge in the American versions.
  • Biased numbers: These are numbers that regularly appear on the wheel. This could be due to the fact that you are dealing with a biased wheel. Keep track of the numbers that land.
  • Parlay: This is the term for when a player adds to a former wager in the following round.

Game dynamics and basic rules

The Wheel

There is a wheel present with a variety of numbered positions in place on it. Each of these positions is coloured red or black consecutively, with a green zero position (and an additional green ‘00’ position on American wheels). A small white ball is released into the spinning wheel after all the bets are placed. When the wheel stops, the position the ball finds itself in determines the outcome.

The Table and Grid

To one side of the wheel, you will find a table with a grid. The table mimics all of the possible spin results the wheel could yield. The inside of the table, bearing the ‘inside bets’, is the number grid, which holds numbers from 0 to 36 (addition of ‘00’ on American Table). Around the perimeter of this grid is the section for ‘outside bets’, including the group bets, like red/black, odd/even, First 12, Second 12, or Third 12. It is onto this grid that you place your chips to make your wager. Wagers are based on where you believe the white ball will land on the wheel.

Zero Position Rule

Particularly in French and European versions of the game, there are two rules that can be played (differing from table to table) when the ball lands on the green ‘0’ position. These are:

  • La Partage: This rule pertains to even outside bets. Should the ball land on the green ‘0’, all bets placed on odd/even, or red/black positions will be split between the casino and the player, affording you the grace of keeping half your wager.
  • En Prison: This rule also pertains to even outside bets. Should the ball fall on the zero all outside bets will be marked by the croupier and ‘held in prison’ for the next spin, effectively granting you a second chance at a win or a ‘re-spin’.

Wagering and Payouts

The average minimum and maximum bet on a Roulette table are quite often 1 – 1000 credits. Be sure to know the table limits before placing your wager.

To get yourself familiar with the type of payouts you can expect from different bets, be sure to study the list that follows, as valuable information like this in your head, will only make you more confident. Confidence will allow your mind the ease of concentrating on your game plan, rather than trying to remember the silly rules.

  • Straight-up bet: Pays 35:1 odds. This is when you place your bet on a specific single number on the grid (inside bet) between 0 and 36.
  • Outside Bets: Pays 1:1 odds. We have covered what these are throughout the guide.
  • Split Bet: Pays 17:1 odds. This is when you bet on two numbers next to each other on the grid. You will place your chips on the dividing line between the numbers to indicate the bet.
  • Street Bet: Pays 11:1 odds. This is like a split bet, but here you bet on three numbers.
  • Corner Bet: Pays 8:1 odds. Here you bet on 4 numbers with your tokens.
  • Line Bet: Pays 5:1 odds. This is when you bet on 6 numbers.
  • 5 Number Bet: Pays 6:1 odds. This encompasses a bet of specific numbers – 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. This betting combination is only available on the American rendition of Roulette.


As with many of the tips given in the guides on our site, we always suggest that you spend some time reading information about the basics before risking your money at the tables, starting by experimenting with outside bets first.

Gambling must be done responsibly, so ensure that you come to the table with a set strategy in mind and a specific budget in hand, as well as, a great Roulette bonus. Do not veer from your plan.

Make sure to read our comprehensive guide on best live roulette strategy and roulette guide to odds, payouts and house edge.

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