How to Play Online Roulette
The dealer drops a small, white ball onto a spinning wheel (which roughly translates to roulette in French). Gamblers wager on where the ball will land via inside or outside bets, which each come with lots of other bets you can make. Be sure to review our roulette glossary before diving into the strategy!
Rules & Format of Online Roulette
Types of Online Roulette: American and European
Online roulette comes in a variety of table layouts. American and European roulette each offer different odds.
European roulette has a spinning wheel numbered from 0 to 36 for 37 total numbers.
In American roulette, the spinning wheel contains a double zero (00) — for 38 total numbers.
For those reasons, European roulette offers a lower house edge of 2.6%.
American roulette has a house edge of 5.26%. But there are a few extra bets you can make along with an added 00.
Roulette Bets: Inside and Outside
To play online roulette, you'll gamble on inside and outside bets. Table limits determine the largest and smallest wagers.
The numbers from 0/00 to 36 represent inside bets because they are "inside" the box.
The 0 and 00 are green. The numbers 1 to 36 — red and black.
Inside bets get placed on 1 or up to 6 numbers at a time for any single wager. These bets offer the best payouts on the table.
Outside bets allow you to wager on 12 or 18 numbers at a time. Thus, the payouts are lower.
Inside Bets: The Basics
The best wager in roulette comes from the straight bet. Pick any one number and it'll pay out 35 to 1.
So, if you place $10 on 17 black and that's where the ball lands, your total winnings will be $360.
A split bet wagers on two adjacent numbers at the same time. You'll place your bet between the two numbers. If either of those numbers hit, you'll get a payout of 17 to 1.
Inside Wagers That Payout 11 to 1
The following inside bets offer 11-to-1 payouts:
- Street Bet: There are 12 vertical rows of three numbers on the table. Place your bet at the bottom of one of those rows. If any of those three numbers hit, you'll win your bet.
- Trio Bet: Another three-number wager — with two options. Place your bet at the intersection of the 0-1-2 or 2-3-0 (European roulette).
- Basket Bet: A three-number wager with three options. Your bet goes on the intersection of 0-1-2, 0-00-2, or 00-2-3 (American roulette).
Corner, Top Line, and Six Line Bets
To bet on four numbers at once, you can place a corner (square) bet. Pick a spot where four numbers intersect and place your wager there. This bet pays out 8 to 1.
In American roulette, a top-line bet is a five-number wager on the 0-00-1-2-3. It pays out 6 to 1.
Place your bet at the intersection of 0-00-2. (Some table layouts may offer a top-line bet on the intersection of 0 and 1 or 00 and 3.)
For a six-line/line bet, you'll combine two street bets. Your wager goes at the bottom of the box on the line that connects those two streets.
As an example, you can make a line bet at the intersection between two rows 1, 2, 3, — 4, 5, and 6. From there, you'll have 10 more options.
A six-line bet pays out 5 to 1.
Outside Bets: Better Chances to Win
If inside bets aren't suitable for your bankroll, you may want to consider outside bets.
These betting options payout even money (1 to 1):
- High/Low Bet: You can wager on the low numbers (1-18) or high numbers (19-36).
- Even/Odd Bet: Even or odd numbers from 1-36.
- Black/Red Bet: Black or red numbers from 1-36.
For beginners, high/low, even/odd, and black/red bets might be a good way to get a feel for the game.
The Tracking Board: Use It to Your Advantage
You'll also want to keep an eye on the tracking board. It will show a betting history of the latest spins. (You'll see the result of the last spin along with the previous ten numbers.)
So, if you spot any trends — like black hitting a few times in a row — a bet on red to hit on the next spin might be a good idea.
Outside Bets: 2 to 1 Payouts
Two very similar outside wagers are the dozen bet and column bet.
For both of these wagers, you'll be choosing a selection of 12 box numbers.
The dozen bet offers three options on the table: 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36.
A column bet goes the opposite way. They are as follows:
Dozen and column bets payout 2 to 1.
Make outside bet combos while playing off the tracking board to boost your winning potential.
Serpent Bet: For High-Rollers
If you've got the bankroll for it, a serpent bet might be a decent way to get 2 to 1 odds inside the box.
You'll place a single bet on each of these numbers: 1-5-9-12-14-16-19-23-27-30-32-34.
This is a risky strategy that requires twelve separate bets. But it could pay off for willing gamblers who don't mind losing (on average) two out of every three spins.
Online roulette offers huge payouts in a short time span even with a smaller bankroll. You might also get crushed in a few spins if you're not too careful.
Starting with the basics, you can develop betting strategies that work best for you.