Play Roulette Online in 2019 3 votes
It doesn’t get much classier than spinning the roulette wheel online. The iconic table game is one of the most accessible games for new punters and it remains a favourite for veteran gamblers too, no doubt thanks to its suspenseful gameplay and potential for big wins. Read on to find out how to play roulette online.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
History of Roulette
The first roulette wheel was created in 18th Century France and, strangely enough, the “little wheel” wasn’t originally intended for gambling purposes. In fact, the first form of spinning wheel was created by a 17th Century mathematician and physicist, Blaise Pascal, who wanted to create a perpetual motion machine.
Thankfully for the gambling world, the roulette wheel did eventually stop spinning and it became a popular game of chance in Paris before spreading across the world and into the biggest casinos of America. Somewhere along the line, the game’s format was tweaked, creating two main types of wheels – one wheel containing 37 pockets with numbers from 1 – 36 with a single zero and another with 38 pockets with numbers 1 – 36 with a single zero and a double zero pocket. European Roulette and French Roulette both have 37 pockets while American Roulette has 38 pockets.
With the advent of online gambling, it was only natural that these forms of roulette (and more) were added to the roster of games available to play at online casinos. As such, online roulette is one of the go-to games for novice gamblers and experienced punters alike. It’s even possible to play some newfangled forms of the game with options such as Multi-Wheel Roulette, Chinese Roulette and even live croupier roulette. If you want to play roulette online, we’d recommend having a look at one of our recommended casinos below:
Playing for Real
When it comes to playing roulette online, gamblers have the option to play for free or for real money. There isn’t really any difference at all when it comes down to the gameplay, graphics or extra features, except for the fact that you’ll have the chance to win some cash when you spin the wheel with real money stakes. The benefit of playing for free is that you can learn all about the roulette table layout and the rules without risking any of your hard-earned cash. Try the free demo below:
Roulette Table Layout
There are three main types of table layouts that you might come across when playing roulette online which are discussed below. Generally, each of the different set-ups will offer the same basic ‘inside bets’. These basically include options for players to wager on single numbers or combinations of single numbers:
- Straight/Single – A bet on a single number on the wheel, signalled by placing the chip within the corresponding square on the layout.
- Split – A bet on two neighbouring numbers (horizontally or vertically adjacent), signalled by placing the chip on the border between them.
- Street – A bet on a row of three corresponding numbers, signalled by placing the chip on the outer edge of the either outside number.
- Corner/Square – A bet on four numbers all at once, signalled by placing the chip in the centre-point where the four squares meet.
- Six Line/Double Street – A bet covering six consecutive numbers forming two separate horizontal lines, signalled by placing the chip at the centre-point of the two outer numbers of each line – on either side.
- Trio – A bet that comprises of three numbers, though always involving at least one zero, signalled by the chip being placed on the common corner shared by all three values.
- Top Line – A bet on 0-00-1-2-3 (the full top line), signalled by placing the chip on the outer corner shared by the 0-1 or the 00-3.
Further to these bets, players may place a range of alternative wagers that have higher odds of success, though therefore smaller payout potential. These bets are known as ‘outside bets’, and can be categorised as follows:
- Low (1-18) or High (19-36) – A bet that the ball will fall into either of these two sections, signalled by placing the chip outside of the numbered area of the layout and in the bordering field.
- Red or Black – A bet that the ball will land on a certain colour as opposed to a number, signalled by placing a chip into the appropriate box on the layout.
- Even or Odd – A bet on the ball landing on either and even or an odd number, signalled by placing a chip into the chosen box.
- Dozen Bet – A bet exactly the same in principal as ‘low or high’, except based on three sections of values, signalled in the same way.
- Column Bet – A bet that the number drawn will be in the chosen vertical column, signalled by placing the chip below the final number in the sequence.
- Snake Bet – A bet that is only available in certain casinos, this works in the same manner as the dozen bet – except that the sequence runs in a zigzag across the breadth of the layout. Signalled in various ways depending on the casino, though usually with a chip placed in the lower corner of the 34 square that borders the 19-36 box.
Roulette is available in several formats, each with their own nuances and features, with the most popular being the American format. This is the most prevalent throughout the western gaming world – and certainly the version you’re most likely to encounter under the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.
After the inception of the roulette wheel in the 1700s, over the course of the ensuing decades and centuries, the format, of course, found its way to the Americas. In the 18th Century, French immigrants fled the country they called home from the destruction caused by the Revolution. They ended up in Louisiana, and of course, they brought their little wheel with them.
Back then, New Orleans was considered the gambling capital of the south. When the game arrived, it was subjected to various changes – casino operators weren’t too fond of the high house edge, so they added an extra double zero to the wheel. They also got rid of the ‘En Prison’ rule to please the punters. It eventually became the game we all know and love today.
American Roulette Features
The key feature of the American Roulette table, and the main thing that separates it from its European and French counterparts, is the number of slots it contains. Consisting of a total of 38 numbered slots, numbering from 1 up to 36 and completed with a zero and a double zero respectively, this is the main distinguishing feature of the modern popular American Roulette casino format.
Outside of the wheel itself, the common American table is comprised of a cloth-covered area, known as the ‘layout’. This area comprises of a numbered grid representative of each value on the wheel, and is where players make their respective bets. The American roulette table layout is the simplest of them all when it comes to the outside bets. As you can see in the image below, you can place a chip on the outer part of the grid, being “red or black”, “high (1 to 18) or low (29 to 36)” and “even or odd”. You can also bet on the first dozen, second dozen and third dozen or one of the three horizontal rows. If the ball lands on a number corresponding to these groups, you win.
American Roulette House Edge
A very important aspect within any roulette format is house edge. Sometimes also termed as expected value, this refers to the average total a player loses relative for any bet they make. In the context of the American Roulette wheel vs European rules, for example, a player betting on one number receives a probability of 1/38 for winning and a 37/38 chance of losing. In the event that a player wins on their single number, the payout is 35x the staked amount. So, on odds of 1/38, the house retains a slight edge (5.26%), theoretically paying out a smaller value for player wins than they take in for house wins.
The same math applies to all bets apart from the basket bet, that is, the top line referring to numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. The house has a 7.89% edge here and pays out 6 to 1, which means you’ll win 6x your bet five times out of 38 – you won’t be so lucky the other 33 spins. To manage your bankroll better, casino gamers will be better off playing smaller amounts on the American Roulette wheel than the European version.
American Roulette Final Thoughts
To bring things to a close here, it’s very little wonder why American Roulette is such a popular gaming format within modern casinos across the continent. Taking the bulk of the original principles of the original 18th Century version and tweaking to suit the style preferred by the American casinos and gaming houses, a game was created that has consistently delivered thrills and spills to innumerable people. If there’s a king of the casino floor games, American Roulette is surely it.
Arguably the purest remaining form of the wildly popular casino game remaining in today’s gambling culture, French Roulette continues to prove a force of nature all over the world. Known widely as the original format of this 18th Century game, the name of which translates to ‘little wheel’ in, you guessed it, French, a series of intricate features acts to separate the game from its American and so-called European counterparts.
This variation is widely played in France and in the UK. Players have a better chance of winning when compared with European Roulette thanks to the use of the ‘La Partage’ rule. You’ll also come across a second rule featured in the French game, called ‘En Prison’ – but more on that later.
French Roulette Features
French Roulette rules are commonly stated to be the closest to the original rules. Regardless of its beginnings, the game is nonetheless commonly offered in the private rooms of many casinos all over the world, as the connoisseurs’ stated preference – and with good reason.
A common question when it comes to the French version of this great game is, what’s the difference? French Roulette vs American Roulette vs European Roulette – what acts to differentiate each? The answer to this seemingly simple question is both rather nuanced and multifaceted.
The typical French layout is pretty indistinguishable from either of the other two formats. One end of the table will feature the wheel and the remainder, the felt covered table top featuring the appropriate markings for placing wagers – known colloquially by many players and casinos as ‘the layout’.
Where the key difference lies is in the amount of numbers present on the wheel. Whereas in the American version of the game, there are 38 notches on the wheel (numbers 1 through to 36, a zero, and a double zero), French Roulette or parlour-based will always only ever work to the tune of a 37-notch wheel. This will always, like the American version, feature numbers 1 through to 36, but just a single zero. This in turn has an effect on the house edge and wider odds structure in the player’s favour.
French Roulette Bets
Both the inside and outside bets remain the same across all roulette formats. Although you might also find the “call bets” when you play French Roulette online. Also known as “announced bets”, these betting options are presented within a track which represents the layout of the numbers of the wheel itself. These betting options allow punters to wager on the ball landing in a particular segment of the wheel with “voisins du zero” (neighbours of zero), “jeu zero” (zero game), “le tiers du cylindre” (third of the wheel) and “orphelins” (the orphans).
Call bets take a fewer amount of chips than the number of pockets involved and it will automatically split the chips over combination wagers. For example, a voisins du zero call bet will place nine chips or multiples of nine chips over 17 numbers while multiples of six chips are wagered on le tiers du cylindre and multiples on five chips are staked on orphelins.
As mentioned earlier, another difference between the three variants of roulette is the addition of the ‘La Partage’ and ‘En Prison’ rules. Both are only in play for even money wagers, such as the outside bets which tend to be the most popular. In the ‘La Partage’ rule, when the ball stops on zero, the dealer immediately divides all the even money bets in half, keeping half for the house and returning the other half to the player. It’s the most favourable of the two rules, with a payout percentage of 98.5%. It also cuts the house edge down to 1.35%.
The second rule is a variant of the first and allows a player making an even money outside bet to ‘imprison’, or lock in their wager for another spin. Upon landing on zero, the dealer places a marker by the bet to indicate it’s ‘En Prison’. On the next spin, the player will get his original bet back in its entirety if he wins.
French Roulette House Edge
Given that it’s very much a game rooted in pure chance, similar to craps, there’s effectively no room whatsoever for any kind of bona fide French Roulette strategy that’s guaranteed to produce results. Be that as it may, there are still various avenues of discipline ripe for exploration that will make any player more likely to succeed when taking on the house.
The most fundamental of these is mastery of the house edge – also widely known as ‘expected value’ – this term pertains to the calculation used to figure out the average amount a player can ultimately lose, in relation to the size of their stake(s), during the course of any one spin of the wheel.
Of all the popular forms of roulette, the French wheel boasts the most player-friendly house edge – just 1.35%. This is half of the edge held by the house in common European Roulette, and is so low because of the ‘half back’ rule, which dictates that half of the players’ stake is returned in the event that the ball lands on zero – as opposed to being swallowed by the house.
French Roulette Final Thoughts
Anybody fortunate enough to encounter French Roulette, whether in digital or real-world form, will soon learn that it’s a sophisticated and very rewarding game. How else can you really explain why it’s remained so popular for so long?
Anybody looking for a game without the hassle and self-imposed limitations of a grand technique or knack, should look no further than this time-tested game. Requiring minimal prior study, being highly scalable and truly exciting beyond words – French roulette has made a name for itself on account of its ability to bring out the best in every person who casts a chip onto the fabric of its table.
European Roulette is vastly popular throughout, yes you guess right, Europe. That being said, the format is still prevalent across America and indeed the rest of the world. As the popularity of the game grew to substantial heights, it was exported throughout the European continent. In fact, the stock European-specific version of the game can be traced all the way back to the dawning of the 19th Century, and has been popular in casinos all over the world ever since.
European Roulette Table Layout
The table layout of European Roulette is a bit of a compromise between the American and French versions. As you can see, the actual bets on the table appear to be very similar to American Roulette, that is, apart from the fact that there’s only a single zero as you will find when you play French Roulette online. This version of the game is played with a 37-number wheel. The single zero of French and European versions of roulette means that the house edge is 2.70%, which is significantly smaller than the American game.
It should also be noted at this stage that terming the European Roulette wheel layout as such, is in fact inaccurate- as this format is the standard outside of the USA and not exclusively in Europe.
European Roulette Features
Perhaps the most significant feature of all when it comes to European Roulette vs American, and indeed factoring in the French version of the game, is that they’re all very simple in the way their rules are structured. This is consistently theorised as the primary reason for the games’ widespread popularity.
Much like their American and French counterparts, European Roulette bets can be separated into either ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ classification which remain unchanged across all variations of the game. Also, the odds run pretty much parallel to those prevalent in any other form of the game. They’re entirely reflective of the stake made by the player and are structured to be set against the percentile likelihood of a result coming in.
European Roulette House Edge
As with any form of roulette, the house edge plays a very significant role in the overall premise of the game. Also known as expected value, this reflects the typical amount a player can lose in relation to the size of the original bet that they make. When it comes to your typical European Roulette table in the casino setting, the house edge is 2.70%. This is calculated as follows: a player betting on one number will hold a 1/37 probability chance of winning and a 36/37 chance of losing their stake for that number. If they do win, their payout is 35x the initial stake. Therefore, the house retains a slight edge which all told works out to 2.70% across every single round played. It’s important that any player has a firm grasp of how this edge works before approaching any real money European Roulette table.
European Roulette Final Thoughts
All things considered, there’s no question that it’s as effective and popular a casino floor game as either of its close siblings. It’s with good reason that it’s the dominant form outside of North America – it possesses everything that you need for a successful round of roulette and with the added bonus of a better-looking house edge. In fact, Microgaming’s European Roulette Gold is a great game to get spinning on.
If roulette is the crown of modern casino play, European style roulette is clearly the diamond band set within it. If you’re yet to try your hand at this thrilling and more neutrally balanced format of the game, there are a whole host of online and offline avenues available to you. Whether you’re into real money play or would rather grasp the basics without the added pressure of live stakes, it’s all there just waiting for you.
Once you’re feeling comfortable with the various types of inside bets, outside bets and call bets available to place, you can begin to think about finding a website where you can play roulette online. One of the things that might factor into your decision is the rules that are offered for the different games. Things like minimum wager and maximum bet limits will differ depending on the software developer which designed the game and the casino which is hosting it. Of course, if you find a version of roulette with no deposit necessary, then you won’t have to worry too much about the rules regarding maximum limits.
The good thing about playing roulette online is you aren’t going to get yourself into any sticky situations by placing chips in the wrong place or trying to place more wagers after the croupier has called ‘no more bets’. Although, if you’re playing live roulette online then you might need to pay closer attention to timing of the game.
Roulette may be one of the most traditional casino games out there but there are so many different types of wheels that you’re never going to be short of options. As well as the three main options, gamblers will find that they can play different kinds of roulette with unique options such as Multi-Wheel Roulette from Microgaming
How to Win
While some casino games involve a modicum of skill, roulette is all about chance, just like baccarat and craps. Once you’ve placed that bet and watched the ball drop, there’s nothing you can do but sit and watch. Despite the fact that it’s a luck-based game, there’s still a lot you can do in terms of betting to choose a profitable strategy, or one that at least allows you to keep playing for the longest amount of time possible.
Everyone wants to know how to beat the house. The reality is that, theoretically, the casino always wins over a long enough number of bets. Let’s face it, a casino manager would be pretty stupid to give money away. So, when we talk about a roulette strategy, we’re not talking about ways to guarantee that you win money. Instead, you might like to use these tips to limit your losses by encouraging discipline or to simply give a sense of order in a game of complete chance.
Perhaps the most basic roulette betting system is the Martingale strategy – which can be applied to other games like blackjack, for example. In roulette, this system applies to outside bets with even odds – “red or black”, “even or odd”, “high or low” – and it cannot be any simpler: every time you lose a bet, double the stake for the next one and, when you eventually win, you will win all of your losses plus a profit worth the value of the first bet. Sounds foolproof, right? Well, not exactly, because there are some major flaws in the betting strategy when playing roulette online. This theory can only work if you have an infinite amount of money and are playing at a roulette table with no maximum bet limit. Doubling up your bets will soon make for some big wagers and if you don’t win before you hit the table limit, then you’ll be looking at some hefty losses. To put it into perspective, it would take only nine losing bets before you exceed the maximum stake on a $1,000 limit table.
A more advanced progression betting system is the Labouchere system, also known as the split Martingale. The strategy is a little bit more complicated than the straight up double down system, but it provides a clearer sense of purpose to your betting endeavours. Before playing, the bettor decides how much they want to win and writes down a series of numbers that add up to the chosen amount.
So, say you want to win $10, you might write down a sequence of small numbers like this: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1. On your first bet you need to take the leftmost and rightmost numbers on the list, add them together and use the sum as your wager on an even-odds bet. So, you could bet $2 (1+1) on red to win, for example.
If you win the bet, then you simply need to cross off the two numbers used from the list, leaving you with a sequence that looks like this: 2, 1, 2, 1, 2. Your next bet will therefore add up to $4 (2+2) which, if you win, will set you well on your way to the desired target. Should you lose a bet at any time, you shouldn’t eliminate any numbers from the list. Instead you should add the value of the losing bet to the rightmost side of the list. If you lost the first bet, the series would look like this: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2. Your next bet would be $3 (1+2).
The advantages of this system are that it develops a strict sense of order, ensuring that punters don’t up their bets too much to cover their losses or to capitalise on a perceived winning streak. That said, there are downfalls, one being that the strategy is still at the mercy of the pre-set house edge. Plus, your list could get long and messy quickly if you hit a run of losses.
The two strategies discussed are applicable on outside bets with even odds. If you’re after some higher volatility wagers for more suspense and bigger potential wins, you would have to look at inside betting systems or call bets. The roulette odds for call bets aren’t quite as high as wagering on single numbers but they offer good coverage of the wheel with combination bets, some of which incorporate that dreaded zero pocket. As for inside bets with odds of 35/1 on single numbers, there are plenty of people who claim to have devised guaranteed ways to win by covering the same numbers on each spin. However, it’s important to remember that the house edge applies to every spin and that each spin of the roulette wheel is completely random and unaffected by previous spins.
Roulette in Summary
It doesn’t get much more exciting than playing roulette online. Unlike table games which involve cards, there isn’t anything too complicated about the classic casino game – all you need to do is place your chips, spin the wheel and hope that the ball lands in the right pocket to return some wins. Plus, the great thing about the game is that it’s accessible to players of all betting levels, with simple 1/1 outside bets and more adventurous 35/1 odds on inside bets.
While there are plenty of strategies out there which can be employed when playing roulette online, it’s vital that gamblers remember that it’s a game of complete randomness – especially when powered by a random number generator (RNG) on a computer. So, as in any game of chance, players must be wary of falling for the gambler’s fallacy of thinking that the last spin will somehow influence the next one.