How to Play Roulette: A Guide to the Basic Rules and Strategies

For avid gamblers, learning how to play roulette is a must as it is one of the classic casino games played worldwide. It is a great game for players who are just starting out as it is relatively easy to learn and offers a great deal of fun and excitement. 

In this guide, we will be looking at the basic rules and strategies that you should know to start playing this game!

An Introduction to the Game of Roulette

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Roulette is a game of chance that has a fascinating history and origin. Dating back to 18th century France, the primitive form of the game came from Blasé Pascal during his quest for a perpetual motion machine. In play as early as 1796 in Paris, this game has taken off and gained popularity around the world. 


Since its invention, multiple variations of roulette are now available. Some of the more popular versions include the American Roulette, European Roulette, French Roulette, and more which will be discussed further in a separate article.

Roulette for Beginners: Basic Rules

As mentioned briefly, the popularity of the game can be attributed to simple roulette rules, allowing even beginners a good chance of winning the game. In roulette, there are several parts required to play the game: the betting board and the roulette wheel.

On the betting board, players place their chips on the numbers on the board when making a bet. When betting is open, you can then select the numbers you want to bet on by placing the chips on the betting board. Depending on the type of roulette game it is, the board may contain 37 or 38 numbers ranging from 1 to 36 with the addition of 0 (European) or 0 and 00 (American). 

Once bets have been placed, the dealer then announces that betting is closed. The winning numbers are then determined by spinning the roulette wheel in one direction. A tiny ball is then tossed in the opposite direction in the wheel. Whichever numbered pocket the ball lands on is the winning number of the round.

Different Roulette Bets

In the game of roulette, punters can bet not only on one number, but more! Understanding these different types of roulette bets can be important as it helps serious players increase their odds of winning. These betting options can be broadly categorized into the following:

Inside Bets

Inside bets refer to bets that are placed on the numbers, on the inner segment of the betting board. Inside bets often offer higher payouts as the odds of winning are much lower. Some examples of inside bets include:

  • Straight Up: As the name suggests, a straight up bet is a direct bet on a single number on the board. To place this bet, you place a chip on the box of the number. You only win if the ball lands on the specific number you’ve bet on.
  • Split: In a split bet, you are placing a wager on two adjacent numbers on the board. For this bet, you put your chip on the line between the numbers. This means your stake is split between both numbers. If the ball lands on either number, you win. 
  • Street: In a street bet, you are wagering on three numbers in a vertical line. Also known as a trio bet, you win when the ball lands on any of the three numbers. 
  • Corner: A corner bet denotes a wager that is placed on 4 numbers in any corner of the betting board. This bet is placed by positioning the chips at the center of all four numbers. You get a payout if the ball lands on any of the four numbers. 
  • Basket: A basket bet refers to a wager placed on 5 specific numbers (0, 00, 1, 2, and 3). If the ball lands on any of the five numbers, you win. 
  • Line: In a line bet, you are wagering on two adjacent streets, making it a bet on 6 numbers. To place this bet, position your chips between the two streets. You will receive a payout if the ball lands on any of the six numbers. 

Outside Bets

Outside bets refer to wagers placed on the outer segments of the betting board. Although the odds of winning these bets are much higher compared to inside bets, the payouts are also much lower. Some examples of outside bets include:

  • Black or Red: Black or red bets are exactly what it means. On the roulette betting board, there are 18 black numbers and 18 red numbers. With this bet, your chances of winning will be around 48.6% as you are betting on all 18 red or 18 black numbers. You win as long as the ball falls on a number with the color of your choice. 
  • Odd or Even: Like the black or red bet, the odd or even bet means you are either wagering on 18 odd numbers or 18 even numbers. Likewise, the chances of winning are around 48.6%. 
  • High or Low: Besides black / red and odd / even, the numbers in roulette can also be divided into high and low with numbers 1 to 18 categorized under low numbers while numbers 19 to 36 under high numbers. 
  • Column: On the roulette betting board, the numbers are arranged in 3 columns, giving each column 12 numbers. In a column bet, you will be wagering on all 12 numbers in the column you choose. 
  • Dozen: In the dozen bet, you will be also wagering on 12 numbers. However, instead of being based on positions on the betting board as seen in the column bet, the dozen bet allows you to choose between numbers 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36.

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    Odds and Payouts in Roulette

    After learning about the basics and different roulette bets, you should also learn about the odds and payouts of each bet which we have covered in-depth in a different article. This will allow you to decide which is the best bet to make on the game for your play style and budget. Keep in mind that the house edge, odds, and payouts may differ with different roulette variants, casinos, and online casino sites you play with. 

    Strategies for Winning Roulette

    Roulette strategies can be found online, in books, and even videos. Some websites also offer free online roulette games for players to learn and test out their strategies. Some of the best tips and tricks to help increase your odds of winning roulette include:

    666 Strategy

    An aggressive but low risk roulette strategy, this method requires players to cover the betting board as much as possible with a minimal dent in the bankroll. Its name comes from the standard roulette wheel where all the numbers add up to 666, making it known as the Devil's Wheel. 

    In total, a stake of 66 units would have been placed on all numbers except for four. With this method, you could win big via straight bets or end up taking a small loss and extending your bankroll.

    24 + 8 Strategy

    This strategy is a great option for players with a smaller bankroll and do not mind grinding. Players who utilize this roulette strategy have about a 90% chance of not losing on every bet. However, bettors need to win 5 times to recoup one bet. 

    Like the 666 strategy, punters place bets with the aim of covering the board as much as possible while minimizing the impact on the bankroll. In European roulette tables, it leaves two numbers along with the 0 uncovered with the addition of the 00 in American roulette tables.

    Double Street Quad Strategy

    One of the best roulette strategies, the double street quad requires players to place two double street bets, one straight bet, and one corner bet with no bets overlapping each other. If the player does not win big, it allows players to collect a payout even while losing some chips in the process.

    Betting Systems in Roulette

    Roulette betting systems differ from roulette strategies in the sense that it concerns how players pace their bankroll instead of the bet they are placing. This means that it dictates how bettors use their bankroll especially in the next spin. Betting systems guide players to remain steady by dictating how much the next stake is with a winning or losing bet. 

    For gamblers, especially beginners, it can help them win at roulette by preventing them from being emotional. Some of the most popular betting systems for roulette include the Martingale system, Reverse Martingale system, D’Alembert system, and more. 



    Roulette is a pretty easy game to learn due to its simple rules. However, players should remember that it is purely a game of chance where there is no guarantee of winning. Be sure to utilize the betting strategies and systems to help increase your odds of winning and always pace your bankrolls by only betting what you can afford to lose.


    What is the best way to play roulette, black or red?

    The chances of the roulette ball landing on black or red is equal at around 48.6% for European and French Roulette. This number is slightly lower in American roulette.

    Can you play free roulette?

    Yes, there are many online casinos that offer free demos on table games. Free roulette games are a great way for players to test out the platform, game, or strategies before committing with real money.

    How much real money can you win in roulette?

    The payout you can win depends on the amount you stake and the type of bet you have placed. The table in the article shows the payout and stake ratio. The biggest payout would be to win a straight bet with a payout ratio of 35 to 1.

    What is the difference between European Roulette and American Roulette?

    The odds of winning are slightly better in European Roulette as it has 36 numbers and the addition of a single zero, 0. However, American Roulette has 36 numbers, a “0”, and a “00”. The double zero in American Roulette increases the house edge or casino’s advantage.

    What is the difference between European Roulette and French Roulette?

    In French Roulette, there is the La Partage rule where players are allowed to use the even money bet. This means that players will obtain half their bet back if the ball lands on the 0 pocket.