Roulette is a game that has been successfully adapted for play online for a number of reasons: the wheel and the table are familiar to most people, even those who have never set foot in a land-based casino; it’s a fast-paced game that’s easy to learn and simple to play; and you can apply some interesting strategies in your approach to wagering.
There are three main versions of the game that you can find in our listed online casinos — European, French and American — as well as some more unusual variations, such as multi-ball and mini roulette, while most of our sites also offer the game via a live dealer platform.
To play any of these varieties of online roulette, visit our recommended casinos listed below:
Online roulette rules
Online roulette is played according to the same rules that have been applied to the game for the last 300 years or so in land-based casinos everywhere. You win if the number you’ve bet on (or one of a combination of numbers) is where the ball lands on the spinning wheel. However, one big difference is that the game is faster online, as you don’t have to wait until other players place their bets before the ball drops.
An online roulette wheel will have either 37 or 38 pockets depending on the version of the game you’re playing, and these will be alternately red or black; the pockets feature the numbers 1-36 and the number 0 (and 00 in American roulette), which is green.
On the table, the numbers 1-36 are set out in sequence, in twelve rows of three; 0 (and 00) are at the top, closest to the wheel. The numbers on the table are also alternately red or black, matching their colour on the wheel.
Online roulette odds
The odds on offer in online roulette vary quite significantly, depending on the probability of your bet being successful. The best payout is 35-1 if you bet on a single number that comes up, with the lowest being 1-1 (even money) if you’ve bet on the number being red/black or odd/even. These odds reflect the likelihood of these events occurring, and understanding the different odds that the various bets offer is important.
There are two types of wager in roulette — inside bets and outside bets, with the names reflecting where on the table the bets are laid.
There are five types of wager that are referred to as inside bets, and the odds and payouts are higher because their probability is lower:
- Straight up – bet on a single number; pay out 35-1; place your chip directly on that number.
- Split – bet on two adjacent numbers; pay out 17-1; place your chip on the dividing line between the two selected numbers.
- Street – bet on all three numbers in a row; pay out 11-1; place your chip on the outer vertical line of the last number in that row.
- Square (sometimes known as Corner) – bet on all four adjacent numbers that together form a square; pay out 8-1; place your chip on the table where all four numbers intersect.
- Six Line – bet on two adjacent rows of numbers; pay out 5-1; place your chip on the outer intersection of the two rows.
There are also five different categories of outside bet:
- Colour – bet on the number being either red or black; pay out 1-1; place your chip in the red or black box on the perimeter of the table.
- Odd or Even – bet on the number being either odd or even; pay out 1-1; place your chip in the odd or even box on the perimeter of the table.
- 1 to 18, 19 to 36 – bet on the number being either 18 and below, or 19 and above; pay out 1-1; place your chip on the 1 to 18 or 19 to 36 box on the perimeter of the table.
- First 12, Second 12, Third 12 – bet on the number being either 1–12, 13–24 or 25–36; pay out 2-1; place your chip in the First 12, Second 12 or Third 12 box on the perimeter of the table.
- Column – bet on the number being in a particular column on the table; pay out 2-1; place your chip in the box that reads 2-1 at the foot of your selected column.
There is a reasonable House Edge in roulette, although there are certainly casino games like baccarat and blackjack that offer better odds. In French and European roulette, which feature a single 0, the House Edge is 2.63%, while in American roulette, which adds the 00, the advantage to the casino is 5.26%.
Online Roulette Strategies
You need to remember that when anyone talks about a roulette ‘strategy’ they are (or at least they should be) talking about a strategy for wagering, not a magical way of predicting the next number and beating the casino. Roulette is a game of chance, where what happens on one spin of the wheel has no influence on the next, and so no number is ever ‘due’ to come up.
Nevertheless, over the years many cleverer people then me have devised systems that they believe can help them to bet more effectively and to manage their bankrolls better. You can read about these roulette strategies in more detail in this article, but they generally involve working out the best time to increase or decrease the size of your bets, or focussing on one type of bet at the expense of others.
Five tips for playing online roulette
Learn to play for free
At most of our recommend online roulette casinos, you can try out the game for free in practice mode, without even opening an account at some sites.
Play with a live dealer
Live dealer games can be fun as you get the convenience of playing on any device and anywhere, combined with interaction with the dealer. Immersive roulette by Evolution Gaming is the live dealer version of the game that you’ll find at most of our featured sites.
Don’t believe in ‘systems’
You can’t predict what number is going to come up in roulette, just as you can’t predict the next card in blackjack or poker. The probability of the number 5, for instance, coming up is 37-1, and no matter how many times it has come up before, the probability remains the same for each and every spin. No matter what you are told, no-one has ever come up with a system for predicting what number will be hit.
Know your bets
It’s hard to bet effectively if you don’t know the odds of the wager. That’s why it’s essential to understand the different value offered by inside and outside bets, and what each of these different bets is potentially worth.
Old v new world
The House Edge varies considerably depending on whether you’re playing European, French or American roulette. Essentially, the higher House Edge in American roulette means that over time you get fewer spins for your money, so you need to bear this in mind.
Variations of online roulette
Our casinos offer the three main variations of roulette — European, French and American.
European roulette is the most common version played at our sites. The wheel has 37 pockets; the numbers 1-36 and a single 0, and this is replicated on the table. French roulette is largely the same, but with the addition of the la partage and en prison rules. With la partage, if 0 comes up and you’ve made a wager on colour, odd/even, 1-18 or 19-36, you get half your stake back. If en prison is also in play, your half stake is held over for another spin; then if your bet comes up, you get it back. French roulette also offers a further wager known as finales, where you can bet on all the numbers ending in the same digit, e.g., 1, 11, 21, 31.
The main difference between these games and American roulette is the introduction of 00, meaning there are 38 pockets on the wheel and numbers on the table. 00 is located at the top of the table, just below the wheel and adjacent to 0.
For many, the game’s simplicity is the main draw of roulette — the rules aren’t complicated, there’s no fancy words to learn and, especially when you play online, it’s a quick game too. The game adapts well to the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets too, so you can play anywhere on any device.
Check out our featured sites to find the best online roulette casinos.