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Online Roulette is a game that’s simple to learn and fun to play which makes it one of the most popular casino games around – on this site we’ll show you how to play the game.
The variations that are available today are very similar to the game that was played in Monte Carlo in the early days.
Previously, roulette was considered a VIP’s pastime as it was only really available to play in Monaco, but then the game gradually spread across Europe, the US (gaining an extra zero pocket) and the rest of the world.
Pros and Cons
It’s easy to understand the basics of this game
There are layers of complexity, on the bets for example
The game has a rich and colourful history
You can choose your level of risk
Roulette is fast, particularly if you are playing a virtual (video) game.
It’s a good game to test systems.
Some variants have lower odds -be careful
Each spin is a new game. Beware the gambler’s fallacy of chasing wins!
Avoid the Five Number Bet in American variants.
Novelty games (like mini roulette) generally have a higher house edge.
Online Roulette Variants
There are quite a few variations of the game including American, French and European with not many differences between them. The amount of zero pockets on the wheel and the distribution of numbers around the wheel will indicate which type of game you are playing.
American Roulette has two zero pockets on the wheel and betting table: a 0 and a 00. The extra zero was added to the game to increase the house edge. This is only roulette game with the 5 Number bet.
European is similar to the American variant, except that it has only one zero on the wheel and board, increasing the player odds.
French, the original game from Monte Carlo, also has only one zero on the table and wheel. The other difference is the table layout which features a different betting design.
There are slightly different rules on the even money bets in the French variant (that are advantageous to the player). For example La Partage Rule which returns half of your bet if the ball lands in the zero pocket on an even money bet (like red or black). En Prison is similar, except that your even money bet “rides” for another spin. Oh, and the bets are in French of course. You can find some of these rules on single zero tables with a standard European betting layout: so called “hybrid” wheels.
Literally hundreds, but the main games are European (one zero on the wheel), American (2 zeros) and French (different betting layout, follows La Partage rule). There are many “novelty” games with extra pockets, particularly online. Be careful though, the more pockets, the higher the house edge generally.
All the numbers in roulette, including the zero, have an equal chance of hitting on a wheel with no imperfections. That is to say, given a large enough sample of spins, the distribution graph across the numbers will tend to flatten. With shorter sample sizes, there will be peaks (hot numbers) and troughs (low numbers). Many people are superstitious about the number 17 but in reality, the chance of it dropping in are the same as they are for 11, 8, 13, 7 or 0 for that matter. If you can find a biased wheel, you might experience hot zones. The hard thing is finding them however.
No system will alter the fundamental odds you will get at the table. That is a function of the design of the game. The Martingale is the most famous. Browse through all of our roulette systems if you are interested in hearing more. There’s the 1326 system, for example and the Fibonacci.
Variants with additional side bets are becoming more common. Often, there will be another pocket on the wheel with the chance to win a progressive jackpot, for example. This can be a good way of playing for bigger pots of money, but just be aware that the extra pocket reduces your odds on the standard bets like red/black. It’s effectively another zero pocket. If you just want to play standard bets, stick to a traditional European wheel.
On a live casino game, the action take place on a physical wheel while you watch and bet on a live video stream. a virtual roulette game is more like a video slot. The odds are the same as long as we are talking the same variants (eg 2 European Games). Live is more authentic with more atmosphere. Virtual games are fast. There are pros and cons to both.
There are many online variations, some of which we’d categorise in the “novelty” category, and others we’d put in a “roulette plus” group. These games often come with side bets where you try and win a progressive jackpot for a large pay-out. In other variants you can bet on multiple wheels at once.
There are 2 ways to play roulette online. The first is to play on a virtual (video) game.
The second option is to play live roulette which is becoming more and more popular. In these games, you watch the action through a webcam on a real casino wheel that is in a studio or casino and you bet over the Internet.
We’d recommend sites like Monkey Casino for this style of game- they are a live games specialist (with Evolution Games for example) where you’ll find a huge choice of tables with players and croupiers to chat with.
The one disadvantage of playing live over virtual games is speed. Because there is a dealer and other players involved, the pace of the game can be slower.
If you want to play fast but you still want a live set up, you can also opt for an automatic game. You play on a real wheel, but the game is operated automatically and is faster. There are also live dealer variants like Speed Roulette that promise 2 spins per minute. They must hire fast talking croupiers!
If you are playing on an American wheel, avoid the “Five Number Bet”. It has the worst odds on the table. This is not the same as the number 5 bet, by the way, betting on a single number: five.
If you would like to test out a range of free games from different games developers, then you can, but you will need to first register at one of our recommended casinos. There are games for high rollers like Switch Roulette, games for novices and fun variants like mini roulette.
Demos and this site in general are strictly for players aged 18 and over.
Our games reviews section includes variants from Microgaming, Playtech, IGT, Inspired, Gamevy, Realistic Games and Net Ent, all of which have their pros and cons. Test them out yourselves, and see what you think.
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If you are looking for the latest bonus offers, promotions, roulette tournaments and games, you’ll find it in our News section, where we post up the best stories of what is available on the market.
The basic guide Roulette is a simple game to pick up: the best way to do it is often just to play and learn as you go making small low risk bets or practising on a free game.
The concept itself is simple, there is a wheel and a betting surface with which the game is played. The wheel is flat against the table and is used to randomly generate a number from 0 to 36 (in the European and French versions).
To do this the wheel is spun and a small metallic ball is spun in the opposite direction along a small groove within the wheel. Eventually the wheel and ball will come to a stop and the ball will come to rest in one of 37 numbered pockets (38 on American wheels).
Now Let’s Talk Betting Before or while the wheel spins, you make a bet that the ball will land in a certain numbered pocket or within a group of numbers. The layout or betting surface is where you will do all of your betting. The felt lined table features a design (which varies depending on the version) containing all the numbers and other betting options. To bet you simply place a chip or a number of chips on the desired area.
There are a wide variation of bets that you can place when playing, so to help you understand as many of them as possible we have created a betting guide that you can read through below.
Types of bets There are many types of roulette bets within the game. We go into all of them in detail: they can be split into 3 types: Inside Bets, Outside Bets and the more exotic Call Bets.
Betting on the inside bets has a lower probability of winning compared to the outside, but the pay-out is much larger (higher variance). The outside bets are the opposite and have a high probability, but a much lower pay-out.
The difference between the 2 types of bets is sometimes referred to as the bet volatility. Highly volatile (or high variance) bets don’t pay off as often, but when they do the pay-off is larger. It goes without saying that these kinds of bets are riskier if you have a smaller bank-roll and cannot afford to stay at the table too long without winning. The opposite can be said for low volatility (low variance) bets.
There are six types of inside bet: – a Straight Up bet is placed on an individual number, a Split Bet is when you split the wager over two numbers that are next to each other, a Corner or Square Bet is where you place a chip on a corner which spreads the bet over four numbers, a Street Bet allows you to place a stake on all three numbers in a single line, a Trio Bet would allow you to place a split bet on either 0,1 and 2 or 0, 2 and 3 and finally we have the Six Line bet which is a bet on two adjacent horizontal lines.
There’s also the infamous Five Number bet which you can only play on an American wheel with 2 zero pockets. Avoid it, as it has the worst odds on the table. An equivalent on a European game would be a Four Number Bet. You can’t bet on the Double Zero on a European wheel because there isn’t one!
We explain all of these bets in detail in our roulette bets section.
There are also 6 types of outside bets including Red or Black, Even or Odd, the numbers 1 to 18, the numbers 1 to 36, a Dozens Bet in which you bet on a one third section of the numbers and column bets that allow you to bet on an entire vertical column of numbers.
Dozens and Columns bets cover the same amount of table but with different groups of numbers.
We have over 30 free roulette systems on the site (just head to the strategy section) including the famous Martingale and other popular systems like D’Alembert and Fibonacci, as well as lesser known strategies such as the Piquemouche and Oscar’s Grind.
All of these have one thing in common- there are advantages and disadvantages to playing each and every one of them. The thing that we like most about playing systems is that they force you to think of a game plan before you hit the table. That’s a good thing!
At the very least you should have a fixed idea about when you will stop playing, ie a Take Profit target, a Stop Loss limit or simply a time limit that you have set yourself at the table.
Keeping track of the time is always a good idea- most decent online casinos will feature a prominent clock so that you know how long you have been playing at the tables, unlike many of the casino in Las Vegas! The Encore is the exception here, but hey, you can always wear a watch.)
Plan your bets and bet your plan! A system can be as simple as having a plan of how long you will stay at the table. Set your watch and stick to it, it’s always better to have a plan before you start playing
The one thing that we would stress about any system, is that it will never change the odds that you will experience at the table. Those are determined by the design of the game and the only way that you can influence that is through game choice- so whether you play on an American or European wheel for example.
There is nothing wrong with playing systems per se, in fact we have had quite a bit of success with them in contained bursts of play, just make sure that you understand their limitations.
If you come across a system that is claiming guaranteed wins, treat it with a huge pinch of salt. We don’t feature anything claiming that on this site. Roulette ultimately is a game of chance and it all comes down to luck.
Famous Roulette Stories
The great thing about online roulette over say slots, is it’s rich history. We have been building up a section with all of the best legends and stories that have been built up over the years.
– Have you heard about the French cigarette pack scam? – Or the time Sean Connery won on the number 17 three times in a row? – Or when Philip Green won over 2 million pounds on the table at the Les Ambassadeurs Club in London? – You might be interested in the record number of reds or blacks in a row… – Check out a clip of Pedro Grendene Bartelle winning a $35,000 Complete Bet on the number 32. – Or take a look at how the Roulette Clockers got away with a £1.3m win at the Ritz.