How Do You Play Roulette?

How Do You Play Roulette?
By Jon Young

Are you looking for the best guide on how to play roulette? Do you want to know the insider tips on betting strategy and finding the top online variants? At, we have an expert guide to playing roulette in New Jersey. Find the best variations online like American Roulette or play against the dealer in live roulette. The choice is yours.

Check out our guide and discover why roulette is the most popular casino game of all time. We’ll even show you the best online casinos where you can claim your roulette signup bonus.

The History of Roulette

Roulette has more origin stories than most casino games. There are countless theories on how the modern game came about. Some historians trace the game back to ancient Tibet or China, or medieval French monks who invented a wheel with 36 randomly placed numbers.

In 18th-century England, there was certainly a game called Roly-Poly – also known as Even-Odd and ‘Roulet’ – which allowed played to place wagers on a wheel consisting of only Even (E) and Odd (O) bets.

Early gambling wheels were already appearing in Europe, Quebec, and America in the 1700s. By the time it reached America, “Roulette” (meaning “small wheel” in French) was being played on riverboats traveling up the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

The roulette wheel featured a red zero pocket, and a black double zero pocket, similar to games found in casinos in Paris and Monte Carlo. But by the 1840s, French brothers Louis and Francois Blanc had developed a single zero roulette game. This format is still seen today in European Roulette.

Back in America, the wheel featured 28 numbered pockets, plus the 0 and 00, and a pocket displaying an American Eagle. The eagle pocket soon disappeared to leave just the 0 and 00. This version – American Roulette – is still the most popular variant found in US casinos.

RELATED: How Different Roulette Variations Change The Odds

For decades, the double-zero roulette game was played only in North America and the Caribbean. The single-zero roulette game was played across Europe and the UK. However, advances in online casinos mean that you can now choose to play a wide variety of roulette games in the US.

Roulette Rules to Be Aware Of

Roulette is one of the easiest casino games to play. Place your bets and wait for the wheel to spin and roulette ball to land.

In a land-based casino, you will be handed special roulette chips by a croupier who directs the action. You will be handed special colored chips that only you play with. This is to help differentiate your chips from other players’ ones.

Roulette table etiquette is important in a brick-and-mortar casino. Never move other players’ roulette chips, and don’t place bets after the permitted time. If you place chips after the dealer has called “no more bets,” they will be spotted and removed from play. In an online roulette game, the computer will cease the betting when the wheel has nearly come to a stop.

The basic rule of roulette is simple. You place bets on a numbered layout, and if the roulette ball lands in the corresponding pocket of the wheel, you win. You can place bets on the single numbers (Straight Up) or groups of numbers. You can also place bets on whether the pocket will be red, black or green.

The presence of the green pocket (0 in European Roulette, 0 and 00 in American Roulette) gives the casino its house edge. If a 0 or 00 appears, all outside bets like red, black, odd and even will lose.

How to Play Roulette

Want to know how to play roulette? There are a few key rules you need to know before you open a table. Luckily, in online roulette the computer does the hard work for you. All you need to do is place your bets and hit the Spin button.

Remember, you can play online roulette for free right now. Just read our reviews to the best roulette casinos to find a site that’s right for you.

Over the long term, roulette pays out roughly 94.7% to 96.3% to players, depending on the variant. The remainder is the house edge or cut.

Here’s how to play online roulette:

Select a game: In the casino lobby, choose a roulette game. You can also filter the lobby by game to get to your favorite roulette titles fast. Open a game in a browser window.

Choose your stakes: First, select your coin size from the chips available.

Place your bets: Drag and drop chips onto the numbers you want to bet on. You can also remove bets if you change your mind, or even double your bet sizes.

Hit the spin button: Once you’re settled on your bets, hit the Spin button. The animated wheel will kick into action and come to a stop at random.

Payouts: A ball is released into the wheel. It will come to rest in one of the individual pockets. The process is completely random and the software is governed by random number generators (RNGs). These are audited in New Jersey by NJ DGE-approved testing labs.

You will be paid out if your bet matches one of the color pockets. Payouts range from 1/1 for an even money bet such as the outside bets to 35/1 for a single number.

In a land-based casino, you will be paid your winnings, while the original bet is left on the table. You can leave the wager there for the next spin or retrieve it into your stack.

Common Roulette Terminology

You know how to play roulette, but the game features lots of unique terms. Here’s a helpful round-up of popular roulette terminology you may come across:

Bet: This is a wager placed on a number or numbers.

Rebet: Click this button in online roulette to select the same numbers again.

Clear bets: Remove your selected wagers and start your betting again.

Inside bet: A wager on a single number or groups of numbers.

Outside bet: A wager on a section of numbers like Odd, Even, Red or Black. You can also bet on Dozens, 1st/2nd Half or columns of 12 numbers.

Straight Up: A bet on a single number.

Split: A bet on two adjacent numbers.

Street: A bet on three adjacent numbers.

Square/Corner: A bet on four adjacent numbers in a square.

Column: A bet on a one of three vertical columns containing 12 numbers.

Red/Black: A bet on red or black numbers.

High/Low: A bet on the number being 1-18 or 19-36.

House edge: The house edge is the casino’s statistical advantage over the players. In American Roulette it’s 5.26% and 2.7% in European Roulette. You can reduce the house edge by playing sensible strategy and avoiding high-risk wagers.

En Prison: This is a term found in French Roulette. If a zero appears, an even-money bet like Red or Black is put “in prison” for one more spin. The player wins if Red or Black appears on the next spin.

No More Bets: This is called by the dealer when the roulette wheel has nearly come to a stop. Once ‘No More Bets’ is called, you won’t be able to place any bets.

Racetrack: The racetrack is a layout of numbers as they are positioned on the roulette wheel. You can place neighboring bets or bet whole sections at the click of a button. In a brick-and-mortar casino, you can direct the croupier to bet on sections of the racetrack of your choice.

Types of Roulette Bets

Knowing how to play roulette is understanding the bets available. You’ll have essentially two types of bets available: Inside bets and Outside bets. Here’s a quick guide.

Inside Bets

Inside bets are wagers placed on individual numbers and groups of numbers. Single numbers pay 35/1. The more numbers you bet, the lower the payout. For example, two numbers (Split) pays 17/1, while three numbers (Street) pays 11/1.

Outside Bets

The outside bets are wagers on large groups of numbers. You can bet on a column of 12 numbers, paying 2/1. There are three columns to choose. The Dozens bet (1st 12, 2nd 12, or 3rd 12) all pay 2/1 also.

You can also bet on all odd or even numbers, all red or black numbers, or Low or High (1-18 or 19-36). These bets all pay even money, or 1/1.

How Does Roulette Pay Out?

How do you play roulette? Choose numbers, place your bets and hope the Devil’s Wheel is in your favor. A roulette wheel features a host of exciting bets, each with its own payout. Here’s a full list of roulette bets and payouts, together with odds.

Bet TypeNumbers SelectedPayoutEuropean OddsAmerican Odds
Inside Bets
Straight (e.g. 15)135/11 in 371 in 38
Split (e.g. 9 & 12)217/11 in 18.51 in 19
Street/3 Adjacent
Numbers (e.g. 10, 11, 12)
311/11 in 12.31 in 12.7
(e.g. 1, 2, 4, 5)
48/11 in 9.251 in 9.5
(0, 00, 1, 2, 3)
56/1n/a1 in 7.6
(e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
65/11 in 6.21 in 6.3
Outside Bets
Column122/11 in 3.11 in 3.2
Dozen122/11 in 3.11 in 3.2
Red/Black181/11 in 2.061 in 2.11
Even/Odd181/11 in 2.061 in 2.11
181/11 in 2.061 in 2.11

RELATED: Beginner’s Guide To Roulette Statistics

Roulette Strategies to Help You Win

We’ve answered the question: How do you play roulette? Now it’s time to get an understanding of good roulette betting strategy. Here are our top 5 tips for sensible roulette play.

1. Choose the Right Roulette Game

There are a huge number of roulette games available online in New Jersey. But make sure you choose the right games to play. American Roulette has the higher house edge of 5.26%, while European Roulette is the better long-term prospect with its 2.7% house edge.

If you can find it, French Roulette has a house edge of just 1.35% and a great insurance bet in the shape of En Prison.

2. Choose the Right Roulette Bets

Every roulette bet has its own payout and odds of winning. Straight Up bets offer the best payouts at 35/1 but are terrible long-term chances. The smarter strategy is to bet on outside bets like Red, Black, Odd or Even. They only pay 1/1 but offer the best chances of long-term profits.

3. Employ Sensible Bankroll Management

You should always plan your bankroll when you play roulette. Decide on a budget before you start playing and keep to it. Try keeping to strict stakes of around 1% of your roll for inside bets, and 5% for outside bets.

4. Know When to Stop Gambling

Roulette is a fun game but you should only bet in moderation. All licensed NJ casinos will let you limit your own deposits and gambling activity. You can even self-exclude if you think you need to.

5. Earn an Online Casino Bonus

After learning how to play roulette online, why not try to claim a casino bonus? NJ casinos match your first deposit and let you earn free cash when you meet the wagering requirements.

The Best Roulette Variations

You can now play a variety of roulette games at the best NJ casinos. Choose from single-zero and double-zero variants or play against a live dealer for an authentic land-based casino experience.

American Roulette

American Roulette uses a wheel featuring 38 numbered slots, including a 0 and 00. The house edge is 5.26%, one of the highest edges in roulette.

European Roulette

European Roulette just features a single zero (0) pocket. This reduces the house edge of the game to 2.7%.

French Roulette

French Roulette has a similar table layout to European Roulette. The difference is the En Prison rule which insures your even-money stake if a zero appears. French Roulette has a house edge of 1.35%.

Multi-Wheel Roulette

You can play exciting multi-wheel roulette games in New Jersey like 3 Wheel Roulette by IGT. The game’s wheel has three outer rings which spin independently. This gives you three ways to win. 3-Wheel Roulette also features a special Color Up Bonus for payouts up to 1200x.

Double Bonus Spin Roulette

Double Bonus Spin Roulette is an online game by IGT that features a wheel with two rims instead of one. The wheel also features a special yellow slot that awards a bonus jackpot.

Live Dealer Roulette

Why play against a computerized roulette wheel when you can play against a human dealer? Live casino roulette is now available across top NJ casinos online. Place bets on your computer but enjoy the spin of a real-life wheel.

Roulette FAQ

What is the best bet for roulette?

The Straight Up bet offers the best payout of 35/1. However, for long-term profits, an Outside bet like Red or Black is best.

What are the minimum and maximum bets in roulette?

Online roulette tables can carry stakes ranging from $0.10 to $500 while a land-based casino might have minimum stakes of $1. A minimum bet for outside bets will usually be higher than for inside bets.

How many numbers are in roulette?

There are 38 numbered pockets in American Roulette (1-36 plus 0 and 00) and 37 in European Roulette (1-36 and 0).

Can I play roulette online for free?

Yes. Free games are the perfect way to learn how to play roulette before you risk real money. Click on the Demo Play game in your casino lobby.

Can you bet on both red and black?

Yes, you can. However, a red and black number means you will only win your stake back. However, if a 0 or 00 appear, you lose your red or black bets.

How much do you win if you land on green?

A green zero bet pays 35/1, the same as all Straight Up bets.



Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos.

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