Roulette falls into the category of the most popular casino games of all time. Thanks to the rapid advance in technologies in the last two decades, the game has now made it to the catalogues of all reputable online casino operators, allowing players to enjoy a number of authentic variations from the comfort of their surroundings. The immense popularity of roulette can easily be attributed to the dynamics of the game as well as the impressive number of betting options available.
The rules and objective of the game are exceptionally easy to grasp. The aim is to make a correct prediction which number the little white ball will land on. To determine the outcome of each round, the ball is spun in a direction opposite to that of the wheel. Eventually, the ball loses momentum and comes to rest in one of the pockets which contain numbers 0 through 36.
American vs. European Roulette
Most established online casinos have added American and European roulette variants to their gaming collections. The two variations follow roughly the same rules. The difference, however, lies in the tables’ layouts and the arrangement of the numbers on the wheels.
The wheels used in European roulette contain only 37 pockets with numbers 1 through 36, plus the single zero. Red and black pockets always alternate on the wheel. Since only one zero pocket is present on the wheel, European roulette offers a lower house edge which stands at 2.70%.
French roulette is also played on a single-zero wheel, but the names of the outside bets are written in French in the betting boxes of the layout. Many players consider French roulette the best variant of this game of chance because of the additional La Partage rule, which enables players to have half of their stakes on outside bets returned whenever the ball lands in the zero pocket. This further reduces the house edge to 1.35%.
American roulette, on the other hand, is played on a wheel which contains an additional, double-zero pocket which reduces players’ chances of winning with any type of bet available and causes the house edge to increase to 5.26%. Also, in American roulette, the wheel is situated at the far end of the table and the numbers are arranged in a different sequence than those on European and French roulette wheels.
Types of Roulette Bets
Roulette offers an impressive number of betting options and each type of bet available has its distinct place on the layout’s betting grid and a different payout. Players can wager on individual numbers, the properties of the numbers as well as on combinations of numbers. The roulette bets can be divided into three major categories – outside, inside and call bets.
There are five bets that fall within this category. Players can bet on Red/Black and Odd/Even numbers. In roulette, numbers 1 through 18 are called low numbers, while those from 19 to 36 go by the name of High numbers, which makes it possible to make bets on High/Low numbers as well. As players’ chances of winning with such bets are significantly higher, they pay even money or 1 to 1.
The other two outside bets are called Column and Dozen bets. The 36 numbers on the wheel can be divided into three dozens. Numbers 1 through 12 constitute the 1st dozen, numbers 13 through 24 constitute the 2nd dozen, while the 3rd dozen covers numbers 25 through 36. Bets that cover numbers in one of the three groups are called Dozen bets.
The layout of the table can be divided into three columns, consisting of twelve numbers each. The boxes at the bottom of each column are marked “2 to 1” and this is where the chips for Column bets are placed. Both Column and Dozen bets have a payout of 2 to 1. Whenever the ball lands in the zero pocket, such outside bets typically lose unless the La Partage rule is applicable at the table.
Inside bets derive their name from the fact the chips for them are placed in the main betting grid of the layout where numbers 0 through 36 are located. Bets on individual numbers are called Straight Up bets and boast the highest payout of 35 to 1. The chips for Straight Up bets are placed in the middle of the box containing the respective number.
Split bets cover two adjacent numbers on the layout and the chips for them are positioned on the line separating the two numbers. Winning Split bets have a payout of 17 to 1. Another option is to make a Street bet which covers three numbers, positioned in a row on the layout, and pay out 11 to 1. The chips for them are placed on the outside line of the first number in the row.
Another type of inside wager is the Corner bet, also known as a Square or Quad bet. As the name suggests, Corner bets cover a group of four adjacent numbers on the layout and the chips in this case are placed in the centre of the four grids containing the numbers. Corners bets have a payout of 8 to 1.
Line bets, also called Quint bets, cover six numbers, located in two adjacent rows of the table layout. The chips are situated on the intersection that separates the two rows and if you win with one such bet, your payout will be 5 to 1.
It is also possible to make a Five-Number bet if you play American roulette. This bet covers numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 and pays off 6 to 1. Players are recommended to avoid it, however, because the Five-Number bet goes with a rather unfavourable house edge of 7.90%.
This category of bets is exclusive to European and French roulette only and are placed in an area, called the racetrack, that is separate from the main betting grid. The numbers on the racetrack are arranged in the same order as those on the wheel. Call bets cover specific sections of the wheel.
The Voisins du Zero bet covers seventeen numbers which lie between numbers 22 and 25 on the wheel. Nine chips are required to make one such bet. Tiers du Cylindre bets require six chips and cover twelve numbers, which are situated on the opposite side of the wheel between numbers 27 and 33.
Another type of Call bet is the so-called Orphelins bet. It covers the remaining eight numbers on the wheel that are excluded from the Voisins and Tiers bets. To make one such bet, you will need five chips.
High and Low Limit Roulette Variants
In landbased casinos, the minimum bet limit in roulette typically ranges between £5 and £25, which renders the game of chance unsuitable for players with tighter budgets. However, this is not the case when you enjoy this classic casino game online. Many online casino operators cater to the needs of both high rollers and players with more humble budgets.
On that note, it is also worth mentioning that the minimum and the maximum bet limits in roulette depend on the type of bet you make. The maximum limits for outside bets are often higher than those for inside bets when you play the game online.
Online casino operators provide risk-averse players with the opportunity to play at the lower-stake tables where minimum bets can range between £0.10 and £1.00. However, if you are willing to take your chances with more substantial bets, you can always join the higher-limit tables where bet limits can vary between £5 and £1,000. Please note that on some VIP Live Dealer roulette tables the upper limit can reach up to £50,000. However, it all depends on which online casino you have registered at.
Roulette Betting Systems
More experienced roulette players advise novices to incorporate a given betting system into their gaming sessions in order to increase their chances of generating more substantial profits. Additionally, roulette betting systems are said to enable players to recoup their losses should they experience a bad streak.
We can distinguish between three types of roulette betting systems. Some systems are based on a positive betting progression, which means players are required to increase the size of their bets after each win and reduce it after a loss. Betting systems that fall into this category include the Parlay and the Paroli which aim at helping players to maximise their profits on a longer winning streak and keep their losses in check.
Some players prefer to utilise systems that are based on negative betting progressions. One such system calls for increasing your bets after a loss occurs and reducing the size of the bet each time you win. The idea here is that if players suffer a string of losses, they will eventually win with a higher stake, which in its turn would result in generating a profit. The Martingale, the D’Alembert, the Fibonacci and the Labouchere systems are all based on negative betting progressions.
Other systems revolve around flat betting and are suitable for players, who make outside bets that pay out even money. In this instance, the player neither decreases nor increases their bet size, but continually bets the same amount of money on each spin of the ball. You are unlikely to break the bank with a flat betting system, but it can help you reduce your losses and turn a profit without taking unnecessary risks.
Please note that following a given betting system cannot guarantee you a win on roulette or any other casino game. Systems can potentially help you reduce your losses and improve your chances of turning a profit, but they have zero effect on the outcome of the spins. The outcome of each spin of the ball is completely random and is not affected by the preceding or subsequent numbers that are spun.
On that note, it is important to mention that system do not reduce the house edge, either. The edge for all bets in roulette remains the same (2.70% for European and 5.26% for American roulette), regardless of the system you have chosen to incorporate into your betting session.
Money Management and Discipline
Money management is key for any successful roulette player. There are several aspects of money management. The first one is deciding on the size of your overall bankroll. As a general rule, players are recommended to set aside a given sum they are comfortable playing with and potentially losing. This will prevent them from being tempted to resort to playing with money, reserved for utility bills, rent, food, and so on.
Determining what betting unit (or the amount you put on stake per spin) to use is the next step. Experienced roulette players recommend a bet unit that ranges between 2% and 5% of the overall bankroll. If you experience difficulties in deciding on your bet unit size, you can always use one of the roulette bet unit calculators available online.
Setting win and loss limits for yourself is equally important. Experts recommend novices to leave the roulette table as soon as they have generated a profit that amounts to 10% of their starting bankroll. It would be best not be too greedy and collect your winnings rather than risk losing them to the casino. The recommended loss limits may vary from one player to another, but generally it would be best to quit playing after you have wasted between 40% and 50% of your starting bankroll.
Of course, if you wish to turn a bigger profit, you should choose the roulette games you play carefully. Needless to say, it would be best to opt for the European and the French variations as they offer lower house edge as opposed to American roulette with its double-zero wheel. Using a betting system where the bet size does not increase too steeply is also advisable.
Of course, a good amount of discipline is necessary as players are expected to actually stick to the win and loss limits they have originally set for themselves. Never increase your bets dramatically after a losing streak in an attempt to win back what you have lost – you risk depleting your entire bankroll and quitting the game with empty pockets.
Playing Roulette on the Go
Roulette fans are provided with the opportunity to enjoy their favourite variations of the game on the go at all times, from all locations. The websites of all reputable online casino operators are mobile-responsive which means players can load the games directly in their portable devices’ browsers by entering the casino’s address in the address bar. In many cases, there is no need to download and install any native mobile software to play the games. What’s more, mobile-responsive casinos are compatible with all widespread tablets and smartphones, running on iOS, Android and Windows. In most cases, Blackberry users can also load the games on their portable devices.
However, downloading and installing a mobile application on your phone is also an option. Some of the most respected online casinos in the industry offer native applications for iOS and Android devices which can be downloaded free of charge. Players, who use iOS-based mobile devices will be able to download the casinos’ apps directly from the App Store.
However, since Google does not allow real-money gambling applications on its Google Play Store, players with Android-based devices will be able to download the apps directly from their preferred casino’s website. Sometimes, the links for the free Android apps are sent via text messages or emails, but that happens only on rare occasions.
Please note, the gaming collections of mobile casinos are slightly more limited than those that are available for desktop computers. Nevertheless, players can choose between several roulette variations, including American, European and French roulette.
Live Dealer Roulette
Roulette players who crave to taste the atmosphere of landbased gambling venues are provided with the option to join one of the many Live Dealer roulette tables, available at online casinos. Live Dealer casinos successfully recreate the sophisticated atmosphere of their brick-and-mortar cousins.
The roulette games are hosted by flesh-and-blood, professional croupiers and are broadcasted in real time. The outcome here is no longer determined by a Random Number Generator – it is the dealer, who throws the ball on the spinning wheel. As streaming technology continues to improve, there is no delay in what players see on their computer screens, while the quality of the stream is quite impressive. The table layouts and the wheels used are the same as those in traditional landbased casinos and so are the rules, the types of bets you can make and their payouts.
Playing the Live Dealer roulette variations comes with a great number of advantages. The clever betting interface enables players to make their bets with a single click of the mouse button. Also, there are various statistics boards which allow players to keep track of their betting history and the numbers that have come up on previous spins. While such features do not improve the odds in your favour, they are certainly convenient and improve the entertainment value of the game.
Many of the Live Dealer variants of this game of chance are available in multiplayer mode. One major advantage of Live Dealer roulette results from the fact players get to interact with each other and the dealer via the handy chat functionalities. This certainly adds a social aspect to the game. What’s more, if you have experienced a hot run and are feeling generous, you are often granted the opportunity to tip the dealer since there are large tip boxes as those you would expect to find in brick-and-mortar casinos.
Apart from European, American and French roulette, Live Dealer casinos are usually home to some truly unique variations of the game like Immersive Roulette for example. Some of the games are streamed from luxurious venues such as the Dragonara and Portomaso casinos in Malta and the Hippodrome Casino in London. Often, you get to choose between European and Asian dealers to host your game.
Roulette Variations by Leading Software Developers
All well-known software developers in the online gambling industry have produced their unique variations of the classic game of roulette. The titles of each developer have their bespoke design and features, but one thing is certain, regardless of which variation you decide to play – you will enjoy a smooth, hassle-free gaming experience.
Roulette variations that are courtesy of developers like Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech impress with exceptionally vivid and life-like visuals. The sound effects are so authentic that often players are left with the impression they are gambling at an actual, landbased venue. You can hear the virtual dealers announce the winning numbers after each spin of the ball while a soothing, jazzy music is playing in the background. Of course, if players consider the sound effects distracting, they can always choose to turn them off from the Options menu.
The interface of the roulette variations offered by the aforementioned software suppliers is so intuitive and user-friendly that players are unlikely to experience any difficulties when making a bet, even if they lack previous experience. You get to choose from different chip denominations and often can see the minimum and maximum stakes for each type of bet by hovering your mouse cursor over the betting boxes on the table layout.
In addition, software developers have introduced a number of useful features to their online variations of the game that you are unlikely to see when playing at a landbased venue. Various statistics boards are available. Some show the winning numbers that have appeared on the last few spins of the ball. Others display the hot and cold numbers which can certainly be useful to players who wish to follow a given strategy or make a more informed bet. You can even play the game at a faster pace thanks to features like NetEnt’s Quick Spin. If you are not familiar with the payouts for the bets yet, you can always check this information in the game’s paytable.
Apart from more traditional variations like American, European and French roulette, leading developers have introduced less standard variations to their portfolios. An example would be NetEnt’s Mini Roulette which has different payouts and betting structure due to the fact the wheel and the layout feature only numbers 0 through 12.
Another way to diversify your gaming session is by playing Multi Wheel roulette. The Playtech variant features six wheels, while that of Microgaming can be played on up to eight wheels. Of course, if you wish, you can deactivate some of the wheels. Double Ball Roulette, on the other hand, is played with two balls, while the wheel on Double Action Roulette utilises two sets of numbers, arranged in opposing order on a single wheel with inner and outer rings.
Players are also given the opportunity to win a life-changing jackpot by opting for one of the roulette variations that have a huge, progressive jackpot attached to them. Two of the most popular progressive roulette titles among players include Microgaming’s Roulette Royale and Playtech’s Marvel Roulette. Please note players are expected to place a small side bet at these variations which goes towards the overall pot.
Prior to placing real-money wagers, players are recommended to become better acquainted with the rules of roulette, the payouts for the different types of bets available and the key aspects of adequate money management. The following guide aims at introducing roulette novices to the subtleties of the game as well as to the most popular betting systems and online roulette variations you can find at established web-based casinos.