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How to Play Roulette

Everything you need to know to play roulette is included in our BetUS Roulette Guide! From strategy to the odds, we’ve got you covered. Read on for more info.


Dating back to 18th century Europe, by way of France and Italy, the game of Roulette has today evolved into one of the most popular casino games around. The game requires no real deep thinking to play and is relatively easy to learn for newcomers. To that end, the game has proven to be popular with beginners and professional gamblers alike which has allowed it to flourish in the modern era of online casinos. An arena, it suits perfectly.

American or European

The main decision to be made for players looking for a wheel to bet on is whether to choose American Roulette or European (French) Roulette. The main difference is that an American roulette wheel includes two zero pockets, while the European roulette has just the one which, while it might look like nothing, as regular roulette players will tell you, actually makes all the difference and significantly affects your chances of winning.

House Edge

Why? Because of the house edge. The house edge in European roulette is 2.7% because players have a better chance of winning due to there being only one zero and 37 pockets making for a reduced number of outcomes. American Roulette, on the other hand, has two zeros and 38 pockets, thus a greater number of potential outcomes and a higher house edge of 5.26%. As such, we recommend beginners start with European roulette.

With roulette, either variant, the whole purpose is for players to nominate for money the numbered pocket the ball will land in with each spin of the roulette wheel. For lower odds and an increased chance of being right, players can also bet on the color of the pocket, red or black, or whether the number will be odd or even. You are also able to bet on numbers within a certain range.

Pick your Lucky Number

Firstly, let’s assume you are betting on the winning pocket’s number from 0 to 36. There is no guaranteed formula for getting this one right. Like the lotto or bingo, there is no way of telling what the winning number will be. For that reason, you may as well pick your favorite and/or perhaps lucky number.

Once you have selected your number or numbers, place your chips on the appropriate betting zones provided. At live casinos or online live casinos, the croupier will call time on the betting before declaring no more bets and spinning the wheel. However, many online casino roulette games give you a spin button similar to slots. Either way, the purpose is the same, to see where the ball that has been released on the spinning wheel stops when the spinning ends.


This is how the game determines its winner. With any luck, the ball landed on the pocket, number, color, or range that you bet on, in which case you win while losing bettors will have the wagered chips collected. If you have been inspired, you can repeat the process simple enough by taking the re-hit or double option that most tables offer. Or, of course, you can simply take the money and run.
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Basic Tips

By now you probably know that there’s no magical roulette system or special tricks you can do to force the ball where you want it to go (apologies to anybody who’s currently waiting for the $100 roulette system they bought through the mail).
Playing the odds and percentages is the only way you’re going to come close to winning any real money with roulette. So in hopes of us all making smarter bets in the future, let’s look at 5 quick tips for roulette.

Tip #1: Place Bets Within your Bankroll

If depositing $20 into your online roulette account is a big deal, then perhaps riskier inside bets aren’t a good idea. And this brings us to the first tip in that you should always make bets within your bankroll. Players who can’t afford to lose their bankroll on the first day should stick to even money bets like red/black, odd/even, and high/low. Doing this will ensure that your bankroll doesn’t run dry while waiting on the riskier bets to come through.

Tip #2: Look Out For Any Advantages

The whole ‘looking for the European wheel’ tip isn’t as easy as it seems. Most live and online casinos obviously prefer to offer the American wheel because it gives the house a bigger edge. However, if the option to use the European wheel is available, you should definitely take advantage of it since this cuts the house edge from 5.26% down to 2.63%.

Tip #3: Realize that Previous Spins don’t Affect Future Spins

As in a lot of casino games, roulette players think certain numbers or sections are “due” for a winning bet. But in reality, previous spins have nothing to do with what will happen in the future. So just because the ball has landed on black five times in a row does not mean it’s going to land on red the next 5 times.

Tip #4: Never Pay for Roulette Systems

You’re already putting your money on the line in roulette games so there is no reason to be spending any extra cash on roulette systems. No roulette system is going to give you any more of an advantage than simply using a good strategy.

Tip #5: Don’t chase Losses

After a bad night at the roulette wheel, there is always the tendency to chase losses. You may even want to deposit more money into your online casino account, or have cash wired to you at a land-based casino. But here’s the thing: don’t! Come back another day when you’ve replenished your bankroll.

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The American Wheel vs the European Wheel

Though both the American and the European roulette wheels work in the same way and feature red and black squares numbered 1-36, the two wheels also have some notable differences. Amateurs may never take note of the subtle differences between these online roulette games, but most long-term roulette players have a strong preference for one or the other. Here’s why.

The Extra Green Space

While both the American and European roulette wheels have the same amount of numbered red and black spaces plus a single green 0 space, the numbers are not arranged in the same way, and the American wheel has an additional green space marked 00.

The Odds

Believe it or not, the addition of the 00 space in American roulette gives it a much poorer overall house edge. European roulette with its 37 slots offers a relatively low house edge of 2.7% while its American counterpart with 38 slots has a house edge that’s almost twice as bad at 5.26%. Thankfully when you play roulette online you don’t have to approach and squint at every wheel to find your preferred game – you can simply select an American or European wheel from the casino’s initial game page.

Special Rules

There’s one more minute difference in the online roulette rules offered by the American and European versions of the game. On the American wheel, if you’ve placed an even-money bet and the ball lands on the 0 or 00 you automatically receive half of your bet back. This rule is called “surrender.” The European roulette wheel has a similar rule called “en prison,” but instead of losing half your even bet when the ball lands on 0, your original wager is simply pushed to the next round.
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Other Helpful Articles About Roulette



American Roulette

Differently from the European Wheel. These pockets consist of the numbers 1-36. With a total of 38 numbered pockets and a 0 and double zero green pockets) slots at the wheel.



The outer rim of the wheel where the ball spins.

Biased Numbers

A roulette term referring to the numbers on the wheel which have statistically been proven to hit more often than the rest, consequently being favorites to players who enjoy a certain advantage.

Black Bet

A wager in which the next number will be black.



A Corner Bet on the French roulette.


A Spill Bet the French roulette.


A Column Bet on the French roulette.

Column Bet

When a bet is placed on one of the three available columns (each one consisting of 12 numbers). This pays two to one.

Combination Bet

Any bet that has one or more chips on two or more numbers.

Corner Bet

A single bet that one of the four numbers on the layout will be the winner.


Dozen Bet

A bet that can be placed on one of three groups of 12 numbers paying 2 to 1. The groups are 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36.

Double Zero

This is the extra pocket on the American roulette wheel marked “00.

Double Up

System of Betting This refers to a system of betting where the player increases his bet by two after a loss in order to regain some of the money he played on the previous bet.


En Plein

The French term for Straight Up bet (please find Straight Up bet below).

En Prison

A rule in European roulette that gives players a chance to recover one’s stakes after a spin of zero.

European Roulette

This was the original version of roulette.

Even Money

Any bet paying 1 to 1.


High Bet

Betting that the next spin will hit between the numbers of 19 and 36.


Inside Bet

A bet made on the numbered, inside area of the roulette table.


Line Bet

A wager that players can make that one of the six numbers of the two rows of three numbers will win.

Low Bet

When a player wagers that a number between 1 and 18 will hit.



An object a croupier uses in order to clearly mark the winning number after each spin.



A bet on a specific group of numbers on a section of the roulette wheel.

Outside Bets

A bet on black or red, high or low or even or odd.


Red Bet

An outside bet that pays 2-1 where the player wagers that the next spin will hit a red pocket.


Six Line

This refers to a bet which covers two adjacent rows of numbers on the roulette layout (covering six numbers in all). This bet traditionally pays out at a rate of 5-1.


This term refers to a bet which covers two adjacent numbers on the roulette table and is made when a player puts his chips on the intersection of two numbers. Traditionally, this type of bet pays out at odds of 17-1.

Straight Up Bet

A bet placed on just the single number to win, a form of an inside bet.


A bet on three numbers that form a street on the betting mat.


Voisins du Zero (Neighbors of zero)

A French to describe a wager on the section of the roulette wheel which is next to the zero.



This refers to the pocket on a roulette wheel marked with a 0. All roulette wheels contain a “single zero” space, however, American roulette wheels have this and an additional double zero pocket.