Do you really know how to play online roulette? Do you really know the rules of this casino game? Do you know that there are strategies and lots of little tricks that can help you maximize your chances of winning? If you hesitate or answer any of these questions in the negative, then this comprehensive guide to online roulette is for you. It goes into detail about the origins and basics of the most popular of all casino games, but also gives you all the secrets to play like a real pro. Beware… Nothing’s going to go right now!
Origins and History of Roulette
Several centuries, even millennia old, roulette is one of the oldest games of money and chance offered in casinos today. Its origins are not clearly established and there are many theories on the subject.
One of the most popular theories states that the origins of the game go back to the Middle Ages, when an ancient version was created by a Dominican monk. A second theory also suggests that monks may have been inspired by an old Chinese game brought back from a trip to Tibet. Another theory is that Roman soldiers laid the foundations for roulette by using a dismantled tank wheel to create a popular game of chance between martial campaigns.
But all these theories are still very difficult to verify. However, historians and other specialists in the field agree on one major fact: modern roulette as we know it today would be the work of Blaise Pascal. The mathematician and philosopher is said to have developed the first modern version of the game by drawing inspiration from various existing games (Biribi, Hoca, Even and Odd and Roly-Poly), as well as from perpetual motion devices.
The first written evidence of the presence of the game dates back to the early 18th century. It is at this time that the name roulette would have been used for the first time to designate the game. It was in 1716, at the Soissons Hotel in Paris. At that time, the game consisted of 38 numbers: the digits 1 to 36, a red zero and a blue zero. It was played in this way for a few decades in gambling establishments, notably at the Palais-Royal in Paris.
Then in 1842, the game knows a major evolution when the White brothers (Louis and François) decide to remove one of the zero squares of the game. The objective is to correct the too big advantage held until then by the casinos over the players. This major change led to the creation of the first European roulette tables. But at the time, the games had been banned in France since 1836. The White Brothers moved to Bad Homburg, Germany, where they set up their casino and roulette tables. It was a huge success and the biggest fortunes of the Old Continent flocked there.
In 1860, Charles III, Prince of Monaco decided to allow gambling on the Rock and entrusted the management of the Monte Carlo Casino to the White Brothers. Under their impetus and thanks to the roulette tables, the Monegasque city became the new “place to be” for gambling enthusiasts from all over Europe.
A few years later, the game travels to America with the boats of European migrants. It quickly became popular, especially in the west of the country. However, the American gambling establishments, less scrupulous than their European counterparts, decided to add another square to the game: the double zero. This new variant, which significantly increases the house advantage, is now known as American Roulette.
In the course of the 20th century, gambling became a fixture in casinos all over the world, from Las Vegas to Sydney, Monaco and London. Roulette became the “queen of casinos” and new variations were created.
Then, at the end of the 1990s, the first virtual casinos appeared. The online roulette tables are obviously present there thanks to the know-how of various publishers who propose first, versions with a Random Number Generator, then roulette tables animated by real live dealers.
The rules of roulette
Roulette is a game with very simple rules. It is played with a small ball that is thrown onto a circular cylinder with 37 (European roulette) or 38 (American roulette) spaces, each marked with a unique number. For the player, the goal is simply to predict which of these numbers the ball will land on each time.
To get a clear idea of what roulette tables look like, keep in mind that all roulette tables are made up of two main components: a cylinder and a play mat. Also known as a roulette wheel, the cylinder has the squares numbered from 1 to 36, coloured alternately red and black. In addition to these 36 squares, there is a 0 square coloured green. On a European roulette table, a 00 square is added to the cylinder. As for the gaming mat, this is the part of the table dedicated to receiving the players’ bets.
The roulette mat
As in other table games, the carpet is the part on which the roulette bets are placed. But in this game, its role is even more important and knowing it well, as well as its layout is essential if you intend to implement game strategies and win more. In concrete terms, the roulette mat contains all the squares on the cylinder, organized in such a way as to allow for different betting patterns. The roulette mat has several columns and rows, as well as spaces for specific bets.
The configuration of the roulette mat depends on the roulette variant you are playing. For example, on a European roulette table, the roulette mat has :
- 3 columns of 12 numbers, each number being associated with a colour ;
- a 0 located in a semicircle at the top of the mat, and colored green;
- On either side of the columns, the areas dedicated to the following bets: Even, Odd, Black, Red, 1 to 18 (Miss) and 19 to 36 (Pass);
- At the bottom of the columns are the spaces provided to accommodate bets on the first dozen (12P), second dozen (12M) or third dozen (12D).
Here, chips can be placed on or between the boxes depending on the type of bet you wish to make.
On an American roulette mat, an additional semi-circle appears at the top of the mat and welcomes the 00. The other betting areas are present, but with a slightly different layout from the European roulette mat.
Finally, on an English roulette wheel, the carpet is a slightly hybrid version of the two previous ones. The general layout is the same as on an American roulette wheel, but with a single 0 square. It should be noted that the latter cannot accommodate any bets.
Contrary to what many players think, betting your money on a single number is not the only way to bet at roulette. Many other types of bets are allowed. In fact, there are a lot of possible combinations. Here are the main ones, and the benefits they bring if you win:
- bets on a full number: here you place your chips on a single number. If you win, you win 35 times the amount of your bet;
- straddling: here your chips are placed between two adjacent numbers on the mat. If either of these numbers wins, you win 17 times your bet;
- cross bet: to make this bet, you must place your chips on a cluster of three adjacent numbers. If one of them goes out, you win 11 times your bet;
- betting on a square: you will have understood it, it is a question here of betting on a set of 4 numbers forming a square on the carpet. The payout for winning here is 8 times your bet.
- bet on a sixain: the sixain is a bet made simultaneously on 6 numbers. It pays 5 times your wager if you win;
- bet on 12 simultaneous numbers: here you bet on a dozen or a column. If one of the numbers covered by your bet is a winner, you cash out twice your bet;
- simple odds: In roulette, simple odds are bets that take into account 18 numbers simultaneously. These include bets on the following sections: Red, Black, Even, Odd, Pass, Miss. If you win, the payout is one time the amount of your bet;
- betting on 24 numbers: you also have the possibility to bet on 24 numbers at once. These can be numbers from two adjacent columns, the first 24 numbers (1 to 24), or the last 24 (13 to 36). The payout for winning here is half of your bet;
The case of zero at roulette
In roulette, the zero is generally considered “the casino square” because it offers a home advantage over the players. When the ball stops on this square, there are 4 main scenarios:
- you have bet on multiple odds (bet on a full, straddle, cross, square, sixain or dozen). In this case, whichever variant you play, you lose your entire bet;
- you bet on the simple odds at an English roulette table. You lose half your bet;
- you bet on the simple odds at a roulette table. Your bet is “imprisoned.” The ball is re-raised and the result of this new round is decisive: if you win, you simply get your original bet back. If you don’t, it is permanently lost;
- you bet on the odds at an American roulette table: your bet is simply lost. Same if the ball lands on the 00.
Example of a roulette game
Whether it’s in an online casino or in a live casino, roulette games are played in much the same way. It all starts with the bets, the beginning of which is announced by the dealer (or the computer system as the case may be) with the phrase: “Make your bets”. You must then place your bets on the roulette mat. When the dealer announces “All bets are placed. Nothing goes right anymore”, the betting phase ends and no more bets are taken into account.
The dealer throws the cylinder clockwise, then places the ball and throws it counterclockwise. Once the ball is stopped on one of the squares of the cylinder, the winning number is announced. If that number is one of the numbers you bet on, you are a winner and receive the payout for your bet. Otherwise, you simply lose your bet. Once the payouts are made, a new game is started.
Top 5 Strategies for Winning at Online Roulette
Roulette is first and foremost a game of chance. Unless you cheat by tampering with the system, it is therefore impossible to influence the outcome of a game. This is a fact that you have to integrate and accept. However, there are a number of strategies that, when properly applied, can help you optimize your gambling sessions. These are the following betting strategies:
It should be noted that most online casinos prohibit players from using these different strategies, under penalty of cancellation of winnings and closure of your account for the most severe. If you still intend to use them, you will have to do it in a subtle way and especially without abusing them.
5 tips to put all the chances on your side
Like all games, roulette has its little secrets that regular and passionate players alike know. We share them with you here, so that you can maximize your chances in your next online roulette game.
Tip 1: Choose the right variant
Depending on the roulette variant you are playing, the casino’s statistical advantage is not the same. To be more precise, you should know that American Roulette, with its two zero squares, offers a greater home advantage (5.4%) than European Roulette (2.76%). Therefore, whenever possible, you should use the latter option during your online gaming sessions.
Tip #2: Limit the risks
If you really want to improve your chances of winning at roulette, it’s important not to fall into the trap of multiplying your bets on a full number. While it’s true that you can make a lot of money with this bet, you should also be aware that the probability of winning is extremely low. The odds are only about 1/37 or 1/38, depending on the variant. Therefore, avoid trying this “poker move” over and over again, and instead focus on bets on simple odds and other bets with a higher statistical probability.
Tip 3: Vary your game strategies
You do not have to choose among the different betting strategies presented above. In fact, the ideal is rather to use as many as you wish, making sure you understand and apply them well, of course. Vary the strategies and get the most out of each one.
Tip 4: Set a budget and stick to it!
Whatever strategy you use, keep in mind that roulette is a game of chance. You must therefore be aware that you can lose. To avoid getting into debt, therefore, set a capital amount that you are willing to lose from the outset. When this limit is reached, accept the fact that luck was not on your side and come back to play another time. In any case, don’t fall into the classic trap of wanting to cover your losses. The bill may be even saltier.
Tip 5: Cash out your winnings
Just as it is important to set a maximum loss limit, it is also important to set a winning level at which you must cash out your winnings and stop playing. Many gamblers go by feel, trying to “feel” when their luck turns. But the ideal is probably to set firm limits and stick to them so that you don’t lose everything again.
At online casinos, there are many different types of roulette. But they are almost all derived from the following main variants:
In addition to these variants, there are also others, somewhat less common, but just as interesting. These include Mexican roulette and German roulette, among others.
The best online roulette software
Since the mid-1990s and the first online roulette games, things have changed a lot. Today, there are many publishers specializing in the development of online roulette software. The best can be grouped into two main categories:
The best roulette software with RNG
The big names in the iGaming industry are Betsoft and NetEnt, followed by iSoftbet and Play’n Go. Manufacturers of slot machines and caster wheels for permanent establishments, such as IGT, come a long way behind, both in terms of quality and quantity of supply.
The best live roulette software
This new form of online roulette that is on the rise offers a truly unique gaming experience. The kings of this segment are Authentic Gaming, with its tables mostly retransmitted from real casinos, the inevitable Evolution Gaming and Ezugi.
The advantages of playing online roulette
Thanks to online casinos, roulette fans around the world now have easier access to their favorite game. More accessible, online roulette democratizes the game and offers several advantages:
- play where and when you want: no more need to travel miles or wait for the only casino gaming room in the area to open. Now all you need is an Internet connection to start playing from home, the office or anywhere else. Online roulette games are available 24/7 at virtual casinos;
- no protocol: although they are now more open to a diverse public, hardcore casinos are still places where access is highly regulated, with a certain number of codes. By opting for online roulette, you won’t have to submit to all these protocols. You can play in your bathrobe and slippers, cigarette in your mouth, slumped in your couch ;
- many more games: as mentioned above, there are now a plethora of publishers who regularly develop new online roulette games. So you’ll be spoilt for choice;
- bonuses: in order to encourage their players to bet real money on their platform, many online casinos offer bonuses that can be used on table games such as roulette. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of them when the opportunity arises.
Why play free online roulette?
Free play is one of the other advantages of online gaming. Most online casinos offer you the opportunity to play their roulette games for free without making a deposit.
These games are accessible in a Demo or Fun mode which has exactly the same features as the real money mode, with the only difference being that you play with free chips. This means that the money you earn during these games will not affect your balance, but also means that you can play without taking any risks.
For players, free online roulette games are therefore the ideal solution to become familiar with a given variant or a new game, but also to test the different game strategies by applying them and adjusting them if necessary.
What bonuses are available to play online roulette?
Roulette is a table game. Therefore, there are not really many bonuses offered by online casinos especially for playing it. However, the welcome bonuses and other deposit bonuses offered by most platforms can usually be used at the roulette tables in those casinos. However, please check the bonus conditions to see how much your bets on these games count towards the wagering requirements imposed by the house.
Play online roulette on mobile phone
Today, it is possible to play online roulette on computers (PC and MAC), but also on mobile devices. The evolution of technology allows developers to offer games whose interface is perfectly adapted to the small screens of smartphones and tablets. You can connect to your favorite online casino from your mobile phone and play roulette from anywhere, as long as you are connected to the Internet.
The gaming experience offered on these devices is optimized through the integration of touch functions that allow for truly ergonomic and intuitive gaming. Depending on the casino you play at, however, downloading an app may be necessary for a top-notch experience.
Live roulette: the new trend
The first live roulette tables appeared in the mid-2000s. Since then, this new form of online roulette has developed significantly and is one of the most attractive segments of the iGaming industry. Supported by publishers such as Authentic Gaming, Visionary iGaming, Ezugi and the inevitable Evolution Gaming, roulette tables with live dealers offer an exceptional level of entertainment, with highly innovative variations.
Most of the live roulette tables are set up in studios that are arranged in such a way as to make the players feel like they are in a permanent casino. But there are also more and more roulette tables where the games are broadcast directly from real European and American casinos. In games like Dragonara Roulette (Evolution Gaming), Roulette 360 (Ezugi) or Royal Casino Aarhus Roulette (Authentic Gaming), the player is indeed immersed in the atmosphere of big casinos, in real time. You play on the same tables, and at the same time, as the visitors who are actually present in these gaming rooms.
You are now well equipped to play online roulette and beat the casinos. Don’t forget to take the time to assimilate the rules of the game and especially the different types of bets allowed. You can also take advantage of the Demo mode available on all online platforms to test the different strategies presented and sharpen your playing technique before you start betting real money. Finally, make sure you have fun playing!
If after you’ve proven yourself in online roulette you’re ready to take on new challenges, you can read our comprehensive guide to blackjack, one of the other iconic games in online casinos.
The GambleMojo.com team has prepared several complete casino game guides for you:
✅ How to play roulette?
To play roulette, all you have to do is learn the rules of the game. The good news is that they are very simple, as you can see by reading our section dedicated to the rules of roulette.
✅ How to win at roulette?
To win at roulette, you must learn and apply the most effective betting strategies in the game and practice the tips we share with you here.
✅ What is the number that comes up most often at roulette?
Roulette is a game of pure chance where all the numbers are present only once on the wheel, as explained here. At each turn, the ball can therefore stop on any of these numbers indifferently.
✅ What is the only value in roulette that is green?
In roulette, 0 is the only number that is written in a green box. For more information on the rules for 0 in roulette, see this paragraph.