How To Play Roulette

Roulette is one of the simplest games to play in a casino. Chances are you could learn how to play Roulette just by watching a few spins. But that's not always possible so we'll walk you through everything you need to know in this article. 

Let's start with the objective of the game: You are trying to predict where a ball will land on a wheel. You place chips on a table that tell the Croupier where you think the ball will land. If you're playing with a live dealer, they'll inform all players that there are no more bets allowed to be placed when they're about to spin the wheel. If you're playing online, you can decide when the wheel spins. If you predicted correctly, you win at odds determined by how specific your bet was. 

American and European Roulette are the same in this sense. However because American Roulette has an extra green pocket with a double zero, it changes the payout odds. But most importantly, it changes the house edge.

The Roulette Wheel

Each wheel is split into pockets, the area where the ball lands. Red and black alternate on both wheels and both wheels are seemingly random in terms of position. 

However this is where we can start to notice the differences. Low (1-18) and High (19-36) numbers alternate as much as possible. You will rarely see a low and a high number next to each other in European roulette, the only exception being 5 and 10. However on the American, there are many low and high numbers that are adjacent. European Roulette is known to be slightly fairer and balanced than American Roulette and this is one of the reasons.

The European Roulette wheel also has fewer pockets than an American Roulette wheel. There are 36 pockets on a European Roulette wheel and 37 on an American one. This might sound small but it has quite a significant impact on the house edge.

In terms of house edge, European roulette gives you slightly better odds because the house edge is 2.7% rather than 5.26% for American roulette.

How does Roulette work? 

When it comes to playing Roulette, there are more than twenty types of bet you can make. Check out the table lower down the article to see the odds and payout for each of these bets. Remember that no matter what type of bet you make, if a number in your selection comes up, you win.

Inside bets

But let's start with the most simple. The following bets are all known as Inside Bets because they're all done inside the rectangle that holds individual numbers.

  1. Straight Up. Each number on the table corresponds to the number in the wheel. If you place your chips directly on a single number, you can only win if the ball lands in that pocket. It's the least likely but has the largest payout.
  2. Split. As the name suggests, this is a bet split between two numbers. You'd place your chips on the line between adjacent numbers on the table: 1 and 2, 1 and 4 for example.
  3. Street. This is a bet on a row of three numbers across the table. For example: 1,2,3 or 4,5,6. 
  4. Corner. This bet allows you to select four adjacent numbers. But the numbers have to be within a square. You place chips on the cross between four to choose this. An example would be between 7,8,10,11. Or 14, 17, 15, 18.
  5. Line. Similar to a street bet but in this instance you cover two lines of three to select six numbers in a sequence. The numbers need to be on two consecutive rows.
  6. Top Line. This is only available on American Roulette tables. In this you're covering both zeroes, and 1,2,3.
  7. Basket. This is also known as a First Four. You're betting on 0,1,2,3 on a European table for this one.
  8. Snake Bet. To make this bet, place your chips in a snake-like pattern across the table so they cover the following numbers: 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34.

Outside bets

The next bets are known as Outside bets, because they're outside the individual number rectangle. They cover groups of numbers and colours instead of individual numbers.

  1. Dozens. This divides the wheel into thirds based on numerical order. So if you place chips in the First 12 section, you win if the ball lands on 1-12. The Second 12 is 13-24, the Third 12 is 25-36.
  2. Columns. Placing chips in the "2 to 1" column covers each number in that section, they're split into left, middle and right and exclude zero.
  3. Lows. Place chips in the 1-18 section to cover those numbers with at least one chip.
  4. Highs. The same payout as lows but covering 19-36.
  5. Evens. Placing chips on this are of the table means you'll win if the ball lands on an even-numbered pocket.
  6. Odds. This section is the opposite to Evens, you'll win if the ball lands on an odd-numbered pocket.
  7. Red. If you place chips here, you'll win if the ball lands on a red numbered pocket.
  8. Black. If the ball lands on a black numbered pocket you'll win.

Call Bets

The next bets are only available on European Roulette tables. If you'd rather play American Roulette, then get started in the Cloudbet casino and remember you'll receive a first deposit bonus up to 5BTC/BCH. They're known as "Call Bets" or "Announced Bets" because if you were in a real-life Casino, you'd simply announce these bets to the Croupier and lay your chips on the table. The Croupier would repeat your bet back to you in acknowledgement and move your chips to an area away from the Inside Bets and the Outside Bets. However in the Cloudbet casino, there's no Croupier so when you're playing European Roulette all you need to do is select the bets yourself at the top of the table.

At the top of the table, you'll see an area with Tiers, Orphelins, Voisins and Zero surrounded by numbers. This is where you'd place your Call bets. Helpfully, if you hover your mouse over the areas, the game will tell you which numbers are selected. The numbers are selected through a mixture of the bets we've just explained, so go back and read them again if anything doesn't make sense.

Tiers. Also known as Tiers de Cylindre. You can see an example of this to the right. This is a way of betting on twelve numbers opposite the 0 on the Roulette wheel. This selection covers from 27 to 33. This bet is always six chips, or multiple of six placed as Splits between the numbers.

Voisins. Also known as Voisin du Zero. This bet is for the "Neighbours of Zero". It covers the seventeen numbers closest to 0 on a European Roulette table. This bet requires a minimum of nine chips, or multiple of nine and are placed accordingly: two chips on 0/2/3 Street, one chip on 4/7 Split, one chip on 12/15 Split, one chip on 18/21 Split, one chip on 19/22 Split, two chips on 25/26/28/29 Corner, and one chip on 32/35 Split.

Orphelins. This bet covers the numbers outside of Voisins and Tiers. You need a minimum of five chips to place this bet: You take 1 Straight Up, and Split 6/9, 14/17, 17/20, and 31/34.

Zero. Also known as Jeu Zero or "Zero game". This places bets on the numbers closest to zero. You'd Split 1/3, 12/15 and 32/35 then have 26 Straight Up.

At the Cloudbet casino, you can also bet on Neighbours. Starting from your selected number, the amount of Neighbours you bet on are how far round the wheel, with your number in the middle, you also bet on. So a bet of 0 with 3 neighbours would also include 32 and 26. Some gamblers choose to use more than one Neighbour combination to maximise their chances of winning.

Finaal bets. No, that's not a typo, but in English we refer to them as Final bets. You'd call to the Croupier, "Final 7" as an example. This means you're betting on every number that ends in 7. So that bet looks like:

  • 7
  • 17
  • 27

So that's one chip on each of those numbers. Some casinos even allow you Split Finaal bets, where instead of placing single chips Straight Up you'd Split between adjacent numbers. So you could say, "Split finaal 2/5" which would look like this:

  • 2/5
  • 12/15
  • 22/25
  • 32/35

Again, one chip but this time Split between the two numbers.

Finally, the Complete Bet. Also known as a Maximum Bet and only available in high-roller casinos. It's a blend of a bet and progressive system. To do this, you use every Inside Bet at once to bet a large amount in one section of the table. For our example, let's assume you want to bet "17 to the maximum". Your bets would look like this if you placed them manually:

Bet Type Number(s) Bet On Pieces
Straight-Up 17 1
Split 17, 14 2
Split 17, 16 2
Split 17, 18 2
Split 17, 20 2
Street 17, 16, 18 3
Corner 17, 16, 13, 14 4
Corner 17, 18, 14, 15 4
Corner 17, 16, 19, 20 4
Corner 17, 18, 20, 21 4
Six Line 17, 16, 18, 13, 14, 15 6
Six Line 17, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21 6
Total Bets Placed 40

You can adapt this system so that you're staking less than the Straight Up maximum bet. Though your stake is large, if it comes in your winnings will be much higher. 

What is the best bet in Roulette?

So you know your chances of winning, here are the odds and payouts on American and European Roulette wheels. As we’ve already seen, there’s a slight reduction in house edge for European Roulette tables. Here’s how it looks in practice. The payout column indicates the multiple of your bet you’d win.

Bet Payout European Roulette Odds American Roulette Odds
Red / Black 1:1 48.65% 47.37%
Evens / Odds 1:1 48.65% 47.37%
Lows (1-18) / Highs (19-36) 1:1 48.65% 47.37%
Dozens 2:1 32.43% 31.58%
Columns 2:1 32.43% 31.58%
6 Numbers (Six line) 5:1 16.22% 15.79%
5 Numbers (Top line) 6:1 13.16%
4 Numbers (Square) 8:1 10.81% 10.53%
3 Numbers (Street) 11:1 8.11% 7.89%
2 Numbers (Split) 17:1 5.41% 5.26%
1 Number (Straight Up) 35:1 2.70% 2.63%

The differences between European and American Roulette are slight. But any increase in the probability of winning in the long run is what professional gamblers look for. And remember it's still possible to win on both tables, just in the long run it's slightly more likely on a European table.

Answering your questions on Roulette

Are there patterns in roulette?

With origins dating back to the 17th century, it’s no surprise that casino players over the years have claimed to see patterns or trends during a game of roulette. In fact, if you spin the wheel enough times, you’ll probably start to think you can see a pattern too.

And the truth is that there probably are patterns, just like there are in any infinite sequence of completely random numbers. But when you place your bets, you aren’t betting on what is going to happen in the next 10, 100 or even 1000 spins. 

You’re betting on what is going to happen in the next spin, and in reality - what’s happened before has no impact on that outcome, as the gamblers at Le Grande Casino, Monte Carlo so cruelly found out in 1913. 

The ball fell on black 29 times in a row, and each and every time - bettors went for red. How could it possibly fall on black again they thought, and so it did. Again and again. You can read more about that fateful night in this article, where we discuss what has since been named the Gambler’s Fallacy. So the next time you’re certain you’ve discovered a winning trend, just be aware that (unfortunately) you most probably haven’t. 

Can you make money at a casino from playing roulette?

Of course. In fact, two of the biggest ever bitcoin casino winners in the Cloudbet Casino were roulette players. One managed to come away with a mega 53 BTC when playing in our Live Casino, whilst another hit the ultimate jackpot after an electric session playing Lightning Roulette - winning almost 87 BTC!
Whilst impressive, it’s important to recognise that these wins aren’t to be expected when playing roulette. But what they do show is that such wins are possible, should you have luck on your side.

What are the advantages of playing online roulette?

The first advantage is just how many different types of the game are available to you, at your fingertips. Whether you want a European Roulette table game, or an American Roulette live casino game, both (and more!) are accessible instantaneously in an online casino. 

This brings us onto the second advantage; there is little to no waiting required - you don’t have to fight for your spot at the table, or spend time queuing to play. You simply have to enter the room, from the comfort of your own house, and watch on as you get seated in seconds. 
Thirdly, the game itself is faster and more fluid online, as are the payouts. Not only do you not have to worry about what anyone else at the table is doing, but you also don’t have to wait for the croupier to figure out your winnings. Instead, the gaming computer software does the math, meaning you’ll get your accurate payouts almost instantly. 

And finally, when you play online you can bet with as little as 0.001 BTC to, in some cases, as much as 1 BTC. So whether you’re ready to take risks with your bitcoin, or you want to play it safe, there are options for all types of players when you play roulette online. 

Can I play Roulette online for free?

Yes, we have a wide range of roulette table games for you to try for free. Simply head to our Bitcoin Casino to enjoy the thrills of both American and European roulette, and test out how much you’ve learnt today. 

If you feel confident enough to play for real, simply sign up to Cloudbet and create an account to gain access to our huge collection of live and non-live roulette games.

Which is the best online casino to play roulette?

With such a diverse range of roulette games across our Bitcoin Casino and Live Casino, Cloudbet certainly are one of the leading bitcoin gambling sites online. Our easy to use site offers players the ultimate casino experience, as well as a generous BTC bonus amounting to 100% of your first deposit up to a huge 5 BTC. 

You can read more about why our players think Cloudbet are the best here, but why not find out for yourself and sign up today. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Cloudbet is one of the first bitcoin sportsbook and casino operators in the crypto space. We have hundreds of bitcoin slots and dozens of table games to play, with free play options to try before you buy in our bitcoin casino. You can also read more on betting strategies, bitcoin 101, and in-depth crypto stories here in the Cloudbet Blog.

About the Author


Posted on 2019-08-12

Cloudbet has a team of contributors that produce high quality content across a range of subjects related to betting and crypto.

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