The Basics: How To Play Roulette

Roulette is one of the simplest casino games to play, and you could probably pick up the basics after watching just a few spins. In this article we explain the different bets available to get you started, along with the payouts and odds of winning each bet. You can take this knowledge with you into the casinos of Monte Carlo, Mayfair or Macau – but equally, and more easily, into the Cloudbet casino to get started tout de suit.

The basics – How Roulette works

The objective of the game is to place your bet on where you think the ball will land on the petite wheel – the roulette. This you do by placing your chips on specific points on the table, or the layout, as it is known. The croupier will call last bets, and when the result is known, is the only person who ever gets to touch placed chips.

The wheel is numbered 1-36, which alternate between red and black, with a single 0 on a European wheel, or a 0 and a 00 on an American wheel, which are green. The numbers are positioned on the wheel seemingly at random. The zeroes are important as they are what gives the house its edge (2.7% on a European table; 5.26% on an American table). The odds at which you win depend on how specific your bet is.

To the novice, the simplest bets to place are those that pay 1:1, or even money, and make for an easy entry point into the game.

Red/Black – as straightforward as it sounds. Correct colour, you win.

Even/Odd – also as clear as it sounds.

1-18/19-36 – if the ball lands in the grouping of your choice, low or high, you win.

These are all “outside bets” as they sit outside the table of individual numbers.

European roulette table layout

When it comes to playing Roulette, there are more than 20 types of bet you can make. Remember that no matter what type of bet you make, if a number in your selection comes up, you win.

Inside bets – Pick a number

These are all known as inside bets because they’re all placed inside the rectangle that holds the individual numbers. As you read through, refer back to the table layout to make clearer sense of the explanations.

Straight up

Place your chips directly on a single number, 0-36. You win if you call it correctly. This is the least likely bet to win, but therefore offers the largest payout on the table. Pays 35:1.


As the name suggests, this is a bet split between two numbers. You’d place your chips on the line between the two adjacent numbers (e.g., 1+2, 20+23). Pays 17:1.


This is a bet on a row of three numbers across the table (e.g., 1, 2, 3 or 28, 29, 30). Pays 11:1.

Corner (or Square)

Using the same logic as the split, this allows you to select four adjacent numbers in a square. Place your chips on the cross between all four (e.g., 7, 8, 10, 11 or 29, 30, 32, 33). Pays 8:1.

Line (or Six Line)

Similar to a street bet, but you cover two lines of three, to select six numbers in a sequence, on consecutive streets (e.g., 1-6 or 22-17). Pays: 5:1.

Top Line (or Basket)

This is only available on American Roulette tables. In this you’re covering both zeroes (i.e., 0 + 00) and 1, 2 and 3. Pays: 6:1.

Basket (or First Four)

On a European table, this covers 0, 1, 2 and 3 – like a corner or square bet on four numbers, hence it pays the same. Pays: 8:1.

Snake bet

Here you get a tad creative in spreading out your chips, which snake across the table to cover 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32 and 34. Of course, the ball will only land on one number, so if you have it covered you’ll win the same 35:1 as a straight up bet, more than compensating you for the loss on the other 11 numbers.

Outside bets – Broaden your chances

Outside bets sit, unsurprisingly, outside the individual number rectangle, and cover groups of numbers and colours rather than specific numbers.

We started by showing you the Red/Black, Even/Odd and 1-18/19-36 bets – but there two others, both variants of betting on groups of 12.

Dozens – This divides the wheel into thirds based on numerical order, allowing you to bet on the 1st 12 (1-12), 2nd 12 (13-24), or 3rd 12 (25-36). You win should the ball land anywhere within your chosen dozen.

Columns – Here you place your chips in the “2 to 1” box at the end of your choice of column – the 12 numbers that run vertically down the layout – which in Roulette parlance are referred to as left, middle and right – and which importantly all exclude the 0.

Because all of these bets are placed on groups of 12 in one form or another, they all pay 2:1.

Call bets – The more esoteric shout outs

Call bets are only available in European Roulette and seem to fit so well with the history of the game – it isn’t particularly hard to imagine powdered Parisian courtiers announcing with great flair and flourish, “Voisin du Zero!” to the croupier, and indeed all around them.

These are known as “Call bets” or “Announced bets” because to place them you announce them to the croupier before laying your chips on the table. In a casino, the croupier repeats the bet back to you in acknowledgement, and moves your chips to an area away from the inside and outside bets. When playing a European table online, you can select these 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. Helpfully, when playing online, hovering your mouse over these areas should tell you which numbers are selected.

All of the following bets are variations and mixtures of the inside/outside bets that we’ve just explained above – so feel free to scroll back up and re-read them if anything seems confusing.

Tiers – or Tiers de Cylindre

This is a way of betting on the 12 numbers opposite the 0 on the wheel (running from 27 round to 33). This bet is always six chips, or a multiple of six, placed as splits between the numbers.

Voisins – or Voisin du Zero

This translates to “Neighbours of Zero” and covers the 17 numbers closest to 0. This bet requires a minimum of nine chips, or a multiple of nine, placed as: two chips on the 0, 2, 3 street; one chip on each of the 4+7, 12+15, 18+21 and 19+22 splits; two chips on the 25, 26, 28, 29 corner; and one chip on the 32+35 split.


Covers the numbers outside of Voisins and Tiers. You need a minimum of five chips: one on 1 straight up, and splits on 6+9, 14+17, 17+20 and 31+34.


Also known as Jeu Zero or “Zero game”. This places bets on the numbers closest to zero: splits on 0+3, 12+15 and 32+35, and a straight up bet on 26.


At the Cloudbet casino, you can also bet on Neighbours. The number of Neighbours you bet on extend around the wheel with your chosen number in the middle – so a bet of “0 with 3 neighbours” would 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 these are generally referred to as Final bets. For example, if you call to the croupier, “Finaal 7”, it means you’re betting on every number that ends in 7 – so that means 7, 17 and 27, with one chip on each number.

Some casinos allow Split Finaal bets, where you split the single chip instead, such that a “Split finaal 2/5” would encompass 2+5, 12+15, 22+25 and 32+35.

Complete bet

And finally, the Complete Bet, or the Maximum Bet – only available in high-roller casinos.

This is a blend of a bet, and a progressive system. You use every inside bet at once to bet a large amount in one section of the table.

For example, let’s assume you bet “17 to the maximum”. This is how that would look if you were to place each bet manually:

Number(s) Bet On


Straight up




17, 14



17, 16



17, 18



17, 20



16, 17, 18



16, 17, 13, 14



17, 18, 14, 15



16, 17, 19, 20



17, 18, 20, 21


Six Line

16, 17, 18; 13, 14, 15


Six Line

16, 17, 18; 19, 20, 21


Total Bets Placed


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. If 17 was to come in, your 40 chips would win you 392 in return.

What is the best bet in Roulette?

Here are the payouts and odds on European and American Roulette wheels. Remember that the American wheel has the additional 00, thus further tipping the odds in favour of the house.



European odds

American odds





















6 Numbers (Six line)




5 Numbers (Top line)



4 Numbers (Square)




3 Numbers (Street)




2 Numbers (Split)




1 Number (Straight up)




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. It’s possible to win on both style of table, just that in the long run it’s slightly more likely on a European table.

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, in which 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 53 BTC when playing in our Live Casino, while another hit the ultimate jackpot after an electric session playing Lightning Roulette – winning almost 87 BTC!

While impressive, it’s important to recognise that these wins aren’t to be expected regularly – but they do show what’s possible when Lady Luck decides to shine her smile on you.

What are the advantages of playing online Roulette?

The first advantage to playing online is just how many different types of the game are available to you. Whether you want a European Roulette table game, or an American Roulette live casino game, both (and more!) are accessible at Cloudbet’s leading bitcoin casino.

The second advantage is that there is little to no wait required – you don’t have to fight for a spot at the table or spend time queuing. You simply enter the room, from the comfort of your own home, and watch as you get seated in seconds.
Third, 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 – you get 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.

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