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Roulette Rules Explained – Beginner’s Guide

online roulette rulesRoulette rules are pretty easy to grasp, regardless of which variation you play. The game isn’t like poker, where rules deviate quite significantly based on the variation you play. Instead, rules are standard through all variations except for French roulette, which features two pro-player additional rules (En Prison and La Partage.)

Below we go through all you need to know about roulette rules to play the game without making mistakes. We also explain the extra rules seen in French roulette and how to approach playing roulette online. So, read on and start playing the game today!

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basic roulette rules

Basic Roulette Rules

We cannot stress enough how easy it is to play roulette online. Essentially, there is only one rule – you need to bet on where you think the ball will land when the wheel comes to a stop. You indicate your bet by putting your money on the corresponding section of the roulette table.

Many new players think that the only bet you can make is a straight bet – betting on a single number. However, this is probably the worst bet you can make in terms of odds. If you’re a new player, you may want to consider the even-money options before making such risky choices.

Roulette Bets

There are two types of roulette bets you’ll find in every variation – outside and inside. They are named this way due to their position on the roulette table. You will notice that outside bets provide you with the best odds. Here is a list of roulette bets available in most games:

Outside Bets

  • Red/Black – a bet on either all red or black numbers. The odds are 1:1.
  • Odd/Even – a bet on either all odd or even numbers. The odds are 1:1.
  • High/Low – a bet on all low  (1-18) or high numbers (19-36). The odds are 1:1.
  • Columns – a bet on the three columns of numbers listed on the roulette table. Here are the numbers you bet on with each column: Column 1 (1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34), Column 2 (2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35), and Column 3 (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36.) The odds are 2:1.
  • Dozens – similar to columns, but the numbers are sequential. So, 1-12, 13-24, and 25-36. The odds are 2:1.
roulette bet rules

Inside Bets

  • Straight Up – this is a bet on a single number. The odds are 35:1.
  • Split – this is a bet on two numbers split diagonally across the wheel. The odds are 17:1.
  • Street – this is a bet on three consecutive numbers. For example, 1, 2, 3, etc. The odds are 11:1.
  • Corner – this is a bet on the four numbers split in a square. The odds are 8:1.
  • Line – this is similar to a street bet. You bet on two rows covering three numbers each. The odds are 5:1.
  • Five-Number Bet –is a wager on five numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. The odds are 6:1.
  • First Four Bet – a bet on the first four numbers on the wheel: 0, 1, 2, 3. The odds are 6:1.
  • Snake Bet – a strange bet covering the following numbers: 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34.

Announced Bets

In French roulette (and some European roulette games), there is a concept known as announced bets. With an announced bet, you state the wager while the ball is in motion. So, it is almost like a live bet.

There are a standard set of announced bets you can make in-game. As they are most popularly used in French roulette, each option has a French name. Here is a list of announced bets you can make in select roulette games:

  • Voisins du Zero – this is a bet on the seventeen numbers closest to zero – 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25.
  • Jeu Zero – a bet on the eight numbers closest to 0 – 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15. This bet is also often seen in European roulette but has many other names.
  • Tiers du Cylindre – this is a bet on 12 numbers on one side of the wheel. Usually, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33.
  • Orphelins – this is a bet on the following eight numbers: 17, 34, 6, 1, 20, 14, 31, and 9.
roulette rule variations

Roulette Rule Variations by Game

There are three popular variations of roulette: American, European, and French. Although the games mostly function the same way, there is a slight difference you need to take notice of, including:

American Roulette

American roulette is played with a wheel that has one more pocket than the European roulette wheel. This means the house edge is higher and that you win more (game-dependent) if you bet correctly. Other than that, you can use all of the standard bets in the game mentioned above.

Traditionally, American Roulette doesn’t allow for announced bets, but live casinos everywhere make their own alterations to games to make them more exciting.

roulette rules by variation

European Roulette

European roulette is played with a wheel with only a single zero pocket. This means that the house edge is essentially half of the American variant (compare 2.7% on an even-money bet on a European wheel vs. 5.4% on an American wheel.)

If you have a choice, we recommend you play European roulette over American. You stand a better chance of winning. And, if you see French, you take it above all else.

French Roulette

French Roulette has two rules which make the game a lot more appealing to players than other variations. As mentioned above, these rules are En Prison and La Partage. Here is how these two bets work:

  • En Prison – with the En Prison rule, your bet is put on hold until the next round if you placed an even-money bet and the ball lands on zero. If the ball lands on the correctly guessed pocket on the next spin, you get your bet back.
  • La Partage – if you make an even-money bet and the ball lands on a zero, you get half of your bet back.

Usually, a French roulette game is played either with the La Partage or the En Prison rule. Some games use a combination of them both. These rules are both very helpful because it means you have a chance to lose fewer bets. As mentioned above, if you have a chance to play French roulette over other variations, go with it.

Check out our other roulette guides:

Roulette Rules – FAQs