How to Play Roulette: Most Comprehensive Step-by-Step

Casino Games,Roulette,Table Games

Welcome to the ultimate guide on How to Play Roulette, your comprehensive and step-by-step journey into the captivating world of one of the most iconic casino games. Whether you’re a curious beginner looking to understand the game’s intricacies or a seasoned player seeking to refine your strategies, this guide is your go-to resource.

Roulette, with its spinning wheel and alluring bets, has enthralled generations of gamblers, and now, you have the opportunity to delve into its mechanics, rules, betting options, and winning tactics. Join us as we break down the game into its fundamental elements and equip you with the knowledge to approach the roulette table with confidence and excitement.

How to Play Roulette: Most Comprehensive Step-by-Step

How to Play Roulette

The game of Roulette has become a classic symbol of casinos and gambling. It’s been incredibly popular for hundreds of years because it is a fairly straightforward and fun-packed game. Most of all, it offers a multitude of ways to win money! This traditional game is available online and in live casinos; plus, it has a few interesting game types as well. 

The main roulette variants are American, French, and European, and each of these games has variations in the rules; but they are all very similar.

But before you start playing, it’s smart to look up a guide and learn all the main roulette rules. That way, you won’t struggle on the casino floor or online, and you most definitely won’t lose money by making silly mistakes. In fact, if you read our roulette guide, you’ll find out about all the different bet types and essential rules, as well as how to finally win! 

So take a look below to learn how to play roulette!

Roulette: Little Wheel

Even if you’ve never tried this game, chances are you’re familiar with the beautiful colors and design of the roulette wheel. After all, this is certainly one of the main symbols of the gambling world! But we bet you didn’t know where this game took its name from. Actually, the name means “little wheel” in the French language.

The basics are relatively simple — you can place a money wager on the wheel numbers and colors. When the spinning wheel comes to a halt, you have the chance to win some money; depending, of course, on where the ball stopped. However, it’s not that simple, because there are still many deeper subtleties to this game. But luckily, it’s not that hard to learn them!

The Wheel

The roulette wheel is truly a marvelous piece of work! As it’s constructed out of both metal and wood, the weight of a typical wheel is approximately 88 lbs. 

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How to Play Roulette: Most Comprehensive Step-by-Step

Firstly, the wheel mechanism is placed on a roulette table. The traditional, European wheel has slots or pockets for numbers 36–1. It also includes a zero. The pockets are either black or red, and the zero is green. 

In total, there are 37 pockets; and the roulette ball can fall into any of them. However, the American variant includes double zeros; i.e., two pockets labeled “0.” Moreover, the casino staff member operating the game is called a croupier. 

In a typical game, the croupier waits for the players to place their wagers and then makes the wheel spin. The wheel rotates in an anti-clockwise motion, and the croupier then launches the ball along the outside track of the wheel. This track is stationary, and the ball will rotate on it in a clockwise motion. 

Finally, when the ball loses momentum and comes to a halt, it will land inside one of the pockets! So anyone who predicted the correct outcome will get paid accordingly.


However, the roulette table doesn’t only consist of the wheel. Typically, the wheel is placed at the end of the table, but there will also be an area covered in green cloth which is known as the table layout. This is the betting area of the table. 

The spaces on the 3 by 12 layout correlate with the pockets on the wheel. That way, the players can place their wagers quickly. 

Bets can be placed according to the number, color, groups of numbers, or any other variables. But to make your wager, you have to cover your field on the layout with casino chips. The player’s job here is to get familiar with all the roulette bet types since they are the meat-and-potatoes here; the real fundamentals of this game!

How to Play Roulette: Most Comprehensive Step-by-Step

Roulette Betting Explained

In this game, players bet against the house, aka the casino, in order to win; and there are various betting options for them to choose from. The crucial thing to know is that you may bet on only one number or a single group. There are many combinations, and all of them contain different winning payouts. In addition to this, the odds vary depending on the wager type. 

For instance, your chances get bigger if you place bets on more numbers; however, since the chances are increased, the payouts will be lower. 

Additionally, if you inspect the table layout, you’ll see various options. You may place wagers on 0–36; i.e., single numbers. But other bet types include odd/even, dozens, columns, low (1–18), high (19–36), and of course, red/black.  

Generally, roulette contains three key kinds of bets:

  • Inside bets
  • Outside bets
  • Announced bets

The first two types are the main ones, while the third is a bit more complicated and appears only in special roulette variants. Additionally, while some bets are featured in all games, many tables and casinos will have specific rules. 

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Inside Bet Types

These kinds of wagers cover the numbers only. Generally, Inside bets come in seven different types:

Bet TypeDescriptionChip Placement
Straight UpCovers one number. Chips placed inside the number field.Inside the number field
SplitCovers two side-by-side numbers. Chips placed on the line between the numbers.On the line between the two numbers
StreetCovers three consecutive numbers in a line. Chips placed on the outside corner of the number line.On the outside corner of the number line
6 LineCovers two rows of numbers (6 total). Chips placed on the outside corner of the two number lines.On the outside corner of the two number lines
CornerCovers four numbers in a square. Chips placed in the middle of the 4-number square.In the center of the 4-number square
TrioCovers three numbers including zero pockets. Chips placed on the line between numbers and zero fields.On the line between the numbers and the zero fields
BasketCovers 3, 2, 1, and 0. Chip placed in the left corner closest to the zero field.In the left corner closest to the zero field
Please note that chip placement may vary slightly based on the specific layout of the roulette table you’re playing on.

Inside wagers are fairly simple, and it’s easy to memorize them. They include different odds and payouts. 

Outside Bet Types

Conversely, outside wagers are not placed on specific numbers. Rather, you can choose to wager on: 

Bet TypeDescription
Red/BlackBet on the ball landing in either black or red pockets.
Odd/EvenBet on either odd or even numbers to win.
1–18 (Low)Bet on the ball landing on low numbers (1 to 18).
19–36 (High)Bet on the ball landing on high numbers (19 to 36).
Dozen BetWager on a group of 12 numbers within one of the three 12-number sections on the layout.
Column BetBet on one of the three vertical columns of numbers on the layout.
These bets offer a variety of options for players to place their wagers and add an extra layer of excitement to the roulette experience.

Announced Bet Types

As mentioned, announced wagers are slightly more complex, and they are often encountered in the form of their French variants. Some of those bets are called Voisins du Zéro, Jeu Zéro, Le Tiers Du Cylindre, and Orphelins. In other roulette variants, you may also encounter special bets like Neighbors, Finals, or Black/Red splits. While most of these wager types are not all that common in typical roulette games, you may encounter them in some online games or land-based casinos, so it’s important to keep an eye on any rule changes that vary from the traditional roulette bets. 

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Roulette Payouts 

As mentioned, the payouts and odds vary greatly, depending on your bet choice. The illustration below will show you the highest to lowest payouts for the most common bet types on the roulette table:

How to Play Roulette: Most Comprehensive Step-by-Step

As you can see, most of the outside bets come with smaller payouts compared to the inside bets, which are much harder to score. For example, the Red/Black bet will usually include 47% to 48% odds, while the Straight Up bet only gives you a 2.60% to 2.70% chance of winning. 

But, while the Red/Black bet comes with a 1:1 payout and matches your wager, the payout for the Straight Up is the biggest in the game, weighing in at a hefty 35:1. 

How Much Should You Bet? 

Now if you’ve been paying attention up to now, you may have noticed that the house has a large advantage over the players. 

Namely, for a single-zero wheel, the highest payout should be 36:1, instead of 35:1. In fact, the payouts in roulette are always smaller, compared to the true odds. The casino has a mathematical advantage, and the edge is actually quite high; at around 5.26% for American wheels, and approximately 2.63% for European ones. Additionally, the minimums may start at $5 or even $25 in land-based casinos. So if you play online and choose roulette from a reliable game creator such as RealTime Gaming, the minimum will be as low as $1. 

So, if you want to get better winning chances, you have to be clever and not simply lay your chips on random fields on the layout. In fact, those who simply join a table and scatter their chips around the layout as if they’re sprinkling mushrooms on their pizza are not going to be successful in this game. 

How to Play Roulette: Most Comprehensive Step-by-Step

Betting Tactics and How to Win

In order to win more often in this game, one of the best approaches is to only play the outside bet types.

If, for example, the bet is black or red, it will give you a 1:1 payout that will cover 18 out of 38 combinations, which is almost half of the wheel! It’s also smart to use the minimum required wager. 

Another clever tactic is to make two equal outside bets, for instance, an even-money bet (let’s say on black) and a Column bet on the third Column. Since black covers 18 numbers and Column 3 covers 8, then 26 numbers will be in play, which is over half of the layout! Additionally, four of those numbers will be covered twice, which will give you plenty of chances. Another common bet is to put your chips on the 1st Column and pair it with black or red; this will give you 24 numbers, with six that are covered twice. 

Additionally, many successful players favor the European over the American wheel simply because there are no double zeros. As already mentioned above, this wheel also comes with a much lower house edge. However, if you play in land-based venues, this table is often going to be tucked away and will likely include higher minimums, like $25. High rollers prefer these amounts compared to the house edge; but if you play online, you’re going to find more favorable limits. As mentioned, the RTG minimum, for instance, is $1; and this applies to all their roulette variants. 

Moreover, you can investigate specific betting strategies like the Martingale, Labouchere, D’Alembert, etc. However, it’s better to use them later on when you’ve mastered most of the basics.


Overall, roulette is the best game to choose if you’re just starting out. It features simple rules that you can memorize after just a couple of spins. Of course, there are some subtleties and techniques that can improve your game, and it’s essential to use them. What’s more, many roulette games can be found online, and you can try some for real money! So we hope you’ve gained a clearer understanding of roulette after this guide: Good luck!