The Ultimate Beginner’s Friendly Guide to Playing Roulette

Last updated: 16.11.2021 by Chris Mwangi

Are you wondering how to play roulette? It won’t take more than a couple of minutes to get ahold of how everything works. Here is a simple step by step guide:

The basic algorithm

  1. Start by choosing a table with chip values and minimum stakes that suit your predicted budget.
  2. Place bets on the desired outcomes.
  3. The ball will start spinning around the wheel. In live casino variations, the dealer will spin it. Wait for the ball to stop in a certain pocket.
  4. The pocket where the ball landed is the winning one — all the players who wagered on the number and color corresponding to the pocket qualify for a win.
  5. All the wins are paid by the rules of the game.
  6. The next round starts, and it is time to place bets again (repeat steps from 2-5 or change tables).

As you can see, roulette is a simple and exciting casino game. Let’s take a look at the details you should know before you start playing below. Our guide will discover all the necessary information you should learn about the game so that you can increase your chances of winning when playing online.

Roulette Chips

Whether you are playing online or in a land-based casino, you don’t place actual cash and coins on numbers. Instead, you receive chips of different values. Depending on the platform where you play, chips can have different nominal values.

For example, Roulette77 game has four nominals – 1, 5, 25, 100. That seems to be the best combination of chip values so that the players can place their bets quickly and accurately.

When you are playing for real money, your cash will be converted into chips. In most cases, it will be a 1:1 ratio so that you can keep up with the game easily. Players can choose their desired color of chips as long as it is available. That includes that no other player has already taken that particular color. Each player needs to have a unique color as that is the easiest way to know who placed which bet.

Using the chips is a piece of cake. All that you should do is to place the preferred chip value on the desired wager. For example, you can place a “5” chip on “35.” That means you are betting five bucks on this number. In case the ball lands there, you will qualify for a payout.

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Explanation of Roulette Bets

Now that we learned about roulette chips, it is time to discuss betting options we have in this game. Keep in mind that roulette has three different versions:

European and French have the same table layouts with a single “zero” pocket while American has a different layout and an additional “double zero” pocket.

There are two main wagering categories in roulette – inside and outside bets. Here is what you should know about them.

Inside Bets

Many would say these bets are the core of roulette. They have the potential of bringing the highest profit, which makes them tempting. In case you are still unsure what does an inside wager mean, here is an overview that will help you to learn more about them.

  1. Straight up bet. It is how it’s officially called when you place your chips on a single number. It is up to you to choose any pocket from 0 to 36. You will need a bit of luck to guess correctly, but the potential winnings can be huge.
  2. Split bet. If it seems too risky to place your wager on a single number, how about mixing two of them? If you want to play a split wager, you should put your chips between two neighboring numbers. That includes “17 and 18,” but also “14 and 17” because they are in the same column.
  3. Street bet. It is a wager that gives you an option to cover the three numbers from the same row with a single chip. All it takes is to place the chip at the end of the row. For instance, you can bet on “1, 2, and 3” and the chip value will evenly be distributed across those three numbers.
  4. Corner bet. We are now increasing the pockets we cover with a single wager to four. You place corner bets between four numbers. For example, you can put the chip(s) between “1, 2, 4, and 5.” Your odds increased a bit compared to previous wagers, but the potential winnings go down a bit.
  5. Five bet. It is interesting to note that you can only play this wager in American roulette. That is because it includes the “00” pocket. You wager on a five-bet by covering “00, 0, 1, 2, and 3” with a single chip. The European version doesn’t contain the “00” pocket, so it doesn’t include this bet.
  6. Line Bet. Finally, a line wager allows you to cover six numbers across two rows. You place the bet between two rows where their ends meet. For example, you can cover the row containing “1, 2, and 3” and the row containing “4, 5, and 6” by placing the chip between them.

Inside bets involve betting on one or multiple numbers and, although it is a bit risky, there is a lot of potential to win big. It is vital, however, to have the right strategy and approach playing the game smartly.

Inside bets

Outside Bets

If you have ever seen a layout of a roulette table, you probably noticed that numbers are not the only thing to bet on when playing. You can also play on certain “groups” or “categories” of numbers. Here are the available options when it comes to outside bets:

  1. Betting on dozens. If you want to increase your potential winnings a bit, but still keep good odds of guessing the correct number, you can also bet on dozens. This way you cover a bit less than a third of the wheel. You can choose between three groups – the first dozen is from 1 to 12, the second dozen is from 13 to 24, and the third dozen is from 25 to 36.
  2. Betting on columns. That wager is similar to wagering on dozens. The numbers are divided into three columns on the board. You can notice the first row containing the numbers “1, 4, 7…34,” the second row with numbers “2, 5, 8…35,” and the third “3, 6, 9…36.” Each has a dozen numbers, which puts your chances at 31.6% (American version) or 32.4% (European).
  3. Betting on red on black. Some card games also have the feature of betting on the right card color. In this table game, you get to choose whether the winning number will be red or black. It is a basic bet, and it may be suitable for newbies that are still trying to figure out how everything works.
  4. Betting on even or odd numbers. The idea is the same as when betting on the color. You have 18 odd and 18 even numbers, which means you have good odds of guessing right. Keep in mind that the zero pocket(s) means that your chances are slightly lower than 50% (47.4% in American variant, and 48.6% in the European variation).
  5. Betting on low or high numbers. The third in the line of the most basic bets in the game. Here, you bet on two groups of numbers. The first one is from 1 to 18, and the second from 19 to 36. Once again, there is no option to include “zero.”

Outside bets may have better odds of winning than inside wagers. However, the obvious trade-off is that you will win less than when guessing the number. It is up to you to find the right balance and combine the two to maximize your profit.

Outside bets


Everyone dreams about payouts when playing in an online casino. In this game, the size of your win will directly depend on the bet you make. Here is an overview of potential payouts depending on the wager you selected.

BetTypeNumbersPayoutExample (£10 bet)
Straight-upinside135 to 1£350 + £10 bet
Splitinside217 to 1£170 + £10 bet
Streetinside311 to 1£110 + £10 bet
Cornerinside48 to 1£80 + £10 bet
Five-numberinside56 to 1£60 + £10 bet
Six Lineinside65 to 1£50 + £10 bet
Dozenoutside122 to 1£20 + £10 bet
Columnoutside122 to 1£20 + £10 bet
Red/Blackoutside181 to 1£10 + £10 bet
Even/Oddoutside181 to 1£10 + £10 bet
High/Lowoutside181 to 1£10 + £10 bet

The highest payout is for guessing a single correct number. You can also win big with split and street bets. Outside wagers bring less money, but they increase your chances of success because they cover a bigger range of numbers. Feel free to mix and match all these bets depending on the situation, and until you find an approach that suits your preference.

Which Bet to Make?

There is no bulletproof strategy for roulette or any other casino game. However, you can design a strategy that fits your budget and the playing style and optimize your moves in a way that will maximize your winning odds.

Now, each approach has its pros and cons. You can choose to focus on outside bets, which have higher chances of winning and should be less risky than outside wagers.

Some go with a progressive strategy, which means they start by investing $1 on red/black or odd/even and then raise the bet to $2 if they lose, or keep it at $1 if they win. The problem is that losing several times in a row could inflict serious losses.

Inside bets can bring high payouts, especially if you play straight-up wagers. Even guessing a single winning number can increase your stake significantly.

It may be wise to take a look at the statistics of the previous winning pockets. You can go with “hot” numbers or try to wager on numbers (or groups) that haven’t landed in a while.

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House Edge

Online casinos in UK are quite generous to its players. More often than not, the overall RTP goes over 90% across all games, including roulette. However, if one thing is certain when you are playing in a casino, it is that the house will never end up losing money. If you combine bets made by all the players on the platform, in the long run, the house will always win.

A part of why that is undeniable truth is the house edge.

What Is a House Edge?

It is a mathematical advantage that the casino has over the players who play their games. The edge varies from one game to another, but it is always present.

When it comes to roulette, it was one of the playing options where the house has only a small advantage over the players. That advantage differs depending on which version you choose to play.

Here is a quick overview of the house edge in this table game:

  • European and French versions have the same house edge of 2.7%.
  • The American version has a house edge of 5.26%, and it climbs to 7.89% if you play a five-bet.

How to Calculate the House Edge

There are multiple ways on how to calculate the casino’s advantage. For example, let’s take a straight up bet on the European version. You have 37 pockets, but you need to guess the right one to win.

It means your success probability is 1/37. Now, multiply that number with “1,” and you will get “0.0270270.” If you convert this to percentages, you will discover that the casino’s edge is 2.70%.

The American version has an even bigger house advantage. A bet that you should avoid is the five-bet in the American variant because it has the highest casino edge out there.

End of the Game

We’ve now come to the final stage in a round of roulette. You have only until the wagering timer expires to place the bet. After that, the ball will start spinning around the wheel. In software-based versions, this will happen automatically. In live variations, the dealer will be the one spinning it.

Either way, the ball will slow down gradually and stop in one of the pockets. That will be the winning number and color for that round. That means all the players who guessed correctly have qualified for a payout. You will win whether you guessed the right number, color, or section. The payouts will be corresponding to the payout table provided above.

The dealer will remove all the chips that didn’t qualify for a win. Once that happens, everything is set for a new round.

Overall, it is this fast pace and thrill that makes roulette so exciting. It is not strange that millions of people throughout the UK and the rest of the world are playing the game. If you want to try it, remember that you can test it for free. After you feel you are ready for the big league, you may even consider moving to real money tables in online casinos!