How to Play Roulette

If you have any experience of online gambling, then you will be aware of how popular online roulette has become. Roulette is one of the first games that come to mind when people think of casinos. We have all seen movies and TV shows where roulette is played, whether in James Bond films or caper movies like Ocean’s Eleven.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how you play roulette online. The online versions of the game are not that different to versions you’ll find in bricks and mortar casinos, but there are some differences about which you need to be aware. Read on to discover all you need to know about how to play roulette online!

The Basics of Roulette

An online roulette wheel looks to all intents and purposes the same as a real life roulette wheel of the type that you will find in a real life casino. A European roulette wheel has 36 numbers on it, evenly split between red and black. There is also a green zero. Roulette players place bets on the eventual resting place of the ball that is thrown onto the wheel. You can bet on which number the ball will come to rest by, or which colour it will rest on when it stops.

In a real life casino, players place their bets using chips on the green baize on the table on which the wheel rests. A similar process is followed in an online casino. When it comes to the types of bet you can place, you can wager on single numbers, on whether the number will be odd or even, on whether the ball will land on a red or a black number, and manqué or passé (the numbers one to 18, and the numbers 19 to 36).

There are different versions of roulette available, and we will look at these in the next section of this article.

Different Types of Roulette

If you scan the roulette options at your favourite online casino then you will usually see two or three different varieties of roulette. The basic principles of each of these variants are pretty much the same, and the differences are minor. It is still important to be aware of them, though, if you are trying to formulate a winning strategy for online roulette.

European Roulette

The numbers on a European roulette wheel run from one up to 36. There is also a single zero. The numbers are split between red and black.

American Roulette

An American roulette wheel is different to a European roulette wheel in one important detail. Rather than just having one zero, it also has a double zero. Obviously, this will affect the odds of you placing winning bets so you need to factor it into your calculations when you are putting together a strategy for American roulette.

French Roulette

This version of the game is very similar to European roulette. It uses the same wheel as the European version with a single zero. The major difference is that you have fewer betting options than in a game of European roulette, though the two versions of the game are, to all intents and purposes, very similar.

Multi-wheel Roulette

This is where there is one table but there are several roulette wheels in play. You can choose which and how many wheels you want to bet on. This can add some extra entertainment and excitement to matters, but is only recommended for more experienced players, as you need to really know what is going on and to keep a cool head at all times.

How to Win in Online Roulette

Winning in online roulette is the same as winning in normal versions of roulette. You bet on where the ball will land on the wheel. We’ll explain that process in more detail here for you now.

Types of Bet

The main types of bet in roulette are as follows:

  • Bet on a single number
  • Bet on red or black
  • Bet on even or odd numbers
  • Bet on the numbers one to 18 or 19 to 36
  • Bet on zero

The winnings you receive will depend on the riskiness of your bet. As you develop more knowledge of roulette you will learn that there are technical terms for each kind of bet. Roulette bets are often classed as ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ bets too. This is quite technical for newcomers to the game to follow, so we have included the basic, simple descriptions of bets here. As you develop more knowledge you can absorb the technical terms and become an expert. For now, you should stick to these simple definitions.

Some Online Roulette Strategies

While you should remember that the outcomes of roulette wheel spins are determined by a Random Number Generator, so there is nothing you can do to influence the outcome. There will also always be a house edge too, so you need to factor this into your calculations when you are putting together a strategy for playing online roulette successfully. Here are three popular strategies that have been used by roulette players for many years.

The Martingale system

The Martingale system is an old strategy that has proved very popular amongst players of online roulette. It is very simple to understand. You place a bet and if it loses you double the stake for your next bet. This process continues until you win, when the mathematics of the strategy dictates that you should have made up for all of your losses.

There are some flaws with this strategy. You need a really big bankroll to make it work properly, in case you hit a bad losing run. All online casinos have strict limits on bet sizes too, so eventually, if you keep losing, you will hit a maximum bet size beyond which you can go no further. This will obviously torpedo the strategy.

Simple ‘Gun and Run’ Martingale Technique

This variation on the classic Martingale strategy makes use of outside bets. Outside bets are the wagers that can be placed on the colours or groups of numbers rather than the individual numbers. These bets have a 50/50 chance of winning, which it makes it much less likely that you will have your strategy undermined by bet limits, as you chances of winning a bet are much higher. If beginners are going to try the Martingale strategy, it is this version of it that we would recommend they use.

Simple Paroli System

The Paroli system is a betting strategy that has been in existence for many years, though many players often stumble on it by accident and think that they have devised it themselves. Rather than doubling you stake for your next bet when a wager loses, as with the Martingale system, you double your next bet when a wager wins.

The belief that underpins this strategy is one common to many gamblers. The idea is that winning and losing run in streaks, so if you double your next wager after a win you are increasing your chances of taking home a big prize. Most players who use this strategy will only double their bets for the next three wagers. You need to be careful with how hard you test your luck with the Paroli system.

Playing Live Online Roulette

One feature of many online casinos now is that they offer live games. Live online casinos are becoming increasingly popular because they combine the excitement of a real life casino experience with all the convenience of being able to play at home. Playing roulette in a live casino can be really fun, but you need to check a few things before you commit to playing.

First, and this might sound obvious but you should always check, make sure that the game is being conducted in your native language. Online casinos tend to offer several versions of roulette in different languages as they cater to a very international audience these days. If you are a native English speaker, find a game in English.

You should also check the quality of the overall experience. Look at things like how many cameras are used in the video stream of the action. You should also take a look at the software provider to ensure that it is among the top rank – Evolution Gaming have emerged as one of the premier providers of live roulette software to online casinos. The live stream itself should be of good quality too. If all of these features are in place, you should enjoy some entertaining live roulette gaming online.


As you can see, playing roulette at an online casino is not too different to playing real-life roulette at a bricks and mortar casino. It is, however, a lot more convenient, especially these days when you can play on your mobile phone or tablet. You should always remember that online roulette is a game of chance rather than skill, so your strategies need to be shaped accordingly. If you follow some of the tips on strategy and bankroll management that we have included in this article, you should do well.

Online Roulette FAQs

What is the safest bet in online roulette?

The safest bet in roulette is a matter for some debate among fans of the game. Many would suggest that betting on red or black rather than specific numbers is a safer option when it comes to protecting your bankroll. One thing that you must always keep in mind when playing online roulette is that there will always be a house edge. Online casinos put this in place to ensure that they make a profit, so it needs to be factored into your calculations when you’re putting together a strategy for playing online roulette.

Is roulette all a matter of luck?

The outcome of online roulette games is determined by a Random Number Generator (RNG). This will usually have features built into it to give the house a slight edge, but apart from that its outcomes will be entirely random. This is the most important thing to remember when you are putting together a roulette strategy.

Does red or black come up more often in online roulette?

Some fans of roulette will insist that red will come up more often in games of roulette. This is debatable at best. Online roulette games have their outcomes determined by a Random Number Generator (RNG) and this guarantees that all outcomes are random within certain parameters. The main parameter is that the house will always have a slight edge so that the casino makes money. It is a dangerous policy to always back one colour over another. Shape your strategy according to the size of your bankroll – this will see you stay in control and enjoy yourself more.