How to Play Online Roulette Like a Pro

Roulette is a timeless casino game that’s enjoyed by many players online. Join us as we take you through the basics of this much-loved online casino game, and introduce some tips and strategies that might help you out.

The basics of online roulette

Roulette has remained unchanged in its transition to cyberspace. The game follows exactly the same rules and offers visitors a very similar experience to traditional brick-and-mortar casinos – just in an online format. For those of you who are new to the game, here are the basics that you need to know:

  • There are two types of roulette – If you’re getting into the game for the first time, you need to know about the two versions of the game: American, and European. The American version of roulette has a wheel with the numbers 1 to 36 on it, plus an extra two green numbers: a zero and a double-zero. This means that the house has an edge of 5.26%. On the other hand, in European roulette, the wheel has the same numbers 1-36, but then only has a single green number, a zero; when you do the maths on this, it means the house edge for this version is only 2.7%. So choose wisely when deciding which version to play.
  • Okay, there are technically three types of roulette – Yes, just one point above we mentioned there are two different kinds of roulette games. However, there is a third type of roulette that is far less popular – to the point that you rarely ever see it at online casinos. This type is known as French roulette, and may be the most intimidating… because everything is in French. But don’t let that deter you: the French version of the game only has a house edge of 1.35%, owing to the slight difference in rules on how some of the betting works.

More specifically, this quirk of French roulette is all about the “la partage” and “en prison” rules. It goes like this: if you make an even-money bet in this game – and the ball lands on the zero – you get half back. This is known as la partage. However, you can also choose to “imprison” the bet, which means the wheel is spun again with the wager… and if you win, you get your money back (without any winnings, unfortunately).

  • Roulette has myriad betting options, with riskier bets offering much greater returns – While most people may be aware that roulette has a spinning wheel, and that you can bet on numbers 1 to 36, or red or black, there are actually a huge number of betting options for this table casino game, with riskier bets offering much greater payouts.

For example, because a bet on red or black is the least-risky bet (but is still (just) less than odds of 50/50, owing to the green slots on the wheel), you only receive a payment of 1:1 for placing the right bet. So if you place £5 on red and the ball does indeed land on red, you’ll get £5 back (plus your original stake) – effectively doubling your money. The same odds – and payouts when you get lucky – apply to placing “odd/even” and “high/low” bets.

You can also place bets with lower odds of you winning. But while you’ll have less chance of winning, you’ll stand to reap much greater rewards if you do. Common examples of these types of bets include: a “top line” (this pays out at a ratio of 8:1 if you land 0, 1, 2, or 3 in European roulette, or 6:1 if you’re playing the US version and land 0, 00, 1, 2, or 3); “corner” (with an 8:1 payout, this bet is placed in the centre of any cluster of four numbers on the roulette table, with the virtual betting chip touching the corner of each number); or “straight up” (this is a bet placed on any single number, and it pays out 35:1 if you’re lucky enough for the ball to land on it).

Tips and strategies

We’d love to be able to tell you there’s an element of skill in roulette, and that if you practise, you can improve and start to win more games, but the reality is that every time you spin that wheel, it’s a waiting game to see if fortune is on your side. You cannot learn to read people, figure out how odds may be in your favour, or infer anything from the number of times specific numbers come up to increase your chances of winning. Whether you win or lose cannot be influenced by anything you do, and that really is all there is to it.

No bluffing or clever maths is required here: with online roulette, it’s just you against the wheel. All you’ve got to do to play like a pro is decide how lucky you feel, and just remember that – like all casino games – it’s meant to be fun!

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Lisa Stolmings / 21 April 2021