Online Roulette - How to play
You just know a game that has its roots in the glamourous casino of Monaco is going to come with glitz and thrill. Roulette was given its name after the French word for little wheel. But this game is anything but little.
Roulette is a legendary game. From acting as the backdrop of Dostoyevsky’s the Gambler to Mr. Revell’s epic win in 2004. Do you know the story?
Londoner Ashley Revell sold all his worldly possessions and placed a $135,300 bet on red in Las Vegas. He won the bet, and took home a cool $270,600. Where else can you double your fortune in a single second?
At Bonus Ninja we scour Canadian online casinos for the very best casinos to play roulette online and where to find the best bonuses.
The History of Roulette
Most of the best table games seem to have originated from the French casinos of the 17th century. Unlike other casino games, roulette actually includes aspects of physics. So, it’s no surprise that Roulette was actually invented by Blaise Pascal, an inventor, physicist and mathematician.
The story goes that Mr. Pascal was trying to invent a perpetual motion machine, he didn’t quite manage (because it is actually impossible), but his invention has paved the way for roulette as we know it today.
The initial game didn’t include the zero, so there really wasn’t a house edge. Obviously when it became prevalent in casinos, they needed a way to make money. And so, the zero was added to the game. It was first seen at the casino in Monaco and designed to raise more money for the Royal family of Monaco, who own the famous casino.
Later in the 19th century the thrilling game travelled across the pond to the US where a second zero was added, again increasing the house edge and making it more profitable for casinos.
How do you play Roulette?
Roulette is one of those special games that can be as rewarding to the novice as the adept. The game is exceedingly simple to get the hang of. It can also offer interesting complexities for proper punters.
Before you place your first bet, we strongly suggest you at least develop a basic understanding of the rules of the game.
A Roulette table consists of two main parts: the wheel and the betting table. The wheel is split into 37 or 38 segments. The segments are labelled 1 to 36. In European Roulette you’ll find one zero. In American Roulette there is a zero and a double zero.
Although the odds of hitting any number are always 37 to 1 (or 38 to 1 for American Roulette), some players like to know what numbers have most recently been hit, these number will always be listed somewhere for the players to view.
The betting table consists of a number of options. In the middle you’ll find the numbers 1 to 36. Along the periphery are the remainder of the betting options. red and black, odds and evens, one in a row, two in a row, three in a row and specific number ranges.
The first thing you need to do to play roulette is place your wager on the betting table. Each bet has different odds and different payouts.
- Bet on red or black and win for a 1 to 1 payout
- Bet on even or odd and win for a 1 to 1 payout
- Bet on low (1 to 18) or high (19 to 36) and win for a 1 to 1 payout
- Bet on one of the three columns and win for a 2 to 1 payout
- Bet on a group of 12 numbers (lowest 12, middle 12 and highest 12) and win for a 2 to 1 payout
- A six-line bet is placed on six numbers over two adjacent rows. (you’ll need to place your chip on the edge of the lines between the rows). If you win, the payout is 5 to 1.
- If you place your chip over the intersecting corners of four numbers, you’ll be paid out 8 to 1 for a win
- You can place a bet on all three numbers in a row by placing your chip on the edge of the row. Win your wager to receive a payout of 11 to 1. This bet is known as a street bet.
- Place a split bet by wagering on two numbers. Win for a payout of 17 to 1.
- The highest payout is received by placing and winning a bet placed on a single number. Known as a straight up bet, the payout is 35 to 1.
Just in terms of lingo, the first five bets are known as outside bets while the last five are known as inside bets (because they form the inner part of the betting table). Inside bets are placed on individual numbers, outside bets are placed on sets of numbers.
Before placing your bet, make sure you know the table limits. Choose the amount you want to wager and place your bet.
Each player is given a different colour to represent their stake. This ensures that players can identify their own bets in comparison to other players.
Playing the Game
After placing your bet, there is nothing you can do but watch the croupier spin the marble. The wheel is spun in one direction and the marble is thrown along the edge in the opposite direction. The ball will come to rest on one of the segments and winning punters will be paid out.
All casino games hold a house edge. For a casino to remain viable they must be able to make some money, this is done through the house edge. For each game there is a slightly better chance for the casino to win rather than the player.
Roulette is actually a great way illustrate a house edge. Let’s look at a bet on black at European Roulette table. You’d think that you’d have a 50/50 chance of winning, but it’s actually less than that. Why? Because the zero isn’t red or black, it is green. In other words, there is a 48.6% chance of hitting red or black and a 2.7% chance of landing on green. So, even if all players place their bets on red or black, there is a 1 in 37 chance that none of the players will win their bet.
The different bets in Roulette all have a different house edge. It’s also important to note that because of the double zero in American Roulette, the house edge is much higher.
Roulette has been popular for hundreds of years, and it just keeps growing in popularity. Enter a physical casino and it’s bound to surrounded by eager punters watching the little ball fall into place. Like Blackjack, Craps and Poker it’s one of those games that often makes an appearance in movies.
Traditional Roulette Variants
These are the most typical variants of Roulette; you’ll find them at brick and mortar casinos and online casinos. It’s very rare to find a physical casino that offers a Roulette variant outside to these options.
European Roulette is by far that most prevalent variant. There are 37 segments on the wheel; 1 to 36 and a single zero. Zero is green, half of the remainder are red, and the other half are black. The zero results in a house edge of 2.7%.
This variant sometimes includes extra bets: Voisins du Zero (neighbours of zero), Orphelins (Orphans) and Tiers du Cylindre (Third of the Wheel of Tiers). Each of these makes up a section of the board. The Voisins du Zero are unsurprisingly the set of numbers closest to the zero. The Tiers du Cylindre are the furthest.
French Roulette is very similar to European Roulette. It also only includes a single zero. It however offers a little something extra to players. If the ball lands on zero and you placed your bet on any of the “even” bets, you’ll receive half your bet back.
This gives French Roulette the smallest house edge out of any roulette game. It’s also got a bit of a quirk in that the bets are always printed in French, so you may need to brush up on your language skills.
Where French Roulette has the lowest highest house edge, America Roulette tends to have the highest. This variant of Roulette has an extra segment, the double zero. This pushes the house edge up to 5.26%.
With all the variants of European and French Roulette available our recommendation here at Bonus Ninja is to avoid this option all together. If you are ok with these odds, you might actually be better off playing Slots, where you could stand the chance of winning a Progressive Jackpot.
Special online games
Online Roulette offers more variation than physical casinos. Although you can play the traditional variants at online casinos, there are also a number of special variants that you can also play online.
Like it says on the box, mini Roulette is just a smaller version of Roulette. The game only has 13 slots. There are 6 red slots, 6 black slots and 1 green representing the zero. Obviously, that pushes the house edge up, to 7.7%, so it’s probably not advised to go for the even bets on this one. However, with only 13 options, you’ve got a decent chance to hit the straight up bet. The payout it is smaller at 11:1, but who knows you might get lucky?
Multi Wheel Roulette
Not every version of Multi Wheel Roulette is the same. Some include several separate wheels, while others have one wheel with several number tracks. When you place a bet, it is placed on all the wheels at the same time. If for example, the game has three wheels and you place a CA$2 on odds, your bet will automatically be placed on each wheel resulting in a CA$6 bet.
While the action can be a lot quicker, unless your strategy is to always place the same bet, this might not be the right game for you.
Triple Bonus Spin
This special game was originally developed by IGT and has a few of its own variations. This game has a number of added segments, including a special “bonus” slot. Land on this one and your bet will be held in place for the next three spins without having to place an additional bet.
Sadly, the other two additional slots are double and triple zeros. This isn’t much of a surprise though, as naturally the casino will want to compensate the house odds to make up for the bonus.
This fun twist on roulette is offered exclusively to Playtech casinos. There’s also a bonus segment in this one, labelled “Marvel”, place your bet on it and if you hit it, you’ll open a special slot game. It’s a Progressive Jackpot, so everyone who plays the game adds to it, giving you the possibility of a massive win. The highest symbol is Spiderman, and he has the potential of paying you our 100x your original bet.
Live Casino Roulette
When you enter a Live Casino you can play table games with real life croupiers. The rules stay the same, but it is much more interactive and exciting. The game is played on a physical roulette wheel and you can chat to the dealer and other players at the table.
Generally Live Casinos offer both European and American Roulette, but you’ll also find a few more variations including French Roulette, Double Ball Roulette and Speed Roulette.
Live Casinos also often enter into partnerships with specific casinos, giving you the chance to claim special bonuses.
Free Roulette vs Real Money Roulette
When you play Roulette at a brick and mortar casino there is no choice but to play for real money. At quality online casinos there is no such restriction. You can play Roulette for fun without spending a cent. Also, the minimum bet at online casinos tend to be lower than those at physical casinos meaning you don’t have to break the bank to play.
You might be wondering – why would anyone choose to play roulette for free? There are actually several reasons. Firstly, if you play free online Roulette there is absolutely no risk. You can wager for high stakes and still not lose a penny.
Secondly, if you are new to Roulette playing for free gives you the opportunity to get the hang of the game. You can take your time to learn strategy and get a better understanding of the different Roulette bets.
When you are ready to place a real money bet on Roulette there are plenty of online options available. In fact, there are probably too many options out there. That’s where we come in. We delve into all the many games offered at online casinos including table games like Blackjack and Roulette.
Come to us and we’ll help you choose the best online roulette games to play for real money.
Once in a life time you’ll find a player who can truly predict where the ball will land. But generally speaking, this won’t be your best strategy.
Strategy in Roulette comes down to how much and when you bet. Once the ball gets rolling there isn’t much you can do to ensure a win, so it’s all about betting. Whole books have been written about strategy, we’ll highlight a few just to give you an idea of your options.
The Martingale Strategy
The theory is based on the idea that at some stage you are bound win. With this strategy every time you lose a bet, you double the next bet. That way when you eventually do win, you’ll at the very least break-even. Of course, this betting strategy is only viable if you have a fair amount of funds at your disposal. It also only works if the table has a very high maximum bet.
You can also try the Reverse Martingale Strategy.
The Fibonacci Roulette Strategy
Based on the Fibonacci sequence where each number is a sum of the previous two numbers in the sequence. This strategy only works on even bets, but it is one of the safest strategies.
Stick with your initial bet, when you win you move onto the next number in the sequence, multiplying your initial bet by that amount.
If you lose a bet you start back at the beginning with your next bet, when you win you continue the sequence.
The sequence is as follows; 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and on.
The James Bond Bonus Betting Strategy
This one is really specific and a fun one to try if you are limited on time. Obviously if your bet unit is high. It can be costly if you lose, but it’s also got a decent chance of guaranteeing a win.
You need to play this one on European or French Roulette. The idea is that you play each hand with 20 betting unit. You then place three bets on the same spin, 14 units on the numbers 19 to 36, 5 units on 13 to 18 and 1 unit on zero.
The D’Alembert Roulette Strategy
The D’Alembert strategy has a somewhat lower risk than other strategies, especially in terms of losing large amounts.
Again, this one needs you to place your bets on even money areas of the table. When a bet is lost you simply add one betting unit to your next wager. When you win you decrease your next bet by one unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is Online Roulette really random?
Yes, like other online casino games, Roulette uses Random Number Generator (RNG) technology to ensure that every spin of the Roulette Wheel is truly random. RNGs are the best way for online casinos to ensure that games are completely fair.
Q2. Can I play Roulette online for free?
Yes. There are several ways to play free online Roulette. You can play it for fun in most casinos, although sometimes you might need to sign up for an account. If you have joined a new casino and play regularly, you also might receive a Casino Bonus that can be used on Roulette.
Q3. Are the odds of online Roulette the same as live roulette?
Yes, even though one is let’s say analogue and the other digital, the game play and odds are identical. Online casinos mimic the outcome of physical casinos via a random number generator. Every spin has the same chance of winning as the previous one and the house edge is factored in to mimic a physical casino.
Q4. Why are there no Roulette games without a zero?
Although this would be great, it’s really not in a casino’s interest to offer no zero Roulette as it entirely negates the house edge. Occasionally a Live Casino might offer this as a special one off to VIP customers. But is definitely not something you find often.
Q5. Can I play Roulette on my mobile?
You sure can. Generally speaking, if a casino game is available on desktop, you’ll be able to play it on your mobile. Recently most online casino games have actually been optimised for casino. So, if you want to play on the go, you won’t have any issues.
Roulette has long been a fan favourite. Part of the fun comes from the number of bets available to play on a single spin. Add to that a possible 35 to 1 payout, and things really get exciting. Online casinos give the added benefit of more variety and being able to play from anywhere you find yourself.
Here at Bonus Ninja we take great pride in finding the very best online casinos offering the best Roulette games. If Roulette is your game, we’ll let you know where to play. Still not convinced? Why not check out our articles on keno and bingo?