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How to Play Roulette

A person preoccupied with the rules of rouletteRoulette is a game that comes in different shapes and sizes. With such a rich history, it’s natural that the game has developed with slightly different rules in several parts of the world. Fortunately for new players hoping to learn how to play roulette, these variations are subtle and don’t cause too much conflict when picking up roulette rules for the first time. For a deep analysis of the rules of roulette, read on – this guide will provide you with all the tools and knowledge you will need to get started on your roulette journey. We’ll cover the different types of roulette games you will come across and explain how to play them. We’re also going to give you the low down on how to avoid standing out like a sore thumb in a traditional, land-based casino. Finally, we’ll show you how to start playing roulette online and begin enjoying one of the most exciting online gambling markets available in the UK today. Let’s start with the basics.

Roulette Rules in a Nutshell

Roulette is a simple game of chance. Players place bets on where they think the ball will land on the roulette wheel, and successful players are paid out accordingly. In a casino, bets are placed using chips – clay or plastic tokens used to represent currency – which can be cashed later for the Queen’s English pounds. Once the croupier begins the process of spinning the wheel and rolling in the ball, betting is suspended until the following spin. Once the ball comes to rest and the winning number is determined, the croupier pays out winnings bets, and rakes in losing chips.

A pair of gamblers enjoying a roulette gameWhere the game becomes a little more complicated – and what new players can often find daunting – is the range of betting options available to them. The roulette betting surface can, at first glance, look like a random patchwork of numbers, odds, reds and blacks. However, the layout allows players to place all different kinds of bets quickly and easily. Wagers in this game are split into two categories – inside and outside bets. Inside bets refer to the chips placed on the numbered area in the centre of the betting surface. Outside bets refer to the chips placed in the boxes outside the main, numbered betting area.

The most common inside bets are the straight up and the split bet. A straight up bet is a placed by dropping one or more chips directly on a single number. The payout, should the wheel land on your number, is 35 to 1. A split bet occurs when chips are placed on the line between two numbers.

A win is paid if either number lands at 17 to 1. Outside bets, also known as proposition bets, refer to chips placed outside of the main grid of numbers. The column bet, for example, pays 2 to 1 for any winning numbers in a chosen column. Even money bets such as red or black, odd or even and high or low are also popular types of outside proposition bets in roulette.

Types of Roulette and Rule Variations

French, American and European roulette all feature minor differences that influence the odds of certain bets and the overall house edge of the game. Whilst the advice on how to play roulette in this guide is relevant for all formats of the game, there are tweaks to be made to strategy and more complex betting patterns. For a more detailed overview of the most popular games, head over to our roulette hub.

Roulette Etiquette

When playing roulette at your local land-based casino, it’s possible to null and void the result of a roulette spin by diving head first onto the table with a pint of beer in hand. However, you might also scupper your wins or even get thrown out for several other infringements that are specific to the rules of roulette. Here’s how to behave and comply with the rules to make sure you don’t make a fool of yourself at the roulette table.

The Do’s and Don’ts for Perfect Roulette Etiquette
The Dos
An image of a check mark on a notepad representing a positive point
  • Listen out for “no more bets”
  • Be polite to the dealer
  • Observe social courtesy and personal space
The Don’ts
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  • Mix your chips with someone else’s
  • Touch the chips between the spin and payout time
  • Get too drunk

Knowing when to bet – and when not to – is one of the most important things to master when first starting out with roulette. Casinos place restrictions on when players can place chips on the betting surface to prevent bets being placed when the ball is close to landing and the winning number is, theoretically at least, easier to predict.

The Rules of Roulette Online

When playing roulette online, it’s not possible to cause a big stir at the table and etiquette is not so important. In fact, you can play in a pair of slippers with a cup of tea if you like. However, even though a lot of the faux pas that new players make are not possible due the software online roulette runs on, there are still a couple of rules to follow. When playing software-based online roulette, the wheel will only spin when you have finished placing your bets. All of the time pressures are removed, and if you’re still getting your head around placing bets, it’s a good way to familiarise yourself with the board.

A live online roulette game displayed on a computer screenThe other option you have when playing online roulette is the live dealer experience. The rules of these games are identical to that of land-based versions of the game. The croupier will still impose a time limit of bets and once the physical roulette wheel is in motion and the ball is spinning, betting closes just like it does down your local Grosvenor. However, because you are placing bets with virtual chips, the software will not allow you to place bets during this time, thus removing the risk of placing a void bet or looking like a newbie at the table. If you are a new player and have got your heart set on throwing chips around in a land-based casino like a pro, but don’t know where to start, we recommend starting with software-based roulette before stepping up to live dealer roulette. Once you feel more comfortable, you’ll be ready for the real thing. You can find a selection of the best online casinos in the UK to start your journey in the reviews section of this site.

The other option you have when playing online roulette is the live dealer experience. The rules of these games are identical to that of land-based versions of the game. The croupier will still impose a time limit of bets and once the physical roulette wheel is in motion and the ball is spinning, betting closes just like it does down your local Grosvenor. However, because you are placing bets with virtual chips, the software will not allow you to place bets during this time, thus removing the risk of placing a void bet or looking like a newbie at the table. If you are a new player and have got your heart set on throwing chips around in a land-based casino like a pro, but don’t know where to start, we recommend starting with software-based roulette before stepping up to live dealer roulette. Once you feel more comfortable, you’ll be ready for the real thing.

Advanced Roulette Rules in the UK

It is entirely possible to play and enjoy this game knowing only the basic roulette rules in the UK. However, there are a couple of more advanced tricks that players can use once they start building confidence at the table. Street betting, for example, occurs when placing a betting chip on the vertical line directly to the left of a row of numbers. The bet wins if any of the three numbers in the row land and pays at 11 to 1.

Corner betting, also known as “Carre” in French roulette, is an advanced betting technique triggered by placing a chip that covers the corner of four numbers simultaneously. This type of wager is also known as square betting. The technique gives players four chances to win and pays out at 8 to 1. It’s quite normal to see experienced players placing three of four different square bets in a single round to achieve what the pro’s call ‘good coverage’ of the entire wheel.

Be careful when placing multiple bets, it’s important that you don’t leave yourself in a position where you are guaranteed to lose. For example, placing ten individual bets that pay 8 to 1 with no overlap will result in a net loss regardless of where the ball lands.

More innovative games, such as Mini Roulette and Pinball Roulette, have surfaced recently. These novelty games play around with the roulette format to come up with a new twist on the classic. As a result, these games come with rule changes that have a dramatic effect on the way the game is played, how bets are placed and what odds are paid out.

Conclusion

Even though the game of roulette has been around for centuries, the rules of the game haven’t really changed much. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Mastering these principles now will stand you in good stead going into the future. New technologies have allowed new variants to flourish, but the core games remain the most popular and the most played. Due to the consistent nature of roulette’s gameplay, strategies have had time to be honed. It is possible today to use roulette betting systems to limit losses and play for longer periods of time. Once you get to grips with the basics of the rules, it’s worth looking at popular systems such as Martingale and Paroli to take your roulette game to the next level.