What are the Rules of Roulette?

When you think about it, roulette is one of the most exciting casinos games to play online. No skills or experience are needed. You place a bet and hope luck is by your side.

The most popular roulette bet is picking a straight number. You have 37 or 38 numbers to predict depending on the roulette type. Continue reading to learn more about roulette, from the rules to tricks and tips.

Roulette Comes in Many Types

Before we talk about roulette, it’s essential to reveal that the game has multiple variants. Many of these variants have specific rules. As such, you have to learn the regulations of each variant before you find the game at the best roulette casinos:

  • European Roulette
  • American Roulette
  • French Roulette
  • Mini Roulette
  • Lightning Roulette
  • Multi-wheel Roulette

Continue reading to learn how each of the variants works:

1—European Roulette

European roulette is the world’s most popular variation of roulette. It consists of a colored wheel with 37 pockets numbered 0-36. The zero-pocket is colored green while the rest feature either black or red.

The rules of European roulette are simple. You make a bet. A croupier spins the wheel. If you picked a number, color or position where the marker on the wheel stops, you win.

Popular European Roulette Bets and Payouts

  • Single Number: 35 to 1
  • Odd/Even bets: 1 to 1
  • Doubles: 17 to 1
  • Column Bets: 2 to 1
  • Red or Black: 1 to 1
  • Six Numbers (Lines): 5 to 1

European roulette provides much better odds of winning compared to other variants. That’s because it has a lower house advantage for almost every bet type. For example, it has a 2.7% house edge for a straight bet. The next popular variant—American roulette—has a 5.2% house advantage.

2—American Roulette

American roulette is a popular variant of the game invented in, guess this, the US. Casinos in Vegas created this variant to reduce players’ chances of winning. In turn, this would increase profits for the house.

So, why should anyone play American roulette? Logically, no one should be playing this game. But people play it to earn bonuses or because it’s the only available variant in a casino.

Some people simply don’t know they can make more money on European roulette. All the same, American roulette has rules similar to those used in the European version.

Let’s start with bets. You can wager as little as ten cents to as much as $100,000 in American roulette. Of course, you can wager on multiple bet types: Single numbers, doubles, columns, even money, lines and corner bets.

The biggest difference between European and American roulette is the odds of winning. As mentioned, the American version gives you worse odds for every bet type:

  • Single Number: 2.63%
  • Lines: 15.79%
  • Red/Black: 47%
  • Corner Bets: 10.53%
  • Columns: 31.58%

In case you’re wondering, American roulette has worse odds because of an extra number pocket on its wheel. The pocket features two zeros (00). Because of that, you have a lower chance of predicting an outcome correctly compared to the European game.

3—French Roulette

French roulette is basically European roulette with two unique rules: En Prison and La Partage. These two rules apply to even money bet types, say black or red and odd or even. 

  • En Prison

This rule says that if you bet on a 50/50 bet type and a zero number appears, the house “imprisons” your money. However, it gives you the chance to spin the wheel once more.

Let’s say you bet $10 on red and the green-colored zero pocket appears. The croupier imprisons your money and spins the wheel again. If the market stops at red, you receive your $10 stake back. If black appears, you lose your money.

  • La Partage

The words La Partage means ‘the divide’ in French. What this means is that you have a chance to get half of your stake back if you place this bet. All you need is to place an even money bet type.

If the marker stops at the zero-number pocket, the house divides your stake into two. It keeps half and returns the other half. 

Now, the presence of La Partage and En Prison makes French roulette a pretty popular game. It has the best odds of any roulette variant—1.35% compared to 2.7% in European roulette and 5.2% in American roulette.

4—Mini Roulette

Mini roulette is a smaller, faster version of European roulette. But is it better than the standard-sized game? The short answer is no. Here’s why. Mini roulette has 13 numbers.

There’s a zero pocket. Then there are 12 pockets labeled 1-12. Because mini roulette has fewer numbers than European roulette, it’s faster. However, this comes at the expense of a painfully huge house edge: 7.89%.

Basically, you save time but suffer from low odds of winning. Despite that, mini roulette pays out in small amounts. Single bets attract 11 to 1 payouts. Even money bets are paid at 1 to 1 while corners earn 2 to 1.

5—Lightning Roulette

Lightning roulette is a relatively new variation of the game invented by Evolution Gaming. For the uninitiated, Evolution is the biggest supplier of live casino game. So, if you want to play this game online with real people, find an Evolution Gaming casino.

Like many variations of roulette, lightning roulette is based on European roulette. It has a single-zero pocket and 37 number pockets: Zero and 1-37. So, what makes lightning roulette unique?

  • Lucky Numbers
  • Lucky Payouts

Lightning roulette works like a game show. People connect to the show through video links. There’s a host who guides people in the betting process. Everyone places a bet and the croupier/software selects five ‘lucky numbers’ and assigns them ‘lucky payouts.’

Let’s say you pick number 15. By luck, the software picks it as a lucky number and assigns it a lucky payout of 500x. You’ll get paid 500x your bet. Otherwise, this game pays out 29 to 1, much lower than the standard European version.