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The game of roulette can be found in online casinos and land-based gambling establishments around the globe. Once you learn roulette strategy, you’ll no doubt be hooked on this popular game. 

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What is the Difference between American and European Roulette?

While a few betting options differ, the biggest difference between American and European roulette is the wheel. Euro wheels have 36 numbers and a single zero (2.70% house edge), while American wheels add a double zero (5.26% house edge). The order in which the numbers appear on the wheel is different. However, the payouts are exactly the same. 

European Wheel

The odds of winning when playing with a European wheel are 1 in 37 (there are 37 pockets). The payout for wins is 35:1 (35 plus your original bet).

American Wheel

The odds of winning when playing with an American wheel are 1 in 38 (there are 38 pockets). The payout for wins is the same as with a Euro wheel (35:1). Except, wins will happen less on an American wheel than a European one due to the extra numbers.

What are the Roulette Rules?

The rules of roulette are pretty simple. Look at the felt layout (the fancy name for the table) and decide what type of wager to make. Roulette rules allow you to place your chips on the area corresponding to your wager or you can ask the dealer to do it for you.

Once all wagers are made, the wheel is spun, sending the roulette ball spinning in the opposite direction. Once the ball comes to rest in a pocket (corresponding to a number), winners are announced and they receive their payouts. All losing wagers are then collected by the house before the next round of betting begins. 

What Roulette Betting Options Are There?

The following are the types of bets that you can make during a game of roulette:

Odd or Even Bets

The player bets on whether the winning number is odd or even. A payout is issued if you guess correctly. Odds are 19:18 (European) and 1.111:1 (American).

Black or Red Bets

Since all pockets on a roulette wheel are colored red or black, the player may wager on which color is going to turn up during the next spin. Odds are 19:18 (European) and 1.111:1 (American).

Straight Up Bets

The player chooses a specific number and wagers on it being the winning pocket during the next spin. While the payout is respectable, this betting option offers the worst possible odds in the game. Odds of winning are 36:1 (European) and 37:1 (American).

Dozen Bets

The betting layout includes three groups, each comprised of a dozen numbers. These include 1-12, 13-24 and 25-36. Odds are 25:12 (European) and 2.167:1 (American).

Square Bets

Also referred to as a corner bet, this wager requires the player to select four numbers on the layout that form a square. An example would be 16, 17, 19 and 20. Odds are 33:4 (European) and 8.5:1 (American).

Column Bets

A wager on one of the three vertical rows of numbers on the layout. For example, a wager on the first row would commit the player to the following numbers: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31 and 34. Odds are 25:1 (European) and 2.167:1 (American).

Top Line Bets

When a player wagers on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3. This is only available in the American version of roulette and it offers odds of 6.6:1.

High Bets

A number from 19 to 36 wins this wager, as they are considered the high digits. Odds are 19:18 (European) and 1.111:1 (American).

Row Bets

A player wins if the 0 or 00 turns up. Only offered in American roulette at 18:1 odds.

Low Bets

The player wins if the ball lands on a number from 1 to 18, as these are considered low numbers. Odds are 19:18 (European) and 1.111:1 (American).

Street Bets

A wager on three numbers that are positioned together in a horizontal line. Odds are 34:3 (European) and 11.667:1 (American). 

Split Bets

The player places their bet on two numbers, but the pair must be connected horizontally or vertically. Odds are 35:2 (European) and 18:1 (American). 

Five Number Bets

This wager pays out if 1, 2, 3, 0 or 00 hit. It’s only available in the American version of roulette. 

Trio Bets

Only available in European roulette, players can wager on one of the following trios: 0, 1, 2 or 0, 2, 3.

Six Line Bets

Any six numbers taken from two of the horizontal lines on the layout. An example would be 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. Odds are 31:6 (European) and 5.33:1 (American). 

Basket Bets

A player wagers on one of the three combinations: 0, 00, 2; 00, 2, 3; or 0, 1, 2. Odds are 34:3 (European) and 11.667:1 (American).

Roulette rules aren’t hard to master once you understand the types of bets you can make. The most important tip we can provide is to concentrate on having fun instead of turning a profit while you learn the different wagers. 

What is the Best Roulette Strategy?

Finding a successful roulette strategy is akin to hunting a dragon. While the prospect is thrilling and the potential reward is enough to make your pulse race, it’s just as likely that you (or your bankroll) end up torn and bloodied. That’s because roulette is one of the classic examples of a game of chance; even the luckiest individual will fall behind with enough spins of the wheel. And yes, we know dragons aren’t real. 

The following are simple tips to get you started on your journey to becoming a successful roulette player.

Play European Roulette

The American version of the game includes 36 numbered pockets, plus a zero (0) and a double zero (00). The European version, meanwhile, only has the single zero (0). The one difference is significant, reducing the house edge from 5.26 percent (American) to 2.7 percent (European). 

Know the Odds

Roulette offers a vast array of betting options, so it’s prudent to memorize what they are and how much they pay. Once this knowledge has been retained, you can concentrate on those bets that offer the best risk/reward. The best options are 50-50 wagers, as you can expect to win half the time. These include wagering on 1 to 18, 19 to 36, even or odd, and red or black. These bets are always worth a try. Some people will risk their life savings making a 50/50 bet like this. These are the same people who probably believe in dragons. 

Avoid Long-Shot Bets

Once you’ve learned the odds of roulette, you’ll realize that some wagers are harder to hit than others. We suggest avoiding these as their steep odds more than make up for the generous payouts. The worst of the bunch is the single number wager, as the odds of winning are 37:1 (on an American layout). The payout is an impressive 35:1, but even a blind optimist should only expect to hit this on occasion. 

Roulette Betting Systems

Betting systems can be fun but they’re not mandatory when coming up with a roulette strategy that works for you. Here are some of the most popular options for roulette:

Labouchere System

The first step in the Labouchere betting system is to determine the amount of money you want to win during the course of a gaming session. Next, write down a series of numbers that equal the sum of your desired winnings. When you wager, take the first and last numbers on your list and bet their sum. If you win, remove those numbers from your list. If you lose, add the amount to the end of your list. This system is also known as the Cancellation System or Split Martingale.


This system is designed to compensate for losses by generating bigger wins. After a losing spin, double your next wager so when you do win, you’ll have covered your losses.

Grand Martingale

In addition to doubling your wager (as you would in the traditional Martingale system), you’d also make a single bet. This system is not advised for those who are playing for fun, because the wagers can become unmanageable for most. You might have to sell one of your dragons to break even. Just kidding. Dragons aren’t real and if you did have one, you’d never sell it. 


The opposite of the Martingale, this system requires the player to double their bet following a winning spin. 

Betting Patterns

Instead of betting random numbers, some players prefer to wager on certain large sections of the wheel. The Full Orphans Bet, for example, covers the following numbers: 1, 6, 9, 14, 17, 20, 31 and 34. 

Some players swear by their chosen roulette strategy, while others have been naive enough to think that they could beat the house. Of course, there’s no way to know which category you’ll fall into until you learn the roulette rules. You might as well choose a system and see if it actually works for you. Or, you don’t have to use a system at all.

What are the Best Roulette Odds?

The game of roulette offers players a wide selection of betting odds from which to choose. Some roulette odds pay almost EVEN money, while others offer as much as 35:1 on your bet. Which odds you decide to play is up to you, but it’s obvious that the closer to EVEN odds you get, the better your chances of winning. 

Each bet on the roulette table has a house edge. That edge on an American roulette layout is 5.26 percent on every bet except one. If you bet on the first five numbers, the house edge goes up to 7.78 percent, making the first-five bet the worst place to put your money on the table. The rest of the bets have an equal risk-reward ratio and how you play them is up to you.

Six EVEN Money Bets

There are six bets on the roulette table that will pay EVEN money on your bet. Betting on red, black, odd, even, 1 to 18, and 19 to 36 will all pay you 1:1 on a bet. But, they all have a 47.37 percent probability to win. That 2.63 percent amount shy of 50-50 is attributable to the two green spaces on the roulette wheel.

Three 2-to-1 Bets

There are three bets on a roulette wheel that pay 2:1 on your wager. Betting on numbers 1 to 12, 13 to 24 and 25 to 36 pay out double your bet and have a 31.58 percent probability to hit. Betting on a sixline (six numbers) pays 5:1 with a 13.16 percent probability. The dreaded first-five bet pays out 6:1, and a four-number corner bet is worth 8:1 on your money.

Long-Shot Bets

The long-shot bets on the roulette table are the street bet, split bet and any one number. The street bet is worth 11:1 and is a bet on three numbers, while a split bet is on two numbers. The split bet pays 17:1 but will only hit an average of 5.26 percent of the time. The big payout on the roulette table is the “any single number” bet that’s worth 35:1 on your money, but it only hits an average of 2.63 percent of the time. 

It’s worth your time to seek out the European version of roulette. The house edge is lowered in this version of the game down to 2.70 percent. The reason for this is that European roulette has only one green 0 spot on the wheel compared to the two in American roulette. Always seek out the European version if possible. Most online casinos offer both variations of the game.

History of Roulette

Roulette’s history is as colorful as the game’s betting layout, filled with gambling-obsessed royals, cagey Frenchmen, dragons and at least one deal with Satan. OK, there are no dragons and the deal with Satan is questionable but the history of roulette provides a good story. While our overview of the game’s humble beginnings to its appearance in online casinos won’t increase your odds once the wheel starts spinning, at least you’ll be entertained. 

There are several games that are credited with helping to inspire roulette. These include the following:

  • Unnamed Tibetan Game: The object was to take 37 small animal statues and arrange them into a specific configuration, which some claim was the mythical number 666. 
  • Hoka: An Italian game where a ball was rolled into one of the 40 numbered holes. Whoever could pick the correct hole was the winner.
  • Even/Odd: A wheel game with spaces marked “even” and “odd.” Certain spots were also designated for the house. While there’s no mention of the game prior to the appearance of roulette, several gaming scholars have wondered if it went by a different name.

Early Years of Roulette

Most experts attribute the game’s invention to Blaise Pascal, a 17th-century scientist who invented the core technology for the roulette wheel while conducting experiments on perpetual motion. Others argue that French monks were responsible, creating the simple game as a way to pass the tedium of monastic life. 

Legal documents in 1745 (England) and 1758 (Canada) mention the game as being outlawed, and it was almost certainly popular among French royalty by the time. At the start of the 1800s, the game seemed to lose favor in certain parts of Europe to Even/Odd. This would change over time and roulette would become a favorite over the competition.

The Blanc Brothers

Louis and Francois Blanc were enterprising twins who made millions in various business ventures throughout Europe. They also played the largest historical role in helping roulette achieve its status as a popular casino option. 

After amassing a fortune through various investments that sometimes got them into legal jeopardy, the pair transitioned into the casino business within their homeland. While successful, they were eventually forced to leave thanks to increasingly restrictive government regulations. 

During their travels across Europe, a rumor began to circulate that Francois had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the secrets to roulette. This was supposedly verified by the fact that the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666. The French entrepreneur likely started the rumor himself to create an air of mystery and danger around the game to generate interest. Good one, Francois! Imagine if he had Twitter. Roulette would be the most interesting game in the world. 

The brothers Blanc arrived in Germany in 1843 and opened a series of gambling establishments. They once again were met with success, with Francois earning the nickname of “The Magician of Homburg.” Gambling was banned in the nation later in the century, prompting yet another series of moves for the brothers.

As they moved throughout Europe, they spread the popularity of roulette. Each time, however, they were forced to relocate as local laws changed to prohibit gambling. Eventually, they moved to one of the last remaining sites for legal European gaming, the struggling resort city of Monte Carlo. 

The pair once again worked their magic, transforming the area into a mecca of high-class tourism. The gaming industry thrived, with the single-zero roulette wheel becoming one of the main attractions. Thanks to his efforts, Francois earned another nickname: “The Magician of Monte Carlo.” 

While it’s unlikely that Francois ever sold his immortal soul, he certainly knew what he was doing when it came to financial management and business promotion. When he died in Switzerland in 1877, he left behind a fortune that was estimated to be worth €450,000,000 (or about $478,091,250).

Roulette in America

The double-zero wheel was brought to America by French immigrants in the 19th century. From there it spread up the Mississippi River and across the rest of the country. The betting layout was eventually simplified for players and the wheel was moved on top of the table to counter cheating by both the house and clever players.

For much of the 20th century, Las Vegas and Monte Carlo were the only major casino destinations. This began to change in the 1970s, as an increasing number of gaming establishments opened around the globe. The double-zero table maintained its popularity in the United States, Canada and throughout South America, while the single-zero table continued to reign in France and other parts of Europe.

When did Roulette Come to Online Casinos?

Roulette history took another surprising turn in the last decade of the 20th century. That’s when the internet became publicly available and online casinos started offering customers virtual versions of popular land-based games. You’d be hard pressed to find online casino software that doesn’t offer the game of roulette. Some have even upped the ante by including a live option that allows customers to watch a real person spin the wheel and accept wagers.