On this page

Roulette -- The Basics

Introduction

Roulette is one of the easiest games to play and understand in the casino. As usual the easier a game is to understand the greater the house edge, and roulette is no exception. If you are looking for a easy to understand and slow paced table game, and are willing to sacrifice on the house edge, then you may like roulette. If you want something more stimulating or with a decent return I would suggest looking at other games.

One difference between roulette and all other table games is that roulette chips have no value denomination printed on them. This actually is the true definition of a chip, one which indicates its value is technically called a check. The roulette table comes with six to eight sets of different colored chips, each set consisting of 300 chips. When a player purchases chips he gets his own color and the value of each chip is the buy-in divided by the number of chips received. The dealer will place a token on top of the dealer's stack of that color of chips to indicate the value.

Top Roulette Casinos for Virginia

Name Wizards Seal US-VA Friendly us-va flag Play
Everygame Classic Casino
4.2
No Yes Visit Casino
Win A Day Casino
4
Yes Yes Visit Casino
Bovada Casino
3.9
Yes Yes Visit Casino
Wizards Seal: No
US-VA Friendly: Yes
Wizards Seal: Yes
US-VA Friendly: Yes
Name:
Wizards Seal: Yes
US-VA Friendly: Yes

American Rules

A U.S. roulette wheel consists of 38 numbered slots: numbers 1 to 36, a zero, and a double zero. The betting layout consists of every individual number as well as a host of "outside" bets on combinations of numbers. After the players make their bets, the dealer spins the wheel and a ball and after several seconds the ball will land in one of the numbered slots.

The following table displays the available bets, the win (on a "to one" basis), and the probability of winning under U.S. rules. All casinos in the U.S. follow these rules except for in Atlantic City. The house edge on all bets is 1/19, or 5.26%, except for the 0-00-1-2-3 combination, which carries a house edge of 7.89%.

Double-Zero Roulette

Bet Pays Probability Win House Edge
Red 1 47.37% 5.26%
Black 1 47.37% 5.26%
Odd 1 47.37% 5.26%
Even 1 47.37% 5.26%
1 to 18 1 47.37% 5.26%
19 to 36 1 47.37% 5.26%
1 to 12 2 31.58% 5.26%
13 to 24 2 31.58% 5.26%
25 to 36 2 31.58% 5.26%
Six line (6 numbers) 5 15.79% 5.26%
First five (5 numbers) 6 13.16% 7.89%
Corner (4 numbers) 8 10.53% 5.26%
Street (3 numbers) 11 7.89% 5.26%
Split (2 numbers) 17 5.26% 5.26%
Any one number 35 2.63% 5.26%

European Rules

What most call "European roulette" is roulette played on a 37-number wheel, with one zero only. The pays are the same as in American roulette. However, with one zero the house edge is cut to 1/37, or 2.70%, on all bets.

The term European roulette is somewhat of a misnomer because you can find single-zero roulette all over the world. In fact, it is the standard outside the United States. Even in the United States you can find single-zero roulette in some high-limit rooms.

Atlantic City Rules

In Atlantic City, any all even money bets (red, black,odd, even, 1-18, 19-36) follow a variation of the European half-back rule (see below). If the ball lands in 0 or 00, then the player will lose only half of any even money bet. This lowers the house edge to 2.63% on these bets. This rule does not apply on single zero wheels.

French Rules

French roulette is played on a single wheel and also features a favorable "en prison" or half-back rule. Under the "half-back" rule, if the player makes any even money bet (red, black, odd, even, 1-18, 19-36), and the ball lands in zero, then the player gets half the bet back, known as "la partage" in French.

The term French roulette is also somewhat of a misnomer because the "la partage" rule can sometimes be found in casinos outside of France, including some high-limit rooms in Las Vegas.

Rather than lose half, the player sometimes may also choose to imprison the bet. If an imprisoned bet wins on the next spin it is released and the player gets it back, without winnings. What is subject to casino rules is what happens to an imprisoned bet if the ball lands in zero again on the next spin. At some casinos the bet loses, and at others it would become double imprisoned. If a double-imprisoned bet bet won on the next spin, it would move up a level, and become single-imprisoned again. If it lost, then if would become triple-imprisoned if the casino allowed it, otherwise it would lose.

The following table shows the probability of a win, push, and loss under every imprisonment variation I'm aware of.

 

Imprisonment Odds

Imprisonment Win Push Loss Expected
Value
Single 0.48648649 0.01314828 0.50036523 -0.01387874
Double 0.48648649 0.01332346 0.50019005 -0.01370356
Triple 0.48648649 0.01332583 0.50018768 -0.01370120
Infinite 0.48648649 0.01332586 0.50018765 -0.01370117
French 0.48648649 0.01351351 0.50000000 -0.01351351

 

When given the choice to lose half or face imprisonment, the expected value is the same under French rules. Otherwise the expected loss is less losing half.

Triple-Zero Roulette

Triple-Zero Roulette is roulette played on a 39-number wheel. The wheel has the same numbers and colors as a double-zero wheel, plus a 39th place on the wheel. This 39th place will always be green and often the Logo of the casino where the game is located, for example an apple at the New York New York. The game premiered at the Venetian in Las Vegas in September, 2016.

Much like zero and double-zero, all even money bets lose if the ball lands in green. The order of the numbers 1 to 36 is the same as in single-zero roulette. The 0, 00, and Logo are all consecutive, with the Logo in the middle.

There is an added bet on any green, which pays 11 to 1. The house edge on every bet is 1/13 or 7.69%.

Short Pays

I've noticed some electronic roulette games don't pay the full 35 to 1 on single-numbers bets, and/or 17 to 1 on double-number bets. Invariably, any game that short pays the player like this is going to be on a double-zero wheel as well. The following two tables show the house edge on single- and double-number bets, according to the win, assuming a double-zero wheel, and based on "to one" odds. Be careful that on electronic games wins are often given on a "for one" basis, meaning the original wager is not returned on a win. To convert a "for one" odds to "to one" odds, subtract one.

Single-Number Bets

Win House Edge
35 to 1 5.26%
34 to 1 7.89%
33 to 1 10.53%
32 to 1 13.16%
31 to 1 15.79%
30 to 1 18.42%

Double-Number Bets

Win House Edge
17 to 1 5.26%
16 to 1 10.53%
15 to 1 15.79%

Best Roulette in the West

Best in Nevada: The Bellegio, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Rio, and Wynn all have European roulette, with a house edge of 1.35%. Usually such wheels are in the high-limit rooms, but the MGM and Mirage also have a European wheel in the main casino at a $25 minimum.

Best in California: It is my understanding that the only single-zero roulette in California is at the Barona casino, with a house edge of 2.70%.

Las Vegas Rules Survey

I am proud to present my Las Vegas roulette survey at my companion site Wizard of Vegas.

Number Placement

To the casual observer, it would appear that the numbers on the wheel are not organized and seem to be distributed randomly. The only obvious patterns are that red and black numbers alternate and that usually two odd numbers alternate with two even numbers. However the distribution of numbers was carefully arranged so that the sum of the numbers for any given section of the wheel would be roughly equal to any other section of equal size. Most numbers are part of a pair, with one number between them. These pairs add to either 37 or 39.

For what it is worth, the sum of all the numbers in roulette is 666.

Wheel Tracking

Some people and books claim that roulette wheels are biased, with a heavy side and a light side. Gravity causes the numbers in the heavy side to hit more often. This, I believe, used to be true when the quality of the equipment was poor. However, modern roulette wheels are much better and very rigorously tested. Only in a casino using a very dated wheel, may you be able to find a biased one by testing many thousands of spins. Based on stories I have heard, your odds of finding such wheels are probably best in Europe.

Betting Systems

Ugh. If you think you can beat roulette with a betting system please read my section debunking betting systems. If you don't believe what I say there, here is what the Encyclopedia Britannica says under the subject of roulette:

The oldest and most common betting system is the Martingale or "doubling-up" system,in which bets are doubled progressively. This probably dates back to the invention of the Roulette wheel, but every day of the week some gambler somewhere reinvents it, or some variation of it, and believes he has something new. Over the years hundreds of "sure-fire" winning systems have been dreamed up, but regardless of what system is used, in the long run it cannot overcome the house's advantage of the 0, or 0 and 00. This house advantage is the only system that consistently wins in the long run.

"No one can possibly win at roulette unless he steals money from the table while the croupier isn't looking." — Albert Einstein

San Diego Area Roulette

The California Constitution prohibits a ball and wheel alone to determine the outcome in roulette. In the greater San Diego area the casinos have thought of some creative ways to offer roulette anyway. Visit my page onSan Diego County roulette to see how they do it, and who offers the best odds.

 

Ball Steering

I get asked a lot about whether I believe dealers can influence the spin to a certain area of the wheel. I used to be very skeptical of it. However, after considering the articles How to Win at Roulette — Part I and Part II by Arnold Snyder as well as other evidence, I think it would be easy for a colluding dealer could do a late slow spin to benefit a wheel clocking player. An extremely skillful dealer may even be able to influence the ball to a certain sector of the wheel. So, for now, I'm still straddling the fence on this one (ow!).

Organic Roulette Experiment

In March 2017, I concluded an analysis of an electronic roulette game by Interblock for ball steering away from perceived wheel clockers. For more information please see my page on the Organic Roulette Experiment.

Online Roulette Casino Bonuses

Rank Casino Bonus % Wager Cash Casino Bonus info  
1 Exclusive 🧙 $ 68 25xB Play
Bonus Exclusive 🧙 $ 68 Play
%
Wager 25xB
2 $ 4000 +30 spins 200% 60xB Play
Bonus $ 4000 +30 spins Play
% 200%
Wager 60xB
3 $ 5000 +50 spins 250% 60xB Play
Bonus $ 5000 +50 spins Play
% 250%
Wager 60xB
4 $ 1000 100% 25xB&D Play
Bonus $ 1000 Play
% 100%
Wager 25xB&D
5 $ 500 300% 50xB&D Play
Bonus $ 500 Play
% 300%
Wager 50xB&D

Top Software for Roulette (171)

Online Gambling Software Casinos Reviewed Games Reviewed  
Net Entertainment 1109 16 View Review
Pragmatic Play 1087 6 View Review
Evolution Gaming 1077 24 View Review
Microgaming 1037 20 View Review
Games Global 1026 0 View Review
BetSoft 945 19 View Review
Play'n GO 902 14 View Review
Big Time Gaming 892 1 View Review
Red Tiger Gaming 854 5 View Review
Quickspin 847 1 View Review
Wazdan 813 4 View Review
Nolimit City 788 1 View Review
Thunderkick 782 1 View Review
playson 745 3 View Review
1x2gaming 740 22 View Review
Booming Games 740 1 View Review
Triple Edge Studios 727 0 View Review
Gameburger Studios 722 0 View Review
Yggdrasil 715 3 View Review
All41 Studios 705 0 View Review
Stormcraft Studios 692 0 View Review
Northern Lights Gaming 691 0 View Review
ELK Studios 689 1 View Review
Relax Gaming 687 3 View Review
Rabcat 682 1 View Review
Spinomenal 658 0 View Review
SpinPlay Games 653 0 View Review
Ezugi 651 8 View Review
Neon Valley Studios 630 1 View Review
Kalamba 603 1 View Review
Pulse 8 Studios 597 0 View Review
Habanero Systems 589 10 View Review
Fantasma Games 587 0 View Review
lightningboxgames 554 1 View Review
Buck Stakes Entertainment 548 0 View Review
iSoftBet 541 9 View Review
Endorphina 538 1 View Review
GONG Gaming 538 0 View Review
Playtech 537 44 View Review
Switch Studios 530 2 View Review
BGAMING 510 19 View Review
Red Rake Gaming 493 8 View Review
Oryx 484 0 View Review
Amatic Industries 482 1 View Review
Electric Elephant Games 482 0 View Review
Golden Rock Studios 479 3 View Review
Pocket Games Soft 475 0 View Review
Evoplay 472 19 View Review
GameArt 463 5 View Review
Bulletproof Games 443 0 View Review
Fugaso 437 3 View Review
Gluck Games 421 12 View Review
Skillzzgaming 419 0 View Review
Swintt 415 0 View Review
Genesis Gaming 409 1 View Review
Mascot Gaming 394 2 View Review
Amusnet Interactive 390 0 View Review
Vivo Gaming 384 3 View Review
Booongo 378 1 View Review
EYECON 369 2 View Review
Betgames 368 9 View Review
Platipus Gaming 356 3 View Review
Skywind 351 4 View Review
Realistic Games 341 3 View Review
Stakelogic 333 0 View Review
Real Dealer Studios 326 4 View Review
Wizard Games 324 0 View Review
Revolver Gaming 322 1 View Review
OneTouch 318 13 View Review
Belatra Games 313 3 View Review
TrueLab Games 312 0 View Review
Blue Guru Games 309 0 View Review
SmartSoft Gaming 303 14 View Review
LuckyStreak 287 5 View Review
Spearhead Studios 287 3 View Review
Barcrest 269 1 View Review
Spadegaming 268 1 View Review
Felix Gaming 266 1 View Review
KA Gaming 262 0 View Review
Felt Gaming 254 3 View Review
Fazi 246 2 View Review
Caleta Gaming 234 0 View Review
SYNOT Games 230 2 View Review
Nucleus Gaming 230 14 View Review
Spinmatic 221 0 View Review
Lady Luck Games 212 0 View Review
TVBet 203 11 View Review
Mancala Gaming 202 0 View Review
Novomatic 196 6 View Review
NetGame Entertainment 194 0 View Review
Rival 187 13 View Review
Shuffle Master 181 19 View Review
On Air Entertainment 180 0 View Review
Real Time Gaming 178 26 View Review
IGT 168 1 View Review
Atmosfera 157 5 View Review
Asia Gaming 156 8 View Review
Eurasian Gaming 155 0 View Review
Slot Factory 149 0 View Review
Xprogaming 145 7 View Review
Reevo 144 0 View Review
saucify 135 7 View Review
Spin Games 134 4 View Review
PlayPearls 133 1 View Review
7Mojos 130 4 View Review
SOFTSWISS 120 15 View Review
SA Gaming 117 7 View Review
Dreamtech Gaming 115 1 View Review
Qora Games 113 3 View Review
Holle Games 112 0 View Review
Dragon Gaming 111 0 View Review
Woohoo Games 105 7 View Review
Concept Gaming 104 7 View Review
Triple PG 103 8 View Review
HungryBear Gaming 103 2 View Review
Visionary iGaming 95 5 View Review
IGTech 83 1 View Review
WM 81 5 View Review
Arrows Edge 78 10 View Review
Espresso Games 72 7 View Review
Spinlogic Gaming 72 0 View Review
Super Spade Games 69 8 View Review
BetConstruct 62 7 View Review
HO Gaming 59 6 View Review
ZEUS Services 59 1 View Review
Fresh Deck Studios 59 3 View Review
Sigma Gaming 58 1 View Review
Amaya 57 13 View Review
Radi8 Games 57 0 View Review
Elysium Studios 57 2 View Review
Inbet Games 53 11 View Review
FunFair 52 20 View Review
mplay 52 0 View Review
CQ9 Gaming 51 0 View Review
DLV 51 0 View Review
FUGA Gaming 48 0 View Review
August Gaming 43 1 View Review
GAMING1 42 5 View Review
Design Works Gaming 38 0 View Review
ThunderSpin 32 0 View Review
eBET 32 6 View Review
ReelNRG 31 1 View Review
Gameplay Interactive 30 9 View Review
Oriental Game 29 5 View Review
Vela Gaming 27 14 View Review
Mobilots 26 2 View Review
Creedroomz 24 0 View Review
FilsGame 20 11 View Review
UP Games 19 0 View Review
AllWaySpin 16 0 View Review
Octopus Gaming 15 5 View Review
Random Logic 14 9 View Review
Spinstars 13 0 View Review
Bunfox Games 11 4 View Review
Sexy Gaming 11 0 View Review
FashionTV 10 3 View Review
Air Dice 7 3 View Review
EA 7 0 View Review
Pipa Games 6 0 View Review
Nemesis Game Studio 6 0 View Review
The Art Of Games 5 0 View Review
Asia Live Tech 5 7 View Review
Slotland 4 5 View Review
Expanse Studios 4 10 View Review
Gamesys 3 29 View Review
PureRNG 3 15 View Review
Original Spirit 2 3 View Review
Vista Gaming 1 9 View Review
Soft Magic Dice 1 8 View Review
Cubeia 1 3 View Review
BLOX 1 0 View Review

Play for Free

Play roulette for free with this Flash game. I finally found a Flash game for my site which downloads quickly.