On this page

Roulette -- The Basics


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
No Yes Visit Casino
Win A Day Casino
Yes Yes Visit Casino
Yes Yes Visit Casino
Wizards Seal: No
US-VA Friendly: Yes
Wizards Seal: Yes
US-VA Friendly: Yes
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
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 Play
Bonus Exclusive 🧙 $ 68 Play
2 Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 100% Play
Bonus Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 Play
% 100%
3 Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 100% Play
Bonus Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 Play
% 100%
4 Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 100% Play
Bonus Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 Play
% 100%
5 Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 100% Play
Bonus Exclusive 🧙 $ 11000 Play
% 100%

Top Software for Roulette (171)

Online Gambling Software Casinos Reviewed Games Reviewed  
Net Entertainment 1064 16 View Review
Evolution Gaming 1035 24 View Review
Pragmatic Play 1028 6 View Review
Microgaming 1001 20 View Review
Games Global 981 0 View Review
BetSoft 895 19 View Review
Play'n GO 861 14 View Review
Big Time Gaming 853 1 View Review
Red Tiger Gaming 811 5 View Review
Quickspin 803 1 View Review
Wazdan 766 4 View Review
Thunderkick 740 1 View Review
Nolimit City 735 1 View Review
playson 708 3 View Review
1x2gaming 703 22 View Review
Booming Games 695 1 View Review
Rabcat 690 1 View Review
Triple Edge Studios 681 0 View Review
Gameburger Studios 676 0 View Review
Yggdrasil 673 3 View Review
All41 Studios 664 0 View Review
ELK Studios 661 1 View Review
Northern Lights Gaming 654 0 View Review
Relax Gaming 651 3 View Review
Stormcraft Studios 650 0 View Review
Ezugi 612 8 View Review
SpinPlay Games 612 0 View Review
Spinomenal 601 0 View Review
Neon Valley Studios 585 1 View Review
Kalamba 561 1 View Review
Pulse 8 Studios 556 0 View Review
Fantasma Games 547 0 View Review
Habanero Systems 542 10 View Review
lightningboxgames 538 1 View Review
iSoftBet 532 9 View Review
Endorphina 501 1 View Review
GONG Gaming 500 0 View Review
Buck Stakes Entertainment 497 0 View Review
Playtech 495 44 View Review
Switch Studios 489 2 View Review
Red Rake Gaming 459 8 View Review
Electric Elephant Games 459 0 View Review
Oryx 447 0 View Review
Amatic Industries 446 1 View Review
BGAMING 445 19 View Review
Golden Rock Studios 442 3 View Review
Pocket Games Soft 436 0 View Review
Evoplay 435 19 View Review
GameArt 431 5 View Review
Fugaso 410 3 View Review
Bulletproof Games 407 0 View Review
Genesis Gaming 405 1 View Review
Skillzzgaming 393 0 View Review
Swintt 378 0 View Review
Amusnet Interactive 370 0 View Review
Gluck Games 367 12 View Review
Vivo Gaming 366 3 View Review
Booongo 361 1 View Review
EYECON 347 2 View Review
Mascot Gaming 347 2 View Review
Betgames 332 9 View Review
Realistic Games 326 3 View Review
Platipus Gaming 318 3 View Review
Stakelogic 312 0 View Review
Skywind 311 4 View Review
Wizard Games 308 0 View Review
TrueLab Games 299 0 View Review
Real Dealer Studios 299 4 View Review
Revolver Gaming 287 1 View Review
OneTouch 285 13 View Review
Belatra Games 283 3 View Review
LuckyStreak 279 5 View Review
Blue Guru Games 266 0 View Review
Barcrest 265 1 View Review
Spearhead Studios 261 3 View Review
SmartSoft Gaming 256 14 View Review
Felt Gaming 241 3 View Review
Felix Gaming 235 1 View Review
Spadegaming 235 1 View Review
KA Gaming 231 0 View Review
Fazi 217 2 View Review
SYNOT Games 208 2 View Review
Caleta Gaming 208 0 View Review
Nucleus Gaming 201 14 View Review
Spinmatic 200 0 View Review
TVBet 185 11 View Review
Lady Luck Games 183 0 View Review
Rival 178 13 View Review
Real Time Gaming 175 26 View Review
IGT 174 1 View Review
Shuffle Master 169 19 View Review
NetGame Entertainment 168 0 View Review
Mancala Gaming 167 0 View Review
Novomatic 158 6 View Review
Asia Gaming 146 8 View Review
On Air Entertainment 140 0 View Review
Eurasian Gaming 137 0 View Review
Atmosfera 133 5 View Review
Xprogaming 129 7 View Review
PlayPearls 128 1 View Review
Slot Factory 124 0 View Review
Reevo 121 0 View Review
SOFTSWISS 120 15 View Review
SA Gaming 115 7 View Review
Dreamtech Gaming 115 1 View Review
saucify 114 7 View Review
7Mojos 112 4 View Review
Spin Games 107 4 View Review
Concept Gaming 105 7 View Review
Holle Games 100 0 View Review
HungryBear Gaming 98 2 View Review
Qora Games 95 3 View Review
Visionary iGaming 92 5 View Review
Woohoo Games 91 7 View Review
Triple PG 90 8 View Review
WM 77 5 View Review
IGTech 76 1 View Review
Super Spade Games 73 8 View Review
Sigma Gaming 71 1 View Review
Arrows Edge 70 10 View Review
Espresso Games 66 7 View Review
Spinlogic Gaming 65 0 View Review
BetConstruct 63 7 View Review
HO Gaming 58 6 View Review
Elysium Studios 58 2 View Review
Amaya 56 13 View Review
Fresh Deck Studios 56 3 View Review
ZEUS Services 52 1 View Review
Radi8 Games 52 0 View Review
FunFair 50 20 View Review
FUGA Gaming 48 0 View Review
DLV 48 0 View Review
August Gaming 47 1 View Review
Inbet Games 46 11 View Review
GAMING1 43 5 View Review
CQ9 Gaming 43 0 View Review
mplay 38 0 View Review
ReelNRG 34 1 View Review
eBET 34 6 View Review
Gameplay Interactive 31 9 View Review
ThunderSpin 31 0 View Review
Oriental Game 30 5 View Review
Design Works Gaming 30 0 View Review
Vela Gaming 29 14 View Review
Mobilots 19 2 View Review
AllWaySpin 18 0 View Review
FilsGame 18 11 View Review
UP Games 18 0 View Review
Creedroomz 16 0 View Review
Random Logic 15 9 View Review
Octopus Gaming 14 5 View Review
Bunfox Games 10 4 View Review
FashionTV 9 3 View Review
Air Dice 8 3 View Review
Pipa Games 8 0 View Review
Sexy Gaming 8 0 View Review
EA 7 0 View Review
Spinstars 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
GiG Games 3 0 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.