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How to Play Roulette

One of the fundamental reasons why roulette has consistently been one of the most popular games in casinos is because it’s so simple to play.

It can seem like a complicated game if you’ve never played before, particularly if you’re watching a busy table in a casino with players placing their chips all over the table, but it really is straightforward enough.

In this introduction to playing roulette, we cover all the basics that you should know. We explain the setup of a roulette table, how you place your bets, and the rules of the game. This is really all you need to get started.

The Roulette Table

A roulette table is made up of two components:

  • The WHEEL

The betting board contains all the different bets that can be made and is where players place their chips to indicate their chosen bet. The wheel is used to determine the outcome of each round and thus resolve the bets.

The roulette wheel has several numbered pockets, also known as compartments. The numbers 1 to 36 are used, and each of these numbers is colored either red or black. There’s also a green zero, and in some variations of the game, there’s a green double zero, too.

A small ball is used, and when the wheel is spun, the ball will randomly fall into one of the numbered pockets. The result for each spin is the number of whichever pocket the ball ends up in.

Interestingly, the order of the numbers around the wheel varies depending on whether it’s the single zero or the double zero version. The sequences for the numbers, starting with the zero and moving clockwise around the wheel, are generally as follows:

Single-Zero Wheel


Double-Zero Wheel


The exact layout of the betting board may vary slightly depending on where you’re playing and what variant of the game you’re playing. The available wagers are fundamentally the same, but certain versions may have a few extra options.

Rules of the Game

The rules of roulette could really not be much more straightforward. Each bet that can be placed represents either a single number or a group of numbers, and has set odds attached to it.

For example, a bet on any single number has odds of 35 to 1. A bet on black is a bet on any of the numbers that are colored black and has odds of 1 to 1.

To play roulette, you simply place your chosen bet or bets prior to each spin. You can bet on as many different combinations of numbers as you wish. If the resulting number is covered by any of your wagers, then each winning wager will be paid out at the corresponding odds.

Any losing wager is taken by the house. Once all the wagers have been settled, you can place your bets for the next spin.

Placing Your Bets

When playing in a live casino, you’ll first need to exchange your money for chips to use at the roulette table. Once you have these chips, you can then make your wagers by placing them in the relevant position on the betting board.

For example, to bet on a single number, you would place however many chips you wanted to risk on the square representing that number. To bet on red, you would place your chips on the red box.

Every possible wager has a corresponding position on the betting board.

There are quite a few different wagers available, but it doesn’t take too long to learn them all. If you’ve never played the game before, we would suggest playing online before you try playing in a land-based casino.

This will give you time to get familiar with everything without the added pressure of being surrounded by lots of other players. At most online casinos, you can even play for free if you want to practice the game beforehand.

Summary and More Roulette Information

That’s really all there is to playing roulette. The rules are so simple that learning to play is incredibly easy.

You’ll need to understand all the different bets you can place, though, and you should familiarize yourself with the different variations of the game, as well. We’ve covered these subjects in separate articles.

Once you know how to play the game, the next step is thinking about what kind of betting strategies you’re going to employ.

You may decide to just make completely random wagers or bet on your favorite numbers, which is absolutely fine. You may prefer to put more thought into your strategy, though, so we’ve provided some advice on what you need to start thinking about.

We’ve provided some useful general tips, too:

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