Master the rules & odds of Roulette 

Roulette is a relatively simple game to play, but a player has to be familiar with the game’s betting options and rules to enjoy it. 

The objective

The objective is to make a guess on which number the white ball will land on. The more sure players are of their chances, the more they wager. 

Important terms you need to know

Roulette might appear to be a simple game but has many intricacies. One of these is its terminology. Here is a list of terms you might come across around a roulette table. 

  1. Pockets: The area of the roulette wheel where the ball could land. Standard wheels have 36 pockets and a zero pocket. European and French wheels have a single “0” pocket, and American wheels have a single and double (“00”) pocket which significantly increases the house edge. 
  2. Zero: the allocated “0” or “00” pocket.  
  3. Double Zero: Used in American Roulette to increase the house edge. 
  4. Layout: Refers to the wheel layout, which is determined by the number of “0” pockets. The layout is either single or double zero. Bet on the layout: a bet placed anywhere on the numbers part of the table. 
  5. Biased Wheel: a wheel that might be more inclined to favour certain numbers on any spin. 
  6. Block betting: Used in roulette betting strategies to bet on a particular group of numbers 
  7. Croupier: Might be known in some circles as the dealer. Is the member of staff that oversees play on the table and spins the wheel. 
  8. French Bets: Common among the high rollers in European casinos. This means the player is making multiple bets at once to ensure numbers in all sections of the wheel are covered. 
  9. Marker: Used by the croupier to mark the winning number after a spin. Players should not place new bets until the marker is removed. 
  10. Orphans: Refers to bets on numbers far from one another on the layout but next to one another on the wheel. In French, it is called Orphelians.
  11. Wheel Checks: The unmarked chips commonly used on roulette tables.

Roulette bets

One way to ensure you have a better time at the roulette table and increase your odds is by getting to know your betting options.

Roulette betting options are divided into two categories, inside and outside bets. Both of these have various odds but fall under the same house edge. 

Despite roulette is a game of chance, many players utilize roulette betting strategies to help increase their chances of winning or your payout when you win. 

Roulette Inside Bets vs Outside Bets
Inside Bets vs Outside Bets

Inside bets 

Inside bets cover the inner part of the betting table where all the numbers are located. Inside bets cover all the numbers in various bets as detailed below. 

  1. Straight Up

A straight-up bet is a bet on any number. If the ball lands on that number, the player wins, and if it doesn’t, the player loses. The odds for straight-up bets are 35:1.

  1. Split 

A split bet places a wager on the line between two numbers, thereby doubling your chances. Players win when either of the two numbers wins.

Examples of split bets are 1-2, 13|14, 25|26, 26|27 and 27|30. The odds for split bets are 17:1. 

  1. Street / Row

Also referred to as a “trio”, this bet places a wager on any number within a row of three, for example, 1,2, 3 or 34, 35, 36. The odds for street bets are 11:1.

  1. Corner / Quad

Corner bets are quite similar to split bets because they sit on the line between numbers.

Where split bets are between two numbers, corner bets work on four numbers that all touch, forming a square.

They can also be referred to as 4-number or square bets. Odds for corner bets are 8:1. 

  1. Double Street

Double street allows players to wager on many numbers by combining quad and line bets. The odds for the double street bet are 8:1. 

  1. First Four

This bet wagers on the first four numbers, i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3. The odds for the First Four bets are 6:1. Only available on European wheels.

  1. Basket

Bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, 3. This bet is only available on American 00 tables. The odds are 6:1. 

Outside Bets

Outside bets are made on the outer edge of the roulette table. Bets are not focused on individual numbers but instead focus on groupings of numbers or colours. 

Most outside bets are even-money bets, meaning odds of 1:1. However, due to the presence of the “0” and/or “00”, the odds are less than 50/50

  1. Odd/Even

Players wager either on an odd or even number. 

  1. Red or Black

Players wager on either Red or Black. 

  1. High/Low

High and low bets wager on the ball landing either high – 19-36 – or Low – 1-18

  1. Column 

Column bets wager that the outcome will fall on a number within a specific column. There are three columns to choose from. Odds for column bets are 2:1.

  1. Dozens

Dozens work similarly to column bets except with numbers in chronological order, i.e. 1-12. The odds for dozens are 2:1. 

  1. Five Number/Topline

Notorious as one of the worst bets you can make, five numbers place a wager on 0,  00, 1,2,3. Odds for 5 number bets are 6:1. 

  1. Snake bet 

This bet covers numbers 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34 and gets its name from the snakey pattern these numbers make. Odds for snake bet are 2:1.

Announced/Call Bets

Announced bets are only available on French and European tables and have players call out or announce their bets without necessarily placing money on the table.

The difference is that with announced bets the player places the wager on the table immediately. 

Final Bet

Final bets can only be made on European wheels, and you’re betting on the last (or final) number. For example, if players bet on Final 6, their betting options are 6,16,26 and 36

Popular Roulette Bets Final Bet

Full Complete/Complete/Maximum Bet

The Full or maximum bet is a high-risk/high-reward bet. The bet covers all the inside bets for a single number.

Roulette Maximum Bet

The odds and payouts

The odds for American, French and European Roulette vary significantly. For this post, we’ll be discussing European Roulette as it is most common. 

Roulette Bet TypeExample Roulette BetPotential PayoutEuropean Roulette OddsAmerican Roulette odds
ColumnAny number in the third column2:132.40%31.6%
DozenAny of 13 to 242:132.40%31.6%
Odd/Even betsOdd over Even1:148.60%47.4%
Red/BlackRed over Black1:148.60%47.4%
High/LowLow 18 over High 181:148.60%47.4%
Five Number0, 00, 1, 2, 36:113.5%13.2%
Straight Up535:12.70%2.60%
Street4, 5, 6. 11:18.1%7.9%
Double Street 31-365:116.2%15.8%
Basket00, 0, 1, 2, 36:1N/A10.5%
First Four0, 1, 2, 38:110.8%N/A

The house edge plays a significant role in roulette and refers to the advantage the house or casino has over players. The zero (or double zero for American Roulette) pocket is the determining factor in the house edge. 

The European Roulette house edge is 2.7%, and American Roulette has a staggering house edge of 5.26%, making it the least favourable option for players.

French Roulette has the most favourable house edge at 1.35% due mainly to En Prison and La Partage rules being in play. 

Rule variations

European & American Roulette Rules

Both European and American Roulette is played on similar tables with similar wheels. The main difference is the presence of the added “00” pocket on the American Roulette Table.

European/French Roulette only has a single zero pocket. 

‘En Prison’ Rule

En Prison rule is usually found at French and European casinos. The rule can help players recoup some losses if a zero is spun if the player’s bet was an outside, even-money wager. 

If zero is spun, players get back 50% of their wager, and the rest is put “in prison” as such. Should the subsequent spin, where players automatically repeat their bet, result in a win, players get their original bet back. 

Online Roulette Imprisonment Bet

‘La Partage’ Rule 

La Partage works similarly to ‘en Prison’, where players get their wager returned should the ball land on zero. La Partage is only in play in European/French roulette, where players place even-money bets.

This rule brings the house edge down significantly

How to play Roulette online – Breakdown of a round

  1. Fund your balance

This might seem obvious, but the best online casinos don’t allow free play for live table games. So make a quick deposit at your favourite online casino and get to playing!

  1. Decision time: Place your bet

Now it’s time for the big decision. Make sure you’re familiar with all the betting options, as covered in the previous section.

If you’re new to roulette, consider a bet with good odds and remember to never bet beyond your means!

  1. The croupier will now spin the wheel!

The croupier will wait until all bets are placed before they spin the wheel. Once it’s spun, it’s done!

  1. Results and payouts

Once the ball settles into a pocket, the croupier will call out the results. And, yes, the game of roulette is that simple!

Frequently asked questions

You can try various betting strategies, but it is a game of chance, so nothing is certain.
European Roulette has the best house edge at 2.70%.
Yes, Live Roulette is available at most top-rated online casinos in New Zealand.

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