Learn how to Play Roulette

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games around. Played online and at live venues alike, roulette wheel attracts experienced gamblers and casual players looking to get lucky. If you’re new to the world of gambling, you may be wondering how this game works and what it is that makes it so attractive.

If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place. If you are a beginner, don’t miss our Top 5 Roulette Tips or how to manage your bankroll.

On this page, you’ll learn how to play roulette. You’ll find out everything you need to place your first bets and see if Lady Luck is by your side. The good news is that roulette is a straightforward game so it won’t take you a long time to master its rules.

Basic Roulette Elements

To start at the top, every roulette consists of two main areas. Firstly, there is the roulette wheel with all the numbers. The wheel is where the ball spins and where it lands eventually determines the outcome of your bets.

roulette wheel

The croupier will spin the ball in the opposite direction of the wheel.

The second part is the betting area. This is where you place your bets. This area consists of two large groups, usually referred to as:

  • Inside bets
  • Outside bets
roulette table

This is where you place your bets at the table.

Inside bets are bets made on particular numbers or groups of numbers. Outside bets are where you wager on odd or even, red or black, columns, and rows. You can find out more about particular types of bets and how they work on our Roulette Bets page.

Playing Roulette

Now that you know the basic outlay of every roulette table out there, it’s time to learn how to play roulette. As mentioned, the numbered board located next to the wheel is where you’ll place your bets. Bets are placed by positioning your chips on the numbers you want to cover or any other available bets (red/black, odd/even, etc.)

You can place your wager at any point between two spins. The croupier will announce that betting is open for the next round and you can start placing your chips. In most casinos, betting remains open until the point the croupier spins the ball, and it makes two full circles around the wheel.

Once the betting closes, the croupier will announce it by using the phrase “no more bets” or “betting is closed” or something similar. At this point, you’ll no longer be able to place any new wagers or change the existing ones in any way. All bets placed up to that point are in play.

Announcing your bets

In addition to placing chips to mark your bets, it is also possible to verbally announce them. This happens in live casinos where you can place cash on the table and instruct dealer what you want to bet on. They will take the bet and mark them in a special area in front of them accordingly to make sure you don’t miss out.

Verbally announcing your bets can be useful if the next spin is about to start and you don’t have time to exchange cash for chips and place your wagers. However, if there are many players at the table, it can be tough to do, and human errors are also possible. We at Roulette22.com would advise against verbal bets at crowded tables where there is a lot of yelling and shouting going on.

Roulette Payouts & House Edge

There are different types of roulette wheels, and they offer different payouts for the players. These rules will have a significant impact on your bottom line as you want to have the best return possible on your bets. Here’s a quick breakdown for the house edge for a couple of the most popular roulette types:

  • European roulette: 2.70%
  • American roulette: 2.56%

European roulette features 37 numbers in total, while the American one has 38 due to having an extra zero (00). So, from the player’s perspective, European roulette is always a better option.

Some of the most important payouts in roulette are:

  • Straight bet: 35 to 1
  • Split bet (two numbers): 17 to 1
  • Square bet (four numbers): 8 to 1
  • Column & dozen bets: 2 to 1
  • Even money bets (red/black, odd/even, high/low): 1 to 1

Again, for more information about particular bets, check out our roulette bets page. There, you’ll find more details about particular wagers you can make, payouts you can expect, and other important information.

Special Rules: En Prison & La Partage

In addition to these basic rules, there are a couple of more rules that you should be aware of as they apply in certain situations. These change the house edge and give players improved odds of winning.

La Partage

La Partage is a special rule that applies to even money bets and is often in use in French casinos. When this rule is in play, the dealer will only take half of the even-money bets when the ball lands in zero. You’ll get the other half back.

Not much explanation is needed as to why this rule favours the player. If you play even money bets, the house edge is effectively cut in half and reduced to 1.35% when La Patrage is in use.

En Prison

The En Prison rule is somewhat similar to La Partage. It also applies only to even money bets. When the ball lands in zero, all even-money bets are held “in prison” for the next spin. If the next spin lands on the winning choice, the player gets their entire bet back. If they lose, however, they lose the full bet.

In some casinos, both of these rules will be in play at the same time. When this is the case, you’ll have the option to keep your bet “en prison” for the next spin and try to get the full amount back or immediately get half of your bet back under the La Partage rule.


This is pretty much all you need to know on the topic of how to play roulette. As you can see, the game isn’t all that complicated at all. There is not much room for mistakes as your results are primarily down to luck.

That said, knowing your rules will help you enjoy your time more and will make your experience smoother. So use this guide to get started, practice at some play money roulette tables first, and then jump into action and try your luck with some new casinos!