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How to Play Roulette Online | Coral

Roulette is one of the most iconic casino games: the image of a little white ball bouncing around inside the wheel goes hand-in-hand with the glitz and glamour of high-stakes gaming. If you’re new to playing online, don’t worry – we’ll tell you all basics and how to play right here.

Understanding the basics of roulette

A European (also known as French) roulette wheel has 37 numbered slots: 18 coloured red, 18 coloured black, and a green zero. The American version has 38 – the extra slot is a double zero.

European Roulette and American Roulette - Roulette Basics

For each round or “spin”, a ball is spun around the edge of the wheel, eventually coming to rest in one of the 37 slots. Players can bet on any outcome, and can place multiple bets at the same time.

Basic Roulette Rules

It’s possible to bet on any single number, a colour (red or black), odds or evens, sets of numbers such as 1 to 12, or any combination of these. Once the ball stops rolling and the winning number is known, losing bets are swept off the board and payouts are made.
Payouts are usually shown in a format like 8:1, reflecting the approximate probability of the bet.

Types of roulette bets and probabilities

Aside from bets on individual numbers, roulette bets fall into two broad categories: inside bets and outside bets. The odds below are for European roulette.

Inside bets
Inside bets, so called because the betting chip is placed on the inside of the table’s betting area, have the lowest odds and the biggest payouts (up to 35:1).

Inside and Outside Roulette Bets

This table shows the odds and payouts of common inside bets:

The Odds and Payouts of Common Inside Roulette Bets

Outside bets
Outside bets, which are arranged around the outside of the betting area, have the highest odds of winning but smaller payouts (1:1 or 2:1).
This table shows the odds and payouts of common outside bets:

The Odds and Payouts of Common Outside Roulette Bets

Other bets may be available, depending on the game.

The house edge
You might have noticed that the odds and payouts don’t quite stack up – for instance, betting on red has a 1:1 payout, suggesting 50% (or 18/36) odds, but the odds are actually 18/37. This is because the green zero provides a slight tilt in favour of the house, known as the “house edge”. (You can still bet on zero, though!)

Differences in playing roulette online

Online offers a great way to play roulette – for one thing, you’ll never need to worry about rigged wheels or cheating players!
The aspect of “roulette physics”, in which players try to guess the winning slot while the ball is spinning based on a number of factors, doesn’t really apply online either – you’re purely playing the odds, which many people prefer.
When you play online, you’ll use a number of buttons to control the game and your bets:

  • Spin – Confirm your bets and spin the wheel
  • Double – Double your bet
  • Clear bets – Remove all your bets
  • Undo – Remove the last bet you placed
  • Double and Spin – Double your last bet and spin the wheel
  • Rebet and Spin – Let your last bet stand and spin the wheel
  • Rebet – Change the bet you want to place

Roulette strategies for beginners

When you play online roulette, don’t let anyone tell you that a number is “due” or that betting on certain numerical patterns guarantees success. The chance for any individual number to come up is 1 in 37, every single spin – regardless of what’s happened previously. The ball doesn’t remember where it landed last!
However, people do adopt certain strategies with the amounts they bet from round to round. Whether they really do improve your chances in the long run is up for debate, but they can make things more interesting.
A popular strategy is the Martingale system. Usually placed on the outside bets with a 1:1 payout (eg red or black, odd or even), this system sees you bet the lowest amount you’re happy to stake. If you lose, you double your stake and repeat until you win, at which point you go back to your original lowest stake again.

Martingale loosing streak with £1 Bet - Roulette Strategies for Beginners

The system aims to cancel out losses by banking on an eventual big win. A variation, called the Paroli system, sees you double the stakes each time you win and reset to the original stake when you lose, with the aim of playing until you win three times in a row.
Using strategies can offer a fun way to play roulette online – but however you decide to play, make sure you’re only betting amounts you can afford to lose.

Why play American roulette?

European roulette is the most popular type, but the American-style wheel has its fans too. The payouts are the same in both versions, but due to the extra zero slot, the house edge is almost doubled in American roulette. So why do people play it?
The simple reason is, some people just prefer it. They may be used to playing in Las Vegas, where double-zero roulette is the most popular style of wheel. European roulette is often reserved for high-stakes games in US casinos, so some people would have started out by playing American roulette instead and are more familiar with it.
However, if you want the best odds, there’s no doubt about it: European roulette is the one to play!

Ready to play?

Now you’ve got a good grasp of the basics, you might be itching to spin the wheel! Take a look at our most popular roulette games here.

Take a Look at Our Most Popular Roulette Games Here

Responsible gambling
If the fun stops, stop gaming. If you’d like to find out more about gambling responsibly and protecting yourself from problem betting, click here for Coral’s responsible gambling guide.