The Basics of Playing Online Roulette

Online roulette simulates the gambling action that you would get if you played roulette in your local casino. You can play for real money with the same odds that you would get if you were indeed playing in a casino. Playing the game in this way really maximizes your convenience and fun while also giving you the chance to win big.

Roulette WheelThe spin of the roulette wheel is one of the singular experiences on any casino floor. It represents the ultimate game of chance and usually is accompanied by excited gamblers hoping that the spin turns out their way. With online roulette, you can get the same kind of action without needing to battle the traffic and crowds to get to the casino.

In this article, we’re going to get you started on the way to learning everything you need to know about online roulette. You can also click on one of the links to learn a little bit more about some of the specific aspects of the game. By the time you read this, you should have a solid understanding of what online roulette is, how to play, and whether or not it’s the right game for you.

How Online Roulette Works

Online roulette is one of the easiest of all casinos games to play because it doesn’t require a lot of difficult strategy. First, you just have to know how to sign up with a website or gambling app and fund the account. Then, it’s just a matter of knowing the basics of the game, how roulette bets work, and how different variants of the game affect payback.

The Signup Process

  1. Choose the website you’re going to use. We’ll explain the process for picking the right website to play online roulette for real money in a specific section below.
  2. Sign up. You’ll have to give some personal information to get started. In addition, you’ll also have to provide a password so that you can sign in to the site from any advice and have all your information saved.
  3. Fund your account. As we’ll talk about when we get to choosing online roulette websites, it’s always good if you have multiple funding options at your disposal. Once you decide on one, you’ll have to provide the necessary information (such as credit card numbers) and decide how much you want to go into the account.
  4. Create a bankroll. From this account, you’ll decide which amount you want to allot for a specific session of online roulette. This amount will be your bankroll.
  5. Start playing roulette online for real money!

Online Roulette Gameplay

If you’ve ever played or ever seen roulette in a casino, you’ll have a rough idea of how it works. A ball is sent spinning on a wheel and eventually lands in one of the spots on the wheel. If you’ve bet on the spot where it landed, you win.

Online roulette provides a simulation of this process. On the screen, you’ll see a wheel and a betting board which will be identical to what you might find in a casino.

The difference between a real roulette in a casino and an online roulette is that the actual result of each spin is determined by the software inside the game.

This software is based on random number generator concepts. It basically ensures that every spin is completely random and the chances of a particular number being the winning number on any given spin never change. There is no way for you to accurately guess or estimate the number that will come up on any spin.

The Online Roulette Screen

Bets in online roulette are made via the board that you’ll see on the screen. Each space on the board corresponds to a number on the wheel.

You’ll see the numbers 1 through 36 in three rows on the screen. 18 of these spaces will be red and 18 will be black. There will also be either one or two green spaces on the board, representing the numbers “0” and “00.”

In addition, there will be spaces on the outside of the numbers which allow you to make a variety of group bets, betting up to 12 to 18 numbers at once.

Making Your Bets

You won’t have any control over the spinning wheel when playing online roulette, other than to start it spinning each time. Where you do have some control is in your betting. Take a look at the different kinds of bets you can make and the payback you’ll receive if you manage to win each one:

  • Single number (straight-up): 35 to 1
  • Two numbers (split): 17 to 1
  • Three numbers (street): 11 to 1
  • Four numbers (corner): 8 to 1
  • Five numbers (basket, available only in American-style roulette): 6 to 1
  • Six numbers (six line): 5 to 1
  • 12 numbers (columns, dozen): 2 to 1
  • 18 numbers (odd, even, red, black, 1 to 18, 19 to 36): 1 to 1

The interesting thing about these bets is that each one brings the same amount of expected return to the player. One exception is the basket bet, which actually brings a lower average return and is one you should generally avoid.

What this means is that you can choose the bet based on your favored style of play. For instance.

  • If you like the idea of winning a lot in a short time, the straight-up bets are the best choices.
  • If you want to play on a more even keel, the bets on odd/even, red/black, or first 18/second 18, are your best choices.

In terms of making these bets, you’ll be able to place the chip icon right on the number for a straight bet and in the clearly-marked outside spaces for the 18 and 12 number bets. As for the others, you’ll be able to place the virtual chip where you need to indicate them on the board. For instance, with a corner bet, you would place the chip right where the lines separating four numbers that make up a larger square intersect.

Different Ways to Play Online Roulette

American vs. European Roulette

Earlier, we mentioned that you will see either one or two green spaces on the board and wheel when you’re playing online roulette. If there is just one “zero” space, that is European Roulette. And if there are two green spaces, zero and double-zero, that’s American Roulette.

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The European game is the more advantageous one for the player. It lowers the house edge in the game from 5.3% to 2.7%.

Obviously, your chances on a straight bet are better at 1 in 37 than 1 in 38. And on the even/money bet, any ball that lands in a green space means the house wins. Since there are two green spaces on the American wheel, you’ll be losing more of those bets than you would playing European roulette.

Imprisonment Rule

Imprisonment is a rule that is available in some European Roulette variations. It comes into play when a ball lands in a green space and you’ve made one of the even-money bets on the board. You’ll often see it referred to as “en prison,” since it is the European version of the game, after all.

European Roulette

When this happens, your bet is temporarily imprisoned, meaning you might not lose it. If the next spin lands on one of the numbers your imprisoned bet covers, it will be returned to you. It gives you a chance to salvage your wager on these occasions, which lowers the house edge to 1.35% for games that have this rule.

Surrender Rule

You can find surrender available on both American and European versions of real money online roulette. It also comes into play on those even-money bet occasions when the ball lands on 0 or 00. In this case, you only lose half your original wager instead of all of it.

Again, this will be a help to your payback percentage. In American roulette, the surrender rule lowers the house edge to 2.7%. Meanwhile, in European-style online roulette, surrender brings the house edge to 1.35%.

Bankroll Management for Online Roulette

As we’ve said, there isn’t any way that you can strategize when playing online roulette in terms of wheel spins. You just have to hope they turn out your way. But how you manage your bankroll will go a long way to determining what kind of overall experience you have.

Roulette Betting and Variance

We mentioned above that every bet that you can make (with the exception of the basket) returns pretty much the payback percentage. For example, if you were playing standard American Roulette and made straight-up bets for a long period of time, your expected payback percentage would be 95.7%. And if you played the same game make only even-money bets, you could still expect your payback percentage to be 95.7%.

What changes is the variance. Variance measures how your bankroll moves up and down during gameplay. And the basic rule of thumb is that, the less numbers you bet each spin, the higher your variance will be.

Higher-variance bets will give you more chances at quick, significant winnings, but will also put more stress on your bankroll because you won’t hit them very often. By contrast, lower-variance wagers are effective if you want to play for a long time on small bankroll. You just have to accept that you won’t have any huge spikes in your bankroll from a single spin.

Deciding on Your Goals

Once you understand the variance concept, you’ll know then what kinds of bets you’ll want to make. Often, this might take some trial and error.

For example, if you find that your bankroll is dwindling faster than you’d like it, you should adjust and make bets with lower variance.

Don’t forget that you can also adjust the size of the bets that you want to make. For example, you might prefer even-money bets but want to bump up the variance just a little bit to rev up the pace of play. If you raise the size of your bet, you can do just that.

Knowing When to Quit

We’ve already told you that there is a house edge in online roulette which varies depending on what version of the game you play. As a result, you have to realize that, in the long run, you are expected to lose money. That’s why you should be ready to pounce when you do get ahead.

If you do have a nice run of luck early in your session, it can be a good idea to walk away and bank those winnings. The more that you play, the more likely it is that the luck will even out. You have to be smart about locking in those winnings to help your bankroll, both in the short and long run playing online roulette.

Tips for Playing Online Roulette

Roulette is a luck-based game, unlike, for example, video poker or blackjack, where your decisions during gameplay can affect your expected payback. As far as tips to playing the game well, it’s most likely about knowing what to avoid and maximizing your prospects before you begin. Here are some ways you can do that.

Understanding the Limits of Betting Systems

When you start to research online roulette, you will most likely find many sites proposing that they have a betting system that will turn around the house edge so that you can make a profit. Some of these betting systems are based on raising or lowering your bets depending on if you’ve won or lost previous spins. Others demand that you bet on certain numbers each spin.

In truth, your payback percentage, and the house edge that goes along with it, will never change when you play online roulette. Many of these systems don’t take into account betting limits imposed by gambling websites.
Don’t be afraid to use one of these systems if you’re comfortable with them. Just don’t expect them to magically change the outcome of your game somehow. Your expected payback percentage won’t change no matter how you bet.

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Don’t be afraid to use one of these systems if you’re comfortable with them. Just don’t expect them to magically change the outcome of your game somehow. Your expected payback percentage won’t change no matter how you bet.

Not Guessing Roulette Spins

Stop SignIt can be tempting to fall for some of the claims from folks online who say they can guess the outcome of upcoming spins with some accuracy. This stems from casino roulette and people trying to study wheel spins over time and find a bias. Even this practice is unlikely to work, but at least there is the possibility that the physical wheel could have a bias, if only a small one.

There is no way that a digital wheel can have any sort of bias with random number generator software driving the results compared to playing roulette in a casino. You might see the same number come up five times in a row, or you might not see it for 100 spins. As a result, you’ll be severely disappointed in any claims of guessing the outcome of wheel spins in online roulette.

Choosing the Game Wisely

One of the advantages that online roulette has over its casino counterpart is the choice factor. When you go into a casino, you are limited to the roulette offerings that they have. But when you are playing online roulette, you can choose from an endless amount of online options.

As a result, you should strive to play the version of the game that offers the best average payback. That would European roulette with either imprisonment or surrender enabled. By playing those games and taking advantage of online rewards, you could come close to breaking even or even making a profit when playing online roulette for a long period of time.

And remember, you can pick up more tips about playing roulette from our blogs.

How to Choose an Online Roulette Gambling Site

You know now how to play online roulette and have some tips that will help you play it as well as possible. But it’s just as important to know how to choose an online gambling site that you can rely on as it is to know how to play the game. But how do we know the sites we recommend are the best for real money online roulette? Well, we’ve done the research and checked out all of these online roulette casinos for you.

But if you want to do the work yourself, here are some of the characteristics of the best online gambling websites. Make a checklist with these qualities when checking out an online roulette website, and you can’t go wrong.

Real Money Casino Bonuses

You need to shop around between sites to see which online roulette gambling sites give you the best bonuses. Remember that these sites desperately want your business. Make sure to take advantage of that.

For example, you should be seeking sites that give you bonuses for signing up in the first place. These sites should also be aggressive in the bonuses they offer when you’ve been on the site for a while.

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Keep in mind, that betting bonuses are the best way to improve your gambling bottom line and reduce the house edge.

Reliable Customer Service

As with any business, customer service is an excellent indication of quality in the world of online gambling sites. You should see this in evidence from the moment that you sign up to play online roulette. Representatives should be reaching out to you immediately.

It’s always possible that problems can arise while you’re playing online roulette. The best sites will be the ones that act to rectify these problems as soon as possible. Make sure that you don’t overlook customer service when you’re choosing your site for online roulette gambling.

Online Gambling Variety

Sports Icons, Money Stack with Bills Flying UpObviously, the focus of this article is online roulette. But what about if you want to branch out to other types of casino games? The best gambling websites will allow you to do that.

As a matter of fact, you might even find sites that offer online roulette also include a sportsbook component. If you are the type who likes to dabble in a little bit of everything, you’ll appreciate this variety. In that way, you can always try something new.

Online Casino Deposit Options

Many sites that aren’t quite up to standard might only offer one form of payment option. This can be problematic if that’s not the option you prefer. For example, it might be a credit card that you either don’t have or don’t want to use because of high rates.

Look for gambling sites that offer a wide range of options. These options should go beyond credit cards and include alternative methods of funding. The more choices you have, the better your overall experience will be.

Payback and Deposits

When it comes to playing online roulette for real money, it’s a good idea to choose a site that is reliable in these departments. Many less-reputable sites will make promises about big bonuses and high-paying games. Then, when you try to collect your winnings, you’ll find that you can’t do so.

You need to find a site that clearly explains its process for withdrawals and deposits. And it should stick to these guidelines with no exception. This is perhaps the most important of all qualities that a top gambling website should possess.

Mobile Roulette Options

We live in an age where people are always hustling from one place to another during the course of their daily lives. As a result, it’s not always likely that you can spend hours tethered to your computer to play online roulette. That’s where having mobile betting is such an advantage.

iPhone X showing Roulette Play

The best gambling sites will provide an app to download which can give you all the action on any of your connected devices. In this way, you can always take your game with you and never have to miss out on the action.

Online Roulette FAQ

We hope that you know all you need to get started with online roulette. You’re likely to find it’s one of the more fun and exciting of all the online versions of casino games. For more information visit our page dedicated to online roulette frequently asked questions or click below to see some helpful answers.

  • Can I Play Online Roulette for Free?

    You can certainly find many websites and apps that allow you to play for roulette for free. The big advantage of this is that you can try out the game to see if you like it. And you can also get the hang of how it works once you do decide to play for actual stakes.

    Of course, you won’t be winning anything if you’re not betting anything. But free online roulette can be a fun distraction when you have a little free time. And it can provide you with a solid foundation once you decide to play for real money.

  • Are There Other Versions of Online Roulette Besides American and European?

    You’ll find many websites that offer alternate roulette versions. Some of these might include less numbers on the wheel. Others might give you the chance to make different types of bets than the ones we listed above.

    The problem with these alternate online roulette games is that they usually have a much higher house edge. As a result, you’re trading variety for payback. And that’s not usually a wise tradeoff to make.

  • How Does Online Roulette Stack up To Other Casino Games in Terms of Payback?

    It usually stands as a rule of thumb that games where players have a chance to impact the game with strategy pay back a little bit better than luck-based casino games. As a result, you’ll tend to find a lower house edge with games like video poker or blackjack than in online roulette. But those games also require you to learn proper strategy to achieve the higher payback.

    Online roulette actually stands pretty tall when you compare it to the payback of other luck-based casino games. For example, it pays back much better, on average, than keno or slot machines. As a result, you can sort of consider it middle-of-the-pack in the payback department.