Online Roulette Guide – Variations, Rules, Types of Bets

Millions of people worldwide play online roulette, and whether it's on a laptop, a desktop or a mobile phone, the spinning wheel continues to mesmerize players of every culture and nationality.

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Read on to find out how to play roulette online, what the various versions are, and how to place your wagers. We’ll also give you some tips on what to watch out for when you play online. There are several variations of online roulette, including those from France, Europe, and the US. It’s important to know which type of online roulette you’re playing because the wheel is different in some versions – and that definitely affects your odds of winning. We’ll take a look at this in detail later in this briefing.

There are also different online gaming presentations. Roulette can be a virtual reality video table game or a shared computer simulation where an animation represents the land-based casino table, and you are represented by a symbol or picture, as you sit at the table with other players. More recently, online roulette has developed into a live-streamed feed, in which real-life dealers set the wheel spinning, and place the ball. You place your bet electronically, and the live-action is streamed back to you. It’s as close as you can get to a real-life casino without leaving the house!

No need to get dressed up and battle through the heat or rain. No getting jostled at a crowded casino table either. You can play from the comfort of your home. Or in fact, wherever you are, including when you’re on the move since casinos now make roulette available on mobile phones.

The Online Roulette Board

The online roulette board is the same as the one you’ll find in land-based casinos. Just be aware that there is a difference between the American, Europe and French wheel numbering, which we’ll look at in detail later. The board is often spoken of as having an “inside” and an “outside” area. The numbers are displayed on the inside area. The outer area allows you to choose whether the winning number is going to be low or high, what range it will occur in, and whether it will be odd or even, red or black.

Introduction To Roulette

Online roulette is easy to learn, and it allows you to make your bets as complex or as straightforward as you please. While some people swear by their lucky numbers or favorite colors, others have highly intellectual mathematical equations that they use to predict the next number. Everyone chooses their own method of trying to beat the odds on the roulette table.

If you want to practice before you play for real money, you’ll find lots of online casinos that have free to play modes. Once you have set up an account, you can play in free mode until you’re familiar with the way the game is presented, and know how to place the bet you have chosen, at the correct time.

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Types Of Roulette Wager

You can choose to back a specific number by electronically “placing” your chips inside the square that contains that number. Or you can take a broader view, betting on whether the winning number is going to be on the black or the red. You can bet whether an even or odd number will win, but note that the “0” doesn’t count as odd or even.

Looking at the layout of the online roulette table, you can also bet on a column of numbers, a row or a square. You can choose to predict that the ball will land on a number between 1 and 12, between 13 and 24, or between 25 and 36. And you can bet whether the number will be high – between 19 and 36, or low – between 1 and 18.

The only time the player cannot win during online roulette games is when the ball lands on Zero. Then the house wins. See below for important differences between American and European roulette in this respect.

You can of course, use your chips to mix and match your bets on any round. Obviously, the odds against a single number coming up are going to be a lot higher than those against say, red coming up. And the amounts you’ll win reflect this. Most online casinos will have a link that you can click to check the odds for various kinds of bets.

Table Limits

In a land-based casino, there are usually several roulette tables, each with a different table limit. The limit refers to the maximum and minimum bets that are allowed at each table. Many online sites also have table limits, and these will be displayed before you select the table you want to play at. It’s always best to start with a low limit table to begin with.

Betting On Online Roulette Games

In the introductory section above, we looked at how the roulette table is laid out. When you access an online site, especially if it features live streaming dealer action, you’ll often see some numbers displayed as “hot” and others as “cold”. The hot numbers are the ones that seem to be coming up repeatedly, and you may be able to click on these, in order to place bets on them. Some online sites will also show special bets.

So what are the odds of winning? Well, without going into a mathematics lecture, that depends on whether you’re playing the French, Europe or American versions. Read on, to find out the differences and how they affect your likelihood of winning.

Online Roulette

European vs American vs French games

In both land-based and online roulette games, the difference between gaming in the US and Europe lies in the roulette wheel. The European version has one “0”. When the ball lands there, the casino wins. However, the US roulette wheel has “0” and “00” slots. This significantly changes the odds of winning, giving the house a greater edge.

So with numbers from 1-36 plus zero, your chances of winning at European style roulette are 1 in 37 when you play roulette online. However, the standard payout is 35-1 on a single number. The discrepancy represents the casino’s advantage.

With the online roulette American wheel, you have slots 1-36 plus zero, plus double zero, so your chances of winning are lower – 1 in 38. Yet the payout is still 35-1 on a single slot. A higher house advantage!

These differences are reflected in online casino gaming. NetEnt for example, a major provider in this area, offers American, and European or French-style roulettes. But whereas the Return to Player (the amount on average, you can win back) is 97.3% generally, it’s only 94.74% for online American Roulette.

The American wheel also uses different number orders for the slots around the wheel and this difference is also the case when you play roulette online.

The French version is the original one, on which the European version of the game is based. However French style roulette has some different rules, and some of these greatly benefit the player by reducing the house edge – even when you are playing online. Note that the terms “French” and “European” are sometimes used interchangeably in online games and internet blogs if people aren’t aware of the difference between them. After this briefing, you should have expert knowledge of the important differences between the two types of roulette.

The “La Partage” and “En Prison” rules

First off, when you’re playing French roulette online, you may find that your online casino is displaying a French-language roulette table. Don’t despair, the French terms are simple to get on top of – and that reduced casino advantage makes it well worth the effort. “Impair” means the odd numbers and “Pair” means the even numbers. High is “Passe” and low is “Manque”. And red and black table areas are labeled “Rouge” and “Noir”

La Partage means distribution, or sharing out, and this applies if you have an even money bet and the ball lands on zero. An even-money bet is one where you would just win your stake and an amount equal to your stake. This applies to stakes you place on the red or the black, 1 to 18, 19 to 36, or on any odd or even number coming up. If the ball lands in zero you get half of your stake back – in effect you share it with the house. This rule reduces the house edge for the casino, on this type of bet to 1.35%.

And then there’s the “En Prison” casino rule in French style roulette. It also applies to the even money bets described above, for example, wagering on black. If the ball lands on 0 you get half your stake back. So far, so similar to the La Partage casino rule. But there’s more! En Prison says that you have the option of keeping your whole bet, rather than giving up half of it to the casino.

But there’s a downside. It has to stay where it is, while the casino dealer spins the wheel again. In fact, to make sure of this, the casino dealer puts a flag next to your bet, to ensure it stays “in prison” where it is. Again, this rule reduces the house edge in favor of the casino, from 2.7% to 1.35%. Most online French style roulette games offer the “La Partage” rule, and some also offer “En Prison” rule too.

Both of these casino rules add yet more interest in placing your bets when playing roulette online.

roulette online

Live Dealer Roulette

NetEnt has been one of the leaders in the online roulette gaming world, and its casino products offer four types: French, European, American and Roulette Advanced. Online Roulette Advanced is aimed at more professional players but it includes a comprehensive game guide, so it’s a good way to learn the game online.

Once you join a casino and start to play online for real money, you need to bear in mind that live, internet-based roulette is a different thing from the video games that we have been describing so far. You don’t go at your own pace – it’s more like being in a land-based casino, where the dealer deals continuously.

NetEnt recommends that new players start with non-live online video games. The reason is, that these allow you to stop, consider, adjust your gaming strategy and play at your own pace. Then, when you’re comfortable, you can progress to live internet-based roulette in the casino of your choice.

Not all casinos have live internet-based roulette. But those that do find it very popular with players, who relish the virtualization of the land-based casino experience. You have a live dealer, who is being filmed, with the roulette video, streamed to your device.

Some of the biggest names in online casino slots and games – companies such as Evolution, NetEnt, and Playtech – now offer a live dealer casino experience. This has brought a whole new dimension to roulette online, providing an immersive game that is much closer to the experience that you would get in a real-life casino where you play for real money.

Just as in real life, players can pick their favorite or “lucky” dealers before they play. The dealer is filmed in real-time, you play by making your bets on your connected device, the dealer spins the wheel, and the video is live-streamed to your laptop or mobile so that you can play in the location that’s most convenient for you.

NetEnt’s live dealer offering uses the European version of roulette. That means that there is only one zero slots in play on the wheel, rather than the two slots that are used in the US roulette. As we saw earlier, this definitely favors the player and reduces the house edge. However, remember that this is the European rather than French game, so the “La Partage” and “En Prison” rules don’t apply.

The live video feed for the online roulette game has several camera angles. This means that when you play you can switch effortlessly from a view of the wheel to a view of the betting options and the dealer. NetEnt themselves point out, however, that live internet-based roulette is quite a fast game.

There are time limits within which you must place your bet. So it’s probably not the best place for a beginner to start. If you’re new to roulette, the virtual video games are probably better, as they enable you to go at your own pace. This is particularly useful if you are trying to develop a betting strategy or to note down the results of a set of spins.

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NetEnt’s Live Internet-based Roulette Options

Using NetEnt’s roulette as an example again, there are a number of screen tools to help make your live internet-based roulette session easier. There’s an x2 button that you can use to simply double your wager and a re-bet feature that makes it easy to repeat your previous wager. You can also remove particular bets while keeping others. NetEnt uses “oval track” view to allow you to place one or more wagers on a group of numbers, or a section of the roulette wheel, to replicate the experience of playing in real-life casinos.

More experienced roulette players usually take a keen interest in the results of their bets, and the way the wheel has performed when they play. So they love statistics, and like the other live internet-based roulette providers, NetEnt obliges, with a range of performance numbers that can be used for analyzing whether a system is working. The Star feature also gives you the choice of saving your favorite betting patterns and amounts, so that you can easily reuse them the next time you play. These are great additions in the internet casino game.

You can even set an automatic play option, repeat your bets and keep spinning the wheel – but it’s not as much fun as actively playing.

Playtech’s Live internet-based Roulette Service

Playtech claims to be the biggest supplier of online live casino entertainment in both Asia and Europe. It supplies the platform that many casino games run on, and also provides its own gaming products. Their live dealer service is called “Prestige Roulette”. This isn’t a different type of roulette, simply a brand name for this product. Like NetEnt, the game is actually using European style casino roulette.

Playtech uses state-of-the-art video technology, and premium HD to give a great “look and feel” to their live internet-based roulette game. They stream from three large studios across the globe and even boast of having a “Mission Control Centre” to keep Playtech products available 24/365, no matter which online casino you are using (provided, of course, that they have a Playtech license).

Evolution – Customising Dealer Languages

Until recently, most live dealer games have operated only in English. But that’s been changing and will continue to change as players demand customized services when they are playing in casinos. Evolution is one of the companies branching out in a multilingual roulette. So far, its languages are all European. But as more players join online casinos from large markets such as India, that is bound to change, and in the future, customers will be able to select the language they would like their dealer to speak.

Playing Roulette On Mobile

Nearly all major casinos make playing online roulette on your mobile, easy. For example, for Netent versions, just go to the site using your mobile, click on the roulette game you want to play and it will open on your phone. Both the virtual roulette games and the newer live roulette dealer games are available on mobile.

Some casinos will ask you to download an app, to enable you to access online roulette on your mobile. These apps are usually available for IoS (Apple) and Android phones. Because of the limited space on even high-end mobile screens, the app design is crucially important, in terms of giving you enjoyable playing experience. The definition level, speed of play and ease of use all make a huge difference, so it’s worth taking a look at several apps to find the one that you like best. Also, some mobile apps offer a cut-down version of the desktop app while others are fully featured.

Wagering Requirements For Roulette Games

Most people who are familiar with internet casinos will know what a “wagering requirement” is, especially if they have decided to play roulette for real money. For the benefit of people who are just joining the online casino world, if you accept a “Welcome” matched deposit, or indeed any other kind of bonus from the casino, you can’t immediately withdraw any winnings that you get while playing roulette with the bonus. You have to bet a certain number of times the value of the bonus before you can withdraw your winnings. This is known as the wagering requirement.

For example, if you accept an online welcome bonus of £20, and the casino has a wagering requirement of x40 (which is fairly typical) you would have to bet £800 before you could withdraw any winnings from your £20. And that’s without considering any wagering requirement on your deposit if you also made a matching deposit. Incidentally, this is why some seasoned casino players refuse to accept a bonus when opening an account. They feel that for the amount of the bonus, it’s not worth accepting the restrictions on their online account.

When considering playing at roulette, there is, however, something else that you need to be aware of. When you are trying to play roulette to work through the wagering requirement and reach the point where you can withdraw your winnings, many casinos don’t credit the full 100% amount of your roulette bet against the wagering requirement. This commonly applies to roulette and other casino games such as baccarat, where you can find that the casino credits as little as 10% of each roulette bet, against the wagering requirement.

It’s a case of checking all of the Terms and Conditions before you sign up because casinos vary widely in how they implement these kinds of restrictions and whether or not they apply them to roulette. You need to know what version and type of roulette you want to play, and where to look for the best deals for roulette players. Of course, there are lots of variations of the basic roulette games online, including double ball roulette, and many roulette games where you can make side bets or play several roulette tables at the same time.

And that’s even before you start looking at all the number sequence theory, such as the Martingale system or even Fibonacci numbers! But while some roulette players will want to delve into these depths and attempt to forecast the next winning number on the roulette wheel, many will simply love playing at online roulette for relaxation, enjoyment and that lucky chance of winning a fortune from the casino.