The Roulette table is perhaps the signature motif of the whole gaming industry, conjuring up as it does mental images of James Bond with a couple of beauties at either arm quickly building up a good chip count, before going off to do the real business.
Whilst it’s a little bit more mundane for most of us, nevertheless it is hugely popular online and a definite alternative to the ubiquitous slots, straightforward and easy to play, yet having some subtle dimensions to it which need to be understood.
We’ll look a bit at the basics, before turning to look at where you can play the game, including even making use of the free Roulette game online which many online casinos often offer.
We’ll also pick up on some useful strategy tips which should also prove invaluable in your Roulette career as well.
How do you play Roulette online?
Before we look at the basic Roulette rules, we’ll explain a little about what online Roulette is and is not.
Obviously, you don’t have a mechanical wheel to play on as you do at a bricks-and-mortar casino in Las Vegas.
This has the advantage of always being ‘fair’, in other words since the online version uses computer programming it’s not subject to irregularities or faults (the Return to Player (RTP) will generally be published by the casino site, figures around 95% will be typical).
Roulette rules differ slightly, not so much depending on the casino you’re playing at as the type of Roulette itself (see below) and there are also different variants in terms of how much you can stake, from small stakes of just a few cents, up to the ‘high roller’ variants.
Your online Roulette strategy will largely revolve around these factors as, of course, Roulette is essentially a game of chance, with not so much skill involved as is the case with a lot of variants of Poker.
How to win at a Roulette table?
Getting to the point of how to win at Roulette online. As noted, there’s not as much you can do to alter things as there is with some other games, but nevertheless you can do (or not do) some of the following to maximize your chances.
There are various ‘systems’ out there, including the notorious Martingale system, which basically says you should double your last stake each time you don’t get a win. We don’t recommend this method.
Some ‘covering your losses’ methods can make limited gains. For instance, placing a bet on ‘Red’ and then equivalent bets on the first 2 columns (1-34 and 2-35) or picking, say, 8 numbers below 19 and putting say a cent on each, then putting the equivalent total (ie. 8 cents) on the 19-36 box.
But the best way to play Rouletteis simply not to go for too flashy gains. Precommit both to how much you are prepared to lose before walking away, and how much you’ll win before doing same.
For instance, if I have a bankroll of 100 when I go in, I decide that if my bankroll goes down to 90, or goes above 110, I will quit.
That way I avoid both ‘chasing losses’ and the ‘gambler’s fallacy’ of thinking that if certain numbers haven’t come up for a while, they are bound to come up soon.
Using this type of Roulette system it’s possible to build steady, if unspectacular wins and build up your bankroll this way!
Roulette rules for beginners
But we’ve not delved too much into the rules of the game.
Online Roulette is, rules-wise, identical to casino Roulette. There is a spinning wheel with 36 numbers, divided equally between black and red, and one green ‘0’ or sometimes a green ’00’ as well (American Roulette).
You simply bet your chips on a grid square where all the numbers are set out clearly. They each (including ‘0’/’00’) pay out at 36:1, but you can also divide your bets between 2 and even 4 numbers by placing your chip along the lines dividing them (with the online version the programming will help you place the chip correctly, and you can always remove it if you make a mistake).
The other main feature when considering how to play Roulette online is that you can make less risky ‘outside’ bets. These are printed on the outside of the table as the name suggests, and are all either evens bets (Red/Black, 1-18/2-36, Odds/Evens) or 2:1 (one of the 3 columns).
Incidentally spinning the Roulette wheel, you can bet on any numbers you want so you can ‘bet against yourself’ if you so wish.
Roulette strategy tips for players
The best Roulette strategy– we’ve touched upon plenty above already – is just to practice and practice.
That way, whilst you won’t get to alter the chain of events, you will at least have a feel for how the game works, not get flustered, know when to quit and not play ‘emotionally’ – in this respect it IS like Poker, only you’re not trying to get the measure of another person, only of yourself.
Good discipline, in other words.
One of the other most important Roulette strategies, isn’t really a strategy at all, but rather just a question of making the right choices.
We recommend that you don’t choose American Roulette. Why? For the very reason we noted above – American Roulette has both a ‘0’ and a ‘00’, which, although you can bet on those numbers themselves, alter the odds against you to the extent that it makes this version not really worth playing.
European and French versions have just the ‘0’ which is much better, and any online casino worth its salt will carry these versions as well.
French is ultimately the best because often you will get back half your stake on an evens bet in the event of a ‘0’ coming up (La Partage) or alternatively your stake will remain on the same evens bet for one more spin (En Prison). This ups the odds in favour of French Roulette and so it’s clearly the type to go for.
Free Roulette at online casinos
We mentioned the importance of getting some practice in, so anywhere you can play Roulette for free is a boon.
You can find plenty of free play sites out there, including the major online casinos which will usually let you play for free as much as you like.
Another type of free online Roulette game is one of the many Free to Play (F2P) games which abound on social media and elsewhere – some of them are even available as downloadable apps to your phone.