Roulette has come a long way since its invention in 18th century France. This timeless classic is a staple of the Canadian gambling industry and is ubiquitous in local and online casinos. European and American roulette are usually the go-to variations in Canada, but dozens of spinoffs are beginning to make appearances, as well.
Online roulette is a game of pure chance, so there’s not much you can do to gain an edge. Still, getting to know the basics may help you get better results. Although the rules may appear intimidating to a novice, it’s actually a simple game to play once you have a grasp of what is happening.
We’ve got you covered on that front. This guide will teach you the ins and outs of roulette, including rules, types of bets you can place, roulette iterations available at Canadian online casinos and more.
How to play roulette: step-by-step guide
Here’s how online roulette plays out. We’ll get right in on the action and skip the steps where you register at a Canadian online casino, deposit funds and load a roulette variant of your liking.
- Place your bets: First, select the denomination of your wager and then click on the number(s) you believe will hit.
- Wheel spin: When playing the online RNG version, you’ll likely need to click on the “Spin” button to indicate that you’re done with your betting. The software will spin the ball in the wheel shortly afterward. In live dealer roulette, there’s a limited time window for placing bets in between rounds. Once the clock runs out, the croupier will call “no more bets” and spin the wheel.
- Outcome: After a few circles in the track, the ball will gradually lose momentum and drop into a pocket.
- Collect your winnings: If the pocket in which the ball landed corresponds to the number that you bet on, you win. The payout will depend on the stake and the type of wager in question.
Roulette game variations
The massive popularity of roulette has led to many software vendors offering their own take on the “little wheel.” Each version has its peculiarities, although the objective remains the same. Among the numerous iterations of real money online roulette that you’ll find in Canadian online casinos, there are several that stand out. We’ve covered most of them below.
What is American roulette?
A distinct feature of American roulette is the double-zero layout. The American adaptation has 38 divisions, which is one more than the other major variants of roulette. The addition of the extra pocket increases the house edge to 5.70% — double that of European roulette. The table layout is slightly different, more specifically sequencing of the numbers. American roulette also has a couple more bets than other versions. Otherwise, the rules are pretty similar.
What is European roulette?
European roulette is by far the most dominant version of roulette in Canadian online casinos. Unlike its American cousin, it has only one zero, and 37 numbers in total. Consequently, it has a lower house edge, clocking in at 2.70%. All major providers like NetEnt and Evolution have developed their own spinoffs of European roulette.
What is French roulette?
French roulette is almost identical to the European version as far as wheel layout and betting choices are concerned. The main difference comes in two significant rules specific to the French edition — La Partage and En Prison. Both are hugely favourable to the player (reducing the house edge to 1.35%). When these rules are in effect, you’ll get half of your even money bets (even/odd, high/low, red/black) back if the ball lands on zero.
What is multi-ball roulette?
Multi-ball roulette is an exciting offshoot of European roulette that allows you to play with multiple balls (up to 10) simultaneously. And since two balls can’t land in the same number, this version has better odds than most others. The trade-off comes with a slightly reduced payout.
Multi-wheel roulette is a bit like multi-ball roulette, except instead of having multiple balls you can bet on, you can play on multiple wheels simultaneously. Note that you have to make the same bet on all wheels.
What is live dealer roulette?
Live dealer roulette is exactly what it sounds like — a roulette variation that an actual dealer runs and not the RNG software. It aims to emulate the experience of playing the game at a real casino in person. Live dealer casino games are hosted either in a specialized studio or in a brick-and-mortar casino and then streamed to players’ mobile devices and computers. Cameras allow players to see every aspect of the game as it unfolds.
What are the minimum and maximum bets in online roulette?
Betting options in a given roulette game depend on several factors — namely the online casino, software provider and the variation in question. Generally, the range is wide enough to accommodate both casual players and high rollers alike.
As a rule of thumb, the minimum bets are lower in computerized roulette variations than in live dealer games. At some RNG-based tables, you can get started for as little as $0.25. Conversely, live dealer tables usually have a higher maximum bet threshold, making them a better fit for high rollers. With some games, the upper limits reach up to $50,000 per round. Straight bets typically have lower maximum limits due to a greater payout potential.
Roulette inside & outside bets: What’s the difference?
Most roulette bets can be grouped into two broad categories — inside and outside bets. Different stakes, payouts and odds of hitting apply to each of these primary wagers. Outside bets have a greater chance of hitting but give you a lower payout. Inside bets are the opposite. They give a smaller probability of winning but yield better profits for the same bet amount.
Inside bets are made on an individual, adjacent or a small group of numbers. They’re all made via the inner part of the layout and tend to pay higher with fewer wins. There are six types of inside bets, as follows:
- Straight up: A single-number bet and the most difficult to hit. It has the biggest win potential. For example, you can expect a 35:1 payout.
- Split bet: A wager on any two adjacent numbers.
- Street bet: A bet on three numbers appearing in a row.
- Corner bet: A bet covering a four-number zone, forming a square.
- Five number bet: A wager exclusive to American roulette, using the numbers 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3.
- Line bet: Also known as a “Sixline Bet,” this is a wager on two rows containing three numbers each.
Outside bets incorporate a broader selection of numbers and are easier to hit. On the flip side, the payout you’ll receive is lower than for inside bets. There are five types of outside bets you can make in roulette:
- Low/high: Here, you’re simply betting on whether the number where the ball lands has a low (1-18) or high (19-36) value. The bet losses if the ball falls into zero (or double-zero).
- Red/black: This wager is on which colour the ball will land on. Except for zero, half of the numbers are red and half are black. Again, the house wins if zero or double-zero hits.
- Even/odd: Bet on whether the ball will hit an odd or even number. Bear in mind that zero and double-zero don’t count for either option. If one of them hits, you’ll lose your bet unless you’re playing under the La Partage rule.
- Dozen: Wager on a sequence of 12 numbers, either 1-12, 12-24 or 25-36.
- Column: This wager allows you to bet on 12 consecutive numbers. Place bets at the bottom of your preferred column.
How to play roulette online and win
Earlier, we stated that roulette is a game based predominantly on chance and that nothing you do can change the result of a given spin, and we stand by it. But like any other casino game, playing roulette the wrong way will get you nowhere fast. Learning the rules is a great first step, but there are a few more things to remember to give yourself as good a chance as possible at winning at roulette.
- Play the game with the best odds: Most roulette experts would advise you to avoid American roulette simply because it has the overall highest house edge. In terms of odds, European roulette is a much better option.
- Learn how to play with free games: Most online casinos will allow you to play RNG-based roulette in demo mode. Free online roulette games will give you an understanding of how online roulette works. You can also brush up on some finer points if you’re already familiar with the rules.
- En Prison rule: The En Prison rule halves the house edge on even-money bets, so you should take advantage of it whenever you can. It’s usually a feature in French roulette, but it is also available on some European roulette tables.
- Play outside bets only: Playing outside bets will offer a lower payout but a far greater chance of winning.
How do roulette payouts work?
The odds and payouts depend on the roulette variant and the type of bet. Here’s the full overview:
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What is the best bet in roulette?
It depends on your risk tolerance and preferences. We might argue that even bets are best as they give players the biggest chance of a payout.
How do the odds work?
Roulette odds work the same way for all bets and appear as X to 1. The X represents the potential payout for every dollar that you bet.
How much do you win on green?
If you bet on single numbers (straight wagers), the payout for zero is 35:1, the same as other numbers on the table.
Can I bet red and black at the same time?
Yes, you can theoretically bet on both red and black simultaneously, but we would advise against it because you will lose money in the long term.
How many numbers are in a game of roulette?
The American roulette wheel features 38 numbers — 1 to 36, zero and double-zero. European and other versions have 37 — 1 to 36 and zero.