How to Play Roulette

This article is intended to teach the beginner how to play roulette.  It covers the basics of the game, some tips while you’re at the table, and some basic strategy.  The skills translate to reals casinos and casino nights!  Good luck and have fun learning how to play roulette.


The object of roulette is to bet on the outcome of a white ball, sometimes called a pill or nut, spun around a wheel with numbered wells. The number the ball lands on is the winning number. There are 36 numbers, half red and half black, and a 0 and 00, which are both green.


Playing the game really is simple to learn and play. Don’t be intimidated by the payout charts, the dealer is the only one who has to know them. All you need to focus on is the fewer numbers your bet covers, the higher a winning payout will be.

To begin, you’ll need buy special colored roulette chips from the dealer to play. Each player has their own color because more than one player might place a bet on the same spot. Often a player will place too many bets to remember the placement and amount of each one.  The different colors help each player know which bets are theirs.

To place a bet, simply place one or more roulette chips on the spot you’d like to bet on. You may place a many or as few wagers as you want as long as you’re within the minimum and maximum betting limits(your dealer will be able to assist with this).

Wager Types

We’ll go over each type of bet and what it covers:

You don’t need to memorize the payout chart to learn how to play roulette but one concept to keep in mind: the less numbers you have covered by a single wager, the higher the payout.  Keep in mind that the higher payouts are harder to hit.

  • Straight Up numbers can be any single number on the layout, even the ‘0’ and ’00’ in green at the top of the board.
  • Splits are any two numbers.  You can place that bet by placing a chip in between two numbers.  A very common bet is to Split the zeros.
  • A Street bet covers three numbers in a row, 13, 14, and 15 in the graphic below.
  • Corners cover four numbers.  The 17-21 Corner bet below covers 17, 18, 20, and 21.
  • A Basket is a special bet that covers both zeros as well as 1, 2, and 3.
  • The Line bet covers 6 numbers.  In the example, the Line bet covers 28 through 33.
  • Columns and Thirds(sometimes called Dozens) cover 12 numbers and pay 2:1.  Red ‘G’ in the example below covers the entire middle column of numbers while the White ‘G’ covers 1 through 12.
  • Even money bets are the whole bottom row on the example.  1-18 and 19-36 each cover about half the numbers.  Similarly, even and odd as well as red and black cover half of the numbers.
How to Play Roulette

After a short period of time the dealer will announce “no more bets.” At this point players must wait for the ball to drop and the dealer will place a small statuette called a marker on the corresponding number on the table layout. The dealer will then take all of the losing bets, then pay all the winning bets, and afterwards remove the marker.  Finally, because the dealer has so much to keep track of, all players should wait until the dealer has removed the marker before collecting their winnings and placing more bets.


In roulette most strategies played over a long period of time will even out.  Las Vegas doesn’t keep the lights on by having games that are mathematically beatable.  That being said, playing well can minimize the house edge while playing poorly will raise that edge.

One rule of thumb is to never bet all of one type of bet.  For example, new players often want to bet on red and black.  On the surface it may seem like you’ll just keep playing forever and accumulate the “free” drinks.  If that’s your goal, then it’s not a half bad strategy.  But, if you’re hoping to win a little money, the only outcomes from this type of bet are: win one, lose the other or lose both because of the 0 and 00.  There are no positive outcomes but there are negative ones.

See this wiki article on the various famous strategies that have been invented.  See also, for a much deeper look at how to play roulette and the probability maths involved,


Roulette is a great game and learning how to play roulette can be fun for the whole crowd with one of our roulette tables.  Get a quote and invite your friends over before that next trip to the casino!

If you enjoyed this article, see our other How-To’s.  Blackjack.

Remember, this information is for entertainment and educational purposes and is not a guarantee of any sort of gains or losses from gambling.  If you have a problem gambling, please seek help or call 1-800-gambler