Everything You Need To Know About Online Roulette
This article is updated for February 2018!
Playing roulette online is one the simplest things a casino goer can do in terms of getting their head around the basic principle of the game, though this isn’t to say it’s so simple as to be boring. Owing to the crazy popularity of the game, as well as the abundance of different forms it comes in (we challenge you to find one online or mobile casino games developer who hasn’t at one point created at least one kind of online roulette or another), online roulette is available at literally any online casino that hosts table casino games, and that includes just about all of them.
If you are planning to play roulette online, then the options you have open to you are pretty endless. On top of simply choosing between the American or European versions of the game (yup, they’re different, but we’ll get onto that later), there’s a whole host of different variants which create new side bets, mini games and innovative features to spice up what is already a pretty compelling mobile casino game. On top of simply choosing between the American or European versions of the game (yup, they’re different, but we’ll get onto that later), there’s a whole host of different variants which create new side bets, mini games and innovative features to spice up what is already a pretty compelling mobile casino game.
At Fortune Frenzy we love the game of roulette! In this article, we will share our knowledge of the exiting and wonderful game of online roulette.
James, Fortune Frenzy Editor
Don’t go thinking that because online roulette is working on a 200 year old principle that it doesn’t offer players a decent helping of choice when it comes to how to play and where. There are numerous versions of roulette to play and every casino will have their own promotions and bonuses attached to their selection of casino table games, which will often include online roulette. It’s worth pointing out that, owing to the low house edge attached to the game, some casinos won’t count wagers made on online roulette towards wagering requirements for certain bonuses, so be sure to read the rules and guidelines at your chosen casino before you plough straight in and lose out.
We think everyone should be able to enjoy online roulette as much as we do, but know that some people still don’t know enough about this classic casino game to feel comfortable taking the plunge to play. That’s why we’ve put together our very quick guide to online roulette, in which we’ll let you in on everything you need to know about online roulette, from the rules of the game and its history through the last couple of centuries, to which roulette games you should expect to find at your casino and the types of betting strategies you can use to get ahead in the game.
What is the game all about?
It’s wildly popular and can be found at pretty much any online or mobile casino, but what is online roulette, and why should you try it out (if you somehow never have before)? Online roulette owes its popularity and proliferation to a number of factors: the fact it’s one of the most recognisable classic casino games, the simplicity of the game which makes it easy to recreate digitally, and the broad appeal based off the fact that pretty much anyone can get their heads around the game. In this post we’ll run you through what online roulette is by looking at its origins, and what it looks like today.
Origin of the game
The origins of online roulette reach all the way back to 16th century France, and the aristocratic casinos of Paris and other major cities. Obviously back then it wasn’t online roulette people were playing, but rather the traditional version of the game which first appeared around that time. Roulette as a land-based game requires quite a lot of specialist equipment, so it was traditionally only the rich which would play it. Although it’s now available much more commonly – most notably in its digital form – the game is still regarded to have a relatively high level of prestige.
Roulette was actually one of the very first real money games to make it onto the internet. Not only were players keen to see this popular game online, it also made a lot of sense because it’s a relatively simple game to program the mathematics, engineering and graphics for, and thus made for a cheap to make and operate game. As we all know by now, online roulette, with its thrilling wagering options, pot luck nature and chance to win so much more than you wager has proved to be every bit as popular as its land-based counterpart, and has now been recreated in hundreds if not thousands of different iterations throughout the world.
The Different Kinds of Online Roulette
Online roulette seems in many ways to be a game of contradictions. On the one hand, it’s to a great extent a very simple game, working on a basic principle that has hardly changed in hundreds of
years. On the other hand – and contrary to the belief held by many that online roulette might be a dull experience – the fact is that online roulette can be moulded into an incredibly diverse range of gaming experiences, offering much more in terms of choice than traditional casino roulette ever could. It perfectly encapsulates the basic premise teamed with the complex betting systems which make iconic games enduring in the casino landscape.
And while simplicity is the name of the game, that doesn’t mean that online roulette doesn’t open the door for interesting variants and new features to augment the basic game. Whilst casino goers are used to enjoying casino staples such as European roulette and American roulette – the two basic options, usually offered as an ‘either/or’ choice at most land-based casinos – online roulette has much more on offer than just these.
When it comes to online roulette, players can look forward to low bet roulette, high bet roulette, multi-wheel roulette, small wheel roulette and even live casino roulette for those who want to play online roulette, with that real casino feel. These side bets and special feature games all work to add an extra dimension of enjoyment to online roulette, and each brings a unique new spin to the classic game. Don’t think you’ve seen it all already either – there’s a number of developers working on releasing different versions of virtual reality roulette, which will take the realism of live table roulette and magnify it one thousand times over. It won’t just be real, it will be hyper-real, with options to play in impossible locations with all manner of oddity and originality at your disposal.
Online roulette can get even more experimental than this. Certain licenced games like Monopoly roulette offer a traditional game of American roulette, but with unique twists that totally change the game, and create brand new mini games to be enjoyed from within the basic online roulette model. In the Monopoly Roulette variant, for instance, the 00 option has been replaced by a special bonus round bet. If players place a bet and spin the bonus round option, they can play a bonus mini game which sees them collecting cards in order to win huge payouts if they match enough of the same kind. It’s these kinds of games which really demonstrate the true elasticity of the roulette game conceptually.
Online roulette seems to have captured the imagination of a lot of game developers, leaving players who are just entering the online roulette scene with a lot to discover. Whether you’re a casino player who has extensive experience with the land-based game, or a relative newbie whose experience of the online roulette game is your first exposure to the game, every player is guaranteed to find new and exciting experiences enjoying roulette on their laptops, tablets or mobile phones. Almost every online casino offers at least one roulette variant, with many offering lots of different ways to enjoy the game, so wherever you play, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to enjoy online roulette.
The Differences Between European Roulette And American Roulette
The most diversity that players will find among online roulette games are the differences between European roulette and American roulette. The fundamental rules of the game are exactly the same, with players betting on the outcome of where a ball will land in a roulette wheel. However, American roulette differs in both the structure of its wheel and also the betting table.
Whereas, European roulette comes with 37 slots along its wheel, American roulette has 38. That’s because while European roulette comes with 36 red and black numbered slots, and a green 0, American roulette has an additional green 00 slot also. That means that there are more bets to be made on American roulette, with higher payouts, however your chances of landing on any single number go up from 1/37 to 1/38.
On top of that, the betting table in American roulette has to split the area that would usually only contain the 0 icon, into two separate betting areas of 0 and 00. That means that in American roulette you can make a slightly larger number of bets, since you have the ability to bet on the 00 area of the table as well.
So what’s the reasoning behind this otherwise apparently quite subtle difference? Quite honestly it’s quite a cynical reason if you dig too deep into it. The European version of the game is the classic version that was developed in the casinos of 19th century France, where the house wanted to make sure there was some way that they could have an edge, even if a player was playing red or black, high or low, or odds and evens. Without the 0, there’s an equal 50/50 chance of the player getting a payout if they’re playing these outside bets, which isn’t the kind of thing that casinos tend to be comfortable with. So, the invention of the 0 slot ensured that there were instances where you’d lose even if you were just betting outside like this, giving the house an ultimate slight edge. This is the same in online roulette as it has always been in land-based roulette tables.
That in itself might seem kind of cynical, but when the game made its way over the Atlantic, things got even worse in these terms. If Americans have an image for being money grabbing and greedy, then this is the kind of thing that proves that stereotype correct. American casinos weren’t going to be satisfied with the slight house edge that the single 0 offered, so decided to DOUBLE the chances of all outside bets losing by adding an extra 00 slot. There’s really no other reason behind the move other than the casinos wanting to have a little bigger edge.
So, which version of online roulette should you play? Well, there’s sort of an argument to be made for playing the American version of the game, where you’re able to get bigger prizes, but honestly, the increase in payout doesn’t really make up for the decrease in chances of winning in the first place, so honestly, we’d usually recommend always opting for the European version if you want to win at least something.
The Basic Rules of Online Roulette
Online roulette is a very simple game. The principle of online roulette is the same as it that which has been used in roulette throughout the centuries; the aim of the game is to bet where the roulette ball will land when thrown into a spinning roulette wheel. There is a round of betting before the wheel is spun, and the outcome of the spin decides which of the bets pay out, and which are simply lost to the house. Each spin of the online roulette wheel is independent of any other, meaning that you have the same chances of winning on any bet for every spin. Despite this, many players still attribute some form of superstition to the game, and will keep track of the previous spin outcomes in an attempt to predict future outcomes.
The online roulette wheel – just like its traditional land-based counterparts – is lined with indents which are marked with numbers and colours. The numbers 1 through 36 are represented, and the colours black and red alternate (though not evenly) through the table, meaning that the numbers can be grouped by odds and even, black and red, high or low, and a number of other demarcations. Players bet on which indent the ball will land in and then get a payout depending on how likely the outcome was. For each of the numbers, the payout for individual numbers in online roulette is 37x the original bet, but there’s a number of different ways to bet which increase your chances of winning while reducing your payouts.
While the mechanics of online roulette itself are rather simple, it’s the betting where online roulette stands out. Players don’t just place bets on individual numbers and indents on the wheel, but they can place bets on anything from odd numbers, even numbers and the colour of the indent. These are called outside bets, and also includes betting thirds of the boards too. You’re even able to bet across multiple neighbouring numbers on the board, making it possible to basically cover all numbers in different ways.
On top of that players can actually bet on multiple outcomes, using just one single chip. Online roulette can work this way, because of the unique design of its betting table. It’s really the genius design of the original roulette layout which makes the game such a lasting and highly celebrated as it is, and why, even over 200 years after the advent of the original game, players are still choosing to enjoy online roulette over other more modern games. You basically have the chance to make the game what you want it to be, and seeing that you can choose your own risk level – from 1/2 to 1/37 – it’s suitable for gamblers of any disposition.
There’s a bunch of different betting strategies players that players employ in online roulette which take advantage of the myriad betting options available in the game, but mostly it’s all just about giving players the chance to take risks they’re comfortable with. Though, if you’re interested, we’ll explore some of these betting strategies below.
It’s worth pointing out that, as discussed earlier, there’s pretty much as many different forms of online roulette as there are grains of sand on the average beach, and each of these will have their own specific set of rules, and different ways to win. While it’s likely that the basic outline of the game is the same across all variants, it’s wise to make sure you read up on the rules of the specific online roulette game you’re playing before you plunge right in to play. Each one should have its rules explained somewhere onscreen when you launch the game, and it should only take a couple of moments to read through and acquaint yourself with them. Don’t lose out because you don’t properly know how the game you’re playing works.
Modern Online Roulette
Unlike so many other online and mobile casino games, online roulette looks super recognisable to the original form of the game, thanks to its iconic wheel and pay table. While many earlier digital versions of the game simplified it to cater for less powerful computers or smaller mobile phone screens, with the newest generations of smartphones and desktops, online roulette can be true to life and much like you’d experience in a land-based casino.
Most online roulette games will allow you use a full-sized wheel, with all the betting options maintained from the original game. To spice things up a little, lots of online roulette games will allow special or side bets, and might create more visual intrigue with fun colours to the wheel and table, or a classy background.
To make things even more realistic, many online and mobile casinos now allow you to play online roulette with live dealers – these are real tables with real human dealers in far-flung parts of the world, where you’re able to make digital wagers, but the outcome is set by the spin of a physical wheel.
The Different Kinds of Betting In Online Roulette
In order to place a bet in roulette, you first need to ‘buy-in’. In online roulette, this may be done automatically when you start the game. To ‘buy-in’ means to purchase chips to play with. At a roulette table you’ll notice that there are different coloured chips placed around the betting board. You will receive your own coloured chips when you buy-in, to avoid confusion with other players. To place a bet in roulette, you literally have to place a chip down on the table. The interesting thing about online roulette is that the way you place the chip down can affect what kind of bet you place.
Players can make two major kinds of bet. There are inside bets and outside bets. The first we’ll look at is inside bet, which are bets where you bet on a specific number being landed on, which will include any of the numbers from 0 – 36. These types of bets have a higher payout, but you need to remember that it’s less probable that you will win as you’re only betting on a single number.
Although the main type of inside bet is a single number, there are other types of bets you can place too. A split bet can be made by betting on two vertically or horizontally adjacent numbers on the roulette table. You can place this bet by placing your chip on the border of the two numbers.
Similar to a split bet is a street bet, and these can be made when a player bets on three consecutive numbers along a horizontal line, e.g 7, 8 and 9. You place this bet by placing your chip on the outer edge of the number at either end of the line. These are known as streets because of their length.
A corner bet is a bet that is place on three or four numbers that meet on one corner, e.g 10, 11, 13 and 14. You place these bets by placing the chip on the common corner. corner of 3 or 4 adjoining numbers. Finally players can also make a six line bet, where they bet across the border of two streets and two individual numbers.
Outside bets are where players bet on the qualities of the number or indent that the ball will land in. Outside bets pay out less than inside bets, because they have a much wider spread for you to win on, but they are also much more likely to actually payout. However, in some versions of the game, all of these bets are lost if the zero comes up. In UK rules, a player can only lose half of their stake if the zero is landed on. It’s always a good idea to check a casino’s specific rules before playing so you can work out the risks of your bet.
Just like inside bets, there are numerous different bets you can make and these are all dependent on where you place your chip on the roulette table. The main three types of outside bet are low or high, red or black, or even or odd. Low or high bets are a bet that the number will land within the chosen range, so on any number between 1 to 18 if you bet low, or on any number between 19 to 36 if you bet high.¨
A red or black bet is a bet that the number will be of the chosen colour, and an even or odd bet is a bet that the number will be of the chosen type.
A dozen bet is a lesser well known type of outside bet. It works much like the high or low bets, as you’re betting on the number being in the first dozen of numbers (1-12), the second dozen of numbers (13- 24) or the third dozen of numbers (25- 36). You may sometimes see the dozens referred to as P12, M12, and D12. These abbreviations come from the french names for the categories; premiere douzaine, moyenne douzaine and the dernière douzaine.
A column bet can also be placed, and this means that you’re betting on the number being within the chosen vertical column of 12 numbers on the roulette table, such as 1 to 34. To place these bets players must arrange their chip on the space below the final number in the sequence.
A snake bet is the final type of outside bet, and it’s a special bet which is sometimes not allowed to be played. The bet covers the numbers 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. If these numbers were connected in a line on the betting table, they would form a zigzag, snake like pattern which is where the bet gets it’s name from. To make this bet, the chip is placed on the lower corner of the 34 square that borders the 19-36 betting box. Some roulette tables, however, may mark the bet with a two-headed snake illustratIon and the bet can be placed on the head at either end of the body.
Different Bets For American Roulette
If you are playing American roulette you’ll also be given a few more betting options, due to the extra double zero slot. The payouts of the game will remain the same as with European roulette, but the probability of winning bets is lowered due to the extra slot. However, you can now bet on the 00 slot too, and therefore can make a multitude of new options, including a split, corner bet which includes 0, 00 or one of the neighbouring numbers (1, 2 or 3).
A Brief History to Online Roulette
Roulette is a classic casino game with a rich history. It’s one of those games that is instantly brought to mind when someone mentions Las Vegas and it’s definitely connected to that 007 glamour of a casino experience. It’s easily one of the most exciting and exhilarating games around, but did you know that it actually dates way back to the 17th century?
An Accidental Invention
Roulette is a game that’s all about odds, probability and statistics. It, therefore, makes a lot of sense that the roulette wheel was actually invented by a physicist. Blaise Pascal was a French scientist, inventor and mathematician. However, he never meant to invent the device. In 1655, Pascal was working on creating a perpetual motion machine. For the non-scientifically versed, this was a machine that could continue to keep moving, without an external energy source. Ultimately, his experiment failed, but the mechanism he designed introduced a primitive form of the roulette game we know and love today.
Roulette, in it’s present form, is an amalgamation of several popular gambling games from the 18th century. Games such as the British roly-poly and the Italian game hoca are all said to have influenced game play. The first recorded mention of the game can be found in the french novel La Roulette, wrote in 1769. Here, Jacques Lablee was describing his experience in a the Palais Royal casino in Paris.
The next big leap in roulette history happened in 1842 when the Blanc brothers, Francois and Louis, added a zero to the roulette wheel. This is where the story dips into the mythical, as the tale goes that the brothers struck a deal with the devil to learn the secrets behind the game. If you add up the numbers all the numbers of the wheel, 0 to 36, it totals 666, the number of the devil himself. Whilst this seems to be pushing the boundaries of realism just a little, it does mean that if you can beat the roulette wheel, you’re winning against the devil – which sounds pretty cool doesn’t it?
The brothers then took their wheel, with the added zero, to Monte Carlo where King Charles III of Monaco had set up his own casino. With his kingdom suffering financial difficulties, he wished to get the economy booming once more and so the addition of the zero was crucial as it meant the game had a bigger house edge.
The Creation of American Roulette
We all know Americans love to stamp their own name on things, whether that’s adding unnecessary ‘z’s’ to words that don’t need them, or calling football soccer, they have to do it their own way.
After roulette’s success in Monte Carlo, the game was taken overseas and American’s went mad for it. Saloon and gambling house owners, however, were keen to make the game more lucrative for themselves, and so as a result they added the double zero to the roulette wheel. This was to give the house an even bigger edge, as the added pocket decreases the player’s odds of winning.
The double zero version of the game, however, didn’t catch on in Europe. Therefore, the original game with the single zero became known as European Roulette, whilst the double zero game was titled American Roulette, which is still the main difference in the two games today.
Roulette remained a hugely popular game in bricks and mortar casinos and is still one of the main attractions of visiting the casino. However, when internet gambling kicked off in the 1990’s, roulette’s popularity would surge once more.
Online roulette is one of the most widely played online casino games. Internet gaming made casino games more accessible than ever before, and players could enjoy a snippet of the glamour right from their very own homes. In addition, online roulette can be played for a fraction of the cost of playing at a casino, which made more people try their hand at the game.
When mobile gambling took off, roulette was one of the first games to be adapted for the smaller screen. The game is perfect for on-the-go games due to it’s fast paced nature and simple design. Mobile players can now enjoy roulette wherever they may be, be it a sneaky session in the office or in the pub with friends.
How Will The Game Develop?
As you can see from this brief history, roulette is a constantly evolving game and it’s likely that due to its consistent popularity, the game will continue to develop for many more years.
Some of the biggest recent advancements in online roulette are live dealer games, which are where games are streamed live, and online players can interact with real life croupiers and play against other people.
In addition, there are many more variants of roulette being created, such as double ball roulette and Roulette Royale. Double ball roulette is, as it sounds, a variation of the game which is played with two balls. The balls are released and spun at the same time, and double bets are placed. Roulette Royale, in contrast, is played with a progressive jackpot. This version is played like a normal game, yet players can make a side-bet on the progressive jackpot. If the ball lands on the same number for consecutive spins, the progressive jackpot may be won.
With so many new variants of roulette being created, it’s obvious that the appetite for new roulette games is still insatiable and so it looks like the future of roulette is as bright as ever. Regular online games and mobile versions have come on leaps and bounds in the past few years, and both the graphics and security of these games is always improving. Furthermore, technological advancements such as virtual reality consoles will help to make the game even more immersive than ever before, so you can really bring the glamour of the ‘king of casino games’ to your own home.
Why play online roulette
Online roulette is one of the most enduringly popular real money games online, with hundreds of thousands of players every day choosing to try their luck with a spin on the perennially fun casino classic. If you’re not an experienced player of online roulette, it’s totally legit to wonder why you might want to play online roulette to begin with. If you’re wonder this, then we think it would be useful for you to understand many of the myriad reasons players daily choose online roulette over slots or other casino games, so here are our top reasons.
The Pure Luck of Online Roulette
While games like poker and blackjack take a certain amount of skill, and even playing many online slots takes a certain amount of judgement, roulette is a pure game of chance, where the random outcome of a spin on a wheel with number 1 – 36 governs whether you win or not. It’s the most pure expression of a luck based game you’ll find at the majority of casinos, and it’s this randomness and luck element which makes online roulette so appealing to so many players.
Not only is this a thrill for purist gamblers who want to put their money up to pure chance, there’s another factor related to the randomness of the game that gives it such a broad appeal; the fact that anyone can play it. Because each outcome is totally random, and unrelated to any other spin, there’s no right or wrong way to gamble. Obviously it’s important to know the odds of making one wager over another, but seeing as there’s no skill involved, it’s just as likely that a total novice would win the top prize as a hardened online roulette veteran.
The Huge Winnings of Online Roulette
The second reason we reckon online roulette has captured the imaginations of so many players throughout the world is the massive winning potential that you can muster in the game, and the range of risk you can choose from. Whether you want to stick to the outside bets where you have a 50/50 chance of winning, take a more daring single number wager where you’re more likely to lose your cash, or anything in between, you can pick risk to suit your appetite. And with increased risk comes much increased reward.
With mobile slots it can take ages for you to build up little wins to make a decent amount of money, with spins giving you maybe 2x, 5x or 10x your wager as prizes. Blackjack too usually only doubles your winning, and it can take a while for your bankroll to clamber up. Online roulette is the only game where in one single spin you can land yourself a win of 36x your initial wager. While we’re realistic about the fact that that doesn’t happen all that often, it’s still a thrilling potential to get excited about.
Thrill of the Spin
It’s undeniable that one of the most compelling elements of online roulette is that moment right after you’ve finished wagering and you’re waiting for the ball to ball and determine your fate and the fate of your money. Watching the little white ball your heart is in your mouth, and all outcomes are equally possible. At that moment, online roulette becomes the Schrodinger’s cat of games, where potentiality is everything, you don’t know what’s going to happen, and you’re all at the same time excited, nervous, happy and sad. It’s that combination of emotions, that indeterminable thrill that makes the game such a draw, and maintains its popularity through the years.