Updated October, 2018
With this update, we sought to clean up the different sections, allowing readability to be more fluid. You’ll find content relating to free online roulette, as well as a short summary of the UK roulette market. All the sections describing roulette’s history, some of the variants of roulette, and the different types of roulette bets remain, allowing readers to digest a complete picture of roulette. This article provides you with all you could wish to know about online roulette! We hope you enjoy it.
Everything You Need To Know About Online Roulette
Other roulette topics
Introduction to Online Roulette
Online roulette is one of the simplest games you’ll find at online casinos. It’s the best game for new casino goers and beginners as it requires very little skill.
Owing to the crazy popularity of the game, online roulette games are available at literally any online casino that hosts table casino games.
It also comes in an abundance of different forms. We challenge you to find one casino software developer who hasn’t at one point created a new kind of online roulette!
If you are planning to play this game, then you have a lot of variants to pick from. Don’t worry, the playing rules don’t differ too much. But you’ll mostly have to choose between:
- European Roulette
- American Roulette
- Variants with new side bets, mini games and innovative features
Check out the links just above if you want more information about roulette variants that mainly differ regarding stakes and payment methods.
At Fortune Frenzy we love the game of roulette! In this article, we will share our knowledge of the exciting and wonderful game of online roulette.
James, Fortune Frenzy Editor
If you want to learn all you possibly can about roulette before you take the plunge, then look no further. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide in which we’ll let you in on all you need to know.
We’ll detail the rules of the game, its history, all online roulette variants you should expect to find at your casino, and the types of betting strategies you can use to get ahead.
But first, let’s start by looking at its origins, and what it looks like today.
A Brief History of Roulette: What is the game all about?
So what is online roulette, and why is it so darn popular? Well, you’ll find that online roulette owes its popularity and proliferation to a number of factors.
- It’s one of the most recognisable classic casino games
- It’s very simple, making it easy to recreate digitally
- Anyone can get their heads around the game
It also owes a lot to its roots. Indeed, roulette has been around for quite a long time. Though it might not rival card games in terms of age, it’s still been a gambler favourite for a few centuries.
Origins of the Game: An Accidental Invention
The origins of roulette reach all the way back to 18th century France. It was a favourite pastime of party-going aristocrats in Paris and other major cities.
As roulette is a game that’s all about odds, probability and statistics, it 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. Ultimately, his experiment failed, but the mechanism he designed introduced a primitive form of the roulette game we know and love today.
Roulette, in its 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, written in 1769. Here, Jacques Lablee was describing his experience in the Palais Royal casino in Paris.
The Deal with the Devil
The next big leap in roulette history happened in 1842. The Blanc brothers, Francois and Louis, added a zero to the roulette wheel.
Basically, they wanted to make sure the house was guaranteed a slight edge 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 pay-out if they’ve made 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 your outside bets.
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
After roulette’s success in Monte Carlo, the game was taken overseas, and Americans went mad for it. Saloon and gambling house owners, however, were keen to make the game more lucrative for themselves.
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.
Transition to the Digital Realm
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.
It 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 digitally engineer.
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.
Online roulette also looks super recognisable, thanks to its iconic wheel and pay table. 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.
The Basic Rules of Online Roulette
The principle of online roulette has remained the same since the 18th century. The aim of the game is to bet on where the roulette ball will land in the roulette wheel.
In order to place a bet in roulette, you 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.
Players place their bets (chips) on the roulette betting table, and then the dealer spins the wheel. The ball lands in one of the wheel pockets. If the number or colour corresponds to the player’s bet, the player wins.
Here’s a quick rundown of how a game of online roulette goes:
- Player buys chips with their funds
- Player places chips on table sections
- Ball is thrown into the wheel; wheel is spun
- Ball lands in a pocket
- Outcome of the spin decides the winning bets
- Losing bets are lost to the house
Each spin of the online roulette wheel lands on a random number. With online roulette, games will be powered by a random number generator which guarantees a random outcome.
Let’s take a closer look at the equipment you’ll be playing with.
The Roulette Wheel and Betting Table
The online roulette wheel is lined with indents or “pockets” which are marked with numbers and colours.
In European roulette, there are 36 numbered pockets, and one 0 pocket. In American roulette, there is an additional 00 pocket to take into account.
Players will be able to bet on these numbered and coloured pockets thanks to the betting table. You’ll find all the numbers represented on the table, as well as the colours. These will be ordered in sections that you can place your chips on to bet.
Players will be able to make lots of different types of bets. Bets can be made on single numbers, or groups of numbers – odds and evens, highs and lows, etc. You can also bet on reds or blacks. Let’s check out your betting options in more detail.
Different Bets in Online Roulette
Bets in roulette are usually referred to as either “inside bets” or “outside bets”. This refers to where the sections are on the betting table itself.
Pay-outs depend on how likely the outcome for your particular bet was. For instance, the pay-out for individual numbers in online roulette is 37x the original bet.
Seeing how many bets you can make in roulette, you can also cover the whole table with chips if you want. It all just boils down to how much you’re prepared to spend!
Let’s run through what inside bets and outside bets are.
- Inside Bets
When placing an inside bet, you are betting on which number the ball will land on. The fewer the numbers are included in your bet, the higher the odds – and the higher the payout.
- Straight: bet on single number
- Split: bet on 2 numbers
- Three line: bet on a row of 3 numbers (a “street”)
- Corner/Square: bet on 4 numbers that meet on one corner & form a square
- Six line: bet on two gathering streets
- Outside Bets
When placing an outside bet, you are betting on whether the ball lands on an odd or even number or black/red outcomes.
- Left/middle/right column: bet on all 12 numbers in any of those columns
- 1st 12/ 2nd 12/ 3rd 12: bet on 12 numbers in 4 consecutive rows*
- Snake bet: 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34**
- 19-36 or 1-18: bet on all numbers in either bracket
- Red or black: all reds or all black numbers
- Odd or even: bet on all odd numbers or all even numbers
*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.
**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 its name from. To place this bet, the chips are 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.
It’s worth noting that in some versions of the game, all outside 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.
Additional Bets For American Roulette
If you are playing American roulette online you’ll also be given a few more betting options, due to the extra double zero slot. Your odds will be lowered due to the extra slot.
However, you can now bet on the 00 slot too. Therefore, you can make a multitude of other bets, such as a corner bet which is a bet on 0, 00 or one of the neighbouring numbers (1, 2 or 3).
It’s worth pointing out that online roulette games have pop-ups explaining its rules when you launch the game. It should only take a couple of moments to read through and acquaint yourself with them. Don’t lose out because you don’t know properly how the game you’re playing works.
The Different Kinds of Online Roulette
You’ll know by now that online roulette is fundamentally a very simple game, working on a basic principle that has hardly changed in hundreds of years.
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.
Popular Online Roulette Variants
Casino goers are used to enjoying casino staples such as European roulette and American roulette. These are the two basic options, usually offered as an ‘either/or’ choice at most land-based casinos.
But online roulette has much more on offer than just these. When it comes to online roulette, players can look forward to:
- Low stakes roulette
- High stakes roulette
- Multi-wheel roulette
- Small wheel roulette (aka Mini roulette)
- Live casino roulette
Add in extra side bets and special features, and these games all work to add an extra dimension of enjoyment to online roulette.
Most Recent Roulette Variations
Online roulette can get even more experimental. Let’s check out some of the most exciting innovations we’ve seen appear these past few years.
- Monopoly Roulette
Certain licensed games like Monopoly roulette offer a traditional game of American roulette, but with unique twists.
These twists totally change the game. They create brand new mini games to be enjoyed from within the basic online roulette model. In Monopoly Roulette, 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. They’ll be able to collect cards in order to win huge pay-outs if they match enough of the same kind.
- Double Ball Roulette
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
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.
It’s these kinds of games which really demonstrate the true elasticity of online roulette.
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.
- Virtual Reality Roulette
Don’t think you’ve seen it all already either. There are a number of developers working on releasing different versions of virtual reality roulette, too.
VR roulette aims to 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 oddities at your disposal.
The Differences Between European Roulette And American Roulette
In both American and European roulette, the fundamental rules of the game are exactly the same. Players bet on the outcome of where the ball will land in the roulette wheel.
However, as we mentioned, American roulette has one extra green number (00) on its wheel. So:
- European Roulette: 1-36 + 0
- American Roulette: 1-36 + 0 + 00
The betting table will have one extra number on it for you to bet on. The area that would usually only contain the 0 icon will have two separate betting areas for 0 and 00.
This evidently means there are more bets to be made on American roulette. However, your chances of landing on any single number go up from 1/37 to 1/38. So the pay-outs are higher.
With all this information, you might be wondering which version of online roulette you should you play.
Well, American roulette allows you to get bigger prizes. But honestly, the increase in pay-out doesn’t really make up for the decrease in chances of winning in the first place.
We’d usually recommend always opting for the online European roulette version if you want to win at least something.
Advantages of Online Roulette
Internet gaming made casino games, including internet roulette, more accessible than ever before. Players can now enjoy a snippet of the glamour right from their very own homes.
In addition, the costs of an online roulette casino can equate to just a fraction of the cost of playing at a traditional casino, which made more people try their hand at the game.
Let’s check out some more advantages that playing online roulette can give you.
Device Compatibility: Desktop, Mobile, Tablet
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 its fast-paced nature and simple design.
Whether you’re a casino player who has extensive experience with the land-based game, or a relative newbie with little roulette game online exposure, every player is guaranteed to find new and exciting roulette experiences on their laptops, tablets or mobile phones.
Nowadays you can find versions of roulette to play on iOS, Android, and even Windows phones.
Live Dealer Roulette
Some of the biggest recent advancements in online roulette are live dealer games, which are where games are streamed live. Online players can interact with real life croupiers and play against other people.
The roulette tables are real, and the games are filmed from studios in far-flung parts of the world. You’ll be able to make digital wagers, but the outcome is set by the spin of a physical wheel.
Play Online Roulette for Free
You certainly can’t play roulette for free at brick-and-mortar casinos. One significant advantage of online roulette is that free play is widely available.
Free online roulette can be enjoyed by those gamers among you who are reluctant to gamble with real money or want to practice free play roulette.
Playing online roulette for free is a fantastic avenue through which gamers can become comfortable with the wheel.
Free online roulette games are widely available with a quick search of your search engine, so if you want to play roulette for free it’s simple.
The Huge Winnings of Online Roulette
Another reason why online roulette play has captured the imaginations of so many players throughout the world is its massive winning potential, 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. Slot spins give you maybe 2x, 5x or 10x your wager as prizes. Furthermore, blackjack usually only doubles your winnings, 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.
Online Roulette in the UK
It is no secret that there is a vast UK gambling market. Online casinos in the UK offer bountiful selections of online roulette, too.
So if you’re a UK player, it’s perfectly possible and 100% legal to play online roulette. We’d even go so far as to say that it would be a waste not to, seeing the amount of fantastic UK casinos you can find online.
You’ll find many interesting variations which differ at each individual casino. For instance, William Hill offer more than 20 live roulette tables.