Roulette first appeared in France in the late 1700s, and within a century it had spread across Europe and even debuted in the United States. Thanks to a combination of big payouts and elegant simplicity, the game has remained a favorite among gamblers into the modern era. This even holds true for internet casinos, where roulette has become a mainstay alongside games such as slots, craps, and blackjack.
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Rules of Online Roulette
The game of roulette is played with a wheel and a betting layout. All versions of the roulette wheel have 36 pockets that alternate red and black. The European version of the game also has a green pocket marked zero (house edge 2.70%), while the American version has a pair of green pockets with zero and double-zero (house edge 5.26%).
To begin a round of online roulette, the player scans the layout and decides which bets they wish to make. Once they’ve made their choice, these wagers are placed by clicking on the corresponding points of the layout and setting the desired dollar value.
Once the player has finished placing their wager, the ball is set spinning within the virtual roulette wheel. Sound effects simulate the distinctive clacking of the ball as it loses momentum and rattles around, before finally coming to rest in one of the pockets.
When the ball is fully inside one of the pockets, the winners and losers for the round are determined. After payouts are automatically issued by the software, betting begins on the next spin of the reel.
When playing roulette, the betting options for players fall into two categories: inside and outside. Inside wagers have larger payouts, but the odds of winning on an individual spin are much lower. Outside bets, meanwhile, have lesser payouts but better odds for the player. If you’re unfamiliar with the different types of roulette wagers, here’s a list divided by category:
- Straight Up – Bet on an individual number. The payout is 35:1 with a 2.63% probability of winning.
- Street – A bet on three numbers connected on the layout. The payout is 11:1 with a 7.89% probability of winning.
- Split – A bet on two connected numbers on the layout. Pays 17:1 with a 5.26% probability of winning.
- Double Street – The player wagers on any six numbers on the layout. Pays 5:1 odds with a 15.79% probability of winning.
- Corner – Betting on four connected numbers on the layout. Pays 8:1 with a 10.53% probability of winning.
- Basket – This wager wins if one of the following combinations hits: 0, 1, 2; 00, 2, 3; or 0, 00, 2. Pays 11:1.
- Even/Odd – A wager that the winning number is either even or odd. Pays even money with a 47.37% probability of winning.
- Red/Black – A wager that the color of the winning number is either red or black. Pays even money with a 47.37% probability of winning.
- High 18 – Betting on the first 18 numbers on the layout. Pays even money with a 47.37% probability of winning.
- Low 18 – Betting on the last 18 numbers on the layout. Pays even money with a 47.37% probability of winning.
- Dozens – Betting on a series of 12 numbers on the layout. Option include 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36. Pays 2:1 with a 31.58% probability of winning.
- Column – Betting on all 12 numbers on one of the layout’s three vertical columns. Pays 2:1 odds.
Casino Bonuses & Roulette
When you make a deposit or sign up with an online casino, the site often provides a matching bonus. This form of bonus is usually aimed at slots players, and the bonus money can’t be withdrawn until certain wagering requirements are met.
For an example of a wagering requirement, let’s look at a 100% matching bonus on a deposit of $100. This gives you a total of $200, and the hypothetical casino also requires a 35x playthrough on the combined amount of the bonus and deposit. That means you’ll need to risk $7,000 (200 x 35) before you can request a withdrawal of any money involved with the bonus.
Slots count 100% towards meeting such requirements, as their high house edge makes it likely that the player will lose the amount of the bonus while attempting to meet the playthrough stipulation. Since roulette features several wagers with odds superior to slots, it is often disallowed when it comes to meeting betting requirements.
Top Providers of Online Roulette Software
Some roulette casinos are powered by a single type of software, while others bundle several brands together. Regardless of the configuration, you can always expect to find roulette as an available option. The following is a list of the software designers to watch for, as they all have solid reputations for fairness and quality.
- Boss Media – Provides a single-zero wheel and a house edge of 2.70%.
- Cryptologic – Offers American and European wheels. A French rules version of the game is also available on the European wheel, where the player only loses half their wager if the ball lands on a zero during an even money bet.
- Net Entertainment – Includes European, French, and American versions. Multiple options allow players to adjust the look of the graphics and table limits.
- Amaya – American and European roulette are available, both with a minimum wager of one British pound. A live version is also included, as well as a multi-player version of the European wheel.
- Playtech – French, European, and American wheels are offered, although variations in graphics and table limits add up to a total of 12 options for players.
- Microgaming – Six versions are available, including French, European, and American. A multi-player game is included, as well as one that allows the player to wager on eight spinning wheels at the same time.
- Real Time Gaming – Offers the standard selection of American, French, and European wheels.
- Rival – Only the American and European versions of the game are available.
- Random Logic – The European version is the only wheel offered from this software designer.
- Wagerworks – Their only offering is a French wheel, which gives a house edge of just 1.35% on even money wagers (and 2.70% on all others).
- TopGame – Offers five games, although all of them are single-zero wheels. A couple of the wheels are limited to high rollers and can only be accessed by an invitation from the casino.
- WGS Technology – The standard American and European wheels are offered.