How to Play Roulette


How to Play Roulette

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One of the most enticing casino games around, roulette uses mesmerizing precision mechanics to turn a table game into a wild carnival ride. As the ball spins around the roulette track, anticipation builds—waiting for the ivory orb to land on its final number.

This is the excitement of roulette. From Monte Carlo to Las Vegas, gamblers lay down their chips on the roulette table, eager for the wheel to finish turning and driven by the chance to win big. Learn the basics of how to play roulette,
as well as roulette strategies and tips.

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How Roulette Works

Roulette is a wildly fun game that provides equal winning opportunities to beginners and seasoned players alike. Here are the basics of roulette, from the inner workings of the eye-catching wheel to the meaning of each betting space.

The Wheel

There's no missing the roulette wheel—a shining spinner of polished metal and wood, quickly rotating as the croupier (aka dealer) sends a small ivory ball spinning around the track at the edges of the wheel's interior.

There are 38 numbers on an American roulette wheel—numbered 1-36, plus a 0 space and a 00 space. European roulette lacks the 00 space, allowing for 37 numeric options.

Strategically placed deflectors sit at various locations around the interior of the roulette wheel. As the ball spins around the track, it loses momentum and falls into the numbered center area. The ball hits deflectors as it enters the center area of the wheel, further randomizing the ball's final stopping point.

Eventually, the ball lands into one of 38 numbered pockets. Whoever made a bet that corresponds with the ball's final stopping point wins their wager. The croupier pulls in everybody else's bets for the house.


The Table

Whether you're playing at a live casino or online, roulette tables have a distinctive layout. Though they might have slight design and style differences, all standard roulette tables have the same betting options and color schemes.

You make bets by placing chips on the spaces you think will win when the croupier spins the wheel. The distinctive American roulette table contains 50 betting spaces, laid out like so:

Numbers 1-36 

These numbers appear in the main betting area, running left to right in ascending order, in three vertical columns on the main section of the table.

The following numbers are red: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 32, 34, and 36. 

The following numbers are black: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, and 35.

Numbers 0 and 00

In American roulette, these two numbers are colored green and appear at the head of the table, outside the layout for the 36 main black and red betting numbers.

The 2:1 Column Spaces

Located at the foot of the table outline, these depict the number column corresponding to each space.

The Dozens Spaces

Located at the left edge of the table in American roulette, these three spaces indicate the first, second, and last 12 numbers, situated into 3x4 numerical blocks to the immediate right of the space.

The 1-18 and 19-36 Spaces

In American roulette, these spaces are situated at the outside-most left edge of the table, located at the corners, opposite each other. Each betting space corresponds with the first or last 18 numbers in the main betting area.

Even and Odd Spaces

These areas sit opposite each other inside the 1-18 and 19-36 betting spaces. 

Black and Red

Often displayed simply as a red diamond and a black diamond at the innermost two spaces on the left edge of the table, these diamonds symbolize a bet on red or a bet on black.

Roulette Rules

Wagers can be as complex as you wish them to be, but the rules for playing roulette are straightforward and easy to follow:

1. Players begin making bets before the croupier spins the wheel and throws the ball in to spin in the opposite direction as the wheel.

2. With the ball and wheel spinning, players can continue to place bets until the croupier calls for no more bets.

3. The ball continues to spin until it lands in a numbered space at the center of the wheel.

4. The croupier hands out winnings to those who selected a winning space and collects the losses for the house.

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Types of Roulette Bets

There's a lot to think about when considering how to bet on roulette. The table offers many wagering options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Knowing all available betting choices and how they work can give you some ideas for starting out and help you build your strategy on how you want to play roulette.

The table offers two primary types of wagers—inside bets and outside bets. This section covers the types of inside and outside bets and the payout on roulette wagers.


Inside Bets

Inside bets are wagers you place in the main betting area of the roulette table. You can bet on a single number, split your chips among multiple numbers, or bet on 2 to 6-number groupings in the main area.

The Straight Up

Paying 35:1, the straight-up is a bet on a single number. You can make any number of straight-up bets on a given spin by placing chips on multiple numbers. However, you must make the
minimum bet on each number you select.

Split Bets

Paying 17:1, you make a split bet by placing your chips on the line between two adjoining numbers. 

The Three-Number Bet

Fondly referred to as the street bet, the three-number bet pays 11:1. The street bet lets you bet on a row of three by placing your chips on the outside border of the three-number set you want to bet on.

The Four-Number Bet

Also called the corner or the square, the four-number bet pays 8:1. With this wager, you select any cluster of four adjoining numbers and place your chips where the four borders meet.

The Five-Number Bet

Also called "the monster" or "the beast," the five-number bet pays 6:1. With this bet, you can only bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 as your chosen number cluster. You indicate the five-number wager by placing your chips on the line that adjoins the five numbers—between the 0, 00 line and the 1, 2, 3 line. 

The Six-Number Bet

Most commonly known as the "sixline," the six-number bet pays out 5:1. With this wagering style, you bet on two adjoining rows of three numbers on the table by placing your chips on the outside border and the line straddling the two rows. 


Outside Bets

Outside bets are wagers you place on the spaces to the left of the main betting area. In American roulette, outside bets are indicated on the roulette table's top, bottom, and left edges. 

The Column Bet

By placing your chips on one of the three 2:1 spaces at the roulette table's bottom edge, you win a 2-to-1 payout if the ball falls on any number in the corresponding column. Neither the 0 space nor the 00 space count as part of any column bet.

The Dozens Bet

Paying 2:1 odds, the dozens bet allows you to bet by placing your chips on the first, second, or third set of 12 numbers of the main 36. There's no option for dozens bets, such as a wager on numbers 0-11 or 10-22. The number sets are clearly defined, enabling bets on 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36 as a dozens bet.

The Odd or Even Bet

One of the simplest bets in roulette you can make, the even/odd bet pays even money—a 1:1 payout. You place your wager by laying down your chips on the "EVEN" space or the "ODD" space on the roulette table. 

The High or Low Bet

This is another simple bet. Paying out 1:1, you make the high/low bet by putting your chips on either the 1-18 space or the 19-36 space. 

Betting on Red or Black

A favorite among roulette players worldwide, something about betting black or red seems to hit right for many people. A red/black bet pays even money—1:1—and you place the wager by putting your chips on the red diamond or the black diamond symbol in the outside betting area.

The Tracking Board


The tracking board records a living history of the past spins so that you don’t have to! The larger number at the top is the result of the current spin and the numbers move down the board as new winning numbers are selected. Red numbers are represented by, you probably already guessed, red numbers and black numbers are represented in white. While they rarely appear since there are so few on the wheel, green numbers stand out when they are either absent or trending. The tracking board gives you a chance to recognize patterns in roulette results.


The three tracking boards to the right each display a different trend – can you tell by reading the board what those trends are?

The first board tells us that red has been winning more than twice as often as black. On the second board we see a streak where black won five spins in a row but the streak was interrupted on the last spin by a red 3. On the last board we see that green appeared three times in four spins, which doesn’t happen very often at all. Use the board to see if the trends and patterns continue to happen as you play. While there is no way to know what the next winning number will be, many players have won big by betting on a pattern they see develop while watching the
tracking board.

Tips and Hints

Start with the basics. Play easy bets that you can remember or save your common betting patterns as favorites so you can get your bets out easily before the next spin. By using the favorites feature you can lower the risk missing a winning number that you would usually bet.

Play inside if you want to break the bank. The inside bets will increase your bankroll the fastest when you win, but be careful, not everyone has the patience, or the stomach!

Bet small, bet big or bet $1 on everything just because. You’ve got the table to yourself, might as well enjoy it. Unlike a roulette game on a casino floor, there’s no time pressure to get your bets out before the next spin, so double check your bets at whatever pace you like. Get comfortable; just don’t put your feet up on the chairs.

Have fun while you play. Enjoy your time on the roulette table by experiencing some of our themed roulette games. Cheer for your favorite team while playing Basketball roulette and don’t be scared to check out Space Invaders Roulette.

You don’t need Euros to play European roulette. European roulette tables are often times hidden in casino’s high roller rooms but you don’t need a large bankroll to try European roulette at DraftKings. The table minimums on European and American roulette are the same, so pull up a chair and give online roulette a spin!

Get into the action, start playing today!

Gambling Advice & Strategy Articles

Check out our casino blog for all the tips, tricks and strategies you need to take your gameplay to the next level.

Gambling Advice & Strategy Articles

Check out our casino blog for all the tips, tricks and strategies you need to take your gameplay to the next level.