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The game of roulette in its present form has been played for over 300 years, and remains one of the most popular gambling games available today. This should come as no surprise – roulette’s simplicity, rapid pace and huge range of betting options make it appealing to just about anyone. Most importantly, it’s purely a game of chance, so even a complete beginner can land a few winners!
While it might be a simple game, it’s still worth making sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you hop straight into a game. Our quick guide to the basics of online roulette will teach you everything you need to know before you give that wheel a spin, from the basics to winning strategies. Let’s get the ball rolling.
How to Play
This tried and tested casino classic involves a roulette ball, table, chips, and of course, the iconic wheel. The aim of the game is simple. Predict which numbered pocket the ball will land in with each spin of the roulette wheel. You’re not restricted to just picking one number though – the game of roulette presents you with some of the best betting options you’ll find at an online casino, including the classic red or black and any combination of up to 38 numbers.
Once you’ve made your predictions and placed your bets, it’s time for the main event – spin the wheel! There’s nothing better than the thrill of watching the ball slowly come to a halt as you wait to find out whether or not you’re onto a winner.
Choose a top online casinoBefore you give the wheel a spin, you’ll need to figure out where to play. Let us give you a nudge in the right direction with our handpicked list of the best online casinos. The sites that have made our list offer some of the best bonuses, promos and of course, casino games. You can relax and play at these sites knowing that you’re getting an unrivalled casino experience from the most trustworthy, legitimate casino brands on the market.
Sign up & deposit to claim your exclusive bonusOnce you’ve picked out a favourite, registering an account is a doddle. Simply follow our links to get taken directly to a roulette-focused page and become eligible for your exclusive bonus. From here, you’ll be able to sign up in a matter of minutes, even on mobile. Head over to the cashier and make your deposit to claim your welcome bonus. The best online roulette sites offer a range of payment options, including PayPal, Skrill and Neteller, plus the usual debit card options.
Practice on free roulette demosOnce your account is funded, you’re probably eager to get stuck into some roulette action. Whether you’re a new player looking to learn the ropes, or an experienced pro testing out a roulette strategy, you might want to get a bit of practice in before you get started. Many of the best online casinos allow players to play demo roulette games for free. This is a great way to get familiar with the game and its features without risking your hard-earned money. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can jump straight into a real money roulette game and place your bets!
Choose your real money roulette gameFor the uninitiated, assuming that there’s just one roulette game is an easy mistake to make. You’ll be glad to know there are a number of roulette tables available at the best online casino sites. So whether you’re a high roller looking for VIP rooms with huge betting limits or simply looking for a bit of fun at the £1 minimum bet tables, the casinos on our list are sure to deliver.
Getting to Grips with Roulette Odds
There are a huge number of possible bets that you could place each time you spin the wheel. These can be split into two types: inside and outside bets. An outside bet refers to the betting options that sit outside the numbered grid on a roulette table. Even money bets such as red and black, dozens and columns are all examples of outside bets. These bets involve lower risk, as they cover more of the roulette table. As you’d expect, this means a winning outside wager lands more modest payouts than an inside bet.
If you’re more of a risk-taker, the inside bets can land you some huge payouts. Inside bets involve lower table coverage and include single-number bets – the bet with the highest payout in the game. It’s also known as the ‘straight up and pays out at 35:1.
Make the Most Informed Wagers Possible
When you’re putting your hard earned money on the line, it usually pays to have a plan. We all have certain guidelines we stick to when playing blackjack, right? Well, roulette is a little different. Where some casino games require a bit of skill and knowledge, roulette is purely a game of chance. All it takes to win is a little luck.
Many casino enthusiasts swear by roulette strategies like the Martingale system, but it’s important to remember there’s nothing you can do to tilt the odds in your favour. Even if you’re a beginner, you stand a fairly decent chance of landing a winner during extended gameplay, with or without a strategy. Nevertheless, we’d still recommend that new players take advantage of demo versions of online roulette to get familiar with the game and its controls before wagering any real money.
Roulette Game Variations
We touched upon the importance of roulette sites offering a wide range of game variations, so what are the options out there? If you’ve only played roulette a handful of times, you mightn’t be aware of how many different types there are, or even which variation you’ve previously tried. So, let’s take a look at some classic options you’ll find at online casinos.
Having originated in France in the 18th century, European roulette is one of the most popular formats of this game. The gameplay is simple — players bet on where the roulette ball will land when the wheel stops spinning.
There are several bets a player can make in this game. The simplest is a straight up bet on a single number, which pays out 35 to 1. Other ‘inside bets’ include split bets, street bets and corner bets. ‘Outside bets’ are broader — you can bet on even/odd, red/black or a particular column of numbers.
American roulette is the variation you’ll typically find in Vegas casinos and is very similar to European Roulette. The key difference is that in American Roulette there is an additional green double zero space, whereas in European Roulette there is only one green zero space.
While you can bet on zero or double zero the same way as any other number, having an extra zero space in play reduces the likelihood of landing on other numbers. In American Roulette, despite the odds being longer due to the double zero, the payouts are the same, meaning the house edge is higher (5.26%) than the European version (2.7%).
It’s not all doom and gloom though, with the double zero space comes an additional inside bet called Top Line. With this bet, you can cover 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 all at once.
French roulette takes us back to the single zero-style wheel, with a couple of twists in the gameplay. The La Partage rule means that if the ball lands on the zero space, any even money wagers that players have made — such as red/black and odd/even — are split in two, with half being refunded to the player. Conversely, in European and American Roulette, players would lose their whole stake.
Another interesting feature of French Roulette is the En Prison rule. It’s more commonly found at land-based casinos in Monaco than it is online, but essentially whenever the ball lands on zero, even money bets on the next turn only return your stake, rather than doubling your money.
Mini Roulette is a fun variation of the game featuring just 13 numbers — 1–12 alternating red and black and the zero. Although having fewer numbers increases the house edge, the La Partage rule sometimes features, reducing the amount players can potentially lose.
Many players love the aesthetics of Mini Roulette, with Playtech and InBet developing popular versions where the cutesy wheel offers a nice change to the standard model. What’s more, you can still place all the usual bets, including red/black, odd/even, column bets, rows, splits and single numbers.
How We Do It
How We Review Roulette Sites
Here at Compare.bet, it’s our job to bring you the best options on the market for online roulette. Our expert team reviews various casinos against a range of important criteria — only once we’re happy a roulette site ticks all the boxes will we share them. That way, we know players have access to the best range of games and promotional offers available, all while playing at gambling sites that offer a safe and enjoyable user experience.
Check out some of the key factors our team considers below.
Security and Reputation
First and foremost, we ensure a roulette site is safe for players to play at. Online casinos typically use SSL encryption as standard to ensure all your personal data is secure while using the site.
While more established brands will have built up a solid reputation over a number of years, new roulette sites are always worth checking out. We ensure all the sites we endorse are licensed by approved regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
Roulette Games Selection
The best roulette sites host a wide range of variations on this classic game. We look out for popular roulette types such as American Roulette, European Roulette and French Roulette as well as newer additions like Speed Roulette and Lightning Roulette.
We’re also keen to ensure a roulette site offers games for players on a range of different budgets. Some games allow you to spin the roulette wheel from as little as 1p.
Playing via your mobile is a key part of online gambling, so we wouldn’t recommend a site if they didn’t have a first class mobile-optimised experience. The best roulette sites offer a native downloadable app so you can access your favourite games at the click of a button.
Not only does a great mobile service allow you to play wherever you are, push notifications also keep you up to date with the casino’s new promotions and games.
Live Dealer Tables
Live roulette is one of the most popular ways to play this game, as it offers an authentic experience akin to attending a land-based casino. The best live roulette games are hosted by experienced and friendly croupiers, live-streamed from purpose-built studios around the world.
It’s also ideal to have several live rooms available for each game type. That way, players can jump into the live roulette action without having to wait around.
Bonuses and Promotions
For new and experienced players alike, having access to great bonuses and promotions is a pivotal part of the online roulette experience. Roulette-exclusive offers aren’t as commonplace as other games such as slots, so we’ve always got a beady eye out for eligible welcome bonuses.
Roulette offers usually take the form of matched deposit bonuses, where players can spend their bonus credits on a range of different table games. There may also be promotions for existing customers up for grabs at sites that specialise in this game.
Top roulette sites offer a range of different payment methods to customers, giving them plenty of choice based on their own priorities. Many roulette players may be happy using debit cards such as Visa and Mastercard to deposit and withdraw funds, while others may prefer alternatives.
E-wallets such as PayPal, Neteller and Skrill typically offer faster withdrawals and remove the need to share your bank details with the casino. What’s more, banking intermediaries such as Trustly don’t even require an account to work.
The bedrock of any roulette site should be a reliable customer support network. Many sites offer 24/7 live chat support with friendly and helpful staff. Failing that, players should be able to get in contact via phone or email.
We’re also fans of detailed and informative Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pages, as players can often get the answers they need straight from there.
Quality of Games
When you do get down to playing roulette at an online casino, you’re going to want to know that their games are going to be top quality. That’s why we only recommend sites that feature games from the top software developers in the world, including NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming.
Not only that, though, we also make sure that the range of games they have is high. That way you won’t find yourself getting easily bored.
How to Find the Best Roulette Site
Roulette is one of the most popular casino games so it’s no surprise there’s a wealth of sites offering it. If you’re looking for your next roulette site, use this simple step-by-step guide.
Best Roulette Software Providers
NetEnt are one of the most experienced software developers working today, having been established around 20 years ago now. Their experience has carried through to their roulette games, offering you the ability to play European, American and even French Roulette. The fun doesn’t stop there, however, because their array of live roulette games only add to the possible fun. Classic Roulette Live, Branded Casino Classic Roulette Live and VIP Roulette Live are some of the standout titles and, with RTPs of 97.3% across the board, they offer some of the best value for money.
Microgaming are the original name in gaming software development, supposedly creating the first one back in 1994. They even claim to be the first company to develop mobile casino software. Either way, their experience in the industry means they provide every type of roulette game imaginable. From American Roulette Gold, to European Roulette Gold, to Live Roulette, you won’t be short for variety when it comes to Microgaming. You can even play Multi Wheel Roulette, which allows you to play up to eight roulette wheels at one time.
What you will always be guaranteed with Evolution is variety. They are industry leaders when it comes to providing gaming software and their quality is seen in every aspect of their games. From classic versions like French and American Roulette, to new twists like Double Ball Roulette that provide players with more frequent payout opportunities. They’ve even taken live roulette to the next level with their Immersive Roulette game that uses Hollywood-style cameras to get their players to get as close to action as possible. Immersive Roulette was even awarded EGR’s Game of the Year award in 2014.
PlayTech are the quintessential turn of the century company, literally coming into being on 31st December 1999. They, therefore, have over 20 years of experience with which to draw from when developing their games and their expertise shows. Their standard roulette games are some of the best around, from their Classic Roulette game, to Premium European Roulette, to Penny Roulette which allows punters to wager bets as low as £0.1! Their live roulette games are just as expansive, offering the chance to play a range of games, from their flagship live casino title Grand Royale, to the football themed Live Football Roulette. In short, there’s something for everyone here.
Latest Online Roulette Innovations
Roulette may be a centuries-old game, but new online versions spring up all the time. Check out some popular variations of this game below, featuring some exciting twists.
Awarded EGR Game of the Year in 2018, Evolution Gaming’s Lightning Roulette has taken the industry by storm in recent years. This game blends all the immersive elements of a live roulette game with a bunch of exciting payout features. Each round, after players have placed their bets, up to five Lucky Numbers are generated. If you successfully bet on a Lucky Number, your payout will be multiplied between 50x and 500x.
Another hugely innovative release from Evolution is the First-Person Roulette game. This title offers the most realistic and immersive solo roulette experience you’ll find online, thanks to its 3D animated roulette table. There’s a ‘Go LIVE’ button you can click at any time to jump into some live roulette action — whether you fancy a warm-up solo game or take a sudden notion to play with a live host, this is a great feature.
Immersive Roulette is another live game from Evolution that is all about putting you in the thick of the action. Hollywood-style 200 frames-per-second HD cameras shoot every step of the process, from the dealer spinning the wheel to slow-motion replays of the ball nestling in the pocket.
Immersive Roulette won EGR’s Game of the Year award in 2014.
Ever find the pace of play a little slow for your liking? In Speed Roulette, game rounds take just 25 seconds from spin to spin. You better think quickly with this game, as the ball will be buzzing around the wheel again before you know it. The winning numbers will be displayed on screen as the next spin immediately gets going. Overall, you’ll enjoy an extra 50 game rounds per hour of play compared to Evolution’s other live roulette games.
If you’re not feeling up for the chats, Auto Roulette offers a fast-paced, live-wheel alternative that features no dealer. Instead, the roulette wheel is spun automatically, delivering up to 80 games an hour.
Auto Roulette is ideal for players on smaller budgets, as you can spin away from just £0.10.
Double Ball Roulette
Double Ball Roulette is another great example of innovation from Evolution Gaming. It’s a live dealer casino game with a twist that you may have already worked out; there are two balls spinning around the roulette wheel at the same time. This offers far more opportunities to win, with a huge top payout of 1,300 to 1 if both balls land on your number.
High Stakes Roulette
There are plenty of options out there for high rollers looking to play some real money roulette. Evolution’s selection of live roulette games is a good place to start — at Unibet, you can play Auto Roulette VIP with a maximum stake of £10,000 per spin. This top stake is also available on the Unibet Roulette game, as well as native language games such as Arabic Roulette and Flemish Roulette.
Speed Roulette and Auto Roulette are also available with maximum stakes of £5,000.
Low Stakes Roulette
For new players in particular, it’s often a good idea to kick things off with some low stakes roulette. Betting with low stakes keeps things fun and also gives you the chance to get to grips with some of the game’s features. Evolution’s live games, such as Auto Roulette, Speed Roulette and Auto Roulette La Partage, can all be played from just £0.10 a spin and are all available at Unibet. At Casino.com, you can play from just 1p on the immensely popular Penny Roulette game.
Claiming a Roulette Bonuses
A great bonus can really make or break an online casino site, giving you the chance to work out how a new site works and providing the opportunity to win big from a tiny outlay. Welcome bonuses are a great way to make the most of online roulette games, especially offers like matched deposits. The best online casinos will offer a generous percentage of your initial deposit as a welcome bonus and attach low wagering requirements to them. So if you’re a new customer looking to find the best roulette casino for you, a great value bonus is a good place to start.
Playing Roulette on Your Mobile
Mobile betting has taken off in recent years, with online casinos offering mobile optimised gambling experiences that are equal to their desktop counterparts. The best sites will offer first-class mobile apps that allow you to play with amazing ease wherever you are in the world. Some will even offer native apps that make the whole process that bit quicker. If an app isn’t an option, however, then the casino will still offer a fully optimised mobile site.
House Edge and RTP
Roulette House Edge and RTP
House edge is an important consideration for roulette players, as it will have a direct impact on your chances of receiving a payout. For those of you who are used to playing slot games, house edge is essentially the reverse of the Return to Player (RTP) rate — 97% RTP is the same as 3% house edge.
In roulette, bets on even money bets such as red/black and odd/even have 1:1 payouts. This implies there is a 50% chance of winning, but this isn’t the case — the inclusion of the green zero square favours the house and lengthens the odds from 18/36 to 18/37. Think of it this way, if there were just 36 red and black numbers, you’d have a 50/50 chance of picking the right colour. However, with a green zero space in play, there’s a slightly slimmer chance of guessing correctly.
What’s more, if you’re playing American Roulette and have two green zero spaces, the odds lengthen further, meaning it’s less likely you’ll win. You’ll still be paid 35/1 for a single number bet, but the odds of landing on it are 37/1, instead of 36/1 in the European game. This is why the house edge ends up being higher in American Roulette (5.26%) compared to European (2.7%).
What about other versions of the game? Well, in French Roulette, the house edge is 2.7% for the most part, but the La Partage rule reduces the house edge on even money bets to just 1.35%. Mini Roulette, on the other hand, has a comparatively high house edge of 7.89% due to there only being 13 numbers on the roulette wheel including the zero.
These days, punters can expect to be able to pay for a game of online roulette through a variety of options. The best will accept a range of payment options, so let’s have a look at the ways in which you can pay online today.
The most common and arguably the most secure is paying via a debit card, a payment method that all online casinos accept. The only downside with this option, however, is that the waiting time for a transaction can be up to 5 working days. Indeed, as of April 2020, the Government has outlawed the use of credit cards as an online casino payment.
E-Wallets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with lots of punters beginning to plump for them over standard debit card transactions. The key positives of using an e-wallet like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill, is that they’re totally free to sign up to, they process transactions in a matter of hours at most and are completely secure.
E-Wallets are only let down by the fact that some casinos charge small transaction fees for using them and prohibit them from being used to claim bonuses. So it’s always best to check the casino’s T&Cs before you proceed with an e-wallet.
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Your Questions Answered
Can I play online roulette for free?
Yes. Many top casinos offer demo versions of online roulette which are free to play. Of course, with no risk, there’s no reward – you can’t win anything without real money stakes. However, these demo versions present a great opportunity to get some practice.
Do I need to download software to play?
No. While there are several online casinos that allow you to download software if you wish, it comes down to personal preference. All the casinos on this page include an instant play option, which is definitely the most popular choice amongst online casino players. If you’re playing on the go, keep an eye out for /casino/roulette/mobile-apps. Mobile web casinos are usually a solid option, but they’re undoubtedly trumped by the ‘native’ app experience.
How do I know my roulette game isn’t rigged?
The results of your game of online roulette are determined by a random number generator (RNG). This is an algorithm which, as the name suggests, ensures that results are completely random. All of our hand-picked top casinos are UK licensed, so you can be sure that these RNGs are put through regular, rigorous tests.
Can I play online roulette on my mobile device?
Yes, all of our top casinos offer full mobile support, so you can play on your phone or tablet whether you’re at home or out and about.