Roulette Rules Explained

Welcome to your first roulette class! In this part we will explain to your the basic roulette rules. What does a Roulette wheel and table look like? What are the possible bets? How can I win and how much do I win? All these questions will be answered on this page. 

Roulette rules

So, this lesson is all about how to play roulette. It is not a short lesson, but it is rather easy. After you’ve mastered the rules, check out our advanced Roulette strategy page and take a peek at our inside Roulette tips and tricks. Done reading and ready to try? You can play Roulette for free at!

How to play Roulette
Roulette game processWhat is roulette and how to play, from bets to winnings
Roulette wheelWhat does the Roulette wheel look like, and where to find each number
Betting possibilitiesWhat are the possible bets on the Roulette table
Small seriesWhich numbers belong to the small series
Big SeriesWhich numbers belong to the big series
OrphelinsWhat is Orphelins and which numbers are part of it
Zero (0) GameWhat’s the zero game and how to bet on it
NeighborsThe actual number, and the two, four, or six numbers next to it
Final GameAll numbers ending with your final game

Roulette rules explanation, game process

In Roulette, the dealer is always called a croupier, because of the French origin of the game. The croupier will spin the wheel, and make the ball roll in opposite direction, against the side of the wheel. This is the moment you place your bet. All the betting options are listed below. Betting is possible until the croupier says "Rien ne va plus" (no more), to indicate that it is no longer possible to place your bet. Now you wait for the ball to roll or jump in a certain pocket, and to see if you have won or not. 

roulette rules explained - the roulette wheel

Roulette wheel

The European roulette has 37 numbered pockets. In American roulette, the wheel has 38 pockets, because of an extra 00. The pockets alternate between red and black, with a green pocket for number 0.

Roulette table

You place your bets on the table. The standard roulette table is devided into three columns of 12 numbered squares, 36 numbers in total. The number 0 has its own green box at the head of the three columns, at American Roulette tables, there is a 00 box next to it. Number boxes can be either red or black, and are seperated with lines. A little box at the end of every column tells you the color ratio (2 to 1). At the left or right side of the table, we find a couple of miscellaneous boxes or blocks:

  • 1st 12 / 2nd 12 / 3rd 12: the first twelve numbers make up a dozen or block
  • 1-18 / 19-36: 36 numbers are split in two blocks
  • Even / Odd: 36 numbers are divided into odd and even blocks
  • Black / Red: 36 boxes are divided into red and black blocks
roulette betting options

Roulette betting possibilities

So, you have: numbers, blocks, lines and columns. But there's more: between all those numbers, you find corners, splits, squares, and streets. These all make up your betting options. Roulette rules give you many betting options, but always keep in mind that you shouldn't bet on just one of these options. Always adopt a certain roulette strategy to make sure you actually win!

Roulette rules - the roulette table explained
Inside bets

When you place your bet on a single number or a series of numbers (or on a line, split or corner between numbers), it's called an inside bet. Inside bets have pretty high risk, but also high payouts when you win. The bet with the lowest chance but the best payout (35:1) is called en plein in French, which means: straight on a single number. A lot of people think roulette is about this: gambling on one number with one color. But you see: you have a wide choice of betting options. 

Outside bets

All bets outside the numbered area, like on red/black, a column or block, are called outside bets. Outside bets give you better roulette odds, but the payout is lower than an inside bet. 

These type of bets are all fairly logical and easy to understand. In some online casinos, you can also place special bets at alternative roulette games, like the zero game, the big and small series, orphelins and the neighbors game. Read on to find more about these exciting roulette games.

Small series - Serie 5/8

The small series is often called Tiers, referring to the French name Tiers du cylindre. The literal translation is: one-third of the wheel, which makes sense considering you're playing with 12 numbers. You play with the numbers on the lower side of the wheel, from 27 to 33. In this game, you have to place six chips to bet. The payout of all chips is split, so you get 18 times your original bet.


The Orphelins game is played on two parts of the wheel. Orphelins is the French word for orphans, probably because the game is split in two. But it might also have something to do with the fact that it is not often played in the casino. Anyway, you play this game on a total of eight numbers, and you have to bet five chips to play. You bet one chip straight on number 1, the rest of the chips are bet as a split bet on boxes 6/9, 14/17, 17/20 and 31/34. Number 17 is also paid out as a straight number.

Big series - Serie 0/2/3

This game is called Voisins du zero in French, meaning: neighbors of the zero. The big series takes up almost half the wheel and is situated on the top side. You have to pay nine chips to play this game. Payouts differ for each number because you have to bet double on the combinations 0-2-3 and 25-29. So, if the roulette ball falls in pocket 0, 2, or 3, you will win 24 chips back (two times a payout as a street, and the two chips that you have bet originally).

Zero game

Roulette betting options outside

The zero game is played with four chips on the seven numbers on and around the number 0 - as you have probably figured out. The chip is bet en plein (straight) on number 26, and the remaining chips are bet as a split bet.

Neighbors game

In the neighbors game, there are different betting possibilities. Usually, you bet five chips and play with pne number, and the two numbers left and right of it. You always make a straight bet. It's also possible to play with only one neighbor, or with three neighbors. The bets are three and seven chips respectively.

Final game

In real casinos, you can also bet on, for example, a final-4 game. You will then place your bet on numbers 4, 14, 24, and 34; every number ending on 4. This option isn’t available in online casinos unless you place that bet manually. Final 0-6 will cost you four chips and finale 7-9 will cost you three chips.

Next: choose a roulette strategy

Roulette rules are not rocket science; it's your betting behavior that determines whether you're going to be a roulette winner or loser. In order to achieve at least some profit, you need to stick to a roulette strategy.