How to Play Roulette Online

‘Little Wheel’ – it’s the French meaning of the word “roulette”, which originated in France in the 18th century. Today it’s spun in land-based and online casinos around the world, and is available in a number of versions. Our online roulette guide takes a closer look at how to play roulette, available strategies, odds, the legal aspect for Canadian play and various other benefits, features and factors surrounding this popular table game. 

Online roulette is one of the easiest table games to master. Simply take your pick from the online casino roulette variants available in the software and familiarise yourself with the betting options. Whatever version you choose, you’ll start off by placing a bet and then spinning the virtual wheel. This will trigger a ball to be launched onto the spinning wheel, which will land in one of the numbered pockets at the end of the spin. The number and colour of this pocket will then determine whether you win or lose.

Best Casinos to Play Roulette

What Roulette Games Are There?

Most reputable online casinos provide players with a choice of at least two of the following three types of online roulette games:

  • European Online Roulette The classic version of the game, the European Roulette wheel is numbered 0 – 36. That gives it a total of 37 pockets and a low house edge of 2.7%.
  • American Online Roulette This Vegas version of roulette displays the numbers 0 – 36 and 00 on the wheel. That means a total of 38 pockets, potentially bigger payouts and a slightly higher house edge of 5.26%.
  • French Online Roulette French Roulette is almost exactly the same as European Roulette with numbers 0 – 36 on the wheel. The only differences? It offers added La Partage and En Prison insurance. 

European and America Roulette Differences

European roulette is by far the most popular version of the game for one simple reason: the odds are more in your favour when you spin a European roulette wheel. Why? Because there is one less number to worry about. This means that every time the croupier (or virtual croupier in the case of online play) spins the wheel, your predicted outcome is more likely to be correct.

The less popular version of the game, due to the extra number and subsequently diminished odds of winning, American roulette is still enjoyed by a number of players around the world. You could look at it like the print vs. digital debate: digital is a far more popular means of obtaining information (hey, you’re reading this online, aren’t you?), but there are still millions of books, magazines and other printed items in circulation that people pay good money for. This can be applied to the American roulette table: it might not be the most used, but it will certainly never go out of style.

Online Roulette for Canadians

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Online Roulette Bets

Before you even start stacking up chips on the table, you’ll need to know how to make an informed bet. Online roulette bets work exactly the same way as land-based roulette bets do.

Your betting options are Red or Black, individual numbers, low numbers, high numbers, odd numbers, even numbers, groups of numbers (1 – 12, 13 – 24 or 25 – 36) and combinations of 2, 3 or 4 numbers. 

You’ll be able to bet on whether the ball will:

  • Land on a specific number from 0 – 36 in the case of a European roulette wheel or table (or from 00 – 36 on an American roulette table) – these bets are known as ‘inside bets’.
  • Land on an odd or even number – these are known as ‘outside bets’.
  • Land in a black or red pocket once the wheel has stopped spinning – as above, also known as ‘outside bets’.

While outside bets have an equal chance of winning, the same can’t be said for single number inside bets. The odds of winning on these are 37:1 with European roulette, and 38:1 in with American roulette. Knowing this, you might immediately be drawn to the idea of placing outside bets only – but that takes the fun out of the game. The real thrills lie in taking more of a chance by placing inside bets. And, the fewer bets you make, the higher your payouts will be. 

How Do Online Roulette Odds Work?

If you’re playing online roulette in Canada for real money, it’s important to understand how roulette odds work. This goes hand-in-hand with payout ratios and is affected by the number of pockets on the table.

Should you bet on black playing American Roulette, you’d then have a 1 in 18 (47.37%) chance to win or 52.63% chance to lose. The difference is the advantage the house has, also known as the house edge, which is 5.26%. The same calculation for European (and French) Roulette gives a lower house edge outcome of 2.7%, due to the fact that its wheel doesn’t contain a double zero. In laymen’s terms, you’ll have a slightly better chance of winning on European Roulette. 

Online Roulette Versus Live Roulette

If you have played online Roulette, you will know that the game is vastly different to the real casino version. However, with the introduction of live dealer casinos, live dealer Roulette offers players the convenience of an online game with the excitement and realism that you can only find in a real casino. But how do the two versions match up?

Random Number Generators

For those who are new to live dealer games, here is a rundown of online versus live Roulette. The first major difference between the two games is how the results are produced. With electronic Roulette, the ball is dropped into a virtual wheel, which comes to a stop. What is in fact happening is that a random number generator has selected the number as soon as the spin button is pushed. With live dealer Roulette, a real Roulette wheel is used and a real ball is dropped into the wheel as is done in a land-based casino.

The Human Factor

Perhaps the biggest difference between live Roulette and electronic Roulette is how the game is conducted. With electronic Roulette, computer software runs the game from start to finish. With live Roulette, a dealer conducts the game from a casino studio via video streaming technology. Essentially, live Roulette is a blend between electronic and real Roulette. In terms of how the game is played, live Roulette works in exactly the same way as a real game of Roulette played in a real casino. In order to play live Roulette, players have to wait for a seat to open up at one of the tables unlike electronic Roulette, which can be played at any time since no other players are joining in.

Speed of the Game

With electronic Roulette, players simply log into the game, pick their bets and click on the spin button to get started. Some electronic games even have a speed button that skips over the part where the wheel spins and instantly produces the chosen numbers. Live Roulette is a much slower game where each player around the table has a chance to place their bets. The dealer determines the speed of the game and will announce to the players when the betting has closed.

Placing a Bet

In terms of placing a bet, both live and electronic Roulette work in the same way. With electronic Roulette, players simply click on the virtual chips at the bottom of the screen and place them on the virtual table. With live Roulette, the integrated casino software allows players to click on virtual chips and place them over a video image of the real table in the studio. The bets are then translated through to the dealer who starts the game. Any winnings are automatically deposited into your online casino account as with electronic Roulette.

Interaction with the Dealer

During the game, the live Roulette software allows players to chat to the dealer and the other players around the table via the chat window. When the ball is dropped into the wheel, a dedicated camera will show a close-up view of where the ball lands. The way the game is played remains the same for live and electronic Roulette. Players can place single bets, multiple bets or any combination of bets according to the table rules. In both games, players can choose from classic European Roulette, French Roulette or American Roulette. It is also possible to play higher limit games and VIP tables.

Is Online Roulette Fair?

While some might say online roulette is rigged or fixed, the truth is that it’s simply a game of chance and not of skill. And since the house edge for all versions of online casino roulette games are known to players, there is 100% transparency from the online casinos’ side. All online casinos use a RNG (Random Number Generator) system in their software to determine the outcome of each spin. Just like the laws of physics aren’t controlled when a roulette wheel spins at a land-based casino, the RNG system ensures that the results of spins are always random. So, you can spin any online roulette wheel, knowing that the outcome cannot be determined by yourself or the casino. And while strategy can help you play a little longer, luck is ultimately what you need to win.

What is the Best Roulette Strategy?

The web is full of thousands of articles about how to play roulette, how to win at roulette and, ultimately, how to find the best strategy that will get you there. Now, we’re not saying that our advice is fool proof, but the tips you’ll find here are sure to stand out from the rest, as we explore in-depth topics that provide solid advice on upping your game. How? By uncovering the best-kept secrets you need to make your next roulette bet transform into an instant payout. Let’s get started by taking a look at the basics behind online roulette bets before delving deeper into the role your croupier plays, how to refine your strategy and how to get that top payout you’ve been dreaming of.

Roulette Systems

Here’s where things get interesting. There’s always a debate around whether betting strategies work. In the case of players who are trying to understand how to play roulette (and win, at that), strategy will inevitably work its way into the conversation. From the Magic 8 System, to the Martingale Strategy, Fibonacci Strategy and D’Alembert Strategy, all we can say is that you’d better have a knack for numbers and lots of time to put them to the test. As for how well these roulette betting systems work…the proof is in the pudding. Some players swear by it, while others think it’s a complete load of hogwash. It helps to keep an open mind, and honestly, there is no harm in trying any of the roulette systems mentioned above for yourself before making any judgements. After all, what have you got to lose? 

Understanding the Roulette Wheel Number Sequence

If you’ve never laid eyes on a roulette wheel before, you’d probably assume that the number sequence layout follows numerical order, but this isn’t the case. Instead, numbers lie on opposite ends of the wheel. For example, 0 will mirror 00, 33 will mirror 34 and so forth. Also, colours will mirror each other, meaning that black 33 will be mirrored by red 34 and so forth.

You’ll find that the American roulette wheel is more balanced than the European one, which is due to the even number of pockets it has. 

How to Use an Online Roulette Strategy

There’s no secret or cheat sheet to winning when playing roulette online. However, you can choose the best online roulette strategy to ensure your bankroll lasts longer. Over the decades, a few reputable strategies have been designed to do just that – and they’re useful for land-based, online and live dealer roulette play alike. If you’re keen on finding out how to play roulette online and win at regular intervals, the following strategies might help:

  • The Martingale Strategy lets you double your bet size after a loss.
  • The Labouchere Strategy encourages you to cancel numbers after a win.
  • The D’Alembert Strategy advises you to increase your chips as you lose and decrease your bet size when you win.
  • The Fibonacci Strategy is a little trickier, letting you add up your present and previous bet size to determine the next bet. When you win, you go back wo bet sizes.
  • The Paroli Strategy tells you to get 3 wins in a row and double up on your bet size after you’ve won. 

Is it Legal to Play Online Roulette in Canada?

There are some grey areas in the Canadian law where online gambling is concerned. What is clear, is that hosting a gambling website in Canada is considered illegal, so you’re not allowed to operate any kind of gambling site, which would include online roulette, via a computer within their borders. However, as a player, the law is less clearly defined. So, it’s not considered illegal for Canadian players to spin the roulette wheel online at a legal, international online casino. 

Parting Thoughts

After reading through this guide, you should have some insights as to how to play roulette online, and be more confident in your betting skills. As mentioned, you could fill thousands of books with information on how to perfect your roulette game, so our advice to you would simply be to learn the ins and outs of inside and outside bets, familiarise yourself with a few different roulette strategies before trying them out, and above all, to just have a good time.

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