European roulette rules explained

Roulette is one of the most instantly recognizable and exciting casino games in the world. The rules of European roulette are simple and easy to learn. The differences between the European and American roulette will also be explained in this guide. Although we have a separate guide for the rules of American roulette, you will be able to play both games after reading the rules on this page.

Roulette history explained

Roulette means ‘little wheel’ in French. Roulette’s origins can be traced back as far as seventeenth century France. In the eighteenth century, roulette spread out to the rest of Europe and North America. Roulette is now one of the most popular games in the online gambling industry. The rules have remained virtually unchanged during this time.

In the US, the ‘double zero’ wheel was introduced, adding a ‘double zero’ (00) pocket to the wheel. The ‘double zero’ wheel is still used in the US, although the rest of the world plays roulette with the European Roulette wheel, which only has a single zero.

European roulette rules / American roulette rules, the differences

The difference between the American and European roulette game are almost non-existent. The only difference is the amount of pockets on the roulette wheel:
  • European roulette is played with a roulette wheel with 37 numbered pockets (one to 36, plus zero)
  • American roulette is played with a roulette wheel with 38 numbered pockets (one to 36, plus zero and double zero)

All numbers are colored black or red. The zero and the double zero are colored green. European roulette offers a better chance of winning because of the single zero. Therefore, we’d advise that players choose European roulette whenever a casino offers both versions.

Placing bets in European roulette

A game of roulette starts with the placing your bet. Bets can be made by placing one or more chips on the different betting sections of the roulette table. The little ball is removed from the pocket and the roulette wheel starts to spin. The ball always spins in the opposite direction to the rotating roulette wheel. The little ball eventually lands in a numbered pocket. This pocket has both a number and a color (black, red or green).

Once the ball ends up in a pocket, this pocket is the winning number. In online roulette, the winning number is also showed in a window on your screen. In most casinos, you can also check the latest winning numbers via this window. Lost bets will be cleared from the table. In case you win, your winnings are showed on the screen. Your winnings will be added to your balance.

Possible bets

There are two main betting options available at a game of roulette: inside and outside bets, so named after their positioning on the table. Inside bets see the player bets on a certain straddle, or on which number the ball will land in. Outside bets sees the player gamble on odd/even or black/red outcomes, or the positional groupings of pockets. For an overview of all inside and outside bets, see the following tables:

Inside bets Description Payout Winning odds
Straight Bet on single number 35 to 1 2.70 %
Split Bet on two numbers 17 to 1 5.41 %
Three line Bet on a row of three numbers, a street 11 to 1 8.11 %
Corner / square Bet on four numbers that form a square 8 to 1 10.81 %
Six line Bet on two gathering streets 5 to 1 16.22 %

Outside bets Description Payout Winning odds
Left / middle / right column Bet on all 12 numbers in the left, middle or right table-section 2 to 1 32.43 %
1st 12 / 2nd 12 / 3rd 12 Bets on 12 numbers in four consecutive rows 2 to 1 32.43 %
19-36 or 1-18 Bets on the numbers 1-18 (low) or 19-36 (high) 1 to 1 48.65 %
Red or black Bets on all red or all black numbers 1 to 1 48.65 %
Odd or even Bets on all odd or all even numbers 1 to 1 48.65 %

Special / progressive bets

Some online casinos offer a 'special bets' feature. These special bets are different from the traditional roulette bets. Usually you'll find these special bets in the special bets panel. Some roulette tables are also connected to a progressive jackpot. A progressive jackpot grows with every bet placed. There are hundreds of online casinos connected to these progressive jackpots. The rules of the roulette game with special/progressive bets are similar to the rules of the regular roulette games.

After reading the European roulette rules on this page, it should be no problem to name the differences between the American and European roulette rules. We hope that our explanation of the roulette rules will contribute to your success when playing roulette online!

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European roulette rules