Roulette Tips


From a player’s standpoint, roulette is a pretty easy game to master. You pick your numbers, lay down your bets and watch the wheel spin. The most complicated act in the game is calculating payouts, and you can usually rely on the dealer, aka croupier, to do that for you. Other than that, praying may be the most difficult thing you do at a roulette table.

Still, there are some handy tips to follow that will increase your chances of winning and, just as importantly, give you more of an opportunity to enjoy yourself at the table.

Know the Payouts

While the croupier is required to know how much each bet gets paid, it helps to know them yourself so you can check their work. There are several different betting options available in roulette, and they are covered in other articles on this site, but here are a couple of the most common ones.

14-1-Split-Bet

Table showing a split bet.

  • Straight Up: A bet on one number pays 35-1.
  • Split: A bet on two numbers at once will pay 17-1 if one of the numbers hits.
  • Columns or Dozens: Betting on an entire column of numbers or one of the three different groupings of dozens – first 12 numbers, second 12 numbers and third 12 numbers – pays 2-1
  • Odds, Evens, Black, Red: These bets all cover approximately half the board (excluding zero and double-zero) and pay 1-1.

Knowing these basic bet payouts is simple and will make it easier for you to keep track of your wins and losses, as well as make sure the dealer pays bets correctly.

Know the Odds

In roulette, the odds and payouts are slightly different because of the presence of the two zero pockets. While a straight up bet pays 35-1, the odds of it hitting are actually 37-1. Amateurs will often make the mistake of thinking they will be paid based on the exact odds, instead of the standard payout structure. Before you sit down, know, and be comfortable with the fact, that there is a discrepancy between those two numbers.

Be Aware of the Timing

Don’t just walk up to a table or sign up for one online and start laying bets willy-nilly. The croupier will announce when the betting has opened and closed on each spin. Follow their instructions. Doing otherwise will simply slow the game and get in the way of everyone’s enjoyment.

Pay Attention

There is a lot going on at a roulette table. The wheel is spinning, the ball is rolling, people are placing bets and croupiers are paying them off. And that doesn’t even account for all the other distractions that can grab your attention at a casino or even if you’re playing online from the comfort of your own home.

If you want to optimize your winnings, and be sure the croupier doesn’t make any mistakes, keep a very close eye on what is going on around you. It will pay off in the end.

Paying attention may also tip you off in the event the table at which you’re playing has a worn out wheel. In some cases, old wheels will tend to land in the same quadrant of numbers more often than others. However, you won’t have any way of knowing that if your attention is directed elsewhere.

Manage your Money

Money management is the one area where even the most experienced gambler makes their biggest mistakes. Before you sit down at a table, know exactly how much you are willing to lose and don’t exceed that amount.

On the other end of the spectrum, have a number in mind that you hope to win, and when you reach that amount walk away. Staying at a table too long, chasing a bigger payday, is the classic gambling trap. If you set limits for yourself, you are much more likely to walk away with money in your pocket and an enjoyable experience to remember.

Also make sure to only gamble with money you can afford to lose. As fun as roulette can be, it loses its appeal when you’re standing there watching your rent payment ride on the whims of a ball and a wheel. Budgeting is just as important in gambling as it is in life.

Don’t Rely on a System

12-4-Player-Roulette-WheelBetting systems can be unreliable. If you want a method to determine how much you should bet on each round, then a system can be helpful, but it won’t improve your odds. Learn more about roulette betting here.

The most popular systems in roulette are the Martingale and the D’Alembert. The Martingale should only be used by players with large bankrolls, as it directs you to double your bet after each loss. Since it is very likely you will lose multiple bets in a row, having a lot of money behind you is essential to using the Martingale system.

The D’Alembert system is similar, but instead of doubling your bet after each loss you simply add one predetermined unit – whether it’s one chip or more – after each loss and subtract a unit after each win.

At a brick-and-mortar casino, you can also try to find a biased wheel, which is when an older wheel tends to fall on certain numbers or in a specific area. However, with modern technology and casinos always being on the lookout for wheels with those flaws, the practice is more difficult than ever before. And it was never easy.

Have Fun

Roulette is a game that you aren’t going to be able to beat over the long run. But with smart money management and a little luck you can end up taking home a substantial payday.

More importantly, it’s a game that affords players the opportunity to have a lot of fun. Unlike craps or blackjack, the action isn’t non-stop, so there is a little bit more time to relax and enjoy yourself. Take advantage of that time, it will help make your roulette experience all that much more entertaining.