Canadians have loved playing roulette for at least a couple of centuries, and they probably always will. Roulette is one of the most popular games at any land-based casino, and now that it can be played at online casinos too it's more accessible than ever. In this article, we'll discuss how to play online roulette, how it compares with the offline game, the kind of roulette variations you can expect to find at online casinos in Canada and how you can maximize your chances of winning. That's a lot of ground to cover, so let's get started.
Best Roulette Online Casinos
Red Carpet Treatment
Every player is VIP
Online Roulette: The Basics
The rules of online roulette are exactly the same as they are at land-based casinos. The action focuses on a wheel that is divided into 37 or 38 numbered segments, depending on whether it is for a game of European Roulette or American Roulette, respectively. 18 segments are coloured red, 18 segments are black, and the remaining 1 or 2 segments are green.
The aim of the game is for you to bet on where a metal ball will land after it has been introduced to the spinning wheel. You have plenty of betting options to choose from, and these are all represented on the roulette table layout. Chips are placed on certain areas that represent the desired bet (such as whether the winning pocket will be red or black, or numbered odd or even). Different bets have different likelihoods of winning and will therefore pay different sums when successful, as you'll see later.
All of this is, as we said, much the same as when playing at a land-based casino. However, whereas a land-based game of roulette is operated by a member of staff called a croupier, most online roulette games are software-driven. Another key difference worth noting is that online roulette games generally use computer-generated visuals to portray virtual wheels and tables rather than physical ones, although this isn't the case when you play Live Roulette games.
Live Roulette Games
We've just said that most online roulette games are software-driven and portray the game using computer-generated visuals. Live Roulette games are an exception to that statement. These are games that are operated by real human croupiers and use physical roulette wheels, exactly as they would be used in land-based casinos. The games take place in a studio and are streamed by video so that players at online casinos can bet on each spin of the wheel and watch the action unfold as it happens.
Roulette Table Layout and Bets
The image below shows a typical roulette wheel and table layout. You'll see that each number is represented individually and that there are also several areas that allow you to bet on groups of numbers:
Just some of the most popular bets that you can make include betting that the winning number or pocket will be:
- In the range 1 to 18
- In the range 19 to 36
- A specific number, such as 7 or 11.
In addition to the straightforward bets above, you can also place bets on groups of adjacent numbers. To do this, use your mouse to pause over the area of the layout you are interested in and you'll be given options to make a Split bet that covers two numbers, a Corner bet that covers four numbers, and so on.
Bets on groups of 12 numbers, known as the Dozens, can be made by placing a chip on the 1st 12, 2nd 12, or 3rd 12 areas. Similarly, you can place a chip on any of the areas marked 2 to 1 and that bet will cover the 12 numbers in the same column.
Inside and Outside
The roulette table layout can be divided into two types of bets, known as Inside or Outside, as illustrated below. Outside bets are most popular with beginners and casual players, as they are fairly easy to win with. Inside bets are more difficult to win with but pay more when they are successful.
Online Roulette: Bets and Payouts
The odds paid for a winning bet will depend on how hard it is to succeed with that bet. Here are the main bets you can place in a game of roulette, from the easiest to win with to the most challenging, together with their respective payouts.
Online Roulette: How to Play
At this stage you have all the theoretical knowledge you need to get started playing online roulette. We've explained the aim of the game, what betting opportunities exist and how much each bet pays for success. Now it's time for us to help you consolidate all of that knowledge by taking you step-by-step through how to play. There are in fact four steps that we will discuss in turn.
How to Play Roulette: Procedure
Now that we've gone through the basics of online Roulette you should have a fairly good understanding of the game and the types of bets that can be placed via the table layout. You've learned that different bets pay different sums, depending on the likelihood of them succeeding and that you can play online Roulette as a software-driven game or as a Live Casino game. With all of that covered, we will now explain how to play the game, step-by-step:
STEP 1: Choose Your Game
We’ll talk a little later about different roulette variations, but for now we would advise any beginner to start out by playing European Roulette. This is a game that has just one green pocket on the wheel, and since winning green pockets with a 0 or 00 cause most other bets to lose, the fewer green pockets, the better.
As for where you should play, there are plenty of roulette online casinos available to those of us here in Canada. If you don’t already have an online casino membership that you’re happy with, you can select any of the venues listed earlier (see the section titled Best Roulette Online Casinos) and be confident of having a great time.
STEP 2: Place Your Bets
Launch your chosen roulette game and choose the stake that you want to play with by selecting a virtual casino chip of the same denomination from the chip rack. When you’ve done that, place your bet by positioning a chip on the relevant area of the table layout. For example, if you want to bet on an EVEN outcome for $25, you’d select a $25 chip and place it on the area labelled EVEN, as shown below.
STEP 3: Check and Spin
You now have an opportunity to check that you haven’t made any mistakes with your stake or bet. If you want to undo the last action you made, you can do so by clicking on UNDO. Similarly, you can clear the table layout and start afresh by clicking on CLEAR. If you’re happy with your bet, click SPIN to set the wheel in motion and begin the game.
When the wheel stops spinning, the winning number will be announced. If you have placed a bet on that outcome you will be paid automatically at the appropriate odds, as explained earlier.
STEP 4: Get Set for the Next Spin
It’s now time to get set for the next spin. Click CLEAR to wipe the table layout and start afresh, or click the DOUBLE or REBET option. These allow you to place the same bet again at double the stake, or place the same bet again for the same stake, on the next spin. These options can be handy if you like to bet on the same outcomes from spin to spin.
Roulette has been around since the 18th century, so you shouldn't be surprised when we tell you that there is more than one version of the game that can be played at online casinos. All of them work in broadly the same way, but each variation has its own quirk or rule adjustment that merits it being viewed as something separate and distinct from other versions. Here are some of the roulette variations you can expect to see at online casinos in Canada.
An American Roulette wheel has two green pockets numbered 0 and 00. When either of those pockets wins it tends to be good news for the house because only specific bets on 0 or 00 will be successful. All other bets, such as those on Red, Black, Odd or Even, will lose. For this reason, the house edge in a game of American Roulette is 5.26%, which is almost twice the value of the house edge in European Roulette.
We would advise all online roulette players to focus on this version of the game because the wheel only has one green 0. That means the house edge in this roulette variation is just 2.70%, which is far less than the 5.26% you have to put up with in American Roulette.
As you'd expect, French Roulette is also popular among Canadian online casino players. The wheel has just one green 0, as in European Roulette, but the table layout tends to differ, with Inside and Outside bets being literally positioned like that on the table. French Roulette will usually also have one of two extra rules in play. These are referred to as La Partage and En Prison, which help to save some of all of your stake on even-money bets when 0 wins.
Lightning Roulette from Evolution
Lightning Roulette is a Live Casino version of online roulette, with all of the action being streamed by video from a dedicated studio. What makes this game special is that 1 to 5 numbers on the wheel are randomly selected to receive a similarly random multiplier of between 50x and 500x. Anyone who makes a winning bet on one of those lucky numbers will be paid at suitably multiplied odds. This is a very exciting and modern roulette variation, but do bear in mind that a regular Straight-Up bet here pays just 30:1 instead of the more usual 35:1. Check out our full Evolution review if you want to know more about this innovation live casino game developer.
Roulette Mobile Suitability
Online roulette is a game that is well suited to mobile devices. The smaller screens of smartphones sometimes mean that it is necessary to have the table layout on one screen and the wheel on another, but you can swipe back and forth between the two with ease. When playing on a tablet which has a larger display, even that might not be necessary.
All modern online roulette games are created with mobile compatibility in mind from the outset, so they run just as smoothly in a mobile browser or mobile app as they do on laptop and desktop computers. Just be sure to wear headphones if you want to hear the audio effects and ambience as the developers intended.
Roulette Online: Pros and Cons
Playing Roulette for Fun and Profit
Roulette is a game of pure chance so the only way to make a profit is by getting lucky, and there's no strategy that you can employ to influence the odds of winning in any way. Of course, you can still maximize your likelihood of winning by being careful about the kind of game you play and the bets you place. Here are a few handy tips to help you do just that.
Make It European
European Roulette has the lowest house edge of all online roulette games, so if you want your money to last as long as possible, this is the game to focus on. With a house edge of 2.70%, the casino can expect to keep an average of $2.70 from every $100 wagered. Players will still lose money over the long term, but hopefully not as quickly as they would when playing less favourable variations.
Forget all the stuff you hear about shooting for the moon so that you can be among the stars if you fail. Motivational pep talks don’t apply in the world of online casinos, and aiming to win big here is usually the fastest route to the poor house. The most effective way of giving yourself the best chance of winning is by aiming low and focusing on outcomes that pay 1:1 or 2:1 for success.
Budget Your Time and Money
The longer you spend at any gaming table at an online casino, the more chance the casino has of keeping your money. It is therefore a good idea to budget both the amount of time that you spend gaming and also the amount of money that you put at risk. Never bet with money that you can’t afford to lose, and if you are lucky enough to win a decent profit, consider leaving the table while you’re ahead. The longer you continue to play after a few good wins, the more likely you are to hand your profits back to the casino.
Online Roulette: Conclusion
Online roulette is a game of chance that is as entertaining as it is easy to play. No skill is involved, so you won't have to worry about making costly mistakes, and you can play on a tablet or smartphone just as well as you can on a laptop or desktop. With multiple varieties of the game being available at online casinos across Canada, we doubt that you'll ever get bored even if you play week after week. Treat yourself to a spin or two today and see what you think!