Roulette can be an overwhelming game for beginners with a wide variety of bets, each with different payouts and ‘true odds’. Serious roulette players have their own theories and strategies about how to be successful at the game. But what if you’re a complete beginner that just wants to have some fun while getting used to the experience of playing roulette online or in a land-based casino? In this article, we’ll give you some of the most fundamental and basic strategy tips available for absolute beginners. These tips are a good foundation if you want to become a more experienced roulette player but are also effective for players just looking to have some fun and not burn through your bankroll too quickly.

Here’s something important to keep in mind no matter if you’re playing online roulette or in a live casino situation. Roulette is not a particularly good bet. There are many more ‘player friendly’ wagers in any casino. The ‘house advantage’ in American roulette is 5.26%. In European roulette, it’s 2.70%. Those are not insignificant edges meaning that without a few lucky breaks you could get ‘tapped out’ very quickly no matter which roulette strategy you employ.


If you read the previous two paragraphs (and if you didn’t, go back and do it already!) you’ve likely already figured this one out: you’re much better off playing on a European wheel than on an ‘American’ wheel. And since this section offers strategy for ‘absolute beginners’ we’ll go back and review the difference between the two wheels. The ‘European’ wheel has 36 numbers plus one zero (0). The ‘American’ wheel has 36 numbers plus a zero (0) and a double zero (00). As we noted above, even if you don’t do anything else to help your cause you can cut the house advantage roughly in half simply by playing on the European (single zero) wheel.

Obviously, these can be found in European casinos (hence the name) but they can also be found online and in US land-based casinos. There’s one catch, at least in American casinos–the single zero European wheel is typically reserved for ‘high roller’ games in more upscale casinos. You’re unlikely to find a single zero wheel with anything less than a $25 table minimum. At this point, you need to ‘do the math’. You might be better off playing $25 minimums at a 2.70% house edge than $10 or $15 minimum bets at a 5.26% house edge. This is especially true if you know how to work the ‘comp’ system.

European wheels are even more advantageous if the casino offers the ‘la partage’ or ‘en prison’ rules. Few (if any) US casinos do but it’s more common in Europe and online. These are fairly complex rules, however, and this section is devoted to ‘absolute beginners’.


The ‘outside bets’ are so named because they are on the far outside of the standard roulette layout found in every land-based and online casino. These are the most fundamental roulette bets and are a good way for a beginner to get used to the game. The house still has a 2.70% or 5.26% house edge but you won’t burn through your bankroll as fast with these even money bets. On a double zero wheel your ‘true odds’ of hitting any of the ‘outside bets’ is 47.37% meaning that the return on this bet would have to be 10/9 or +111.1 to reflect the actual probability of winning.

The ‘outside bets’ include ‘Red’ or ‘Black’ bets. Each of the 36 numbers has a color background of either red or black. With this bet you pick a color and if the appropriate color background is on the number that comes on the wheel you’re a winner. There’s also ‘Odd’ or ‘Even’ which should be obvious enough and also pays off at even money odds. Finally, you can bet that the number rolled will be either 1 through 18 or 19 through 36. All of these bets pay off at even money odds and are a good way for a beginner to observe what happens at the roulette table without feeling overwhelmed or burning through the bankroll too quickly.