Understand the Rules and Etiquette of Roulette

The rules of roulette are elegant in their simplicity. However, getting your head around the etiquette can be a bit tricky. Following our instructions should help, and if you’re playing with a live dealer then you can always ask them to refresh your memory of the proper code of conduct.

Some of the rules listed here aren’t relevant to virtual roulette, but most casinos will tell you the rules for digital roulette before you start playing.

The Rules

To play online roulette you’ll first need to make an account with a casino and then proceed to a roulette variant of your choice.

  • Once you’re at the table you’ll be able to place as many or as few chips as you want. In virtual roulette you’ll have all the time in the world to place your bets as you’re playing by yourself. However if you’re playing with a live dealer you’ll be on a time limit, so don’t dawdle!
  • Once the dealer or game has announced “no more bets” you will not be allowed to place any more chips, any bets made after this announcement will not count and you won’t receive any winnings.
  • Winnings will be sorted out and returned to you, so you don’t have to worry about reaching in and grabbing your chips like at a real casino. Saves on the arm strain.

Fun Fact: It is customary for the croupier to place the ball on the same number as the date and spin the wheel once before starting the game. This excludes the numbers 0, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36.

Special Rules

There are some roulette rules that are implemented circumstantially. Not all casinos will apply these rules so check with your croupier before you start to prevent any confusion. Some of these rules do not appear in virtual roulette as they require a dealer.

En Prison

This only applies if you’ve made an even bet (red/black, even/odd etc.), and the ball lands on the 0 or 00 slot.

In this case you’ll be allowed to either take back half of your bet or keep the whole bet in play for the next spin. If your next bet wins then you can collect your winnings, if it loses then you lose your bet. If the ball lands on 0 or 00 again then you may be allowed to keep the bet ‘in prison’ again until you either win or lose.

Called Bets

On a French roulette table, there are bets which you can’t place without asking the dealer, these are known as ‘Called Bets’. The croupier will only take these if they have the time.

If the croupier accepts your bet, they will acknowledge it by repeating the bet back to you. If they remain silent it means they haven’t accepted the bet and you’ll have to wait until next turn to make a called bet.

In virtual roulette, these bets will appear on the table. Since there is no time limit in digital roulette you don’t need to rely on someone else to make these bets for you.


That’s about it for rules of roulette. However there are a lot of guidelines concerning etiquette which should be adhered to when playing:

  • Always be polite to the dealer: they have no power over the outcome of the wheel, so don’t take it out on them if the wheel is unkind to you.
  • Be courteous to other players: there’s no point in getting into an argument with anyone. If another player is acting up then they’ll be kicked out of the session.
  • If you’re playing at a physical casino, never throw your chips: always place them on your desired bet. This is to help avoid confusion and sustains game flow.
  • Do not bring any food or drink to a casino table: This is just to keep the table nice and clean for yourself and other players.
  • Tip the dealer: if you’ve ended up winning quite a lot of money in one session, it’s considered polite to give the dealer a tip.

Last Rule: Have Fun!

That just about covers it! With online roulette you won’t usually have trouble complying with the rules (it’s not like you can reach into the screen and run away with chips!).

With live roulette is the dealer, it’s still impossible to cheat, so just be nice to everyone you’re playing with and enjoy yourself!

In an actual casino, you need to observe the proper etiquette, or you’ll find yourself being tossed unceremoniously into the street by security. This is not much fun.