The popularity of online casinos has been consistently growing over the past few years, and in line with this there has also been an increase in the number of players choosing to gamble online. New online casinos pop up every day, eager to meet the needs of this mass of potential customers. There are millions of players out there looking for exciting real money gaming experiences and for many of these, Roulette is the number 1 game.

We have covered this wheel-based game-of-chance many times already on this site, but there's still a lot more that can and should be said about it. Whether you're playing roulette with PayPal, or you're taking some spins in a live dealer casino, make sure you read this guide first.

Playing Roulette Online: Download vs Instant

a complete guide to playing roulette online

Roulette is a true classic of the casino world, and many players who seek it out online do so because they have experienced the thrill of playing in a physical casino, watching the wheel spin as they wait for the ball to land. Playing online is, of course, slightly different. In the past, you needed to download software onto your computer. The fact this software was on your computer meant the casino could offer big graphics and other features without overloading their servers. 

This practice, thankfully, faded away, replaced by games that worked through Flash. These games were hosted on the casino's server and played directly through internet browsers. These days, instant-play games like this are far more common. They also use HTML5 technology, which means they work just as well on mobile. These games are fast, seamless, and effortless--just as good as their downloadable counterparts, only they can be played without waiting for downloads and installations.

Most virtual roulette games include lively animations, high quality graphics and even sound effects. They mimic real casino play and the goal is to make the player feel like they have just stepped up to a genuine Roulette table in a land-based casino.

Live Dealer Roulette

If you want an even more immersive experience when playing Roulette, then try your hand at a live dealer version of this game. This technology has taken the gambling industry by storm over the last few years, offering a new, exciting experience the likes of which it just hasn't seen.

Simply put, a live dealer casino gives players a chance to experience the thrills of playing in a real casino without actually leaving their home. This works via a complex system of sensors, cameras, and gaming technology. On one side, you have a studio filled with tablets, croupiers, and equipment. The tables are setup just like they are in a traditional casino, with a series of cameras pointed at the table and dealer and a number of sensors on the table.

You, the player, are behind your computer watching a live stream of this table. You place your bets with virtual chips, the dealer spins the wheel and drops the ball. The winning number is announced by the dealer and also registered into the game, which allows it to pay the virtual chips to the winners and take them from the losers. This ensures that everything runs smoothly and that there are no issues.

You may wonder what the point of this is if you're simply betting and winning in a virtual process. Well, for one thing, everything is happening in real-time right before your eyes. Secondly, you can interact with the dealer and with the other players via the chat box. These games also have some additional features and tend to have high stake limits.

But don't dismiss them as a novelty. That certainly seemed to be the case when these games were first added to casinos online, but they have become an important and much-loved mainstay. In fact, most casinos make money money and attract more plays on live casino games of Roulette than they do on virtual ones.

American vs European

what are the different types of online roulette games

Most online casinos will offer roulette as one of their main selling points due to its immense popularity. You should always be sure, however, that you know whether you are playing European or American style roulette. European is the preferred style as this version of the game has much better odds for the player, whilst the American version has an increased house edge in the casino’s favor.

The problem is, game developers like to use unique names like "Power Roulette" and "Turbo Roulette", and they don't always tell you whether the game is using European/French or American rules. Generally speaking, if they don't make a point of mentioning it, it's probably because they have something to hide and are using American rules. But you can also check for yourself.

American Roulette wheels have 2 green spaces; French/European ones have just 1. The fewer the green spaces, the greater your odds of success will be. The average French variant of Roulette returns a house edge of just over 2%, while American games are over 5%.This is quite a substantial difference, so this is definitely something that you need to pay attention to.

Bonuses and Side Bets

As with games of blackjack, bingo and even poker, side bets should be avoided when playing Roulette. These bonuses are added to increase the house edge and generate more profit for the casino. Contrary to what you might think, they are not there for your benefit and no matter how good they sound, the casino always has a sizeable edge over you. Stick to the basics and focus on the high percentage bets as opposed to the side bets.

The Future of Roulette

Playing a game of Roulette online is not the exact same experience as playing in a land based casino, but that does not mean it is not a valuable experience in itself. What's more, with the addition of bigger and better graphics, as well as live dealer games, virtual reality games and more, they are becoming more advanced and more like the real thing with each passing day.

This is great news for fans of Roulette all over the world. The future is bright and we're at the precipice of some huge changes right now.