What I Learned from Playing Roulette for the First Time

By Beverly Greer
Published on August 03, 2023
Money and Roulette Wheel

There was a time when I could not have told you anything about the game of roulette other than the fact that it is a game played in casinos. But since gambling has become a hobby of mine, everything has changed.

Roulette was one of the first games that I started with because a friend told me that it is easy to learn how to play. I did some research online and then headed to the local casino to play.

There was a lot of helpful information online that got me started, but once I got into the game, I realized that there was a lot that I could only learn through practice. I made a few rookie mistakes that definitely impacted my gameplay.

If you are just getting started with the game of roulette, check out our beginner’s guide to help you master the basics. You can also read this post to learn from my mistakes.

Choose the Right Table

The first thing that I learned about roulette is probably obvious to some, but it is worth mentioning because it can make a big difference in your game. You have to choose the right table to start with.

Nothing else that I could tell you about the game can help you if you are starting at the wrong table. But how do you know which table is right or wrong for you?

Choosing between the three major styles of roulette is the first decision you need to make.

European roulette is the classic version because it has a wheel numbered 0-36. The American version is the same with only one exception. American roulette adds a 00 to the wheel, which does nothing but increases the house edge.

There are special rules in French roulette, called “La Partage” and “en prison,” which will change the game significantly. Make sure that the table you are playing at has the variation you prefer.

The next thing you need to consider when you are choosing your table is the minimum and maximum limits. Similar to many casino games, there is a minimum that you must bet in order to play the game and a maximum so that you can’t win more money than the casino can cash out.

Roulette is different from other casinos games because there are multiple maximums for different kinds of bets.

For example, inside bets that usually only pay 1-1 or 2-1 may have a higher maximum than outside bets that might pay 35-1. The casino is going to be able to handle a 1-1 payout a lot easier than a larger one, so they limit the larger ones more.

I made the mistake of not checking the minimum bid when I first sat down, but as soon as I tried to place my bet, the croupier told me I had to bet the minimum or leave the table.

The minimum was about a quarter of my entire bankroll, so I decided to find a different table pretty quickly.

When you choose the table, find one that has a small enough minimum that it will allow you to play on your budget but will enable you to make bets that are as high as you are comfortable.

Start Simple and Progress to Complex

One of the best things about roulette is that it has so many betting options. You can bet on the exact number the ball will land on, a group of numbers, what color it will fall on, whether it will land on black or red, or any combination of all of these possibilities.

With so many betting options, it can be tempting to place several bets in hopes of increasing your chances of winning.

I don’t think that placing a bunch of bets the first round is the best plan for a beginner. I recommend starting with one or two different types of bets and mastering those before you add in other stakes.

Keep in mind that learning how to place your bet is only half of the battle. It’s a good idea also to learn how to calculate your potential payout.

When you calculate how much you could win, you can make wise decisions about which bets are worth the risks and which ones aren’t. You can maximize your payout by deciding to bet on the inside, outside, or both.

For those of you who don’t know, “inside” bets are placed on the 36 numbers inside the grid on the table, while “outside” bets are focused on the sections outside of the main grid for things like which set of 12 numbers it will land on.

I suggest starting with a small wager on the simple “outside” bets, and then progressing to the more complicated but higher-paying inside bets. That way, you can win a few extra dollars or so while you are learning how to play.

Remember that there are specific places on the physical table to put your bets once you have decided. If you want to bet that the ball will land on one of four spaces, you need to place your stake in the corner of those numbers.

The area where I made the most mistakes during my first game was making things too complicated because I just tried to jump in. I placed a bet on the number seven when I really wanted it to be a street bet between seven, eight, and nine.

My other stakes included a 1-18 wager when I had intended to play a 1-12 bet instead, a 0 and a black bet. I had so many bets going on that I couldn’t even keep track of them, and I could have easily been cheated on some of my payouts because it was apparent that I didn’t know what I was doing. Take it from someone who knows, and start simple.

Combine Bets Strategically

Once you have progressed to a sufficient understanding of all of the bets and their possible payouts, then you are ready to begin applying strategy.

Keep in mind that gambling strategies do not necessarily help you win. They simply help you maximize your payout if you do happen to be the winner.

The first strategy is a no-brainer, but it is also a mistake that beginners make often. They lose money by betting against themselves. If you bet that the ball will land on 20, but also that it will fall on odd, you are missing out on an opportunity to combine your potential winnings.

If you bet on the 20 and even, you could win both bets! If your combined bets are opposing each other, you can only ever win one of your two bets.

Another gambling strategy is to combine bets so that you make the most money. Placing a bet on all of the outside bets will still only connect at a rate of 1-1. On the other hand, if all of your bets are single-number bets, you might get a higher payout, but you decrease your chances of winning.

If you place a bet on the inside, outside, and characteristic wagers, you have the opportunity to win multiple different types of bets, so you can earn the most money.

As I already mentioned, the bets from my first game were a mess. I had so many bets going on, and some of them were opposing each other.

Placing a bet on 0 as a back-up in case my different numbers weren’t winning was just a waste of money because either way, I lost one of the bets. Now that I have been playing for a while, I have learned some basic strategy.

I maximize my payout every chance I can, and I only combine bets that make sense together. Save yourself the hassle and learn strategy before you begin playing.


Roulette is a fantastic game that is easy to learn and allows for a lot of flexibility to place several stakes at once.

If you can learn how to combine your bets wisely and learn how to choose the right table in the beginning, it can be a fun and potentially reward past time.

Good luck on your first game, and even if you lose, take heart in knowing that you will probably be more of a winner than someone like me who accidentally bets against themselves.

What I Learned from Playing Roulette for the First Time
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What I Learned from Playing Roulette for the First Time
In this post, I share everything I learned in my first game of roulette. These tips and tricks could be useful to you as a beginner roulette player.
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