Roulette Etiquette: The Dos and Don’ts Behind the Wheel

Playing roulette for the first time can be nerve-wracking if you don’t understand the etiquette. If you don’t want to make any faux pas, here are the unwritten rules behind the game of roulette.

Know what you’re getting into

It’s a good idea to understand the game. You place bets on either the number or the type of pocket the ivory ball is going to land in but there are different types of bets. “Inside betting” has better odds and lets you pick specific numbers, while “straight up betting” makes you choose one and has a better pay-out. Decide which is right for you before getting to the table. Once you’re at the table, make sure to check what the minimum and maximum bets are for the spin to avoid the embarrassment of handing over a £10 chip when the minimum bet is £15.

Understand the betting process

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Roulette chips and generic casino chips are different colours and can’t be used interchangeably. When you arrive at a roulette table, the croupier changes your chips for roulette chips, and when you want to leave, you need to ask they be changed back. Once you have your chips, you can start betting. The key is patience. Bets can’t be made until the previous round has been cleared out. The betting process lasts around one minute so make sure you move quickly. You can still place bets when the ball is rolling, but once it begins to slow down the dealer will close the betting pool. Betting after this is called past posting and can get you kicked out of the casino. Once the spin is over, the dealer collects any lost bets, and pays any winning bets.

Keep your hands to home

Never ever reach your hand onto the roulette table after the spin. It may be innocent, you may be reaching for your own winnings, but you will automatically engage the suspicion of those around you.

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Watch your temper

It’s frustrating to lose and exciting to win but remember where you are. Your win may be someone else’s loss. A small celebration is fine, but make sure it stays small. Roulette players dislike both sore losers and sore winners.

Consider where you’re playing

The United States is a tipping culture. It would be rude if you didn’t tip your dealer, especially on a win. In the United Kingdom, tipping is less serious, and you can get away with forgetting. Meanwhile, there are casinos in Europe that ban the practice altogether. Follow the customs of wherever you’ve decided to play.

Or alternatively

You can go online. Online roulette is a good way to dip a toe in the water without having to worry about unspoken rules. Sites like William Hill casino let you play everything from classic roulette to mini roulette, meaning you have a lot of options to flex your roulette muscles.


Casinos are exciting, dazzling. But they can also be intimidating, full of hidden rulebooks and caveats. Understanding etiquette can make the difference between feeling uncomfortable and having a fun time.