Published on 17.05.2022

Written by

Kelvin JonesKelvin Jones
Published on 17.05.2022
Reading time 11 min

Play Roulette Online

When it comes to an authentic casino experience, few games can match roulette for fun and tradition alike. In the olden days, you had to go to a big casino to play this classic game. These days, plenty of online casinos offer you different variants of roulette, both virtual and live. 

Finding a safe online casino with the best roulette games in South Africa is not easy. That is where we come in – we have created a complete guide to online roulette for South African players. On this page, you will find the following things: 

  • The best online roulette casinos
  • History of roulette
  • Basic rules of roulette
  • Introduction to roulette bets and strategies
  • Popular roulette variants, and more.

if you are in a tearing hurry to watch those spinning wheels with red and black numbers, we have an updated list of the best online gambling sites to play roulette in South Africa.

The Best Real Money Online Roulette Sites in South Africa

How We Chose the Best Online Roulette Casinos

Here at PCSA, we have a team of veteran online gamblers and industry specialists with decades of experience in the online casino world. Leveraging their inside knowledge, we conduct a thorough review process of all South African online casinos with roulette to pick the best ones. Our team uses the following hallmarks to identify a safe and reputed online casino.

  • Valid Gambling License – If you want guaranteed peace of mind, always play at fully licensed online casinos. We look for sites approved by reputed (and strict) bodies like the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission. You can rest assured that the large majority of licensed casinos are safe and trustworthy. 
  • A Solid Game Catalog – table games like roulette don’t get a fair representation at many online casinos, especially those with fewer providers. We prefer larger online casinos that stock games from dozens of software providers. It ensures that you have a decent selection of different roulette variants to keep you occupied for longer. 
  • Rand Payments Accepted – money is of course a necessity if you want to place bets online on roulette or any other casino game. If you are a South African resident, you should always look for casinos that accept deposits and withdrawals in Rands. This way, you can avoid the currency conversion fees the banks/payment services charge for switching from ZAR to USD or EUR. 
  • Quick and Secure Payments – apart from local currency support, we also look for a comprehensive selection of online payment methods. For maximum convenience, a South African online casino should have credit cards, online banking, e-wallets, and cryptocurrencies for both deposits and withdrawals. 
  • A Good Reputation – we only select casinos that deliver on the promise of fair play and customer safety. If a website has a poor track record – with a history of player complaints and delayed or stalled payments – we automatically exclude it from our shortlist.

A Brief History of Roulette

Unlike many other gambling games, roulette is relatively new – it was only created in the 1700s in France. The game design is a hybrid between a gaming wheel and the Italian board game called Biribi.  Its origin story is quite interesting indeed. 

The French inventor Blaise Pascal, Dominican Monks, and the Chinese have all been credited for the creation of the modern roulette game. However, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, roulette was gradually derived from older gambling games in France, with names like Hoca and Potique. 

The modern name – which means “little wheel” – was first mentioned in Bordeaux in 1716. By 1790, it was the leading game in French casinos and fast gaining popularity across European nations. The game attained cult status in Monte Carlo, which is the most famous gambling resort in Monaco in the 1830s.  

After a century of prohibition, the game steadily increased in popularity across Europe and America. Regional variants also arose, with American and French Roulette being particularly famous. Now, with the rise of online casinos, we even have virtual games of roulette! 

How to Play Roulette Online

Online casino gaming requires several things – a compatible device like a computer/laptop/mobile device, internet access, a working email ID, and a mobile number. Further, you also need to create a player account at the casino if you want to play real money roulette. This is a simple process with the following key steps: 

  1. Pick any trusted South African online casino from our shortlist
  2. Click on the link provided to visit the casino website
  3. Select the "Sign Up", "Join Now," or "Register" option on the landing page
  4. Fill up the registration forms with some personal information and contact details
  5. Accept the casino terms and conditions on the form provided
  6. Sign in to your account and go to the deposits section to add some funds
  7. You can also claim a welcome bonus at this point – check the casino promotions page for details
  8. As soon as your deposit goes through, you can start playing roulette games
  9. To do this, head to the “Table Games” section of the Casino
  10. Pick any game from the Roulette category and click to start playing for real money! 

How to Play Free Roulette Online

Free play is the perfect option for beginners at an online casino. In this mode, you will place bets on the game using in-game virtual coins. In regular play, with each wager, a specific amount is deducted from your casino balance. If you lose the bet, that money goes to the casino. 

In free play, there is no such risk to your finances. You can play without worry and learn the rules and game strategies at your leisure. There is just one minor catch – since you place bets using fake money, you will also get paid in fake money (virtual coins with no value) if you win! 

To play roulette for free online, follow these simple steps: 

  1. Visit any online casino from our list – no need to sign up
  2. Just go straight to the Table Games area of the casino and pick Roulette games
  3. To play any game for free, hover your mouse pointer over the game icon – it will reveal the “Fun Play” or “Free Play” option
  4. Select it to play the game for free online 
  5. On mobile devices, you can tap the game icon once to reveal the option
  6. Play unlimited rounds of roulette until you learn all the basics!  

Roulette Online Rules

The online version of roulette is a largely faithful representation of the game played in Vegas or Monte Carlo casinos. This game has a simple basic premise – you play roulette on a table with a rotating wheel. The wheel has the numbers 1 to 36, in alternating colours of red and black. 

You play by placing a bet on any number or colour. The roulette wheel is spun after the bets, and a small ball is launched onto the wheel. Once the rotation stops, the ball will randomly drop on a number. If it matches your bet, you win! 

In offline and live online roulette, a croupier will launch the ball onto the spinning wheel. Here, the outcome is determined by random factors like the speed of the spinning wheel and ball physics. However, in online virtual roulette, everything is based on RNG – random numbers generated by a computer program. 

While the main numbers stay the same across roulette tables – 1 to 36 – the number of zeros on a wheel can vary depending on the regional variants like American Roulette and French Roulette. Regardless, the basic betting options remain the same in online roulette.

Betting Options in Roulette

You have a broad choice of betting options in roulette. These are classified into three main categories – inside bets, outside bets, and announced bets. In a roulette game, these bets all have different odds and thus, varying payouts. So it is important to learn as much as possible about roulette bets online. 

Inside Bets 

If you place any bet on a number on the roulette wheel, it is called an inside bet. These bets have higher payouts than the other categories of roulette bets. The best inside bet is a "straight-up bet" –  where you bet on a single number on the wheel. This is also the roulette bet with the highest possible payout ratio in the game – 35:1. Here is a quick look at all the inside bets: 

  • Straight – S bet on any single number – Payout of 35:1
  • Split – S bet on two numbers that lie next to each other on the wheel – Payout of 17:1
  • Street – Similar to a split bet, but extended to 3 consecutive numbers on the wheel – Payout of 11:1 
  • Corner – Any bet on four consecutive numbers on the wheel – Payout of 8:1. 
  • Six Line – The largest bet, placed on two street bets that lie next to each other – Payout of 5:1.

Outside Bets

These are even easier to understand. Instead of betting on individual numbers, you can bet on a series of numbers. Outside bets are based on the following options: 

  • Red or Black – Bet on the ball landing on a number of either colour
  • Odd or Even – Bet on landing an even number or odd number
  • High or Low – Bet on numbers between 1-18 (low) or 19-36 36 (high)

Since outside bets cover a spread of numbers, your odds of winning also increase significantly. At the same time, the payouts are also shortened, giving you a ratio of 1:1 on the three bets mentioned above. 

Announced Bets

These are a special category of bets only found in French and European variants of roulette. There are three popular options: 

  • Voisins du Zero – Meaning “neighbours of zero”, you bet on a points spread that stretches on either side of zero on the wheel, up to 9 places in each direction. 
  • Tiers du Cylindre – Meaning “a third of the wheel”, it covers one-third of the roulette wheel using six different splits. 
  • Orphelians – The orphans is another bet that covers a single number and five different splits.

Popular Roulette Strategies

Roulette is a pure game of chance – you cannot do anything to affect the outcome of the game. However, there are plenty of unique and interesting roulette betting strategies out there, some of which are based on popular math series. 

Martingale System

This is a highly aggressive roulette betting strategy that is not at all suited for newcomers. In the Martingale system, each time you lose, you have to double your stake. The logic is this – even if you lose a lot of early rounds, when you finally win, the huge payout will make it worthwhile. 

The obvious downside of the Martingale system is that it can get very expensive if you get on a sustained losing streak. You need a huge bankroll when you play with Martingale. It is not a good strategy if you are a beginner or on a strict budget. 

Reverse Martingale System

This strategy is like the mirror image of the basic Martingale system. Instead of doubling down on your bets on a loss, you will double down only when you win. The advantage here is a smaller hit to your bankroll during a losing streak. 

On the other hand, this is a very conservative strategy that will only pay dividends in the long term. You will need to get a sustained winning streak to make a good pile of cash. If you are a more defensive and cautious player, Reverse Martingale might be a good option for you. 

The D’Alembert Roulette System

If doubling down at any point seems like a rash strategy for you, the D’Alembert system is perhaps a better option for you. Instead of drastic increases to your bets, you opt for a more gradual approach in this system. It is one of the safest betting systems out there for roulette. 

Start your bet with a single unit – say $1. If you win, you stick with the same wager, just like in the classic Martingale system. But if you lose, you add plus one to your wager – so $1 becomes $2, then $3, $4 and so on. 

This results in a flatter curve progression on your betting sizes. You can hopefully play for longer even in a sustained losing streak. To have a good D'Alembert system, you should first divide your bankroll into small equal units. 

Paroli Betting System

If you want a careful approach to doubling down on wins, the Paroli system may pique your interest. In Martingale, you throw caution to the wind and keep doubling down on your losses. In Paroli, you double down on wins, but not indefinitely. 

Instead, you keep doubling down on each consecutive win until you hit 3 rounds of wins. At that point, you reset your wager and start fresh. Here is what a standard Paroli betting sequence would look like – 

Start by wagering R1 in round 1. If you win, the next bet is R2 in your second round. If you win that, increase your wager to R4 in the third round. Whether you win or lose, you reset the wager in round four to R1. 

This way you can get some decent wins from streaks while still protecting your bankroll during a losing streak. Like many other roulette betting strategies, the Paroli system works well on even bets. 

The Most Popular Roulette Variations

Traditionally, there are just two main variants of roulette in the gambling world – American Roulette and European Roulette. However, over the centuries, casinos have experimented with the systems to add different variants, almost always with lower player odds. 

In the modern era as well, we have many different online roulette variants, perhaps more so than at any other point in history. We will examine some of the most popular online roulette games played at South African casinos in this section. 

European Roulette

As the name suggests, this is the variant you will find at most European casino resorts. Almost all online casinos will offer at least one game of European roulette. The standout feature of European roulette is a single zero – or "0" instead of the "0" and "00" we find on American variants. In terms of payouts and player odds, European Roulette is considered better than American Roulette. 

American Roulette

This is the version championed by casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City and other gambling hotspots across the United States. While it is nearly identical to the European variant, you get two additional zero pockets instead of just one – the “0” and “00.” The addition of a double zero adds to the uncertainty in the game, increasing the house odds. 

American vs European Roulette

For a beginner, it would be hard to tell the difference between the two roulette games at a single glance. Of course, as already explained, the number of zeros is the main difference between the two games. While that may seem insignificant, it can still have a major impact on your fortunes. We can see this by looking at some win chances for different bets across both games: 

BetPayoutAmerican Roulette Win ChanceEuropean Roulette Win Chance
Straight Up 35:12.63%2.7%
Split 17:15.26%5.41%
Street11:17.89%8.1%
Line5:115.79%16.22%
Red/Black1:147.37%48.65%

As the table indicates, European Roulette gets a slight 1.28% improvement in win chance on the even money bets. At lower payouts, this difference is negligible. But if you really want to optimize your winning chances when playing with Labouchere or other strategies, you may want to stick with European Roulette. For a more casual gaming experience, either American or European will do just fine. 

French Roulette 

The wheel in French roulette is identical to the European game – there is only a single zero here. What sets the French version of the game apart and makes it so popular is a tweak to the betting rules. There are two additional rules in French Roulette: 

  • La Partage – If you land a zero on an even-money bet, you get back half your stake
  • En Prison – Any losing even-money bet is placed on the table until the next round – if you win that round, you get your earlier stake back.

The additional rulesets make French Roulette a more attractive option compared to either American or European variants. You have two additional ways to get back some money on what would be a losing bet in the other two games. 

Other Roulette Versions

There are many tweaks to the classic roulette game available online these days. They are too numerous to mention and explain here. Notable examples include Mini Roulette – a smaller roulette wheel with fewer numbers and fewer bets, and Speed Roulette – a faster game with timed betting rounds. 

Traditionally, there are just two main variants of roulette in the gambling world – American Roulette and European Roulette. However, over the centuries, casinos have experimented with the systems to add different variants, almost always with lower player odds. 

In the modern era as well, we have many different online roulette variants, perhaps more so than at any other point in history. We will examine some of the most popular online roulette games played at South African casinos in this section. 

European Roulette

As the name suggests, this is the variant you will find at most European casino resorts. Almost all online casinos will offer at least one game of European roulette. The standout feature of European roulette is a single zero – or "0" instead of the "0" and "00" we find on American variants. In terms of payouts and player odds, European Roulette is considered better than American Roulette. 

American Roulette

This is the version championed by casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City and other gambling hotspots across the United States. While it is nearly identical to the European variant, you get two additional zero pockets instead of just one – the “0” and “00.” The addition of a double zero adds to the uncertainty in the game, increasing the house odds. 

American vs European Roulette

For a beginner, it would be hard to tell the difference between the two roulette games at a single glance. Of course, as already explained, the number of zeros is the main difference between the two games. While that may seem insignificant, it can still have a major impact on your fortunes. We can see this by looking at some win chances for different bets across both games: 

Real Money vs Free Online Roulette

Roulette is a fast-paced game where you can either make a fortune, break even or lose a fortune in a matter of minutes or hours. With many different types of bets and roulette strategies, it is normal for beginners to feel overwhelmed. 

Real money roulette is never a good idea if you don't know what you are doing. You could lose a lot of money if you are not careful. Free online roulette is the recommended option because it is risk-free. The differences between the two modes are broadly outlined in the table below: 

FeatureReal MoneyFree Online
Sign up requiredYesNo
Risk Factor
High
Zero
Cash WinningsYesNo
Live Casino RoulettePlayable
Not Playable
AvailabilityAt all casinosNot available on some sites

Roulette Online Bonuses

At most online casinos, bonuses are geared heavily towards online slots. Bonus play on table games – including roulette – is often highly discouraged by casinos. The reason is quite simple – casinos enjoy a better house edge on slots, anywhere from 3% to 8%. 

In some roulette titles like French Roulette, the house edge is a minuscule 1.35% on even money bets. Experienced players have a chance to win more often with roulette games. When playing with bonuses, this means the casino stands a chance to lose more money. So they don't like players using bonuses on online roulette!

Still, you can play roulette with welcome bonuses and deposit bonuses at the top South African online casinos if you want. Just keep in mind that all bonuses come with wagering requirements. And table games/roulette contribute a very small percentage of bets placed towards this requirement – often less than 10%. 

Playing Online Roulette on Mobile

You can play all online versions of roulette, including live roulette on your mobile phone in South Africa. And you don't necessarily need the latest iPhone or Android flagship from Samsung to make that happen. Online casino roulette is compatible with both iOS and Android phones across all budgets – even phones launched 5 years ago can play the game comfortably. 

The best South African casinos online in 2022 are all based on HTML5, which enables websites to run flawlessly on multiple software/hardware combinations. All you need is a mobile browser like Chrome or Safari to get started, along with a decent internet connection – WiFi or 4G is recommended for best results. 

Create an account on any of our recommended South Africa roulette casinos and you are all set. You can even enjoy free play roulette on mobile just by visiting one of these sites on your smartphone. Place deposits, claim bonuses, and win money on roulette mobile with ease! 

FAQ about the Best Roulette Online Casinos

Yes, you can play online roulette for free at most online casinos using the Fun Play/Demo/Free Play option. Keep in mind that you cannot win real money when you play in this mode. This is just an option to sample the games and practice, risk-free for beginners. Once you learn the basics, it is always preferable to deposit money and enjoy the thrill of real money roulette!

As long as you stick with fully licensed off-shore casinos from countries like Malta, the UK, and Curacao, you can play roulette legally online. Millions of South African players enjoy high-quality roulette action at such casinos each year. It is completely safe and legal.

Roulette games from reputed software providers are not rigged under any circumstance. The RNG algorithm behind these games is kept in a tamper-proof system that undergoes frequent safety and fairness audits. Rigged games are only a threat when you play at unlicensed casinos with no-brand games.

Yes, you can play roulette games on all iPhones and Android devices currently available in the market. The games will even work on older devices from 2016 or '17. As long as you have a stable internet connection and the latest security updates on your phone, you are good to go. Just pick any casino from our list of the best South African casino for roulette games – they all support mobile gaming in 2022.

Even money bets – the ones with a 1:1 payout – are the safest option in any variant of roulette. Red/Black, Odd/Even, and high/low are all great because they allow you to cover a large portion of the roulette wheel. All the popular roulette betting strategies like Labouchere and Fibonacci rely on even-money bets to improve your chances of winning!

Kelvin Jones
Kelvin Jones

Senior Editor and Product Owner