Roulette is a popular casino game around the world, including at the many riverboat casinos in Missouri. Online roulette for real money is not available in Missouri at the moment, but people in the state do have online options to play roulette at social and sweepstakes casinos.
Read on for a look at roulette in Missouri and information about everything you need to know when playing the king of casino games in the Show-Me State.
Is roulette legal in Missouri?
Yes, roulette is legal in Missouri at the state’s many casinos. Roulette is among the long list of approved table games that licensed casinos can offer in Missouri.
You can find live roulette tables in most of the casinos, with some featuring just a single wheel and others offering several tables. Meanwhile, in casinos that don’t feature live roulette, you’re likely to find electronic roulette tables that provide a similar experience.
Can you play roulette online in Missouri?
Missouri does not allow any online gambling for real money, and that includes online roulette. However, Missourians can play online at social and sweepstakes casinos that use virtual currencies.
Most of these sites feature slots, in some cases exclusively. However, some also have table games similar to what you’ll find at Missouri casinos or at online casinos in states that allow online gambling.
Chumba Casino is an example of a sweepstakes site that includes roulette among its games. Like other similar sites, Chumba Casino uses virtual currencies although the site does provide a chance for players to redeem winnings for real cash prizes, depending on how they play. Chumba’s roulette title is American Roulette X2.
Pulsz is a similar sweepstakes casino-style site that includes roulette among its games along with slots, blackjack, and baccarat. The Pulsz roulette title is American Roulette 3D. As at Chumba, the game at Pulsz features sleek graphics and smooth animation that effectively replicates the look and feel of real casino roulette.
As their names suggest, both of these online roulette games feature the American roulette format (as opposed to European roulette). See below for an explanation of the difference.
Again, Chumba and Pulsz are legal and available in Missouri. Players are therefore able to legally play free online roulette in Missouri on their computer or mobile phone and experience the excitement of this hugely popular casino game.
Social casinos affiliated with Missouri properties
Some Missouri riverboat casinos also offer their own social casino apps, available for Apple and Android devices to let people play casino games on the go.
The games are strictly for entertainment purposes and do not use real money. However, they do offer a chance to earn loyalty rewards that you can redeem for perks and other benefits at the brick-and-mortar properties with which they are affiliated.
The two Ameristar casinos in Missouri — in St. Charles and Kansas City — each advertise the Stardust Social Casino mobile app. Playing on the app lets you accumulate Boyd Points and tier credits that you can use at the properties. The app only features slots, however, and no roulette.
Other Missouri casinos do not feature social casinos on their websites. Users might try the Caesars-owned properties (Harrah’s Kansas City, Horseshoe St. Louis, Isle of Capri) and Bally’s Kansas City, as both Caesars and Bally’s also offer social casino apps. The Caesars app is only slots, but Bally’s does feature roulette.
Such social casinos are free to play, and the games are not for real money.
How to play roulette
Roulette is a classic casino game that dates back to 18th-century Europe. It might look intimidating to a first-timer, but in truth roulette is easy to play. There are many ways to place bets on where the ball will land once the spinning wheel stops, but these rules are not that complicated.
The game is entirely based on chance, unlike other casino games like poker or blackjack that do involve some skill to go along with the luck of the draw. However, if you know how to play roulette and how to place your bets, you can at least manage your risk intelligently and according to your own preferences.
You’ll see a number of seats around the roulette table, at the end of which is the roulette wheel. Take a seat, then purchase chips from the croupier who manages the game. Generally speaking, with roulette you have to get chips at the table and cannot use the same chips you used elsewhere in the casino. Then, when you’re done playing, you’ll exchange these chips for cash at the table before you leave.
Typically the croupier will spin the wheel, and while it spins, players will place their bets by placing their chips at various locations on the table (see below for details about how that works). Before the wheel has stopped, the croupier will signal the end of betting.
Everyone then watches the wheel slow down and stop, and the ball will rest on one of the numbered spots to indicate which bets have won. The croupier then settles all the bets, collecting chips from losers and awarding chips to winners. After that, the wheel spins again and the procedure starts anew.
The difference between American and European roulette
One point worth noting is the distinction between the two most popular forms of roulette:
- European roulette
- American roulette
The original roulette game in France during the 1700s used a wheel with slots numbered from 1-36, plus two more slots marked 0 and 00. For the 1-36 slots, half the numbers were red and the other half black, while the zeroes were green. It was that version of roulette that eventually traveled over to America.
Eventually, the European game dropped the double-zero, but America kept it. Today, European roulette uses just one zero. Here’s how the wheel and board look for European roulette:
Meanwhile, American roulette features both the 0 and 00, like this:
This might look like just a tiny difference, but in fact the extra zero affects the odds and the payouts in roulette in a significant way.
European roulette gives players better odds thanks to only having that one zero rather than both 0 and 00. For instance, when placing a bet on “red,” you are betting the ball will land in one of the 18 red spots, and if you win you double your money.
On a European roulette wheel, your chance of winning is 18/37 (48.65%). But on the American roulette wheel, your chance is 18/38 (47.37%).
That might seem like a negligible difference, but look at how the house edge changes. In European roulette, the house edge is about 2.7% (51.35% to 48.65%). But in American roulette, it is more like 5.26% (52.63% to 47.37%). That’s enough of a difference to matter, especially over the long term.
What does this mean for you? If you have a choice between European and American roulette, you probably should pick the European version. That said, you aren’t likely to have a choice when you play roulette in Missouri. All Missouri casinos that offer roulette feature American roulette. The same is true for the roulette options on Chumba and Pulsz.
How to place bets in roulette
Let’s talk about how to bet in roulette. We aren’t going to tell you how to win in roulette, as there is no real strategy for that — like the lottery, roulette is wholly a game of chance. But you should take a moment to learn about the kinds of roulette bets that are available, as that will help you understand which bets are riskier than others.
Roulette bets commonly fall into two types: inside bets and outside bets. The difference concerns where you place your chips on the roulette board. For inside bets, you place chips inside the main box containing numbers 1-36, and for outside bets you place chips in the smaller boxes outside of that main box.
In most cases, inside bets have longer odds than outside bets. Thus inside bets are less likely to win, but they pay more if they do. Those who prefer less risky wagers are likely to prefer outside bets that have shorter roulette odds and pay less for wins.
Here are some of the inside bets you can make along with their payouts:
- Straight up — A bet on a single number from 1 to 36 (winning bet pays 35-to-1).
- Split — A bet on two numbers, by placing chip(s) on the line between them (17-to-1).
- Street — A bet on a row of three numbers (11-to-1).
- Corner — A bet on four numbers, by placing chip(s) on the intersection between them (8-to-1).
- Basket — A bet on five numbers, specifically on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 (6-to-1).
- Line or double street — A bet on six numbers or two rows of three numbers, by placing chip(s) on the intersection of the two rows (5-to-1).
Meanwhile, here are examples of outside bets (also with their roulette payouts):
- Dozens — A bet on the first 12 numbers (1-12), the second 12 (13-24) or the third 12 (25-36) (winning bet pays 2-to-1).
- Column — A bet on a column of 12 numbers (2-to-1).
- Red or black — A bet on either the 18 red numbers or 18 black numbers (1-to-1).
- Odd or even — A bet on either the 18 odd numbers or 18 even numbers (1-to-1).
- High or low — A bet on either 1-18 or 19-36 (1-to-1).
You see how the payouts for the outside bets are lower, since in those cases you are betting on more numbers at once, giving you a greater chance to win.
More about the house edge in roulette
We already discussed the “house edge” in roulette and how since American roulette uses both the 0 and 00, it has a greater house edge than European roulette. For 1-to-1 outside bets (red or black, odd or even, high or low) in American roulette, for instance, the house edge is about 5.26%.
As it happens, all those payouts we just went over feature just about the same house edge. For almost every one of those bets, the payouts are deliberately adjusted to give the house that same 5.26% edge. From a mathematical point of view, it’s quite interesting.
There is one exception, though — the “basket” bet when you bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3 for a chance at a 6-to-1 payout. That’s actually the worst bet you can make in terms of the house edge — 7.9%.
Betting limits when playing roulette in Missouri
Like other casino games, roulette tables will usually post betting limits indicating the minimum and maximum bets. You should know, however, that these betting limits have different meanings when it comes to inside bets and outside bets.
When you make an outside bet, your bet must be for at least the minimum. Thus if the table minimum is $25, you have to bet at least $25 when betting on (for example) odd or even, red or black, and the like.
However, when you make an inside bet, you can divide your wager into smaller bets that add up to the table minimum. In other words, if the table minimum is $25, you can make five $5 straight bets on individual numbers.
Usually you’ll also see casinos setting higher maximums for outside bets than for inside bets. That’s because the payouts for those outside bets are less, so the casino is guarding against having to make an enormous payout if someone hits one of those 35-to-1 straight bets.
To cite a couple of examples from Missouri casinos, if you sit down at a roulette table at Argosy Casino Riverside, you’ll see that for inside bets the maximum is $100. However, for outside bets paying 1-to-1 you can bet up to $3,000, and for outside bets paying 2-to-1 (dozens or column bets), you can bet up to $1,500.
Meanwhile, for roulette at Bally’s Kansas City, the table minimum is $10, the maximum for inside bets on individual numbers is $100 and the maximum for outside bets is $2,000.
Where to play roulette in Missouri
Speaking of playing roulette at Missouri casinos, you can find live roulette at most of them and electronic roulette and just about all of them.
Here’s a list of Missouri casinos along with what each says about roulette on its website:
- Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles — lists roulette among available table games
- Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City — lists roulette among available table games
- Argosy Casino Riverside — lists roulette among available table games
- Bally’s Kansas City — mentions having one live roulette table
- Century Casino Cap Girardeau — no mention of live roulette (might have electronic roulette)
- Century Casino Caruthersville — no live roulette, but does have Fusion electronic roulette
- Harrah’s Kansas City — lists roulette among available table games
- Hollywood Casino St. Louis — mentions having four live roulette tables
- Horseshoe St. Louis — lists roulette among available table games
- Isle of Capri — no live roulette, but does have Fusion electronic roulette
- Mark Twain Casino — no live roulette, but advertises “E-Roulette”
- River City Casino — lists roulette among available table games
- Jo Frontier Casino — no mention of live roulette (might have electronic roulette)
Don’t expect to find European roulette at Missouri casinos. Whenever one of the casinos makes the distinction on its website, it invariably advertises having American roulette.
Missouri roulette FAQ
If the house edge is the same for most roulette bets, what difference does it make if I place inside bets or outside bets?
The difference between inside and outside bets primarily concerns variance. Making only inside bets increases your variance, meaning your wins and losses will be more dramatic than would be the case if you stick to the more conservative outside bets. If you have a high tolerance for risk, inside bets might be more your style. But if you are more risk-averse, you will probably prefer the outside bets.
Is it OK for more than one person to bet on the same number in roulette?
Yes, absolutely. If one player has placed chips on a given number, another player can still bet on that same number.
Is there a “system” or winning strategy for roulette?
No, there is no system for winning at roulette. The game has produced a lot of theories over the years, with gamblers trying to read patterns or pursuing other strange ideas to support various methods to increase their chances of winning. But since roulette is an entirely chance-based game, there is no real strategy that can affect your outcome. Each spin is independent, meaning there are no patterns to the spin results even if it might seem as though there are.
I see American roulette and European roulette described above, but what is French roulette?
French roulette uses the same wheel as European roulette, meaning there is only a single zero, although the layout of the table is a little different. More importantly, French roulette adds a couple of possible rule variations. Both concern what happens when the ball lands on that zero slots and only affects 1-to-1 outside bets.
If the game is being played “en prison” and the ball lands on zero, if you’ve made a 1-to-1 outside bet you don’t lose the bet, but you have to play the same bet on the next spin. (Your bet is “in prison” and must stay there.) If the game is being played “la partage” and the ball lands on zero, you lose only half of your 1-to-1 wager.
Much as you aren’t likely to find European roulette in Missouri, you’re probably not going to see French roulette, either.
Is it true that roulette is sometimes called “The Devil’s Game”?
Roulette has a lot of nicknames, including the “Game of Kings,” the “King of Casino Games” and the “Wheel of Fortune.” One of the more popular nicknames for roulette is “The Devil’s Game.” That name stems from the fact that if you add up the numbers on a roulette wheel (from 1 to 36), they total 666, or what the Book of Revelation calls the “number of the beast.”