Roulette is one of the most popular games in casinos around the world, and Massachusetts is no exception. Fans of wagering on the ball and spinning wheel can try live and electronic versions of roulette in the Bay State’s major casinos.
At present, those are the only legal options for betting on roulette in Massachusetts. Unlike sports betting in Massachusetts, residents don’t have retail and online options for roulette.
Sweepstakes sites and social casinos used to offer online roulette, but as of 2023, they no longer do. There is, however, one social casino that offers a game similar to roulette.
Here’s an overview of how to play roulette in Massachusetts. Read on to learn the main things to know before you put your chips down on red or black, or choose one of the many other ways you can bet on roulette in the state.
Is Roulette Legal in Massachusetts?
Roulette is among the available games at the two Massachusetts casinos, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor. You’ll find live roulette tables and electronic roulette at both of those locations. If a third casino opens in Massachusetts, roulette will no doubt be among the games available there, as well.
Meanwhile, the slots-only Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville does not offer live roulette, although you will find electronic roulette among the game selections there.
How to Play Roulette Online in Massachusetts
As far as online roulette goes, Massachusetts has no real money online gambling.
Residents used to be able to play online roulette at social and sweepstakes casinos, which let players use fake digital currency that can later be redeemed for cash prizes. One social casino, Pulsz, which offers more than 400 games, used to have roulette — American Roulette 3D.
However, it and all other legal US social casinos no longer offer online roulette.
There is a popular social casino that does offer a game similar to roulette, though.
LuckyLand Slots has a game called Lucky Wheel Instant Win. In this game, players are randomly given five numbers from 1-21 and a prize value for each number. They then spin a wheel (which has an outer wheel and inner wheel). If the outer wheel lands on one of their five numbers, they win the given prize value.
There are three Instant Win slots on the outer wheel, which has the prize value of however many Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins you wager. An inner wheel also spins that determines how much the prize value is multiplied, ranging from 1x to 25x.
Playing with Gold Coins, or GC, is just for fun. Sweeps Coins, or SC, on the other hand, can be redeemed for real cash prizes once a player accumulates at least 50 SC.
How Does a Roulette Game Work?
One of the attractions of roulette is that you don’t have to pick a single number and hope the ball lands on it. You can make all sorts of wagers that carry a wide range of odds and payouts. It’s a game of pure chance involving selections of specific numbers, not too much unlike the Massachusetts Lottery.
Before we talk about these roulette bets, we should mention how there are two primary versions of roulette, both of which you’ll find in Massachusetts casinos.
American Roulette vs. European Roulette
Roulette first appeared in France during the 18th Century as a game featuring a spinning wheel with numbered spots. A croupier would spin the wheel and send a ball around it as it spun, and players would place bets on where the ball would land.
From an early point in the game’s development, the wheel featured spots with numbers from 1-36, half in red and half in black. There were also two more spots, a zero and double-zero (0 and 00), usually colored green to distinguish them. Meanwhile, the same numbers appear on a table, giving players a chance to bet on them or on various groups of numbers.
That was the game that made its way over to America in the 19th Century.
In Europe, meanwhile, the game used just a single 0. A distinction emerged:
- American roulette
- European roulette
Today, American roulette features both the zero and double-zero.
European roulette, meanwhile, has only the zero in addition to the 36 numbered spots.
That difference affects the odds for most wagers, with the added double-zero giving the house a slightly greater edge. In recent years, a triple-zero version of roulette (which increases the house edge even more) has emerged in some Las Vegas casinos, but that has yet to find its way to Massachusetts.
You’ll mostly find American roulette (with both the 0 and 00) in MA casinos, although there are exceptions. Encore Boston Harbor, for example, advertises that it offers European roulette in its high limit area and salon. That’s not unusual — typically, if US casinos offer European roulette, it is only for the higher-stakes roulette games.
Different Types of Roulette Bets
Roulette players make bets by placing chips on the roulette board. Often these chips are exclusive to the roulette table and you must exchange them for casino chips before you can cash out. Roulette bets fall into two general categories:
- Inside bets
- Outside bets
Inside bets refer to bets on particular numbers or groups of numbers. When players place chips on those numbers, the spots where they do so appear “inside” the main box on the roulette table (1-36, 0, and 00).
Outside bets are on groups of numbers on the table in smaller boxes positioned “outside” the main box of numbers.
Here are some examples of inside bets, with their payouts in parentheses:
- Straight bets on a single number (35-to-1 payout).
- Split bets on two adjacent numbers that you make by placing a chip or chips on the line between them (17-to-1).
- Street bets or three number bets on a row of three numbers (11-to-1).
- Corner bets or four number bets by placing a chip or chips on the intersection between four numbers (8-to-1).
- First five number bets on 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3 (6-to-1).
- Line or double street bets, also called six number bets, on two rows of three numbers each (5-to-1).
Here are some examples of outside bets you can make by placing your chip or chips in boxes outside the main box containing all of the numbers:
- Column bets on a column of 12 numbers (2-to-1).
- Dozen bets on either the numbers 1-12, 13-24, or 25-36 (2-to-1).
- Red bets on the 18 red numbers (1-to-1).
- Black bets on the 18 black numbers (1-to-1).
- Odd bets on the 18 odd numbers (1-to-1).
- Even bets on the 18 even numbers (1-to-1).
- Bets on 1-18 or 19-36 (1-to-1).
Massachusetts also allows a couple of other roulette bets, a seven numbers color wager (pays 4-to-1) and an eight numbers color wager (pays 3-to-1). These involve betting on a group of numbers sharing the same color on the wheel (black, blue, gold, red, purple, or green).
Incidentally, all of these payouts are standard for most roulette games and are mandated by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for roulette games in MA casinos.
Note as well how all of these payouts give the house an edge to differing degrees. Say you place a bet on red, for which the payout is 1-to-1. If you win, you double your money. There are 18 red numbers, all of which would be winners for you. But you’d lose if the ball landed on any of the 18 black numbers, the 0 or the 00.
That means you have an 18-in-38 chance of winning, about 47.4%. That also means the house has about a 52.6% chance of winning. But the payout is only 1-to-1, so over the long term the house is going to profit from that edge.
Big Six Wheel
Massachusetts casinos also feature a roulette-like game called Big Six Wheel. The game resembles roulette in that players bet on numbers and a dealer spins the wheel. Only in this case the wheel is positioned vertically and does not rest on a table like the roulette wheel. Instead of a ball, there’s a clapper that indicates the winning bet once the wheel comes to rest.
There are fewer wagering options in Big Six Wheel than in roulette. Instead of numbers 1-36 and zeroes, the Big Six Wheel has a smaller selection of items on the wheel from which to choose. That selection includes different dollar bill denominations or insignias ($1, $2, $5, $10, $20), a joker and a flag (e.g., the casino logo).
Payouts range from 1-to-1 to 45-to-1, which again recalls roulette. There are more $1 spots than any other, thus a winning bet on the $1 spot earns the smallest 1-to-1 payout. Meanwhile, since there is only one joker and one flag, a winning bet on either pays the highest at 45-to-1.
However, much like in roulette, the house has a significant edge in Big Six Wheel. There are 54 spots on the Big Six Wheel, but with each bet the chance of winning is less than the payout for doing so. For instance, there are 23 chances of hitting the $1 insignia (out of 54), meaning you have about a 42.5% shot at winning — i.e., much less than a coin flip to double your money.
MA Roulette Tables Near You
As noted above, you can play both live and electronic roulette in Massachusetts’ two major casinos. You can also play electronic roulette at the slots-centric Plainridge Park Casino.
- Encore Boston Harbor (live and electronic roulette)
- MGM Springfield (live and electronic roulette)
- Plainridge Park Casino (electronic roulette only)
Those in Massachusetts seeking other legal live roulette options additionally have the two large casinos in nearby Connecticut — Foxwoods Casino and Mohegan Sun, both of which have a number of roulette tables.
The two Rhode Island two casinos — the Twin River Casino and Tiverton Casino Hotel — also each feature a small number of roulette games.
Meanwhile, many New York casinos offer roulette, as well. Both Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady and the Saratoga Casino Hotel are located not too far from Massachusetts’ western border. Rivers has both live and electronic roulette, while Saratoga has electronic roulette only.
MA Roulette FAQs
What is the minimum age to play roulette in Massachusetts?
MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor both feature live and electronic roulette. Plainridge Park Casino has electronic roulette. All three casinos require everyone who gambles on their premises to be at least 21 years old.
Who regulates roulette in Massachusetts?
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission determines and approves the rules for roulette in Massachusetts.
How does the double-zero in American roulette increase the house advantage?
With American roulette, that additional double-zero gives the house another way to win bets that only involve the numbers 1-36 (e.g., single-number bets, bets on red or black, odd or even bets). For example, if you bet on red in American roulette, you have an 18-in-38 chance of winning, about 47.4%. In European roulette, you have a slightly better chance of winning — 18 in 37 or 48.6%.
How do you win on online roulette?
There is no guaranteed winning system for roulette, despite anyone’s efforts to convince you otherwise. Sometimes roulette games will post recent winning numbers or numbers that have not won in a while — i.e., “hot” and “cold” numbers. However, each spin of a roulette wheel is an entirely independent event, meaning previous spins have absolutely nothing to do with the next outcome.
Is it legal to play roulette online in Massachusetts?
It is not legal to play online roulette for real money. In fact, any type of online gambling for real money is illegal in Massachusetts. However, you can play a game similar to roulette, called Lucky Wheel Instant Win, via the social casino LuckyLand Slots. Social casinos like LuckyLand Slots invite players to use virtual currencies instead of real money, and you can redeem the virtual currency for real cash prizes.
Where can I play roulette online for money in Massachusetts?
None of the legal social casinos in Massachusetts currently offer a roulette game. However, LuckyLand Slots offers a game called Lucky Wheel Instant win that is similar to roulette. Players are randomly given a set of five numbers from 1-25 with a prize value attached to each. They then spin a wheel with an outer wheel and an inner wheel. The outer wheel has number slots from 1-21 and three Instant Win slots. The inner wheel has slots with multipliers from 1x to 25x.
If the outer wheel lands on one of the player’s numbers, they win the prize value multiplied by wherever the inner wheel lands. If the outer wheel lands on an Instant Win slot, they win the amount they wagered multiplied by wherever the inner wheel lands.