Free online roulette appeals to novice gamblers because it requires zero skill or strategy. For this reason, online roulette is a simple creation; it takes little more than a random-number generator to approximate the real thing. The other major appeal of roulette is the host of betting options it affords.
Of these, the "straight" bet offers the highest potential payout by way of 35:1 odds. When you consider that there are (usually) 38 compartments on any roulette wheel, it's easy to understand why the house is consistently profitable. After all, your odds of winning are disproportionately low for the risk you're assuming.
How Free Online Roulette Is Played
For the uninitiated, online roulette is simple. The "dealer" spins the wheel one way, then spins a tiny ball in the opposite direction. Eventually the ball comes to rest in any one of the 38 compartments--there are 36 red and black numbers coupled with two green spaces, generally reserved for zero and double-zero. Some casinos, however, boast wheels with only one green space. While this may seem like a triviality, it actually amounts to a significant difference over the long run.
With free online roulette you retain all the betting options you get at an ordinary casino. In addition to the aforementioned straight bet, there are split-number bets that cover two or more different numbers, "street" bets that cover an entire row, and several "outside" bets, which include the popular red-black bet and even-odd bet.
If you're entering an online casino for the first time and are looking for instant action without a lot of rules to memorize, roulette may be your best bet (so to speak).