Rings are made up of tiny (and not so tiny) pieces of rock and ice that are in some way the bits "left over" from the formation of the planet. The theory involves the Roche limit - and is that particles that are already within this limit can't accrete into a larger body because of the tidal forces involved.
Another theory is that they are formed when a moon comes closer to a planet than the Roche limit, the tidal forces cause it to break up and form a ring. Though the presence of "shepherd" moons in the rings of Saturn does hint that this may not be major source of material.
Both explanations, to me, imply that you'd only get major ring systems around larger (gas giant) planets, though it doesn't preclude rings around smaller (rocky) planets. This seems to be borne out by our solar system where the gas giants have rings whereas the rocky planets don't.
As to being able to see them, you should be able to see the rings of Saturn with an amateur telescope which has a 50 - 100 powers of magnification. With binoculars you'll probably see a misshapen blob.