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Roulette Odds & Probability Guide

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Every gambling game out there is a game of chance. However, depending on the game there is a varying amount of influence that a player can have over the game. For example, if you play poker, you have a big impact on the game as you can use different strategies, select to use or discard cards, and alike.

On the other hand, if you play slots, all you can do is activate the game by inserting money and pulling a lever. The situation is similar when it comes to roulette, as you do not really have any sort of impact on the movement of the actual ball and the spinning wheel. The forces at work here are gravity and chance alone. However, what you can do is pick a color or a specific field to place your bet on, which is slightly more than what you can do with slots, but it is still more, and if you understand roulette odds and know how to calculate them, this can help you improve your chance at victory.

This is what we wanted to discuss today and help you understand roulette odds. Once you know how to calculate them, you will know what types of bets are more likely to bring winnings, and your gambling will be a bit less random in the future.

What are the odds in roulette?

The first thing to understand is that roulette odds indicate your chance of winning the bet. The first thing that this depends on is what version of roulette you are playing. For example, American roulette has 38 pockets, so your chance of winning a straight-up bet is 37:1. However, the house only pays out 35:1 on winning bets, with the same odds for payouts on combination bets. The reason for this is the house edge.

You see, the house keeps a percentage of all bets for itself. This is how it earns even if it loses. Typically, odds are displayed as a percentage, and the payout is shown as a ratio to your bet.

Calculating roulette payouts

Odds and payouts can be quite complex, which is why we recommend familiarizing yourself with different roulette bet types before you jump right into the matter. You should be able to recognize the names of different bets quickly and know where on the table you placed your chips, which can be very useful.

The next thing to note is that each bet type has the potential payout odds in the form of x:1. In other words, you will win x amount of dollars for each 1 dollar that you bet. So, if the payout is 35:1, as we mentioned earlier, that means that you will win $35 for every $1 you bet. That way, if you bet $1 and you win, your winnings will be $35.

Use your roulette payout guide to calculate your winnings

There is a simple and easy-to-use chart that can show you the exact odds for specific bets that you can make when playing American or European roulette. The odds differ between the two as they are not quite the same. As you probably know, the American version has one extra pocket on the wheel, which adds 00, while European roulette does not have it. This makes American roulette automatically more difficult to win, as it reduces your odds of making the wrong call.

Other than that, all calculations are done for you, so you do not have to bother with the math – simply use the following chart to make educated decisions on what to do.

Bet typeExample betPotential payoutEuropean roulette oddsAmerican roulette odds
ColumnAny number in the third column2:132.40%31.6%
DozenAny of 13-242:132:4031.6%
Even betsBlack over red1:148.60%47.4%
Single number735:12.70%2.60%
Two numbers19 or 2017:15.4%5.3%
Three numbers28, 29, 3011:18.1%7.9%
Four numbers5, 6, 8, 98:110.8%10.5%
Five numbers0, 00, 1, 2, 36:113.5%13.2%
Six numbers4-95:116.2%15.8%

Inside bets vs outside bets

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that there are two types of bets — inside and outside. These are the two main categories, and the names are derived from the table layout, and where you choose to place your chips.

Outside bets: What are the odds?

When it comes to the outside bets, they generally come with the best chances of getting a payout. There is a significant amount of possible outcomes per game of roulette that is covered by the so-called outside bets, and your chances of winnings are higher if you place a wager in this part of the table layout. However, with increased odds, you get decreased winnings, with bets like odd or even only bringing back a 1:1 payout. This is understandable, as this sort of bet covers almost half of the wheel, so you can’t expect to win a fortune on such an easy bet.

Other outside bets may have a bit better payouts, such as a column or dozen types. These cover 12 numbers on the roulette wheel, out of 37/38, depending on which version of roulette your are playing. Even so, this is a relatively safe bet that covers about a third of the wheel, so there is 1:3 chance of winning. As a result, the payout is only slightly better, and it will give you 2:1.

One thing to remember when it comes to the outside bets is that you do not want the ball to land on 0 or 00. This will mean an immediate loss, no matter what bet you choose.

The outside bets also have their own chart, which looks like this:

Bet typePotential PayoutEuropean roulette oddsAmerican roulette odds
Red or Black1:148.65%47.37%
Odd or Even1:148.65%47.37%
High or Low1:148.65%47.37%
Column2:132.4%31.6%
Dozen2:132.4%31.6%

Inside bets: What are the odds?

On the other hand, we have inside bets, which refer to numbers and/or sets of numbers that are on the inside portion of the roulette betting table. Their chances of winning are much lower, but that is covered by an extremely high payout that can go from 5:1 to 35:1, depending on the type of bet you choose. Of course, the house edge exists here as well, and it is the same as on outside bets, which is pretty much the only thing that these two types of bets share.

The chart for inside bets looks like this:

Bet typePotential payoutEuropean roulette oddsAmerican roulette odds
Straight bet35:12.7%2.6%
Split bet17:15.4%5.3%
Street bet11:18.1%7.9%
Corner bet8:110.8%10.5%
Basket bet6:1/13.2%
Double street bet5:116.2%15.8%

Can you improve your odds at winning at roulette?

The bad news is that you cannot influence roulette odds in any way, or even reduce the house edge, as you do in blackjack or some other betting game. All you can do is try to find a balance between the odds that you are comfortable with and the payout that you would like to get.

There is no easy solution on how to win at roulette, and you can’t win every single spin, unless if you have unnatural luck when it comes to choosing the bet to wager on. However, there are several methods that will allow you to maximize your winnings.

While these do not have the key to victory hidden inside, they can help you prepare yourself ever so slightly, which might just be enough to help you. So, what we recommend is this:

  1. Come prepared. The odds are different for each bet, and you should choose carefully depending on what your goal is. If you want to make the most out of your money, we recommend studying each type of bet, its odds, its payout, and alike.
  2. Choose the roulette version carefully. As mentioned, there are several types of roulette, including European, American, and French versions of the game. Each one is unique, and the differences can reduce or improve the odds. For example, the American version is the hardest to win as it has an extra pocket for the ball to fall into. The French version, on the other hand, has specific mechanisms that can help you stay in the game for longer.
  3. Place outside bets for better chances, or inside bets for larger payouts. Basically, if you want to increase your chances at victory, outside bets are the way to go. But, if you are feeling lucky and you want to win a fortune with only a few spins, then inside bets can help you do that. Just remember that this can only happen if you actually win.

The odds vary slightly based on the type of roulette game that is played. European roulette has slightly better odds than American roulette. The betting odds in American roulette of hitting a single number with a straight-up bet are 37 to 1, since there are 38 numbers (1 to 36, plus 0 and 00). However, the house only pays out 35 to 1 on winning bets.

The odds in European roulette are slightly better since there is no 00 on the board. (1 to 36, plus 0)

The house edge is with the 0 and 00, as these numbers cannot be won by the player.

Please view the following chart:

Bet TypeBetsOdds & PayoutsWin Probability in %
EuropeanFrenchAmericanEuropeanFrenchAmerican
InsideStraight Up35:135 to 135:12.702.702.60
InsideSplit17:117 to 117:15.405.405.30
InsideStreet11:111 to 111:18.108.107.90
InsideCorner8:18 to 18:110.8010.8010.50
InsideBasket    -   -6:1    -    -13.2
InsideLine5:15 to 15:116.216.215.8
OutsideRed/Black1:11 to 11:148.6548.6547.37
OutsideEven/Odd1:11 to 11:148.6548.6547.37
OutsideHigh/Low1:11 to 11:146.6546.6547.37
OutsideColumn2:12 to 12:132.4032.4031.60
OutsideDozen2:12 to 12:132.4032.4031.60

There are multiple different strategies that are popular with players who are trying to improve their odds of winning.

We go into details into the different strategies here:

Called bets only apply to European and French roulette.

These are the types of available called bets:

Neighbors of Zero - A bet on all 17 numbers near to the green zero.

Thirds of the Wheel - A bet on 12 numbers which are found adjacent to the neighbors of zero.

Zero Game - A bet on seven numbers near to the green zero.

The Orphans - A bet on any of the numbers which are not covered by the other called bets.

The Neighbors - A bet on 5 adjacent numbers

The Finals - A bet on the last digit (e.g. 5 would be a bet on 5, 15, 25, 35)

An outside bet is when you are not betting on a specific number, but instead choose to bet on odd or even, red or black, 1-18, or 1-36. These bets while they are lower risk, they still offer the house an edge due to the 0 and 00 on the board.

A straight bet is the simplest type of bet to understand in roulette. It is simply choosing a number (for example: 7), if the ball lands on the number then the player wins with the payout calculated as 35:1.

Roulette is all about statistics, the payout for selection the correct number the ball lands on is 35 to 1.

That being stated there is a house edge due to the 0 and 00. The odds of winning are actually 2.6% for American roulette, and slightly better odds of 2.7% with European roulette.

The odds are slightly better for the player with European roulette.

American roulette has both a 0 and a 00.

European roulette only has a 0.

If the ball lands on either the 0 or 00, the house automatically wins. This means it is in the players best interest to play European roulette.

To learn more visit our advanced guide that compares American vs European Roulette.

The real difference between the two games lies at the table, specifically, in the French table. The table boxes that correspond to the pockets in the wheel are all in red. Furthermore, the words and numbers in the French table are in French, while the European version uses English. Of course, this is not too big of an issue, especially since most resources were published with translations for the words and numbers that the French roulette table has to offer.

The French version has its own advantages, however, such as the use of th e La Partage rule. Basically, this is the rule that allows the players to use the even money bet. Essentially, what this means is that players who choose to play with this rule will get half of the amount they bet if the ball falls in the pocket with the zero.

To learn more visit our French Roulette Vs. European Roulette guide.

Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.

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