Roulette Bets and Odds
Here you can find detailed information about roulette bets and odds. Among all the various table games usually found at the casino floor, roulette is without the doubt the trickiest one there is! This is not because the game is complicated in any way, shape or form; but when you have an house edge as high as 5.26%, you know exactly how ‘bad’ this game truly is. We can see this plain and simple in the bets/odds system listed below. Casino roulette is definitely not for players who are still learning the ropes, so to speak; but rather for more developed and mature audiences who can appreciate its gaming complexity.
We cannot start this presentation without first mentioning the basics behind the odds that govern the end payout. First of all, there are 36 different numbers you can bet on, plus one/two house numbers, colloquially known as a zero and/or double zero. Whether or not there would be a second house number depends solely on the style of roulette practices. Now it would be a good time to mention, that there are 3 basic form of roulette: French roulette, European roulette and American roulette, respectively. Each variation of the game boasts its own house edge and winning odds.
What is each bet worth?
What makes roulette so attractive to new gamblers is the wheel itself (the word “roulette” comes from French and it means ‘small wheel’). It is pretty attractive I admit, but the wheel is only a tool used for generating random numbers; and the real gaming experience comes from the bets themselves. There are a lot of different bets to choose from, each holding its unique set of odds payouts. Before we look at those, let me first remonstrate to our audiences what a basic (double-zero) roulette layout looks like.
As we can see, there are a lot of different numbers to choose from. And as confusing as a lot of them may be at this point, all marking on the layout are somehow related to the betting system itself. The bets are grouped into two major categories – inside and outside bets. Inside bets pay way more than outside bets, but the odds of hitting an inside bet are mathematically insignificant. On the other hand, outside bets way less than their inside counterparts, but they are much more likely to come up. A player can make as much bets as he needs; both inside and outside, and all in a single spin!
*Note that in most places, I will only write the American roulette odds, and not the French/European variety. I do this because it is better to learn the hardest/most unfair variation of the game (American roulette), than the easiest (French roulette). I will mention all the different variations and their odds, right after these basics.
These are referred to as ‘inside bets’, because players are actually placing their chips inside the numbered grid.
Single Number – Also known as a Straight Bet, this wager has 1/36 or a 2.63% chance of coming true (1/35 or 2.70% Single Zero Layout). The odds are naturally against the player; but the payout in this situation would be 35 to 1, which it would seem makes it all worth while. An example of a Straight Bet would be – 20, black.
Two Numbers – Professionals call this bet the ‘Split Bet’; because the player gets to place his bets on the line splitting two neighbouring numbers (splitting the chips so to speak). Players can only split bet on two adjacent numbers; although they are more than welcome to place two straight number bets anywhere on the layout. The odds of landing a split, are 1/18, or 5.26%. (1/17, or 5.41% European/French Single Zero Layout). An example of a split bet would be 7, 8.
Three Numbers – Choosing one whole line to bet on is sure to bring those odds up a bit. The odds of winning a Street/Line Bet (any 3 numbers that make up a line) is 7.89% (8.11% in E). The chips are placed on the edge of the line. An example of a street bet would be 10, 11, 12.
Four Numbers – This bet is also called a ‘corner’ or ‘square’ bet, because the player can place his chips on any four (neighbouring) numbers to form a little ‘square’, or ‘corner’ respectively. The odds of winning a corner bet are 10.53% . An example of a corner bet would be 14, 15, 17, 18.
Five Numbers – *Note that this bet is only available in American roulette, where there is a double-zero present. This is probably the worst bet, in terms of the house having the upper hand (7.89% from the usual 5.26%). The bet is placed on the first five numbers of the layout – 0, 00, 1, 2, 3. The odds of winning Five Number bet are 13.16% and it pays 6:1.
Six Numbers – A six line bet, or a ‘double street’, refers to placing a bet on 2 neighbouring, 3 number lines; making a total of 6 possible numbers which can come up on the roulette. The probability of landing on either one of these 6 numbers is 15.79% (16.22% in European/French Single Zero Layout). An example of a double street would be 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. Upon a successful hit, the player will receive 5:1 compensation.
Unlike inside bets; where the payout is high but the odds are insignificant at best, outside bets behave quite differently. Let’s take a look:
Twelve Numbers (Column) – If you look closely at the roulette layout, you will see three “2-to-1” squares below every column of numbers. There are 3 columns; each column holds a total of 12 non-related numbers. Picking a single column to bet on will only pay 2:1, but the odds of actually hitting the lucky number are 31.58% (32.43% in European/French Layout). An example of a column bet would be 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35 (second column).
Twelve Numbers (Dozen) – This bet is similar to the column bet, at least in terms of odds and payouts, but differs when it comes to grouping the numbers themselves. There are 3 dozens in the roulette layout; thoughtfully labelled for your convenience. The first dozen (1st 12, or Premiere douzaine (P12) in French layouts) are the numbers between 1 and 12. The second dozen (13-24) is referred to as 2nd 12/Moyenne douzaine (M12) and the 3rd 12 (25-36) – Dernière douzaine (D12). Regardless of which one you choose, the odds are the same everywhere – 31.58% (32.43% in European/French Layout)
>Low/High Bets – This time we will be splitting the numbers into 2 groups. The numbers between 1 and 18 are called a low bet (Manque in French Layouts), and the numbers between 19-35 – a high bet (Passe in French Layouts). Split like this, the numbers can only pay off even money, or 1:1. The odds of landing on either high or low lumbers are about 50/50. Minus the house edge, that gives a 47.37% probability of landing the lucky number (48.65% in European/French Layouts)
Odds/Evens – Just like the name suggest, we will be betting whether the number is going to turn up odd or even (Pair ou Impair in French Layouts). The house once again pays even money, and the chances remain 47.37% (48.65% in European/French Layouts), as with all even bets.
Reds/Blacks – Maybe the most popular bet in the world of casino roulette, betting on red or black is what this game is all about! The French call this bet Rouge ou Noir, or ‘red or black’ as the name would suggest. It too pays even money, and the odds of landing on either red or black is 47.37% (48.65% in European/French Layouts).
Both French and European style roulette are well known for their lenient policies when it comes to landing on the dreaded zero (remember, there is only one zero slot in European/French style layouts/wheels). This leniency comes from two very powerful/convenient rules that are uncommon in American roulette; namely the rules Le Partage and En Prison.
Le Partage – This rule is known outside the French gambling circles as ‘the divide’. Basically you get 50% return on all even money bets (red/blacks, odds/evens, high/low bets), should the ball land on a zero. This lowers the house edge on all even money bets to 1.35% (from the usual 2.7%).
En Prison – No, this rule doesn’t send you directly to prison, if that is what you were thinking. Rather, if the ball lands on zero, all even bets become ‘imprisoned’ – and the players must wait until the next spin to get them back. Basically, you make the exact same bet ($5 on black, for example), only this time if you win, you only get half of your original wager back ($5 wins $10, but halved it still equals $5). You are are practically just breaking even. If by a stroke of faith, the ball lands on a zero a second time, the bet can be imprisoned again (double imprisonment), in which case the wheel will be spun again and again, until something other than zero shows up; or the player loses his bet altogether. The house edge stays the same I am afraid.
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