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The ultimate Roulette guide to odds, payouts and house edge

Published by Niki | July 20, 2021

Roulette is one of the most popular casino games played at land-based and online casinos across the globe. Both professional and amateur players enjoy spinning the legendary wheel of chance for wins.

Roulette is one of the easiest games to play when you know the basics and understand the game. There are various roulette bets and strategies to take into consideration. In this guide, we explore the odds the various roulette wheels offer and how it affects your gameplay.

The ultimate roulette guide to odds, payouts and house edge.

Types of roulette wheels

There are two different types of roulette wheels which are commonly referred to as the American double zero wheels and the European single zero wheels. The big difference between these two wheels is the order of the numbers and the additional 00 pockets in American roulette.

With the additional 00 pockets, American roulette comes with a higher casino advantage. For this reason, the European variant is commonly the preferred option among players. We have two European variants that could be played - Live European Roulette and European Roulette Pro.

Understanding the odds

Comparison between American Roulette Odds and European Roulette Odds, as well as the potential pay-out for each bet type in roulette.

While roulette wheels are common with 37/38 pockets depending on the roulette variant, odds are generally calculated based on 35 pockets. To increase your chances of winning the maximum pay-out, a straight-up bet is a way to go. No matter which bet you place or variant you play, the casino/house will always have an edge.

Calculating roulette odds is very easy. All you need to do is divide the number 36 by the number of squares covered by your bet. From there you simply subtract one from the amount. This will give you the pay-out odds for your bet.

Example: If you place a straight-up bet of $10 on the number 6 you could potentially receive a return of $360. This figure includes the $10 bet. It is calculated like this: 36/1 = 36 -1 = 35 giving the odds of 35:1.

Calculating the odds and pay-outs with roulette is quite simple. Below you will find a table including the odds and pay-outs of general bets.

Bet Type Potential Pay-out American Roulette Odds European Roulette Odds
Column 2:1 31.6% 32.4%
Dozen 2:1 31.6% 32.4%
Even bets 1:1 47.4% 46.6%
Single number (Straight Bet) 35:1 2.6% 2.7%
Two numbers 17:1 5.3% 5.4%
Three numbers 11:1 7.9% 8.1%
Four numbers 8:1 10.5% 10.8%
Five numbers 6:1 13.2% 13.5%
Six numbers 5:1 15.8% 16.2%


The odds of hitting a win on a single number/straight-up bet is about 37/1 (depending on the variant). Despite this, the house only pays out 35:1 on winning bets. While the house edge can seem big, the wins on roulette are even bigger.

Expert roulette tips

The house edge of the American roulette wheel is generally about 5.26%. In order to improve your winning chances, you need to understand the odds and how they affect your pay-out.

Roulette is and always will be a game of chance, meaning there's no way to guarantee a win on every spin. The good news is that you do have the opportunity to maximise your roulette winnings.

Take a look at these expert tips on how to increase your odds and pay-outs.

  1. Know and understand the odds - For the different types of bets, different odds come into play. If you want to increase your wins then you need to understand the odds. Always read the pay-out information on the roulette variant you wish to play for more information on the pay-outs and odds for different bets.
  2. Select the right roulette variants - There are different roulette variants to choose from, each with its own extras and odds. A great way to increase your wins will be by simply looking at which roulette variant comes with single 0 or double 00 wheels. The extra pocket could determine the difference between big wins or losses.
  3. Play the outside bets - If you're looking to increase your winning chances then a top suggestion would be to opt for outside bets. These bets tend to pay out more frequently. Pro players recommend sticking to the minimum bet amount placing two equal outside bets. (Red and even number for example.) While these winnings are smaller, they are more frequent. Opt for outside bets such as odd/even or red/black to increase your chances.
  4. Opt for a European roulette variant - This variant has the lowest house edge which makes it the ideal option. If you have a choice, rather go for the European Roulette variant to increase your winning chances. By selecting the European variant, you play at 97.3% RTP.
  5. Master demo mode first - A quick and easy way to increase your chances, learn the basics, and explore roulette variants without losing cash is by trying the game in demo mode first. Top online casinos will allow you to try European Roulette, French Roulette and American Roulette in demo mode.
  6. Test out betting systems - While in demo mode you can try different roulette systems to find one that works for you. A popular betting system is the Martingale roulette system. With this betting system, you bet on 50/50 odds and increase your bet after every loss. Winning bets result in bet amounts returning to the base amount.

The house edge

Before you start planning strategies you need to take into consideration the house edge. For the European wheel, the house edge is generally around 2.7% and for American roulette about 5.25%.

In short, the house edge is the advantage the casino has over you. With roulette, the house edge can be big or small and won't directly impact your betting. It will, however, have an impact on the profit the casino makes long term.

The only way to breach this edge is by increasing your bet prediction accuracy. You can do this by using techniques and strategies.

Types of bets

Types of bets in roulette and potential pay-outs.

There are two primary types of bets, namely the Inside and Outside bets. There are different betting limits to keep in mind. If higher bets are what you're after then the outside bet is recommended. For higher pay-outs, the inside bet is a top choice.

Bet Name Potential Pay-out
Straight Up (1 number) 35:1
Split (2 numbers) 17:1
Street (3 numbers) 11:1
Square (4 numbers) 8:1
Six line (6 numbers) 5:1
Colours (18 numbers) 1:1
Odds/Evens (18 numbers) 1:1
Dozens (12 numbers) 2:1
Highs/Lows (1-18 / 19-36) 1:1
Columns (12 numbers) 2:1

*All bets pay out your original bet plus the winning numbers.

Choosing between Inside and Outside Bets

The easiest way to decide between placing inside and outside bets is to determine your gameplay priorities.

Inside bets are ideal for those who like to bet big and win big. The inside bets are generally considered riskier as the odds of winning are lower. That being said, winnings from these bets are often higher.

For those who are starting with roulette, it is suggested to start with outside bets that are 'safer'. These bets are less risky and often award more frequent pay-outs which keeps your bankroll balanced.

The odds of winning with outside bets are much higher than with inside bets. Keep in mind these regular wins tend to be smaller than the wins from inside bets.

The importance of the odds

One thing to know is that while roulette is a game of chance, the types of bets you choose can play a role in the outcome. It is important to know the odds and outcomes of each different bet type and not partake in random selections. Carefully selecting your bet types and numbers can increase your odds of winning.

Russian vs American Roulette

There are plenty of different Roulette variants available online and Russian roulette alongside American roulette has become the top favourites.

Russian Roulette (European)

Russian roulette is also commonly referred to as European roulette. It became famous through a Russian player, and many believe this is why it is also known as Russian roulette. This roulette variant comes with 37 pockets and the colours are red, green, and black. There are 36 different numbers and a single 0.

The odds for winning on the Russian wheel is 1 in 37. This is due to the fact that there are 37 pockets. It also comes with a lower house edge which leads to more frequent winning possibilities.

American Roulette

Another variant globally known and loved is the American roulette variant. This variant comes with 38 pockets instead of 37 and features a single 0 and a double 0. These are generally green and while it makes things easier, players often opt for the Russian variant instead as American roulette comes with a higher house edge.

The numbers range from 00 to 36 on the roulette wheel. The American roulette variant might have a higher house edge, but it is still one of the most popular variants. In many ways, this version is the easiest to use for learning the basic terms and rules of roulette.

Conclusion

Roulette is a highly entertaining table game with varying odds and pay-outs. Each roulette variant has its own odds and pay-outs despite being mainly the same, following the basic concept of the game.

In order to play roulette successfully and turn the odds in your favour, it's important to go through the odds, pay-outs, and rules of the variant you wish to play.

Play at a top-rated and legal online casino to get the best possible experience when exploring everything that roulette has to offer.

We have already written a piece of content about the best live roulette strategy in our guide section, so make sure you go and take advantage of it.

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