The game of roulette offers players a wide selection of betting odds from which to choose. Some pay almost even money, while others offer as much as 35 to 1 on your bet. Which odds you decide to play is up to you, but it’s obvious that the closer to even odds you get, the better your chances of winning.
Each bet on the roulette table has a house edge. That edge on an American roulette table is 5.26% on every bet except one. If you bet on the First Five numbers, the house edge goes up to 7.89%, making the First Five bet the worst place to put your money on the table. The rest of the bets have an equal risk-versus-reward ratio, and how you play them is up to you.
There are six bets on the roulette table that will pay even money on your bet. Betting on Red, Black, Odd, Even, 1 to 18, and 19 to 36 will all pay you 1 to 1 on a bet, but they all have a 47.37% probability to win. That 2.63% amount shy of 50-50 is attributable to the two green spaces on the roulette wheel.
There are three bets on a roulette wheel that pay 2 to 1 on your bet. Betting on numbers 1 to 12, 13 to 24, and 25 to 36 pay out double your bet, and have a 31.58% probability to hit. Betting on a Sixline (six numbers) pays 5 to 1 with a 13.16% probability. The dreaded First Five bet pays out 6 to 1, and a four-number corner bet is worth 8 to 1 on your money.
The longshot bets on the roulette table are the Street bet, Split bet, and any one number. The Street bet is worth 11 to 1 and is a bet on three numbers, while a Split bet is on two numbers. The Split bet pays 17 to 1 but will only hit an average of 5.26% of the time. The big payout on the roulette table is the ‘any single number’ bet that’s worth 35 to 1 on your money, but it only hits an average of 2.63% of the time.
It’s worth a player’s time to seek out a European version of roulette. The house edge is lowered in this version of the game down to 2.70%. The reason for this is that European roulette has only one green 0 spot on the wheel compared to the two in American roulette. Always seek out the European variant if possible, most online casinos offer both versions.
Bankroll management is important when playing roulette. Some players like to make larger outside bets early in a session before betting longshots like single numbers. Set specific limits for winnings and losses and stick to them in order to maintain your bankroll for the next session.
One can get up in a hurry playing roulette, so know when to walk away with winnings. The game will take it back if you continue to play long enough, so get out if you find yourself up five times your buy-in or more. If you want to continue to play after a hot streak at least set aside your buy-in amount and some profit, then play with the rest. This approach won’t change the odds, but it can help with having more profitable sessions.
Some roulette games offer a surrender or en prison rule which will increase your chances of winning. This rule allows the player to recover half of their bet on even money bets like black/red, odd/even, or high/low if the ball lands on either the 0 or 00 spots. This will lower the house edge over you on these bets down to 2.63% in an American roulette version.
Strategy myths abound around the game of roulette. Many will claim that betting strategies like the Martingale System can produce a winning session at will. Most of these systems may sound good in theory, but table betting limits prevent them from being effective unless the player wins within a couple of spins.
Other roulette players think that they can beat the game by keeping track of the winning numbers over time. After keeping track of the numbers they bet on numbers that haven’t hit for a while, expecting them to come next because they’re due. This system has no value because each spin of the wheel is independent of any other.
Many forms of the game have surfaced over the last few years that offer even worse odds to the player. These games short pay on some bets. If a player hits a single number bet it may only pay 34 to 1 or worse. These roulette games give the house a much larger edge and should be avoided.