Roulette Odds and Payout.


Roulette is a game of total luck and chance and the odds are stacked firmly in favour of the casino without fail and the reason for this is due to the payouts that each of the different types of wagers have associated with them, as well as the actual design of the wheel itself. However, contrary to popular belief, it is possible for the player to increase the odds in their favour and to directly reduce the house edge enjoyed by the casino.


Take a look at the typical roulette wheel and you will notice that it will have either 37 or 38 grooves, or pockets. All roulette wheels whether they are American or European style wheels will feature at least one zero pocket and the zero pocket is significant because it represents the house edge.  If the player bets on either red or black then the payout ratio for a wager of this type is set at 1:1. Sometimes though, the zero will come into effect and this has the effect of reducing the value of the payout marginally.  That ladies and gentlemen, is the house edge at work.


There are two types of Roulette wheel and they are European and American. With an American roulette wheel, the casino enjoys a house of 5.3%, whereas it has a house edge of only 2.7% with a European wheel. Therefore, when playing roulette make sure you only ever use a roulette wheel which makes use of a single zero.


Roulette Odds versus Payout


Please note that the actual odds that the player will enjoy on the table differ from the actual amount of money that the casino will pay the player if the player wins on that wager, and the difference between these two values is the house edge.


Bet US. Wheel Euro Wheel Payout
Single Number 37 to 1 36 to 1 35 to 1
Two Number split 18 to 1 17.5 to 1 17 to 1
Three Number street 11.67 to 1 11.33 to 1 11 to 1
Four Number square 8.5 to 1 8.25 to 1 8 to 1
Five Numbers 6.6 to 1 not available 6 to 1
Six Number line 5.33 to 1 5.17 to 1 5 to 1
Column 2.17 to 1 2.08 to 1 2 to 1
Dozen 2.17 to 1 2.08 to 1 2 to 1
Even 1.05 to 1 1.01 1 to 1
Odd 1.05 to 1 1.01 1 to 1
Low (1-18) 1.05 to 1 1.01 1 to 1
High (19-36) 1.05 to 1 1.01 1 to 1
Red 1.05 to 1 1.01 1 to 1
Black 1.05 to 1 1.01 1 to 1
House Edge
All Bets except 5 number 5.3% 2.6%
5 Number 7.9% n/a

Worst Bets


American style roulette wheels make use of a bet which features five numbers and this is a bet to be avoided like the plague as it has the worst payout of all.
Best Bets
Save your money and wager it on bets that have even odds, such as Red/Black Odd/Low, etc. If you are looking for the absolute best payout for your bet, then gamble with casinos that offer what is known as the La Partage rule for even money bets. With this, the house edge is significantly reduced to a mere 1.3% which is very generous (for the player) indeed.  The way in which La Parage rule works is that the house edge is halved because the only 50% of the value of the wager submitted by the player will be forfeited if the zero appears.


House edge



The house edge in roulette is the term used to refer to the average rate of loss that any and all players will endure when playing the game, and in addition, the casino will charge the players a fee for playing the game which is explained as follows. Say a player decides to submit a wager on a single digit appearing, the odds of them winning this wager is 1/37. If the player is lucky enough to win, then they will only receive 35 times the value of their original bet.
For those of us who want to understand the maths involved, here you go: For European roulette, a single number wins 1/37 and loses 36/37:
35/37 – 36/37 = 2.70% house edge.


American roulette is a little different because the player has the choice of making use of a bet with 5 numbers.


In short, European roulette is way better.


The Hold



A term that is often used in regards to casinos is “the hold” and contrary to what you may have been led to believe, this is not the same as the house edge enjoyed by the casino. Rather, the hold is the term used to refer to the total value of chips that the casino earns, with deductions made for the chips that players receive whenever they win. In Las Vegas, the average hold is set at around 30%, and this is much, much higher than the house edge itself. Before you begin to decry and denounce the greedy nature of casinos, please note that the reason that this figure is so high is due to the fact that players will often times submit multiple bets which in turn, significantly inflates the value of this figure.




The casino has one overarching objective that supersedes all others: to increase the value of its hold and in order to do so it will try and entice you to continue playing for as long as possible. Therefore, in order to beat the casino at their own game you need to avoid getting too comfortable or settled at a table. Play a few games, win a certain amount and then leave.


Casinos actually like it when players win, because it means that the players are now lured into a false sense of invulnerability which in turn makes them reckless and overconfident. That is when the casino knows that they are onto a sure thing.


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