Roulette is a game of many opportunities in terms of betting as there are over twenty different types of wagers players can make. Most of them yield the same house advantage with very few exceptions.
The two main groups comprise the inside and the outside bets which are accepted at all single-zero and double-zero tables. Call bets make up a separate category and are supported only at tables with French and European wheels. Additionally, there are casino-specific wagers you can make only at the roulette tables in certain establishments.
The following article includes detailed information about the two main groups of roulette bets, inside and outside, including their true odds, the casino payouts, their probability, and the chip positions on the layout for the different wagers. We also explain which bets roulette players should avoid and which ones offer them the most decent odds.
Outside Bets in Detail
Let's start with the outside bets because they are the simplest to understand and make. These are made on the perimeter of the layout outside the main grid that contains the 37 or 38 numbers. Outside bets stand better chances of winning but offer small payouts, either even money or 2 to 1. Here players bet on the numbers' characteristics rather than on individual numbers. Each of these wagers is described below.
|Outside Bet||Casino Payout||True Odds in Single-Zero Games||True Odds in Double-Zero Games||Probability of Winning in Single-Zero Games||Probability of Winning in Double-Zero Games|
|Red/Black (Rouge et Noir)||1 to 1||11⁄18 to 1||11/9 to 1||48.65%||47.37%|
|Even/Odd (Impair et Pair)||1 to 1||11⁄18 to 1||11/9 to 1||48.65%||47.37%|
|High/Low (Passe et Manque)||1 to 1||11⁄18 to 1||11/9 to 1||48.65%||47.37%|
|Dozens (Douzaine)||2 to 1||21⁄12 to 1||21/6 to 1||32.43%||31.58%|
|Columns (Colonne)||2 to 1||21⁄12 to 1||21/6 to 1||32.43%||31.58%|
Inside Bets in Detail
Inside bets are the second major category of wagers you can make in roulette. They cover either single numbers or groups consisting of 2 to 6 numbers. This category derives its name from the fact players post their chips on the inside section of the table layout where numbers 0 through 36 are listed. Inside bets are riskier because they comprise fewer numbers but compensate with juicier payouts.
|Inside Bet||Casino Payout||True Odds in Single-Zero Games||True Odds in Double-Zero Games||Probability of Winning in Single-Zero Games||Probability of Winning in Double-Zero Games|
|Straight up bet||35 to 1||36 to 1||37 to 1||2.70%||2.63%|
|Split bet||17 to 1||171/2 to 1||18 to 1||5.40%||5.26%|
|Street bet||11 to 1||111⁄3 to 1||112/3 to 1||8.11%||7.89%|
|Corner bet||8 to 1||81/4 to 1||81/2 to 1||10.81%||10.53%|
|Double street bet||5 to 1||51/6 to 1||51/3 to 1||16.22%||15.79%|
|Basket bet||8 to 1||81/4 to 1||81/2 to 1||10.81%||N/A|
|Five number bet||6 to 1||61/5 to 1||63/5 to 1||N/A||13.16%|
|Snake bet||35 to 1||36 to 1||37 to 1||32.43%||31.58%|
Seasoned dealers in larger landbased casinos rarely make mistakes when paying off the winning wagers. Still, we suggest you memorize the payouts of all available roulette bets just to protect yourself against any potential dealer errors.
Of course, you will experience no such issues if you play the game online. Unlike humans, the accredited casino software is immune against errors and automatically pays at the correct ratio depending on the type of bet you win with.
Unlike other casino games of chance like craps, all roulette bets put you at the same disadvantage against the house. It stands at 2.70% in variations that play on single-zero wheels unless the La Partage or En Prison rules are in place.
The extra 00 pocket at the American tables almost doubles this percentage to 5.26%. The only exception is the five number bet, which pays at poorer casino odds and puts you at a dreary disadvantage of 7.90%. Don't be a sucker and refrain from posting this bet!
Call Bets in Brief
This category comprises a variety of special bets that include specific combinations of numbers the way they are positioned on the different sections of the roulette wheel. These wagers are posted on an oval section on the layout that resembles a racetrack.
Call bets are accepted at single-zero roulette tables that follow the European or French rules. The double-zero wheels utilized at the American roulette tables use a different number sequence, making it impossible to place call bets on the same wheel sections.
You are probably wondering where the name of this category of wagers is derived from. Well, these are more complex and require multiple chips. Players at landbased casinos would verbally call the name of the bet they want to make but without immediately posting chips on the layout to cover the cost of the wager.
In some jurisdictions like the UK, this is seen as betting on credit and is strictly prohibited. The dealer would accept a call bet but only on condition the player has enough chips on the rail to pay in case they lose. Below, we feature brief explanations about the three most popular types of call bets. You can find more exhaustive information in our article on how to diversify your roulette game with call bets.
Bet and Table Limits in Roulette
The minimum amount you can stake for outside and inside bets usually coincides at most roulette tables. Let’s assume you are playing at a table where the minimum is $3 and the minimum chip denomination is $1.
If so, you need three chips of $1 to cover the minimum with one outside bet on red. The same goes for inside bets where you also need three $1 chips to meet the table minimum, even if you have already made an outside wager of $3.
2Spread the action
When playing with the inside bets only, you can spread the action to several numbers or combinations. For example, you can post $1 on number 9, another $1 on the split of 25/26, and $1 more on the street with numbers 19/20/21.
The maximum limit for outside bets is usually lower than that for the inside bets. You can make as many bets on the same spin as you want but the cumulative amount you put on stake should not exceed the overall maximum of the table. Of course, each bet must fit into its designated limits as well.
The Best and the Worst Bets in Roulette
So what is the best bet one can make at the roulette table?
You are fighting the same house edge regardless of what you bet on at single-zero tables but stand better chances of registering a win with any of the five types of outside bets.
These give you a better shot at winning because you cover larger sections of the wheel with them. For instance, if you bet on black or even, 18 numbers result in a win while the other 19 lead to a loss. Needless to say, the higher probability and frequency of winning are compensated for with smaller payouts.
As for the worst possible bet in roulette, the answer should be quite obvious at this point, or at least, if you have read the article carefully. This title goes to the notorious five number bet, which consistently tops the charts of the worst bets you can make in a casino in general.
This bet is not worth the bother due to its huge house edge (7.90%). What's more, it is available only in American roulette where you are fighting a high house edge, to begin with. You better stay away from the five number bet and the double-zero wheels altogether.