Outside Bets

Roulette is a classic table game that most casinos offer. The popularity of roulette has only increased when online casinos appeared on the gambling scene. Nowadays, roulette is more accessible than ever. Many articles and even books are dedicated to discussing the game.

One of the main reasons why so many casino fans admire this table game is the ease of play. Unlike blackjack or poker, roulette does not require special knowledge. In addition, it is an action-packed game that keeps players engaged.

The main goal in roulette is to predict which will be the winning number for the current spin. Roulette relies on pure chance, meaning that you cannot use a strategy to make an accurate prediction. The game offers a full range of betting options. The roulette bet types are divided into two categories – inside and outside bets.


Introduction to Outside Bets

1Outside Bets

Outside bets are placed in the boxes positioned outside the number grid. Each outside betting area is labeled accordingly. What is common between the different types of outside bets is that they cover a broad category of numbers – either 12 or 18. Being low-risk bets, the probability of winning an outside bet is high but the payout is low.

2Odds of Outside Bets

Odds represent the ratio between all possible ways to win and all possible ways to lose. As we already mentioned above, outside bets cover either 12 or 18 numbers depending on the bet type you go for. If you play a single-zero roulette variation, the wheel has a total of 37 pockets.

Let us assume that you place an outside bet that covers 12 numbers. In this case, you have 12 ways to win and 25 ways to lose. Hence, the true odds of winning an outside bet that covers 12 numbers are 12/25. Provided that you play double-zero roulette, the wheel has 38 pockets, reducing the odds of success to 12/26.

Roulette enthusiasts can apply the same method to calculate the odds of winning outside bets that cover 18 numbers. On a single-zero roulette table, the odds of winning an outside bet are 18/19. Assuming that you join a roulette table that uses a double-zero wheel, the odds of success are 18/20.

3Probabilities of Outside Bets

Probabilities compare the possible ways to win and all possible outcomes. This means that if you play a single-zero roulette and you place an outside bet that covers 12 numbers, the probabilities of winning are 12/37 = 0.3243. We will multiply this decimal number by 100 to convert it to a percentage – 0.3243 x 100 = 32.43%. If you play double-zero roulette, the probabilities of winning an outside bet covering 12 numbers are 12/38 = 0.3158 x 100 = 31.58%.

Provided that you play single-zero roulette and you place an outside bet that covers 18 numbers, then the probabilities of success are 18/37 = 0.4865 x 100 = 48.65%. On the other hand, if you play double-zero roulette the probabilities of winning an outside bet that includes 18 numbers are 18/38 = 0.4738 x 100 = 47.38%. Look at the table below where we sum up the information.

Bet Single-Zero Roulette Probability Double-Zero Roulette Probability
Outside bets that cover 12 numbers (Columns and Dozens) 32.43% 31.58%
Outside bets that cover 18 numbers (Red/Black, Odd/Even, and High/Low) 48.65% 47.38%


Different Types of Outside Bets

Column Bets
Dozen Bets
Bets on Color
Bets on Odd/Even
Bets on High/Low

Column Bets

A roulette layout consists of three columns of numbers, each covering a total of 12 numbers. Winning column bets are paid out at odds of 2:1. The numbers covered by the three different columns are as follows:

  • 1st column: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34
  • 2nd column: 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 35
  • 3rd column: 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36

Please note that the zero(s) is (are) not included in any of the columns. Players have to position their chips in one of the boxes labeled as “2 to 1” located at the bottom of the selected column. If we forget for a moment the zero(s), the column bet covers exactly ⅓ of the wheel. On the French table, this bet bet is also known as Colonne.


Dozen Bets

The roulette layout features three dozens of 12 numbers each. The first dozen covers the numbers from 1 to 12, the second one – from 13 to 24, and the last one – from 25 to 36. The payout is 2:1. This bet also excludes the zero pocket(s).

You may have already noticed that the dozen bet is very similar to the column bet. The only difference between these two is the numbers they cover. To place a bet on the dozens, you have to position chips in one of the betting boxes marked as “1st 12” (P12 in French Roulette), “2nd 12” (M12), and “3rd 12” (D12).


Bets on Color

Betting on the color of the winning number is extremely popular among roulette fans. A roulette wheel consists of pockets alternately colored black and red. Only the zero pocket(s) is (are) colored in green. The red/black bet allows players to cover all red or black numbers. The number of red pockets is 18, the same as the black ones. Should the ball land in a zero pocket, all red and black bets are losing.

To place a bet on the color of the winning outcome, you have to position chips in one of the betting boxes contain a “Red” or “Black” label. These are located under the “2nd 12” betting box. In French Roulette, the bet is also referred to as Rouge (red) ou Noir (black). Chips are placed in the box illustrating a diamond colored in red and black. The payout associated with this bet is 1:1.


Bets on Odd/Even

Regardless of whether you play a single-zero or double-zero roulette variation, the wheel has 18 odd (for example, 1, 3, 5, 7, etc.) and 18 even (for example, 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.) numbers. The payout is 1:1 as each of the bets (odd or even) have equal chances of winning. It is important to note that the number zero is neither even nor odd.

If you want to place a bet on the odd numbers, you have to position chips on the respective betting area that is placed to the right of the “Black” betting box (below the “3rd 12” box). Assuming that you believe that the winning number will be even, you can place chips in the box located to the left of the “Red” betting box (below the “1st 12” box). Players who prefer playing French Roulette should know that this bet is called Pair (even) ou Impair (odd).


Bets on High/Low

The numbers on the roulette wheel can be divided into low (from 1 to 18) and high (from 19 to 36). This bet does not cover the zero pocket(s) on the wheel. As you might have already noticed, each category consists of 18 numbers in total. To place a High/Low bet, position your chips in the boxes labeled as “1 – 18” or “19 – 36”. On the French table, this bet is known as Passe (high numbers) and Manque (low numbers). High/Low bets come with a payout of 1:1.


Even-Money Bets Explained

In roulette, even-money bets are the ones that feature a payout of 1:1, including Red/Black, High/Low, and Odd/Even. These bets provide players with the opportunity to win the same amount of money as their original stake. Even-money bets usually offer nearly equal chances of winning or losing. Many rookie players believe that the even-money bets mean that they have 50% chances of winning/losing. However, they forget the presence of the zero pocket(s).

Knowing which are the even-money bets in roulette is important because European and French variations of the game feature two special rules - the “La Partage” and “En Prison”. These reduce the house edge from 2.70% to 1.35% only on even-money bets. The two rules come into play if the ball lands on the zero pocket.

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