Taking Your Roulette Game to the Next Level with Call Bets

If you have a rudimentary knowledge of roulette, you are probably familiar with most inside and outside bets listed on the main table layout. Yet, this classic casino game allows for an additional set of advanced wagers where the player is betting on specific groups of numbers the way they appear on the wheel.

Known as call or announced bets, these bets are available on wheels that play with a single zero. They are normally posted by the dealer. Multiple chips are required in order to cover a call bet on the layout.

You are probably wondering what is the point of introducing additional wagers in a game that’s already laden with standard betting opportunities. Well, not only do call bets make roulette a more interesting game but they also give you better odds at winning as you cover entire wheel segments with as few chips as possible. In this article, we are going to discuss the different types of call bets, how they work, and how do they measure against standard roulette wagers in terms of winning potential.

The Racetrack in Single-Zero Roulette

1The Racetrack

Roulette tables that support call bets normally feature one additional section on their layouts, called a racetrack. Oval in shape, the racetrack enables you to post multiple-chip wagers that include whole groups of numbers that appear in adjacent pockets on the wheel.

2Racetrack Layout

In essence, the racetrack is an exact replica of the single-zero wheel. It contains numbers 0 through 36 in precisely the same order as they appear on the roulette wheel. The 37 numbers are listed in their numerical order on the layout while those on the wheel are dispersed in a haphazard manner.

3Placing Call Bets

The random wheel sequencing of the numbers serves a two-fold purpose. It balances the wheel and makes it impossible for players to predict which pocket the ball would land in. Because of this difference in the number sequencing on the wheel and the layout, call bets are posted as combinations of straight up, corner, split, and trio bets.

Common Types of Call Bets

Let's start off by explaining why call bets are named this way. Players sometimes refer to them as announced bets, using the two terms interchangeably. With that said, there is a difference between the two types of wagers, albeit a subtle one.

Both call and announced bets are posted on the racetrack and require players to verbally announce what wager they want to make. The distinction between the two is based on whether or not the player is required to lay down some chips on the table when announcing their bet.

With announced bets, you need to post the required number of chips on the racetrack so that the dealer knowns you have enough money to cover the cost of your combination wager. This should happen while the spin is still in progress, before the ball determines the outcome of the round.

Call bets are different in that the player still declares verbally what wager they want to make but without placing any chips on the layout to actually cover the bet. This proves problematic when the call bet loses and it turns out the player does not have enough money to pay the house for the losing wager.

In some countries like the United Kingdom, for example, calling your bets without posting chips is considered gambling on credit. As such, it is strictly prohibited by law. Below, we list the main types of call bets. Note that some of them are unavailable at all tables.

Tiers du Cylinder
Voisins du Zero
Orphelins
Jeu Zero or Zero Spiel
The Neighbors
Final Bets
Full Completes

Tiers du Cylinder

Tiers du Cylindre means “one-third of the wheel”, which is a very accurate name for this type of call bet. It covers 12 out of 37 numbers, namely 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, and 33. The numbers sit on the opposite side to the Voisins du Zero section of the wheel.

You need 6 chips or 6 multiples of chips to make this bet. The chips are placed on the following splits – 5/8, 11/10, 13/16, 23/24, 27/30, and 33/36. If any of the 12 numbers shows on the next spin, the player receives 17 units on top of their original bet on the winning split but loses the five units wagered on the losing splits.

The probability of winning with Tiers du Cylinder is quite substantial at 32.43%. This combination bet is not always called by its French name. You can encounter it under the name Series 8/5 in South African casinos. At some roulette tables, it is also known as the Small Series bet.


Voisins du Zero

The Voisins du Zero (or “Neighbors of Zero” from French) is quite popular with seasoned roulette players and for a good reason. It covers nearly half of the single-zero wheel, particularly the 17 numbers that sit opposite to the Tiers numbers. These include 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3, 26, 0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, and 25.

Take a peek at the roulette wheel and you will immediately see why the bet is called this way. It covers 9 numbers to the left of the zero, 7 numbers to its right, and the zero itself. This is easily the most famous call bet because it stands very decent chances of winning, with a probability of 45.94%.

This complex bet requires a minimum of 9 chips, with 1 unit placed on each of the five splits between 4/7, 12/15, 18/21, 19/22, and 32/35, 2 units on the corner of numbers 25/26/28/29, and 2 units on the trio of 0/2/3. The payout depends on what type of bet you win with. Voisins pays 17 to 1 for winning splits, 11 to 1 for the trio, and 8 to 1 for the corner.


Orphelins

You have probably noticed the Voisins and the Tiers sections almost slice the wheel in half. The two smaller sections that are left out consist of the so-called “orphan” numbers. The French name of the bet, Orphelins, sounds more sophisticated, though. One section contains numbers 17, 34, and 6 while the other consists of numbers 1, 20, 14, 31, and 9 for a total of 8 numbers.

There are two variations of this bet. The more common version is called Orphelins en Cheval and requires 5 chips, with the player posting 4 units on the splits between 6/9, 14/17, 17/20, and 31/34 and betting 1 unit straight up on number 1. If you are wondering, Cheval is the French name for split bets. Provided that any one of the orphaned numbers shows, you win at odds of 17 to 1 for the splits and 35 to 1 for the straight up bet.

Another way to make this wager is by betting straight up on each of the included numbers, which is known as Orphelins en Plein. You need 8 chips or 8 multiples of chips for Orphelins en Plein. Either way, this bet is less likely to win when compared to the Tiers and the Voisins, which makes sense as it consists of eight numbers only. Its probability is 21.62%.


Jeu Zero or Zero Spiel

For the sake of accuracy, we would like to specify Jeu Zero is not exactly a French bet. This combination wager originated in German casinos where it was known as Zero Spiel, which translates as “zero game” or “zero play”. You have probably guessed this wager has something to do with the zero.

Jeu Zero is a miniature of Voisins of Zero in that it also features pockets in close proximity to the zero but the numbers it covers are fewer. They include 15, 32, 0, 26, 3, 12, and 35. The player needs 4 chips for Jeu Zero.

These are posted on the splits between 0/3, 12/15, and 32/35 plus 1 chip straight up on number 26. You win 35 to 1 if 26 shows and 17 to 1 when any of the split numbers hit. The probability of Jeu Zero is 18.92%.


The Neighbors

Neighbor bets should not be confused with the Neighbors of Zero (Voisins) as this is an entirely different category of wagers. The original Neighbor bet includes any number of your choice plus two adjacent numbers on each of its sides on the wheel.

In essence, you are betting straight up on each of the 5 numbers for the chance to earn a payout of 35 to 1. For example, a bet on 13 and its neighbors covers numbers 11, 36, 13, 27, and 6. Some online roulette variants (like those created by NetEnt and Microgaming) allow players to adjust the number of neighbors, giving you a choice from 1 to 8 neighbors.

For instance, you might select number 9 and eight neighbors on either of its sides covering a substantial portion of the wheel (5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 3, and 35). In this case, you are risking a total of 17 chips for the chance to win 35 chips, with a probability of 45.94% (the same as that of Voisins).

Note these are 5-chip wagers by default, so it is advisable to specify the number of neighbors if you are looking to bet on more than two adjacent pockets on either side of your selected number. The probability of winning with the default 5-chip Neighbor bet is understandably lower at 13.51%.

Those of you who are feeling more adventurous can venture to combine several Neighbor bets on the same spin. One such example is a bet on 8, 11, 13 and the Neighbors where you risk 15 chips, covering each of the numbers 6, 10, 23, and 27 with 1 chip, numbers 8, 13, 30, and 36 with 2 chips, and number 11 with 3 chips.


Final Bets

The name of this type of call bet is pretty much indicative of what it is all about. A Final bet includes all numbers on the layout that end in the same digit like 5, 15, 25, and 35. The number of chips you need to commit with depends on what you pick. Obviously, if you choose numbers 0 through 6, you have to post 4 chips and 3 chips when you chose numbers 7, 8, or 9 since the wheel ends at number 36.

There are several ways to make this bet, with the most common option being Finale en Plein, i.e. you bet on each of your selected numbers straight up and collect 35 units per wagered unit when you win. For example, Finale en Plein 8 features three straight up bets on 8, 18, 28 while Finale en Plein 3 requires a total of four chips on 3, 13, 23, and 33.

Finale en Cheval is different in that some of the numbers are covered with split bets. The exact number of chips again depends on what final digit the player picks. For example, Finales Cheval/Plein on 6 and 9 is a 4-chip wager where you bet on the 6/9, 16/19, and 26/29 splits and 36 straight up.

Another example is Finales en Cheval on 7 and 10, which requires a chip on each of the following splits – 7/10, 17/20, and 27/30. A total of five chips are needed for Finale Cheval/Plein 2 and 1 where you bet on the splits of 2/1, 12/11, and 32/31 and straight up on 21 and 22 because they are not adjacent on the layout.

The probability of winning with a Final bet depends on its coverage. It is 10.81% and 8.11% when you bet the numbers straight up, 18.92% for Cheval/Plein with 7 numbers, 16.22% for Finale en Cheval with 6 numbers, and 21.62% for Cheval/Plein with 8 numbers.


Full Completes

This one is played mostly by high rollers because it requires way too many chips. It is also referred to as a Maximum bet because those who make it typically wager up to the maximum allowed on straight up, split, corner, double street, and street bets.

It is a complicated wager made with up to 40 chips. This intricacy is a combination of 1 straight up bet on the number around which you build the entire wager, 4 split bets, 1 street bet, 4 corner bets, and 2 double-street bets. The example below refers to a bet on 20 to the maximum, with a ceiling of $100 for inside bets. Of course, if you are performing this stunt online, you can make one such wager for less than the inside bets’ maximums.

  • 1 chip on number 20 (to a maximum of $100)
  • 2 chips on the 17/20 split (to a maximum of $200)
  • 2 chips on the 20/21 split ($200 maximum)
  • 2 chips on the 19/20 split ($200 maximum)
  • 2 chips on the 20/23 split ($200 maximum)
  • 3 chips on the 19/20/21 street ($300 maximum)
  • 4 chips on the 17/18/20/21 corner ($400 maximum)
  • 4 chips on the 16/17/19/20 corner ($400 maximum)
  • 4 chips on the 19/22/23/20 corner ($400 maximum)
  • 4 chips on the 21/20/23/24 corner ($400 maximum)
  • 6 chips on the 16/17/18/19/20/21 double street ($600 maximum)
  • 6 chips on the 19/20/21/22/23/24 double street ($600 maximum)

There you have it – 40 chips on the layout and a total of $4,000 in action. Of course, if the maximum for inside bets is higher at the table you are playing at, say $1,000, you will have to pour a stupendous amount of money on a single spin of the wheel.

The Full Complete bet from the above example obviously covers 9 numbers so it does not stand that good of a chance of winning, at least if you compare it with other call bets like Voisins. Its probability is 24.32%.

If you do win, the number of chips you get varies depending on the number the bet is built around. In the above example where you wager 40 chips, you will collect 392 chips. However, certain numbers require fewer chips to complete the bet and yield smaller payouts as you can see below:

  • 0 requires 17 chips and pays 235 chips
  • 1 and 3 require 27 chips and return 297 chips
  • 2 costs 36 chips and pays 396 chips
  • Numbers from the first column (4 to 31) and third column (6 to 33) require 30 chips and pay 294 chips
  • Full Completes on 34 and 36 are 18-chip bets and return 198 chips
  • 35 requires 24 chips and pays 264 chips

You are probably wondering how the payouts are settled when it happens so that the winning number is adjacent to the number you have chosen, for example, when you wager 40 chips on 20 to the maximum and number 23 shows.

Croupiers normally resort to the so-called station method to settle the pays, which involves counting the ways that the winning number hits the complete wager. In the above example, the winner, 23, does this in 4 ways (or 4 stations to put it properly) – 2 corners (20/23/21/24 and 19/20/23/22), 1 double street (19/20/21/22/23/24), and 1 split (20/23).

The croupier multiplies the number of stations by 30 and then adds the remaining stations, 8 in this case, to the result like so: (4 x 30) + 8 = 120 + 8 = 128. Thus, our hypothetical player should be paid 128 chips for a bet on 20 to the maximum when the adjacent 23 hits.

We struggle to understand why would anyone do this to themselves, i.e. unless they are filthy rich like Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of Newcastle United, who famously won £1.3 million with a bet on 17 to the maximum in 2008 at London’s Mayfair.

Other Advanced Bets to Make at the Roulette Table

The call bets we talked about previously are only the most popular ones. Roulette allows for a motley crew of advanced novelty wagers like the four special bets we discuss below. These are great for players who like to experiment and want to diversify their gaming sessions.

Black and Red Splits
The 007 Bet
The Snake Bet
The Random 7 Bet

Black and Red Splits

We discuss these collectively since they are pretty much identical to each other. As the name suggests, these are split bets on numbers of the same color that are adjacent on the layout. Note that the numbers are randomly dispersed on the wheel.

The group of Red Splits includes pairs 9/12, 18/21, 16/19, and 27/30 while that of Black Splits features the pairs of 8/11, 10/13, 17/20, 26/29, and 28/31. The player covers only 10 or 8 out of 37 pockets on the wheel, which sets the probabilities at 27.03% and 21.62%. If one of the included numbers shows, you are paid at the standard odds for split bets, i.e. 17 to 1.


The 007 Bet

People who have seen the films from the James Bond series would know that baccarat is the secret agent’s game of choice, at least on the silver screen. It appears the screenplay writers have digressed from Ian Fleming’s books where 007 is a keen roulette player and a very successful one at that.

It is only fitting one of the novelty bets in roulette is named after the British Crown’s top agent. The wager is called 007 and as you can imagine borrows its name from the shape one’s chips form on the layout.

This wager includes numbers from all three dozens. It spreads to such an extent that it covers nearly the entire wheel, with very few numbers being left out. The 007 bet is practically a combination of straight up and corner wagers.

The player is betting straight up on numbers 4, 7, 9, 6, 16, 19, 18, 21, 28, 30, 32, 33, and 36 in addition to the following corner bets – 1/2/4/5, 2/5/3/6, 8/9/11/12, 8/11/10/7, 13/14/16/17, 14/17/15/18, 20/23/24/21, and 20/23/22/19.

The 007 bet awards payouts of 11 to 1 for the corners and 35 to 1 for straight up bets. You need a minimum of 21 chips for this one. It includes all numbers from the first two dozens plus 5 numbers from the third dozens, with a probability of 78.38%.


The Snake Bet

The Snake bet also borrows its name from the pattern the chips form on the layout. It is unavailable in most online variations that we know of, but you can always place it manually. This novelty bet is suitable for players who prefer to bet on the dozens because it also features 12 numbers. However, these are not in numerical order but are spread all over the layout instead.

Here the player is betting straight up on numbers 1, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 23, 27, 30, 32, and 34. If any of the 12 numbers shows on the next spin, the player wins at casino odds of 35 to 1. The probability of winning with this wager is the same as that of dozen and column bets, or 32.43%.


The Random 7 Bet

This one is particularly interesting as it is a combination of split, corner, street, and straight up wagers. It is called the Random 7 because it involves 7 chips that are randomly posted on the layout. Since split, corner, and street bets are involved, the player covers more than seven numbers with this bet.

Why 7 chips you might ask? Well, this number is considered lucky in many cultures. It is also associated with perfection, prosperity, and renewal. Here is one example of a Random 7 bet – you post 1 chip straight up on numbers 11 and 14, 1 chip on the corner of 1/2/4/5, 1 chip on the 16/17/18 street, 1 chip on the trio of 0/2/3, and 1 chip on each of the 21/20 and 28/29 splits.

Of course, you can choose any combination you like to stake your seven chips on. The payout is based on whether you win with a straight up bet, (35 to 1), a split (17 to 1), a street (11 to 1) or a corner (8 to 1). The probability varies depending on your wheel coverage and is 40.54% with the bet from this example, which covers 15 numbers.

How Call Bets Measure against Standard Roulette Bets

The probability of winning

Call and Advanced Bets Chart

Before we proceed any further, we would like to say that all call bets covered in this article yield the same house edge (2.70%) as the rest of the wagers available in single-zero roulette. With that said, call bets still deserve to be given consideration because they offer rather decent odds to the player.

The probability of winning with some of the standard announced wagers is quite high, ranging from 8.11% to the whopping 45.94%. This is almost as good a percentage as that for even-money bets which stands at 48.65%.

One key difference here is the payout you receive when you win. Some call bets like Voisins du Zero boast almost the same table coverage but yield rather substantial payouts when compared to the even-money propositions that pay at odds of 1 to 1.

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