Online Roulette Odds Strategy Guide

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Online Roulette Odds Strategy Guide

Roulette is the ultimate game of chance and one of the most popular casino games in the world. It’s easy to understand, even for absolute beginners, and anyone can start playing straight away

However, there are a few key pieces of roulette knowledge that can help you get ahead. So, before forging ahead and looking for the best online casinos to play roulette, read this strategy guide to brush up on the essentials that will influence your roulette strategy: house edge, odds and payouts.

You will discover different roulette bets, how odds change across different game variations, and how knowing roulette statistics can significantly improve your experience.

RELATED: What is the Martingale System?

Roulette Strategy Basics

Most people are familiar with the basics of roulette and even making some old-school roulette bets. There are certain differences between the American and European roulette wheels. The European one is made of 37 pockets showing the numbers 1 through 36 and a zero. American roulette adds an extra pocket with a double-zero section, making 38 pockets in total.

When you start a new game of roulette, the croupier spins the wheel and then drops a metal ball into the rotating mechanism. When the ball rests in a pocket, its position will decide if your bet was successful. Rules of the game state players must make all wagers before the wheel has stopped spinning.

Many roulette bets will be familiar to even casual casino players. For example, the red/black and odd/even wagers and the single number bet. However, more complex bets are available in roulette, and understanding the roulette odds for those bets is essential. This roulette odds guide can help you understand the distinct types of roulette bets and their odds.

Understanding Probability in Roulette

Like all forms of gambling, when you bet on roulette, you put your own money at risk. Before doing that, building an understanding of roulette odds and roulette statistics can help you make the correct betting decisions. First up, knowing about probability as a concept is an excellent place to start.

Essentially, the probability is the likelihood of any random occurrence happening. It is shown typically as a percentage or a fraction. For example, you have an 80% (4/5) chance of winning the lottery this week (you wish!). You can create a probability scale by drawing a line and putting two values at either end, such as 0 - 1. Towards the left of the line (closer to zero), the random event is less probable, but the event is more likely in the opposite direction (towards the 1). The middle of the line would equate to a 50/50 chance.

So, how does probability relate in terms of roulette odds? Well, with every spin of the wheel, across all roulette bets, you have a likelihood of winning. There are 37 possible outcomes for European roulette and 38 potential outcomes for American roulette on a single spin. All roulette games are decided by random chance, and roulette is a game with only two conclusions: you win or lose.

You can calculate the probability of winning quite easily by simply dividing how many ways you can win by the number of potential outcomes. This is how you calculate roulette probability, and below, we will go into more detail in our roulette odds guide.

Roulette Odds

Armed with the knowledge of roulette probability and the basic blueprint for calculating your chances of winning, you can now accurately find out roulette odds. You start with this formula for calculating probability in roulette:

  • Odds for winning = probability of winning / (1-probability of winning)
  • Or in simpler terms:

  • Ways of winning a bet and ways of losing a bet
  • Trust us, it is more complicated on paper than in practice, so it is best to show some examples.

    Our first example will look at a standard 50/50 wager, such as the toss of a coin. There are only two possible outcomes (heads or tails), and the chance of landing on either is equal. Using the roulette odds formula above, we can work out the probability of each outcome.

  • In a toss of a coin, this would mean probability = 1 way to win (either heads or tails) divided by 1 (ways to win) + 1 (ways to lose) = 0.50.
  • If you like, you can multiply 0.50 by 100 to get the percentage result, 50%. Of course, you do not need us to tell you the odds of a coin toss are 0.50, 50%, or 50/50. Still, it provides a good example that can be extended to roulette statistics.

    For roulette, you must divide 36 by how many squares in which you will be betting. Next, deduct one from that number to get the roulette odds.

  • For example, if you place a bet across four numbers, you divide 36 by 4, leaving you with 9. Now subtract 1, and we are left with 8, which shows the odds are 8:1.
  • If you made a £100 bet and won, you would get £800 as winnings.

    Basic Roulette Odds

    If that seems too complicated, try testing the formula with some roulette bets scenarios on a piece of paper. Once you plug in the formula to examples a few times, you will find it easier to understand roulette odds andcome up with a betting strategy. However, because there are different variants of roulette, the odds across each are distinct.

    European Roulette Odds

    European roulette has 37 pockets on the wheels, the numbers 1-36 (18 black and 18 red), and a single 0 pocket coloured green. You can choose a single number bet, which means you bet on the ball landing on one specific number. The odds for single number roulette bets are 35/1, so a £10 bet would return £350 in winnings, plus the £10 you wagered (£360 in total).

    American Roulette Odds

    American roulette odds are different because the game adds a double zero pocket to make 38 total pockets on the wheel. This simple change means American roulette tables are cheaper to join, with a lower minimum bet. It is worth noting if the ball lands on the 0 or 00 pocket and you did not wager that number, you would lose your bet.

    Outside Bet Odds

    Outside bets focus on the numbers on the outside of the paytable and give players considerable odds of winning. These roulette bets cover half of all available wagers on a wheel, such as odd/even, red/black, 1-18, or 19-36. Payouts on outside bets are not usually extremely high because you have a better chance of winning, but if you want a decent-paying outside bet, we recommend dozens and column wagers.

    • Red or Black - An even chance roulette odds bet (1:1) if the ball rests on the colour you wager, either red or black.
    • Odd or Even - An Alternative to the 1:1 roulette bet, in which you win if you correctly predict the ball stopping on an even or odd number.
    • Low or High - The last of the 1:1 wager will pay out if you bet low and the ball lands on 1-18, or you bet high, and the ball lands on 19-36.
    • Column - A bet across a whole column of numbers on the table, organized into three sections of 12 numbers. Column bets pay out at 2:1.
    • Dozens - These are also outside roulette bets that pay-out at 2:1 if you can accurately predict the ball landing on either the first dozen numbers (1-12), second dozen numbers (13-24), or third dozen numbers (25-36).
    Roulette BetRoulette PayoutEuropean Roulette OddsAmerican Roulette Odds

    Inside Bet Odds

    When you look at a roulette table, the numbers on the inner side of the roulette wheel are called inside roulette bets. These bets cut your chances of winning compared to the outside bets we covered already in this roulette odds guide. However, the advantage of wagering on the inside is that any win will deliver a larger payout.

    • Single-number - Also known as Straight Up bets, this is a wager on a single number on the roulette wheel, which gives you the biggest possible payout, 35:1. While this generous payout is undoubtedly desirable, the odds are exceptionally low, so this type of bet provides winners with a massive reward for taking such a risk.
    • Split - This type of bet allows you to bet on two adjacent numbers on the same roll, with the chip being placed across the line separating the numbers. This win will pay out at 17:1, and while you are not fully guaranteed to win with this type of bet, the odds of a split bet are far more favourable than a single-number bet.
    • Street - A Street bet covers three numbers within a horizontal row on the roulette board, for example, 29, 30, and 31, in which the chips are placed on the outer rim of the number in the row. The payout of a winning street bet is 11:1 if the ball lands on any of the numbers you select. This type of bet has a relatively generous payout with more agreeable odds.
    • Corner - With a more reasonable payout of 8:1, a corner bet involves betting on four numbers that are touching on the board by placing a chip on the cross lines that connect the numbers. The odds on a roulette corner bet are still more favourable, although there are still other inside bets with greater odds.
    • Basket - A basket bet can only be found on American Roulette tables, in which the bet covers the five numbers at the top of the table, including both zeros, 1, 2, and 3. Chips are placed on the corners shared between 0 and 1 or 0 and 3, with the basket covering the 'ball' landing in any of the first five numbers on the roulette table. With a payout of 6:1, the odds of winning are undoubtedly helpful and even higher than previous bets.
    • Double Street - Double Street betting has the lowest possible roulette payout of all the inside bets at 5:1. This betting type involves betting on two rows of three numbers, making six numbers in total. Chips are placed on the corner shared by the two numbers on the left or the right. Double street bets have greater odds and even more significant potential to win big.

    Roulette House Edge

    The house edge is essentially why casinos make a profit and is the leading source of revenue for casinos, both online and land-based venues. Even if the house edge may seem small, over a sample of hundreds of thousands of games it makes a considerable difference, and even on an individual basis, it will eat into your bankroll.

    European Roulette House Edge

    As we have discussed in this roulette odds guide, the chance of winning on a European roulette wheel is 1/37 on a straight number bet, which is because there are 37 numbers on the wheel but only one potential winning outcome. If we consider £1 on a single number bet, if you spend £37, you will win £36 back.

    An experiment shows this by placing a £1 bet on every single number on the table. You are guaranteed to win but will only get back £36.

    If this extends over sessions, weeks, months, and years, every £37 you spend, you will get £36 back. It is important to note that this is on average, but it shows £1 of each £37 you spend would be going to the casino. This average is taken over a long time and can be shown in a percentage of 2.7% (£1 from every £37), which is the house edge of European roulette.

    Of course, there are no guarantees in the random chance game of roulette, so you could not win during your 37 games, or you could win more than once. But when all is said and done and over vast samples, you will not escape the house edge.

    American Roulette House Edge

    The same goes for American roulette, where the situation is made slightly complicated by adding the extra 00 pockets. Because payouts on both European and American variants are the same, all you are doing by playing American roulette is giving the casino more profit.

    If we look at a single number wager, the roulette odds are:

    • European roulette = 1/37
    • American roulette = 2/38

    The casino can win almost double the profit from roulette bets on American roulette, reflected by the house edge of 5.26%.

    Summary: How to Improve Your Odds When Playing Roulette

    If you value excitement and a classic casino atmosphere, online roulette is the perfect game for you. While you do not need to be a mathematics genius to become a smooth online roulette player, knowing roulette odds make the difference between the best and worst roulette strategies.

    As we have shown, roulette bets and the odds attached to them differ greatly depending on the bet you choose. While there are many roulette variants, especially online, most are derived from either European, (or French roulette), and American.

    When selecting a game to play, check the roulette odds of all variants before deciding whether to wager your money. Inside bets are valuable and can trigger some big wins if the ball lands where you wish. However, outside roulette bets are the way to go if you want a greater chance of winning. Although, the trade-off for betting on the outside is smaller payouts on the more frequent wins.

    Finally, while American roulette is fun, the reality is that you will be giving the casino a more significant house edge by playing. If you are strictly on a budget, American works, but for everyone else, choosing the European roulette rules is your best chance of winning.


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