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Some games in the casino don’t require much work. Pulling the lever on a slot machine or pushing a couple of buttons on a video game-style casino game is about all you have to do to play. When you graduate to casino table games, you’ll have to invest a little more time if you want to make smart bets.
The first step in learning to play roulette is learning the ins and outs of roulette odds. There are so many different kinds of bets in roulette that you need to spend a little time studying what these bets are and how they pay out. Understanding the various bets in roulette is also the only way to understand how the house edge changes according to the bets you place. If you learn the roulette payout chart and house edge, you’ll know instantly what kinds of roulette bets to avoid. Thankfully, roulette odds are easy enough to figure out.
Roulette & House Edge
Any casino game carries with it a certain risk, an advantage that the casino keeps to make sure they turn a profit. This is true of blackjack, slot machines, video poker, and any other game you play in the casino. What’s the house edge for roulette?
It is easy enough to get a rough estimate of the house edge in roulette, though the type of roulette wheel you’re playing on has some impact on the edge itself. There are two basic types of roulette wheels: those with a double-zero and a single-zero symbol and those with just a single-zero. The type of roulette wheel you want to play at is the one with the smaller house edge: single-zero wheels give the house an edge of just 2.7%. Add another zero symbol (the double-zero) and that edge swells to 5.26%.
How did we come up with that number? A little back of the notepad math. Since we know that single-zero games have 37 possible winning slots on the wheel and double-zero games have 38, we can use either the formula (35-36)/37 x 100 (to get 2.7%) or the formula (35-37)/38 x 100 (to get 5.26%) depending on which style of wheel we’re playing on.
Remember that the casino’s entire edge in roulette comes from the 0 slots. Remove the 0 slots from a roulette wheel and you’ve got an even-money game. It should be pretty obvious by now that if you can choose between a single zero or a double zero roulette game, you should always choose the single zero wheel.
|Roulette Odds & Payout Chart|
|Bet||Roulette Term||Double Zero Odds||Single Zero Odds||Payout|
|Single Number||Straight Up||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||11.6 to 1||11.33 to 1||11 to 1|
|Four Number||Corner||8.5 to 1||8.25 to 1||8 to 1|
|Five Number||Basket||6.66 to 1||N/A||6 to 1|
|Six Number||Line||5.33 to 1||5.17 to 1||5 to 1|
|Column||Column||2.17 to 1||2.08 to 1||2 to 1|
|Dozen||Dozen||2.17 to 1||2.08 to 1||2 to 1|
|Even||Even||1.05 to 1||1.01 to 1||1 to 1|
|Odd||Odd||1.05 to 1||1.01 to 1||1 to 1|
|Low||1-18||1.05 to 1||1.01 to 1||1 to 1|
|High||19-36||1.05 to 1||1.01 to 1||1 to 1|
|Red||Red||1.05 to 1||1.01 to 1||1 to 1|
|Black||Black||1.05 to 1||1.01 to 1||1 to 1|
Roulette odds and the roulette payout chart are there to help you make a decision on how to place bets. If you pick the most advantageous odds and bet on those, you can increase your odds of winning and shoot for the best payout. Yes, there is a strategy behind betting on roulette, and played over the long run it should lead to better performance.
How to Read the Roulette Payout Chart
Understand that so called European roulette is the game you should be looking to play, the game with just one zero slot. The other style, with an extra zero slot, is American roulette, and gives the house a much better edge. The chart above demonstrates how European roulette and American roulette offer the same payouts but slightly different odds. The reason? One less slot on the European wheel means one less chance for bettors to blow it.
Casino games build an advantage into the rules of a given contest as their way of earning their keep. The house edge can be the ultimate heart-breaker, the casino’s money earned for just turning the lights on and securing the doors. The odds behind the various bets in roulette are proof that this funny little spinning-wheel competition is a game built around social interaction. Roulette was never meant for hardcore gamblers looking for a good edge against the casino. Still, if you study the bet odds and use betting strategies in moderation, the game of roulette can be played to turn a profit.