Bets in roulette range from simple ‘coin flip’ chances such as red or black, to inside bets which have payouts of a huge 35-to-1. Having an understanding of how these odds are calculated and how they affect your overall bankroll and betting strategy can help your Roulette game immensely. This includes understanding which wheel has the best return on the bets you make.
House edge is the long term profit casinos make from every bet. This will vary between games (Keno is particularly loathsome at 27% while basic bets in Baccarat are under 1.25%). Roulette’s house edge clocks in at 5.26% for the US wheel and 2.7% for the single zero European version. How is this calculated? A straight-up bet requires 1 of 38 numbers (the 1-36 numbers along with 0 and 00) to come in, meaning you are facing odds of 37-1 against your number winning (36-1 against with the European wheel).
When you are lucky enough to win a straight-up bet, however, the payout is only 35-1. Putting this into dollar terms, a winning $1 bet on the number 19 will result in a $35 profit when the true odds dictate that you should receive $37 instead. Taking this into consideration, you can calculate the house edge of Roulette by simply taking that $2 difference and divide it by 38 (the total amount of numbers on the table).
For ‘outside’ bets the edge is controlled by the zeroes. When you bet on red / black or odd / even (for example) and the ball lands on the green zero – all bets lose. This means that the US wheel makes these bets twice as likely to lose as the European wheel. There is a 3rd variation of the game, known as ‘French Roulette’, which returns half of your stake from even money bets when the ball hits the single zero slot. This lowers the house edge considerably, though exactly how much will depend on the proportion of inside and outside bets you make.
Now that we know how the house edge works, let’s take a look at the odds you face on each inside bet as well as the corresponding payouts. This is based on the US wheel.
The house edge on outside bets work on the sample principle but, as you’ll see in the following table, both the odds against winning and the payouts are much lower.
Experienced gamblers avoid the US wheel, in favor of the European version – of even better the French Roulette game, which has the best odds of all.
US based players will find these low-edge variations at the Bovada casino.
International players can enjoy the low-edge French Roulette at BetFair.com