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 complete beginners, and anyone can start playing straight away at a low minimum $1 online casino.

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

You’ll discover different roulette bets, how the odds change across different game variants and how knowing roulette statistics can significantly improve your experience.

## Roulette Strategy Basics

Most people are familiar with the basic principles of roulette and even make some old-fashioned roulette bets. There are certain differences between the American and European roulette wheels. The European is made up of 37 pockets with the numbers 1 through 36 and a zero. American roulette adds an extra pocket with a double zero, making a total of 38 pockets.

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 comes to rest in a pocket, its position will determine whether your bet was successful. According to the rules, players must place their bets before the wheel stops spinning.

Many roulette bets will even look familiar to casual casino players. For example, the red/black and odd/even bets and the straight-up bet. However, there are more complex wagers available in roulette and it’s essential to understand the roulette odds for those bets. This roulette odds guide can help you understand the different types of roulette bets and their odds.

## Understanding Probability Calculations in Roulette

As with all forms of $1 gambling, you are putting your own money at stake when you gamble on roulette. Before you do that, having a good grasp of roulette odds and roulette statistics can tremendously help you make the right betting decisions. First off, knowledge about probability as a concept is an excellent place to start.

In essence, probability is the likelihood of a random occurrence. It is usually expressed as a percentage or a fraction. You have, for example, an 80% (4/5) chance of winning the lottery this week (you wish!). You can make a probability scale by drawing a line and placing two values at both ends, such as 0 – 1. To the left of the line (closer to zero), the random event is less likely, but the event becomes more probable in the opposite direction (towards the 1). The middle of the line would equal 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 chance to win. There are 37 possible outcomes for European roulette and 38 possible outcomes for American roulette on a single spin. All roulette games are randomly determined and roulette is a game with only two conclusions: you either win or lose.

You can calculate the chance to win fairly simply by just dividing the number of ways you can win by the number of possible outcomes. That is how you calculate the roulette odds, and below we will delve into more detail in our roulette odds guide.

## Roulette Odds

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

**– Odds of winning = Probability of winning / (1 – Probability of winning)**

Or in simpler terms:

**– Ways to win a bet and ways to lose a bet**

Trust us, it looks more complicated on paper than it is in practice, so it’s best to show some examples.

Our first example will look at a standard 50/50 bet, like flipping a coin. There are only two possible outcomes (heads or tails) and the probability of landing on either one is equal. Using the above formula for roulette odds we can calculate the likelihood of each outcome.

**– When flipping a coin this would mean the odds = 1 way to win (heads or tails) divided by 1 (ways to win) + 1 (ways to lose) = 0.50. **

If you want, you can multiply 0.50 by 100 to get the result in percentages, 50%. Of course you don’t need us to tell you that the odds of flipping coins is 0.50, 50% or 50/50. Still, it provides a good example that can be expanded to roulette statistics.

In roulette you need to divide 36 by the number of pockets you are betting on. Then subtract one from that number to get the roulette odds.

**– If you place a bet on four numbers for instance, you divide 36 by 4, leaving you with 9. Now subtract 1 and we are left with 8, indicating the odds are 8:1. **

If you placed a $100 bet and won, you would receive $800 as your payout.

### Basic Roulette Odds

If that seems too complicated, try testing out the formula on some roulette bets on a piece of paper. Once you’ve applied the formula to the examples a couple of times, you’ll find it easier to grasp roulette odds and devise a betting strategy. However, since there are different roulette variants, the odds for each variant differ.

### European Roulette Odds

European Roulette has 37 pockets on the wheels, the numbers 1-36 (18 black and 18 red) plus a single 0 pocket colored green. You can choose to bet on a single number, meaning you are betting on the ball landing on one specific number. The odds for single zero roulette bets are 35/1, so a $10 bet yields $350 in winnings, plus the $10 you staked (total $360).

### American Roulette Odds

The odds for American roulette are different because the game adds an extra double zero pocket to make a total of 38 pockets on the wheel. This simple change means American roulette tables are cheaper to get involved with, having a lower minimum bet. Notably, if the ball lands on the 0 or 00 pocket and you didn’t bet that number, you would lose your stake.

## Outside Bets

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

**Red or Black**– An even money roulette odds bet (1:1) if the ball comes to rest on the color you bet, red or black.**Odd or Even**– An alternative 1:1 roulette bet, whereby you win if you correctly predict the ball landing on an odd or even number.**Low or High**– The final 1:1 bet pays 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 covering an entire column of numbers on the table, arranged in three sections of 12 numbers. Column bets pay 2:1.**Dozens**– These are also outside roulette bets that pay 2:1 if you can accurately predict the ball will land on either the first dozen numbers (1-12), second dozen numbers (13-24), or third dozen numbers (25-36).

Looking at a roulette table, the numbers in the inner part of the roulette wheel are called inside roulette bets. These wagers reduce your odds of winning compared to the outside bets we have already covered in this roulette odds guide. The advantage of betting inside however is that every win delivers a larger payout.

**Single Number**– Also known as Straight Up bets, this is a bet 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 enormous reward for taking such a risk.

**Split**– With this type of bet you can wager on two adjoining numbers in the same spin, placing the chip on the line separating the numbers. This win is paid out at 17:1, and while you are still not guaranteed a win with this type of bet, the odds of a split bet are much more favorable than a single number bet.**Street**– A street bet encompasses three numbers within a horizontal row on the roulette board, like 29, 30 and 31, placing chips on the outer edge of the number in the row. The payout on a winning street bet is 11:1 if the ball lands on any of the numbers you selected. 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 means betting on four numbers that touch each other on the board by placing a chip on the intersecting lines that connect the numbers. The odds on a roulette corner bet are still more favorable, although there are other inside bets with greater odds.**Basket**– A basket bet can only be found on American roulette tables, with the bet covering the five numbers at the top of the table including both zeroes, 1, 2 and 3. Chips get placed on the corners shared between 0 and 1 or 0 and 3 with the basket covering any of the first five numbers on the roulette table. With a payout of 6:1, the odds of winning are certainly useful and even higher than previous bets.

**Double Street**– Double street bets have the lowest possible roulette payout out of all inside bets at 5:1. This type of bet involves betting on two rows of three numbers each, so a total of six numbers. Chips get placed on the corner shared by the two numbers on either the left or right side. Double street bets have greater odds and even bigger potential to win big.

## Roulette House Edge

The house edge is essentially the reason casinos make money and represents the main source of revenue for both online and physical premises. Even if the house edge may seem small, over a sample size of hundreds of thousands of games it makes a considerable difference, and on an individual basis too it will eat into your bankroll.

### European Roulette House Edge

As we’ve discussed in this roulette odds guide, the probability of winning on a European roulette wheel is 1/37 on a straight number bet, owing to the 37 numbers on the wheel but only a single possible winning outcome. If we consider placing $1 on a single number bet, spending $37 wins you back $36.

An experiment demonstrates this by placing a $1 stake on every number on the table. You are guaranteed to win but only get $36 back.

If this is extended over sessions, weeks, months and years, for every $37 you spend, you get $36 back. Importantly, this is an average but it shows that $1 out of every $37 you spend would go to the casino. This average is taken over a long time and can be represented as a percentage of 2.7% ($1 of every $37) which is the house edge of European roulette.

Of course, there are no guarantees in the random game of chance that is roulette so you may not win during your 37 spins, or you could win more than once. But all said and done over enormous samples you can’t escape the house edge.

### American Roulette House Edge

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

Looking at a single number bet, the roulette odds are:

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

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

## How You Can Improve Your Chances When Playing Roulette

If you appreciate thrills and a classic casino atmosphere, online roulette is the perfect game for you. While you don’t need to be a mathematical genius to become a slick online roulette player, knowing roulette odds makes all the difference between the best and worst roulette strategies. Also, don’t fall for any myths and superstitions surrounding roulette.

As we have shown, roulette bets and associated odds vary greatly depending on which wager you choose. Although there are many roulette variants, especially online, most derive from European (or French) roulette and American rules.

When selecting a game to play, check the roulette odds across all variants before deciding whether or not to stake your money. Inside bets are lucrative and can produce big wins if the ball lands where you want. However, outside roulette bets are the best choice if you want a greater chance of winning. Although the tradeoff for betting on the outside is smaller payouts on the more frequent wins.

Finally, while American roulette is fun, the reality is by playing this variant you give the casino a bigger house edge. If you have a strict budget, American roulette works, but for all other playing types, European roulette rules give you better odds to win.