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2021 Beginners Guide to Roulette Odds and Probability

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If you are a beginner at roulette and you encounter roulette odds, you might feel confused at first. Roulette is fun, and if you wish to play it just once and bet a small amount of money, you don’t need to overthink it.

However, to win big, and/or win often, learning about roulette wheel probability and odds is a must. So, let’s start.

Difference Between Probability and Odds

Because the terms probability and odds are often used as synonyms in everyday conversations, people tend to confuse them when it comes to betting. Continue reading to learn the difference.

Probability 

Probability is defined as a direct chance of an event happening based on many factors. Probability is usually shown in percentages. For example, if we have four options to choose from, our probabilities of choosing the right one are 25%.

In betting, and especially roulette, chance and probability are not directly shown but are as important as odds. Sometimes, odds may seem to be the same for two events, but with the lower probability, it’s not worth the risk.

Odds

Odds are directly connected to probability but are not mutually interchangeable. 

The betting odds and especially roulette odds represent the probability of the event not just happening, but also not happening. So odds are the probability of the event not happening divided with the probability of the event happening.  

Most importantly, odds in roulette and betting show the amount of money you win for each bet. They also include the house winnings — the amount of money a casino makes on each bet. So don’t expect to see just direct probability expressed in odds.

Odds in betting and roulette are normally expressed in fractions, for example, 4/1, 35/1.

Roulette Types and Their Odds

In order to learn roulette wheel odds, one must first learn more about the three main types of roulettes, as there are some differences that might impact your play. 

European Roulette, or 0 Roulette

On the wheel of the European roulette, there are 37 places (pockets) for the ball to land on. There are 36 numbers from 1 to 36, and there is a zero. The numbers are black and white, while zero is green. 

The roulette probability for a single number bet in European roulette is 2.70%. The house advantage, the certain money the casino makes, is also 2.70%. This means that for every dollar you wager, the casino has a certain win of $0,027. 

The European Roulette odds for the single number bet are 35/1, which means that for each $1 wager, you receive $35 if your number wins.

American Roulette 

Unlike European roulette, American roulette has 38 pockets. There are still numbers 1–36, but in the green fields, there are zero and a double zero.

The American roulette probability for a bet on one number is 2.63%, 0.07% lower than with European odds. The most interesting thing is that the money the casino gets from each bet rises to an astonishing 5.26%. So, for each dollar, the casino gets $0.0526. 

The huge profit margin shouldn’t be too surprising if we know that the casino industry earned $227 billion in 2020, and even the online market gambling market is expected to reach $100 billion in 2026.

American roulette odds are the same as European 35/1. For each dollar you wager, you still get $35. 

Although the odds may be the same, with the probability declining and the house advantage rising, American roulette is less profitable than its European counterpart.

That being said, most casinos offer both possibilities. In the end, it’s your own choice.

French Roulette

French roulette is similar to European roulette. The wheel has only one zero like the European one. However, the numbers on the wheel and the table are not in the same order. 

The French roulette odds are the same as in the European roulette. What makes it special is that it can have two rules La Partage and En Prison rules, which allow you to win more. 

La Partage means that if you bet on more than one number — for example, on all even numbers — you can get half of your money back.

En Prison means that if you bet on more than one number — for example, red numbers — and the zero wins, you get one more spin of the wheel. If you win in the next round, you get your wager back.

When those rules are applied, the odds and probability stay the same as in European roulette, but the house advantage is now just 1.35%. 

In some casinos, these two rules are also applied to European roulette. 

In the end, roulette odds payout is one of the most important parts of roulette, besides having fun. So, keep those rules in mind when playing roulette.

Finding the right casino shouldn’t be the problem, as there are 2,157 casinos in the US only, and the online casinos are accessible to everybody. 

Bets and Their Odds in Roulette

There are two main types of bets depending on the part of the roulette table where the bets are made, and their subtypes. Each type has its own odds and probability, which can be really helpful when deciding what bet to choose.

Outside Bets and Odds

Outside bets are those that can be made at the outside part of the table. These bets usually include a lot of numbers. 

This is why the roulette odds and payouts for the outside bets are 1/1 for some and 2/1 for others. This means that you earn either 1$ or $2 for a $1 wager, but the chances of winning are worth it.

Roulette wheel probability statistics show that the probability of winning outside odds is high and is roughly between 31% and 49%, depending on the bet.

Roulette Black or Red Odds and Probability

You can choose to bet on either red or black numbers. Red or black roulette probability is 48.6% in European and French roulette, while in the American version, it’s 47.4% due to one extra number. 

In all roulette types, roulette color odds are 1/1, which means that you earn $1 for each $1 you wager.

High/Low Odds and Probability

In high/low bets, you bet on the low numbers 1–18 or the high numbers 19–36. The probability is the same as in black or red bet. 

Everything applied to roulette odds red or black can be applied to high and low, so the odds are 1/1.

Odd/Even Odds and Probability

One more bet with the same probability and odds of winning roulette is an odd/even bet. With this bet, you choose either odd or even numbers.

Column Odds and Probability

In column bets, you choose a column with 12 numbers — there are three vertical columns to choose from. 

This bet has a probability of 32.43% in European and French roulette, and 31.58% in American roulette. 

Roulette betting odds for column bets are 2/1, which means that you earn $2 for each dollar wagered.

Dozen Odds and Probability

With the dozen bet, you choose 12 numbers to wager on. You can choose numbers 1–12, 13–24, or 25–36. 

The probability of winning this bet is the same as with the column — 32.43% and 31.58%.

The roulette betting odds for the dozen are also 2/1, with each dollar winning $2.

Inside Bets and Odds

Inside bets are those where chips are placed at the inside part of the roulette table. The probability of winning is lower with them, and the roulette odds and payouts are usually between 35/1 and 5/1.

Straight Bet Odds and Probability

A straight bet is one of the most common bets in roulette. Here, you choose one number to bet on. This type of bet is also the one placed on 0 and 00.

The probability of choosing the right field is 2.70% in European and French roulette, and 2.63% in American roulette.

The odds on a single number in roulette are 35/1, which means that the payout you receive is $35 for a $1 wager. 

When discussing roulette odds, green field(s) and their odds are always mentioned. The odds for a green field are not different from any other straight bets. If you choose to bet on 0 or 00, the odds and the payout are the same.

Split Bet Odds and Probability

Split bets are the type of bet in which you bet on two numbers by putting a chip between them. 

The probability of the split bet is 5.41% in European and French roulette, and 5.26% in the American one. 

Split roulette bet odds are 17/1. For each dollar wagered, you will win $17. 

Street Bet Odds and Probability

If you are interested in betting on three numbers, street bet odds are a way to go. You place a chip at the end of the row of three numbers and receive the money if the ball falls on any of them.

The probability of winning a street bet is 8.11% in European roulette and 7.89% in American roulette.

Odds on roulette win in street bets are 11/1, with $1 winning you $11 if one of your three numbers is the lucky one.

Square or Corner Bets Odds and Probability

If you place your chip in the corner of 4 numbers on the roulette table, you are placing a square or corner bet, and are betting on those 4 numbers. 

The chance of winning roulette with the square bet is 10.81% in European and 10.53% in American roulette.

The odds for a square bet are 8/1, so a wager of $1 brings $8 in profit.

Six Line Bet Odds and Probability

Placing a chip on the corner of two lines, you bet on 6 numbers that are a part of those two lines.

Six line bet has the highest probability of all inside bets, with 15.79% in American roulette and 16.22% in the European one. 

The six line bet odds for roulette are 5/1, with a $5 earning for a $1 wager.

Five Line Odds and Probability

The five line is a bet used only in American roulette. This bet includes five numbers: 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. 

The probability of winning this bet is 13.16% based on the normal parameters. The odds for the five line bet are 6/1. This is less than usual because of the house advantage, which changes specifically to 7.89% from the normal 5.26%.

This bet is not the best, because the roulette payout odds are smaller than normal, and it is not the best value for your money.

Tips for Winning at Roulette

Many people consider roulette to be a game completely dependent on chance. 

Winning a roulette game does greatly depend on your luck, but there are some things you can do to enhance your chances of winning against the roulette odds:

  1. Play on outside bets, because their probabilities are higher although they don’t have the best odds in roulette if you want to win big. 
  2. Avoid playing American roulette, because the probabilities are lower.
  3. Try finding a casino that applies La Partage or En Prison rules, to be safer.
  4. Consider betting online, as statistics show that most of the bigger casino wins in 2020 happened online

FAQ

Is roulette all luck?

The biggest part of winning a game of roulette is luck. 

The truth is that roulette is a casino game most dependent on luck. You have some ways of increasing your chances, but having luck is a prerequisite for roulette.

(Black Spins)

What are the odds of hitting 00 on roulette?

The odds of hitting zero on roulette are the same as with any other number 35/1. 

Like with other straight roulette odds, 00 odds bring $35 for $1 wagered and have a 2.63% probability of happening.

(Casino Guardian)

What number hits the most in roulette?

All numbers are equally likely to hit in roulette. 

One number usually called the lucky number is 17. This is the most common number people play on. It is also famous because of the legendary win by Sir Sean Connery, who won three bets on number 17 one after the other in 1963. 

The probability and odds of roulette win for number 17 are the same as for any other number.

There are no statistics that can show the number that comes the most, but mathematically, they are the same. If you choose any number you like, it is as likely to hit the roulette as number 17.

(OnlineRoulette)

What is the probability of winning in roulette?

The probability of winning in roulette starts from 2.63% and goes to 48.64%. 

Roulette probability problems when calculated show that the probability is dependent on both the type of the roulette as well as the type of bet one is interested in.

The lowest probability is to win a straight bet. The highest probability is to win Red/Black, Odd/Even, or High/Low bets.

(Casino Guardian, Casino Guardian)

What color comes up more in roulette?

Both colors are equally likely to come up. 

There are some theories that red comes more, and some people claim that black comes more. Either way, betting on just one color doesn’t give you an advantage. 

Probabilities for winning black are almost 50% — as are for the red too. 

(Best United States Casinos)

Conclusion

Now you know how roulette odds and probability function and what to expect when placing a bet at a roulette table. 

Try starting slow, with higher probability bets. When you feel safe, you can venture more into the less safe bets. But take care, as roulette is still highly dependent on luck.

Don’t forget that the most important thing is not to win big but to have fun. 

Sources:

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