Winning Odds in Roulette Explained

ROULETTE Updated on: 4 September 2018

In reality, not many people take the time to understand their chances of success when playing casino games. But if you wish to succeed with your roulette playing, it is important that you make the effort to understand the odds inherent in every bet you place. With every casino game you play, it is important to take into consideration your chances of success, and roulette is no exception.

Sure, most of us play casino games just for fun. And to most people’s minds, this hardly involves putting serious research effort into the mathematics of the game. But if you are interested in winning with this game, or at least playing it as professionals do, you will have to do more to understand the odds of winning and avoid losing your money unnecessarily. That’s what this article is all about.

1. Roulette House Edge

The house edge is one of the things that will affect your odds of winning. Just to clarify, a house edge is the advantage that the casino has over the players. Whatever the amount of money players wager, the house edge ensures that a certain percentage ends up with the casino, even as most of it goes back to the winning players in form of payouts. But the house advantage is not evident with just a few plays.

The house edge is based on very sound mathematics. Therefore, even though there are people who will usually play casino games such as roulette in a way that makes them walk away with more money than they put into the game, the casino will still make a profit. The reason is simple – the average player will lose a small percentage of their money.

And then there is a group of gamblers who will be really bad at it, and will therefore will keep losing their money again and again as they try to win big. So, in the end, the casino will always finish ahead of the players, generally speaking. Otherwise, casinos would have gone bankrupt or stopped offering certain games a long time ago.

Roulette House Edge

The house edge in roulette games is ensured by the presence of the 0 and the 00 pockets. As you might already know, any spins that result in either of these numbers will result in a loss for you. This consistently puts the odds in the casino’s favor. With a single 0 roulette game (European roulette), the house edge is usually 2.70%.

The American roulette, on the other hand, has a house edge of 5.26% because it has a double zero (00) in addition to the single zero pocket. Therefore, there is no strategic advantage to playing American roulette, you should just stick with European roulette and enjoy the better house edge – it makes quite the difference over the long term.

How Can You Calculate Winning Odds In Roulette?

You might be wondering how we arrived at the odds figures shown above. The process is actually quite simple. First of all, you will need to know how many pockets there are in a roulette wheel, because each pocket represents a possible outcome. It makes no difference if you can win with that pocket or not. In the case of American roulette, there are 38 pockets, and in the case of European roulette, we are talking about 37 pockets.

Once you know of all the possible outcomes (in this case pockets), you can then proceed to determine the odds of winning each bet by dividing the number of pockets that represent that betting outcome with the total number of pockets and them multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage value.

For instance, in the case of a Red/Black bet, you should know that only 36 numbers bear these colors, half of which are black while the rest are red. So the probability of winning a red bet will be 18 (half of 36), divided by 37 (in the case of European roulette), and then multiplying the result by 100. A quick calculation should show you that the probability of winning with a red bet will be 48.6486%.

In the same way, the odds of winning with other roulette bets can also be established. The results will be as follows.

Roulette Odds Table

As expected, European roulette offers better winning odds with most bets, which is to be expected since the casino uses only a single zero to give itself an edge with this game. On the other hand, the outside bets have much lower payouts, but the odds of winning with such bets are also much higher.

In order to win more with this game, the outside bets need to be central to your strategy, or indeed the only bets in your strategy. This will in fact be a necessity if your bankroll cannot handle the low winning chances that come with placing inside bets.

There are also strategies that involve mixing inside bets with outside bets, but even in such a scenario, planing your spending is critical to ensure that your money can survive the roller-coaster ride of extended losing streaks brought about by placing low probability bets.

Clearly, there is more to roulette winning than most people care to know. But if you see yourself playing this game regularly, understanding these odds in greater detail is inevitable, especially if you are keen on getting more wins out of your playing. But odds is not all you need in your arsenal as a roulette player, you can also benefit from other strategies. I have provided guides detailing these strategies right here; have a look at them and take your game to the next level.