How to Improve your Odds at Roulette

How to Improve your Odds at Roulette

Last updated : 15 May, 2020By Top10 Staff
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There are over a dozen different ways you can bet on a roulette game, so it can be difficult to know what the best strategies are to improve your odds of winning. Here we will explore what these different bets are, and how they can be used alone or in combination to help you be successful at this popular casino game.


The straight or straight-up bet is where a chip is placed on one number and this will have the highest payout in roulette, usually at 35-1, but with these odds comes risk as there is a one in thirty-seven, or one in thirty-eight chance of winning depending on whether you are playing on a European table with one zero, or an American one with a zero and a double-zero. As such it is wise to place other, lower-odds bets, or for the risk-taker, more straight-up bets covering adjacent numbers on the wheel.

Call Bets

For experienced gamers keen on the strategy of covering a particular area of the wheel, call bets, also known as announced bets and French bets, are a great way to play roulette. The most common French bets are Voisins du z?ro, which translates as ‘neighbours of zero’, Tier, which is an abbreviation of the translation ‘thirds of the wheel’ and Orphelins, which consists of the two sections of the wheel outside of Voisins and Tier. These bets obviously cost more as they place straight bets on several numbers, but offer an easy way to place area bets. You could also place a ‘neighbour bet’, where you request a particular number along with the two numbers adjacent to it on both sides, covering a total of five numbers.

Red or Black

Players new to roulette could start off by placing this popular 50-50 ‘outside bet’ by simply guessing whether the number will be red or black. If the correct colour comes in, the stake is doubled, but of course, if the ball lands on a zero the outcome will be different. On a European table with one zero, the bet will be halved, or on some tables will become ‘en prison’ or imprisoned, meaning it has to remain on the table for the next spin of the wheel, but on an American table, either a zero or a double-zero will result in a loss.

Outside Bets

Newer roulette players wishing to try their luck beyond red or black may find a good way to start venturing onto the number-layout is via the other outside bets, which cover large groups of numbers and hence offer better odds of winning but with lower payouts than a smaller selection. A bet can be placed on even or odd numbers, akin to red or black, the lower numbers from one to eighteen, the higher numbers from nineteen to thirty-six, the first, second and third dozen or columns, covering twelve numbers.

Inside Bets

Players with some experience on the roulette table or fans looking to take only moderate risk could try inside bets, which cover a smaller selection of numbers than outside bets, offering better returns, but aren’t as focused on one number or area of the wheel as straight and called bets. A straight is classed as an inside bet and they sequentially cover more numbers, so you could place a split, which is on two numbers, a street, covering a horizontal line of three numbers, a corner that covers four numbers and a six-line or double-street to bet on two horizontal lines of numbers. For European tables you could place a trio that covers three numbers including the zero, or on American tables, a top line, covering the numbers adjacent to either the zero or the double-zero.

High-risk Strategies

For keen or experienced roulette players, watch a few spins of the wheel to get a feel for the table and then play bold with your choice of straight-up, call bets and inside bets to cover an area of the wheel. This method of betting costs more but offers a great deal of excitement and high returns. Not for the faint-hearted, these types of bets should only be made once the player has a reasonable knowledge of the wheel layout and a good understanding of the odds.

Low and Moderate-risk Strategies

If playing with a small budget, short timescale or limited knowledge of the game, it is advisable to embark on outside bets. These can still offer plenty of excitement and be fruitful, so don’t be afraid to stick with lower-odds bets like red or black if that works for you, and you could always include a straight bet or other inside bets from time to time to spice things up.

Whatever method of play you already use or want to try, the main thing is to have fun. Set a budget for play, keep an eye on it and be prepared to walk away with nothing, and then any wins you do have will be all the more sweet!

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Gavin Lenaghan

Gavin writes on a wide range of subjects, including articles and reviews about online casinos, slots, bingo, poker, and sportsbooks. He has considerable expertise in the games, customer service, and other aspects of today’s leading gambling and betting portals.

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