Roulette is a game of options. Ever since Blaise Pascal laid the foundations for a game that millions of people now play, there have been options. In fact, that’s the true beauty of roulette. Because you can choose to be general or specific, there’s a type of bet for everyone. Yet with each strategy comes different questions. How do you choose what numbers to bet on? Is there a truly optimum betting strategy?
There are other casino games that have similar dynamics and dilemmas. Craps, for example, gives you the option to be general or specific. However, because roulette is easier to understand, it stands ahead of the others. These core questions are still there. When playing roulette, you need to decide many things. Should you focus on outside bets? Or something more specific such as a split?
In this guide, we will answer these questions. We’ll also discuss roulette numbers, how they can define your bets and the types of moves you should be making. You will know all the roulette bets available to you and, in turn, the factors you should consider when choosing a strategy.
- Roulette Numbers: The Basics
- How Many Numbers Should You Bet on in Roulette?
- Roulette Betting: A Few vs. Many
- Managing Your Money: Make Roulette Bets You Can Afford
- Hot and Cold Roulette Numbers: Should You Be Tracking?
- Which Roulette Bets are Best for Me?
Roulette Numbers: The Basics
Before you can plan your roulette betting strategy, you need to know what’s available. There are 37 numbers in a standard game of European roulette. These numbers range from 0 to 36. In American roulette, there are 38 numbers. The general layout is the same i.e. numbers range from 0 to 36. However, the addition of a double zero (00) means you’ll have 38 numbers to choose from.
Something important to note here is that the payouts are the same for European and American roulette. So, even though the latter has one extra number, the potential returns are the same. Naturally, this shifts the odds in favour of European roulette. For example, the payout for a single number in roulette is 35:1. If there are only 37 numbers, compared to 38, then you have a better shot of making a correct pick.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t play American roulette. However, it’s an example of how roulette numbers can affect the odds and, therefore, the decisions you make. If you want to make a decision purely based on the odds, European tables are the best choice. But it’s important to understand that both variants will give you the following options:
- Singles: These are bets on one specific number and the potential payout is 35:1.
- Splits: These bets allow you to cover two numbers by placing a chip in between them (i.e. splitting them). The potential payout is 17:1.
- Street Bet: These bets allow you to cover three numbers in a row by placing a chip on the line at the end of the row. The potential payout is 11:1.
- Corner Bet: These bets allow you to cover four numbers in a square by placing a chip in the middle of the numbers. The potential payout is 8:1.
- Six-Number Bet: These bets allow you to cover two numbers. It’s essentially two street bets in one. To make the bet, you put a chip on the same line you would for a street bet but you move it to a position where it splits two rows of three numbers. The potential payout is 5:1.
- Dozens: These bets allow you to cover 12 numbers in one section of the board. The section will be marked as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. This means you’re covering a third of the board (excluding zero) with a single bet. The potential payout is 2:1.
- Column Bet: These bets are virtually identical to dozens bets. However, instead of 12 numbers being grouped in blocks, they are arranged into columns that run vertically along the board. The potential payout is 2:1.
- Odd or Even Bet: These bets allow you to select all the odd numbers or all of the even numbers with a single bet. The potential payout is 1:1.
- Low or High: These bets allow you to select all the low numbers (1-18) or all of the high numbers (19-36) with a single bet. The potential payout is 1:1.
- Red or Black: These bets allow you to select all the red numbers or all of the black numbers with a single bet. The potential payout is 1:1.
That’s all of the main roulette bets you can make. There may be some exotic or game-specific options. However, the above are the main ways you can cover as many or as few roulette numbers as you like.
How Many Numbers Should You Bet on in Roulette?
Now we’ve outlined how the numbers in roulette work, the obvious question is how many should you bet on? The unsatisfactory answer is that it depends. Everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to roulette bets. The general rule is that you should only make moves you’re comfortable with. As long as you meet the minimum bet and don’t exceed the maximum, you’re free to choose as many or as few numbers as you like.
The more professional answer to this question can be answered by considering your intent and finances. The strategy you employ will be determined by your personality and how much risk you’re willing to accept. Alongside this, you can look at how much you’ve got to spend and adjust accordingly.
Roulette Betting: A Few vs. Many
The list of roulette bets outlined above shows just how general or specific you can be. Because you have so many options, the crucial decision you have to make is whether you play aggressively or conservatively. If you’re someone that tends to take more risks in the pursuit of greater rewards, you should bet on a few specific numbers.
For example, an aggressive roulette betting strategy might see you cover five single numbers. Given that there are 37 roulette numbers (or 38 if you’re playing American roulette), this bet means you’ve got a 5 in 37 chance of winning. This equates to a 13.89% chance of winning. Because you’re taking more of a risk, the rewards are much greater than they would be if you made a group bet.
However, if you made an outside bet, you’d probably be willing to gamble more as the chances of winning are higher. Likewise, the returns from a winning bet here won’t be as great. For example, winning a €1 bet on red or black won’t see your balance increase the way you’d perhaps like if your bet does come in. In short, it all comes down to the risk/reward ratio:
Covering a few specific roulette numbers like in a split or corner bet means…
You’re taking a greater risk and will win less often, but the returns (per bet) will be better when you’re right.
Covering a lot of roulette numbers like in a dozen or column bet means…
You’re taking a lower risk and will win more often, but the returns (per bet) will be lower when you’re right.
Those are the two extremes. When you play roulette, you can choose to make bets that sit at those extremes or somewhere in between. That’s the beauty of the game. Roulette bets give you the option to be aggressive or conservative. The trick to finding the sweet spot is weighing up the risk/reward ratio.
Make Roulette Bets You Can Afford
Once you’ve decided on the strategy you’re going to use, you can think about the amount you want to spend. In some situations, it may be the case that your personal finances will dictate your strategy. For example, if you have a small bankroll, it may be better to take a conservative approach. However, for now, let’s assume you have an adequate amount of money available for any type of strategy.
The golden rule in all forms of betting is never spend more than you can afford. Because variance will cause your results to fluctuate in both directions, you need to bet amounts that allow you to prosper when times are good but survive when they aren’t. Most roulette players will only use around 3% of their total bankroll in any one session.
For example, if you had €1,000 set aside to play with, you would take €30 of that into a game. Those with more aggressive betting tendencies may decide to up this to €50+. However, it’s never usually a good idea to have over 10% of your bankroll at risk in a single session. Whatever amount you start with, you divide it up in equal amounts. Again, something like 5% is a good starting point. So, in this example, €30 would allow you to bet €1.50 per spin.
This may seem a little too conservative for some and, in certain cases, it might be. However, these are the sorts of figures you should be working to if you want the freedom to adopt whatever strategy you see fit. There’s no way you can play aggressively if a single bet presents 25% of your bankroll, because four losing spins would clean you out. Therefore, to make the right roulette bets and play in a way that suits you, it’s important to manage your money properly.
Hot and Cold Roulette Numbers: Should You Be Tracking?
When you play roulette in a land-based casino, you’ll often see players noting down the results. This also happens online, courtesy of an automatic tracker. People like to do this because they believe numbers in roulette can form patterns. That’s natural. As humans, we make sense of the world by finding patterns. However, in a fair roulette game, it’s a logical fallacy. There aren’t any patterns.
Every game at LiveRoulette is 100% fair. This means the software has been tested and certified by an independent agency. Each spin is independent of the one that went before it. In other words, the result of the previous spin can’t and won’t influence the next. Therefore, any number that appears is by chance. This is what makes roulette a fair game and one people want to play, time and time again.
There may be times when certain numbers appear to form a pattern. However, this is just a coincidence. If you stepped back and looked at millions of results, you’d see that every number hits at the same frequency. In the short term, you might think patterns are forming. However, this isn’t the case. As such, numbers in roulette can’t really be hot (more likely to hit) or cold (less likely to hit).
Which Roulette Bets are Best for Me?
Finding the right roulette bets is all about intent. Do you want to win less often but pick up bigger prizes when you’re right? Or do you want to win more frequently but collect smaller prizes when you win?
Neither desire is right or wrong, it simply comes down to what you feel the most comfortable with. Once you’ve established that, you can choose the roulette bets that suit. As long as you learn to manage your money correctly, the numbers in roulette allow you to be as aggressive or conservative as you like.
To put your strategy to the test, play live roulette via your desktop or mobile at LiveRoulette.com.