Roulette Odds and Chances

‘May the odds be ever in your favor’! Roulette, like pretty much everything in life, including the Hunger games, if you didn’t pick up the movie reference, involves an element of both skill and luck.  To get the most out of each and every Roulette spin you want to maximize your odds and give yourself the best chances possible.

What are the odds?

Simply put, when we talk about roulette odds we are really talking about the odds of you beating the dealer, or the odds against the house edge. At each roulette wheel, you lose, the house collects and that is their edge or advantage against would-be roulette winners.

This edge is actually worked out statistically, in American roulette the house edge is 5.26%, whilst in European roulette it stands at 2.70% (1/37) and we will explain how that works further down this page.

Why is it important to know your odds?

With roulette, like with pretty much any other casino game, knowing your odds will help you understand what exactly you’re getting yourself into. All casino games have an inherent advantage that favors the house. Without it, casinos wouldn’t be able to operate, both online or off.

You want to know what that edge is so you can then better understand certain roulette strategies or devise some of your own. Although there is no strategy that can help you turn the tables around, by knowing your odds, you’ll understand the variance of the game better and will be able to adopt strategies that give you the best shot at winning.

What will you find on this page?

This page is devoted to helping you fully understand roulette odds across different variations. In the process of understanding this, you will learn game mechanics and how to improve your winning chances in each particular session.

Best roulette casinos in 2019

Nearly every online casino out there offers roulette, as it is one of the most popular casino games in existence. Some of them even offer live roulette for their players. This is the selection of the best roulette casinos in 2019 we’ve been able to find, giving you the best bonuses and winning odds.

Probabilities per roulette variation

There are two main popular roulette variations: European and American. Both of these are rather similar, but one of them has 37 total numbers, and the other 38. While this may not seem like a big difference at a first glance, from the odds’ perspective, this extra number is significant.

In European roulette, winning bets are paid at 35 to 1, but there are 37 numbers in total. This one extra number (the Zero) gives house the edge of 2.70%. This is more than enough to keep the casino afloat, as it means that, on average, on every $100 in bets placed, they’ll earn $2.70. And those bets add up quickly.

In American roulette, there is an extra number added – the Double Zero, but the payouts are exactly the same. If you bet on the correct number, you’ll be paid 35 to 1, and there are 38 numbers in total. This increases the house edge to 5.26%, which is big numbers for a casino game

How to easily calculate roulette probability?

By this point, you probably get an idea of how you can calculate probabilities in roulette. It’s easy-peasy math, once you understand it, but most people never take time to look into it in more detail. Here is a quick and simple overview to help you improve your understanding of the game you’re your roulette chances.

So, we have the straight number odds:

  • European roulette: 36/1 with 37 numbers in play – chances of winning 2.7%
  • American roulette 36/1 with 38 numbers in play – chances of winning 2.63%

But, these aren’t the only bets you can make. There are also so-called even-odds bets, when you place your bets on red-black, evens-odds, or low-high. If there weren’t for the zero, these would be truly 50/50, but due to existence of one (or two) zeroes, these odds are shifted in the house’s favor as well.

  • European: chances of winning 48.65%
  • American: chances of winning 47.37%

Again, this may not seem like a lot, but that small difference adds up over thousands and hundreds of thousands of spins, giving the casino a substantial edge. Just imagine if you could play heads or tails with someone every day, and every time you they win with heads, you pay $1, but every time you win with tails, they give you $1.10.
The same principle applies to all other bets as well (square, street, split, etc.). You’re always getting paid based on the 36-numbers calculation, but there are always 37 or 38 numbers in play. The extra zero(s) are where the casino makes its profit.

What are the best odds currently offered at winning roulette?

There is an interesting combination of bets that gives you slightly better odds than just randomly placing your bets.

The colors aren’t evenly distributed in all three rows. The middle row contains more black number, while the top row contains more red ones. The bottom one is distributed equally. This means you’ll slightly increase your chances if you make combination bets, betting on the top row and on the red, or betting on the middle row and black.

Roulette odds compared to other games

So, we see that the house edge in roulette is 2.70% or 5.26% if you are playing American. How does this measure up to other casino games?

  • In blackjack, the house edge is slightly above 0.4% depending on the number of decks used, when playing the optimal strategy. Without any strategy, the house edge can be around 2%
  • In Casino War, the house edge is 2.88%
  • In baccarat, the house edge is 1.36% or 1.17% (player or banker)
  • In craps, the house edge varies depending on the bet, from 0.83% to 16.70%
  • Slots have a house edge of anywhere between 1% and 5% usually

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of roulette odds, how they’re calculated, and what it is that gives the house an advantage in this popular game.

Equipped with this k, you’ll now be able to get into the nuts and bolts of the roulette betting systems, and come up with some of your own ideas to at least give yourself the best shot at the big wheel.