Roulette – in movies, on TV, and in literature, it’s often depicted as glamorous, exciting, and ridiculously lucrative for whichever character is playing. While winning big at the spinning wheel seems like a fantasy reserved for James Bond and other fictional high rollers, it is possible to minimize risk and win big at the same time by knowing the best roulette bets. It all comes down to the numbers, and how you want to play them.
In American Roulette there are 38 numbers – 1 through 36, a single zero, and a double zero. Besides the latter two, half the numbers are red, half are black, half are even, and half are odd. The 0 and 00 are green and obviously not even or odd. Betting on those will earn you a payout of 35:1 – but more on all that later.
Now that we’ve got the bare bones of the Roulette wheel and the felt laid out, let’s flesh out only some of the best roulette bets you have to choose from.
Roulette Bet 1 : Red/Black, Evens/Odds, 1-18/19-36
No other game on the casino floor gives players the chance of close to 50/50 odds on a single bet. With the red/black, evens/odds, or 1-18/19-36 bets, you’re giving yourself the chance of hitting almost half the options on the Roulette wheel – the 0 and 00 aren’t counted – which gives you a pretty nice chance of winning. Granted, that means that the payout ratio is lower (1:1, bet $10 win $10) but by the numbers, it’s one of the safest and best roulette bets you can go with when playing the wheel.
Payouts for this can be surprisingly rewarding if you’re willing to risk more money on each bet. Take Ashley Revell – he once bet $136,000 on a single spin of the Roulette wheel. If throwing down that sum of money on a single bet doesn’t sound impressive or at least make you sweat a little, know that the sum was the entirety of Revell’s life savings and the entire event was televised. So if Revell won, he’d double his money and evoke envy and admiration from his spectators; if he lost, he’d lose everything and earn deserved pity.
Revell laid all his loot on red, and the wheel delivered – the ball landed on the red 7, and Revell walked away having doubled his life savings. However, we can’t honestly recommend betting your entire net worth on a single spin of the wheel since we wouldn’t exactly characterize that as successfully minimizing risk.
Roulette Bet 2 : Columns
If a 1:1 payout isn’t exciting enough to motivate you to lay down some chips, you can slightly up the ante and the payout to 2:1 by betting on the columns. By going with this second best roulette bet, you’re bringing your option of numbers down to a little under a third, but betting on a column still covers a significant chunk of the felt while doubling your winnings – a $10 bet will win you $20.
Columns don’t contain consecutive numbers – for example, the first column has 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, and 31 – and the number of red and black numbers differs between each column, a fact that we’ll cover in a moment. And remember, the 0 and 00 aren’t included in any of the columns because they’re special and too good for all the other numbers.
Roulette Bet 3: Black and third column/Red and second column
This third best roulette bet was specifically designed for people who like to hedge their roulette bets, or at least attempt to. The Roulette board is an interesting creature and when studied thoroughly, it may help you score big bucks. On the third column of the board, there are 8 red numbers and 4 black, whereas the second column is reversed, holding 8 black numbers and 4 red.
You, the savvy Roulette player, can take advantage of this layout for some slow but steady gains. If you bet on the red-rich third column and double your bet on the black ($10 on the third column, $20 on the black), you give yourself a solid chance of breaking even or making gains.
Here’s why: the third column contains more red numbers than any other column, giving yourself a good chunk of red on the wheel. At the same time, you’re betting on black, which gives you a little under half the wheel. The third column has a payout of 2:1, and the black has a payout of 1:1, so your column bet should be half the black bet to break even. This is because if a red number shows up on the third column, you win double your bet, but lose your black bet, which is the same amount – it’s considered a push, since you’re even. It’s the same when a black number comes up: you win your black bet, but lose your column bet. But when a black number on the third column comes up, you pull ahead. This system of betting minimizes the risk while giving you a solid chance of steadily padding your bankroll.
The same thing applies to the combination bet of red and the second column – red gives you just under half the numbers, and the second column has 8 black numbers. Be patient, and this roulette bet could help you earn big gains.
Roulette Bet 4: Straight up
If you care way more about the payout than you do about minimizing risk, your best option is to go with the straight roulette bet. This involves betting on a single number and hoping that Lady Luck is on your side. The risk is extremely high, but the payout – 35:1, $350 for a $10 bet – is pretty freakin’ sweet. Plus, this is the only category that includes the 0 and 00 tiles.
If you’ve got a bankroll of $350, you could technically go through 35 $10 bets in a row before you’re out of the game. And if you win once, you’re up $350. The chances of you hitting the exact number you’re going for is about 2.7% or 1 in 37, but what’s a big reward without bigger risk?
Roulette Bet 5 : Split bet
If you want to go big but the straight bet gives you the cold sweats, you can still go for a higher reward with a lower risk and choose the split bet instead. This involves placing chips on any two numbers that are next to one another on the felt. This can be either horizontal or vertical placement, and to place the bet you put a chip on the line between the two numbers.
The payout of 17 to 1 is lower than the straight bet, but the chances of hitting your numbers are 1 in 18, which is way better than the 1 in 37 the straight roulette bet offers.
The 5 best roulette bets summarized:
- Red/Black, Evens/Odds, 1-18/19-36
- Black and third column/Red and second column
- Straight up
- Split bet
Put these winning roulette bets to the test
So you’ve read and digested all the best roulette online real money bets we’ve laid out here, and now you want to put them to the test. Great! Try these roulette bets at our online casino real money usa and see how they work out for you, or come up with your own winning combination bets and let us know how it goes!