Roulette odds & payouts: An A to Z Guide

Roulette odds and payouts the comprehensive guide

If you don’t know your roulette odds, you’ll be betting blind in one of the most exciting casino games there is.  

With so many bets types on offer, you can place the same chip on different sections of a roulette table and get very different outcomes. The number of spins you may have to wait before winning will be very different too.  

I’ll explain the relationship between bet types, the numbers they cover, the likelihood of a win and most important of all, the roulette odds that determine how much you win. 

Roulette bets, odds and payouts

Everyone’s heard of a hot favourite in a horse race, and the 50/1 long shot that beat it too. Roulette bets aren’t that different too. This table game has odds for everyone, from red-or-black coin flips to single-number long shots, and plenty of bets in between.  

One of the fundamental rules of odds is that the more likely something is to happen, the smaller the payout. The less likely and higher the risk, the bigger the reward. 

How a roulette bet payout works

The simplest roulette odds to understand are so-called ‘even money bets like red or black, which pay out 1 to 1. This means for every 1 unit you stake, you make a profit of 1.  

At the other end of the scale, a straight up bet on a single number pays 35 to 1. If you place a £1 chip on Red 14 and the balls lands in 14, the dealer will pay you £35 worth of chips. It’s important to remember that you also get your stake back too. You will only get back the stake on your winning bet however.  

Let’s say you placed a £1 chip on each of the following bets: 14, the 14-20 split and black. If 14 comes in, here’s how the roulette odds and payouts work:

Bet Result
£1 on 14 @ 35 to 1 £36
£1 on 14-20 split @ 17 to 1 £18
£1 on black -£0

Here’s why you need to remember that you get your stake back too. The croupier will pay out your winnings and leave your original bet where it is. In the example above, the two £1 winning bets on 14 and 14-20 would be left in place for the next spin.  

If you don’t want to automatically rebet them, you can take them back off the table. You can learn more tips like this and brush up on your roulette etiquette in our roulette guide 

The 3 categories of roulette odds

The 3 types of roulette bet get their names – inside bets, outside bets and called bets – because of where they appear (or in some cases, don’t appear) on the roulette table.  

Inside bets are located inside the main betting board, within the grid of numbers. Outside bets are larger sections found outside the main board, while called bets  (which are often called specials or exotics) are available either within the racetrack, or are not written on the table at all.  

If you want to play called bets, you’ll need to know which ones are available, and ‘call’ them out to the croupier, who will place the bets for you.    

 The 11 most popular roulette bets at a glance

There are a range of different ways to bet on single numbers or groups of numbers. The more numbers a bet covers, the more likely it is to happen, and the smaller the payout 

Here’s the breakdown of bets you often find in the online roulette rules, and the house edge for each bet in both European and American roulette.

Bet type  Numbers   Payout  EU edge  US edge 
Straight up  1  35 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Split  2  17 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Street  3  11 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Corner  4  8 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Basket  5  6 to 1  N/A  7.89% 
Six Line  6  5 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Column  12  2 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Dozen  12  2 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
High/Low  18  1 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Odd/Even  18  1 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 
Red/Black  18  1 to 1  2.70%  5.26% 

Provided you know how many numbers you’re betting on, and the total numbers on the wheel, you don’t need a roulette odds calculator to figure out the chance of winning.  

But if you’re interested in the chances of zero landing twice, or 5 blacks in a row happening, a roulette odds calculator or some GCSE maths will come in handy!  

The odds of inside bets

If you want to bet on between 1 and 6 numbers with a single chip, inside bets are your path to roulette glory.

Let’s see how each one works.  

Straight UAKA Single number

Close-up of a section of the grid, a chip on Red 14 and highlighting that square of the grid

Return on a £10 bet: £360 

One chip on one number – the purest roulette bet there is. Betting on a single roulette number carries the most risk as it has the lowest chance of coming in, but the reward is the biggest payouts odds in roulette, and the most excitement too 

With 37 numbers on a European roulette wheel (from 0 to 36), you’ll have a 1 in 37 chance of winning at roulette, and you’ll get 35 to 1 odds on your money.  

Split AKA 2 Numbers 

Return on a £10 bet: £180 

A split bet is a single chip placed on the line between 2 numbers that are next to each other on the roulette betting board.  

In European roulette there are 60 different split bets you can make, and although the numbers will be close to each other on the board and either 1 or 3 numbers apart numerically (e.g. 1 + 2, or 33 + 36), they will not usually be close to each other on the wheel.  

American roulette has extra split bets for 0-00 and 2 combinations of zero and 2 (0-2 and 00-2)  

Street AKA 3 Number, Line, Trio 

chip on the end of the line between 13 and 2nd 12 with the following numbers highlighted: 13, 14, 15

Return on a £10 bet: £120 

Placing a chip on the line between 1 (or 4, 7, 10 and so on) and the adjacent dozen area will cover all 3 numbers in that row. A street bet placed on the line between 1 and the 1 to 12 bet will cover 1-2-3. 

There are 14 possible street betsthe 12 rows and the less obvious 0-1-2 and 0-2-3 bets. You’ll get 11 to 1 odds on a bet with just over 8% chance of winning.  

Streets will always contain 2 red numbers and 1 black, or vice versa. Bet number distributions on the wheel are quite varied, with some numbers spread evenly in a triangle across the wheel (13-14-15), while others such as 31-32-33 are all located in the same 10-number section of the European wheel.  

In American roulette, the extra double zero creates 1 more street to play. In addition to 0-1-2 and 00-2-3, you can also play 0-00-2. 

Corner AKA: Square 

chip on the cross between 13-14-16-17, with all 4 squares highlighted

Return on a £10 bet: £90 

To cover 4 numbers in a square on the betting board, place a chip in the vertical and horizontal lines intersecting them.  

There 23 possible corner bets in European roulette including 0-1-2-4 (sometimes referred to as First Four) and your chances of winning are almost 11%. In American roulette, there are only 22 corner bets, as the First Four bet is replaced by the First Five.

Basket AKA: Top Line, First Five 

chip placed with the squares-numbers 0-00-1-2-3 highlighted

Return on a £10 bet: £70 

This notorious 5-number bet is only found in American roulette. By placing a chip on the corner of 0, 1 and 1st 12, you can cover 0-00-1-2-3. Unfortunately for players who go for this bet, they only get 6 to 1 odds on a bet with real odds of 6.38 to 1.  

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to easily divide 5 numbers by the 37 numbers on an American roulette wheel, so the odds are rounded down to 6 to 1, instead of up to 7 to 1. This creates a house edge of 7.89%.  

Six Line AKA: Double Street 

a chip placed with the squares 10-11-12-13-14-15 highlighted

Return on a £10 bet: £60 

You can cover a block of 6 numbers such as 1 to 6 or 4 to 9 by betting a chip at the end of the group where the dozen bets are found, in between the 2 streets. There are 11 possible Six Line bets and they have odds of 5 to 1. 

Outside odds in roulette

Many roulette players care less about specific numbers and simply want a good chance of winning. By choosing bets which divide the wheel into 2 or 3 groups, you slash the odds to 2 to 1 or less but improve your chances of winning to as much as 48%.  

Column

chip on the top column and the entire row of numbers 3 to 36 highlighted

Return on a £10 bet: £30 

Found at the end of each row, column bets cover 12 numbers including every third number on the wheel. For example, a bet on the top column includes 3-6-9-12-15-18-21-24-27-30-33-36.  

By covering a third of the non-zero numbers on the wheel, you’ll win 32.43% of the time in European roulette and 31.58% of the time in American roulette. Your reward? A 2 to 1 payout.

Dozen AKA First 12, Second 12, Third 12 

Highlight the 1st 12 2nd 12 and 3rd 12 boxes

Return on a £10 bet: £30 

Like column odds but don’t like the specific grouping of numbers (or can’t reach the end of a column)?  

Try a dozen bet instead. Once again, you’ll cover a third of the wheel (minus the zero) and get 2 to 1 odds, but now you can choose between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd 12’s. To place a dozen bet, look for the 3 sections between the main number grid and the even money bets.

Low-High, Odd-Even & Red-Black

Highlight the 6 Even Money bets at the bottom of the grid

Return on a £10 bet: £20 

If coin flips are your thing, you’re in luck as roulette has various different ways to bet on 50/50 shots. Each number is classes as red or black, high or low and odd or even, giving you 3 opportunities to bet on half of the wheel.  

In European roulette, even money bets will win around 48% of the time. Because there are 2 zeroes in American roulette, your even money bet has a 47% chance of success.  

In French roulette, many tables will offer a La Partage or En Prison rule which, by refunding half your stake when zero lands, reduces the 2.70% house edge to just 1.35%.  

You might assume that on the roulette table, odd and even are next to each other, but the layout of most roulette tables splits up the two sides of all even money bets, so that low, even and black are all grouped together. 

Because of their 1 to 1 odds, even money outside bets are the bet of choice for players who follow the Martingale roulette system, as the system relies on the almost 50% chance of success.

Special bets and their payouts

Once you’ve learned how to play roulette and are familiar with all of the main bet types, you might want to explore the more exotic bets. Don’t be put off by their unfamiliar (often French) names, or the fact that they’re either displayed in a separate racetrack area or not displayed at all!  

These bets are simply another way to bet on selected groups of numbers. Some are fixed special bets, while others allow you to choose your own numbers.  

#1 Final 

A family of bets on numbers that all share the same last digit. These usually include both straight up and split bets, so the odds vary from 17 to 1 to 35 to 1, depending the number that comes up. 

#2 Le tiers du cylinder 

This fixed special bet covers 6 splits. With a unit stake of £1, the Tiers bet costs £6 and a winning number returns a total of £18. This means the payout odds are 2 to 1.

#3 Orphelins 

This 5-chip bet features 4 splits and a single number, which can pay out either £36 or £18 for a £5 total bet. 

#4 Voisins du zero 

This bet costs 9 chips and covers 17 numbers. However, as it includes streets, splits and a corner bet, the payouts can vary from £18 to £24. As a result, the odds of a Voisins bet fall somewhere between 1 to 1 and 2 to 1.

#5 Neighbours 

This is a variable type of special bet on a number of your choice and the numbers either side of it on the wheel. You can choose to bet on up to 5 numbers either side, although 2 numbers is the most popular. However, many neighbours you choose to play, you’re essentially placing a series of straight up bets, each with odds of 35 to 1.

 

Knowing the roulette probabilities and odds will give you extra info you can use to pick the right roulette strategy for you. Whether you’re a straight up guy or an even money missus, understanding the risk and reward of roulette bets helps you choose how much to bet, how long you might need to wait for a win, and much more.  

Roulette odds FAQs

What is the best bet in roulette?
It depends! If you’re looking for a roulette which has the best chance of winning, even money bets like red or black which pay out approximately half the time are your best option. If value is what you’re after, then the roulette bet with the lowest house edge is any even money bet in French roulette. With odds of 1 to 1, a win percentage of 48% and a house edge of just 1.35%, it’s impossible to find a better roulette bet than even money bets on French roulette.
What are the worst odds you can get in roulette?
When considering how to win at roulette, it’s important to look at the house edge first. Unless you have a particular penchant for all things American, the US version of the game has a higher house edge for every roulette bet type than its Euro cousin. Worst of all is the basket bet, with a 7.89% edge instead of the usual 5.26%. If you want to bet on 0, 00, 1, 2 and 3, simply lower your stake and place straight up bets on each number to play with the optimal house edge.
What are the odds of 0 in roulette?
Although zero is, in some ways, a special number in roulette, the laws of physics treat the green zero just the same as any other number. With 37 numbers on the wheel, there’s a 1 in 37 chance of the ball landing in zero (and the same with any other number). Put another way, there’s a 2.70% chance of zero being chosen. In American roulette there are two zeros, 0 and 00. That means there is a 1 in 38 chance (or 2.63%) of either zero coming up. What are the odds of any zero being chosen in American roulette? That’s 1 in 19 or 5.26%. In either form of the game, the payout odds you’ll get for a winning bet on zero is 35 to 1.