Bet Smart: How to play and win more than you lose

There is no easy way to win at roulette. I do believe though that the are good and bad ways to bet on it. The good way, I call roulette strategies. these strategies can be divided into two major camps or schools of thought.

  • Roulette systems. These are mathematical approaches to roulette that try to use bet selection rules, money management and most importantly betting increases and decreases in order to improve your chances at winning. We have collected the 13 best such systems free for you to read and study.

  • Roulette physics and science. Many physicists and mathematicians and computer experts have tried to find and apply a scientific method of predicting roulette. These are highly scientific works that may be difficult for the average player to grasp and even harder to make any use of them. They are well worth reading however in order to understand the physics of roulette wheel and ball, which after all is the heart of the game - the game machine itself. These strategies may involve eyesight of roulette computers or identification of imperfections of roulette wheels.

  • Without the thrill of real money, some players cannot enjoy the game. If, you take your roulette skills seriously, you should take advantage of free onlineroulette. Doing so gives you a chance to practice skills in a risk free environment and may very well save you from some of the most common pitfalls in onlineroulette. Try the free roulette games listed here and check out the differences in each casino, or try out Jackpot City Casino here as they also offer play for fun mode in Roulette.

Best roulette bets, odds and table layouts

Roulette table types

First let's get an idea of the roulette table variations. The differences between the different types of tables are not huge, so I will avoid confusing you with details.

European roulette table 

The European roulette table has only one zero (0) and offers better payouts than the American roulette, which has two zeroes (0, 00).

European table layout
European table layout

American roulette table

American roulette table
American table layout
As you can see the American roulette table is like the European with the main difference being the additional double zero (00). Although American roulette has one extra number (double zero), the payouts are the same as in the European version. This means that the player who plays American has a bigger disadvantage (-5,4%) versus the European game (-2,7%) because he plays against more numbers/possibilities and his probability of win is a bit lower.

French roulette table

french roulette
French roulette table layout
In the image above you can see that the French roulette table has a different layout for the bets. Maybe the biggest difference is that the place for the dozen bets is the lower left and right parts of the table (see: P12, M12, D12). P12 is the bet for the first dozen numbers (1-12). M12 is the bet for the second dozen numbers (13-24) and D12 is the bet for the third dozen numbers (25-36).

Payout wise the French roulette is the same as the European roulette, since it only has one zero and 37 numbers in total. In some casinos French roulette can be even more advantageous for the player than the European type. Some French roulette games offer one of the two following rules, which partially protect the player when "zero" (0) comes:
  • La Partage rule: The player loses only half his bet when he has bet Red, Black, High, Low, Odd or Even (Even Chance Bets) and zero (0) has come.
  • En prison rule: The player bet stays intact when he has bet Red, Black, High, Low, Odd or Even (Even Chance Bets) and zero (0) has come. The outcome of the next spin will decide if the player wins or loses the bet.
Due to these rules, some French roulette games offer only -1,4% disadvantage when the players bets on  Red, Black, High, Low, Odd or Even; these bets are also called Even or Simple Chance betsbecause the pay out as much as you have bet and have nearly 50% chance of winning.

Best and Worse Roulette Bets

The truth is that in general almost all bets in the roulette table are equal in terms of Average Expectation or simply put Risk/Reward ratio. Keep in mind however these small differentiations:
  • Single zero roulette is less disadvantageous for the player than European roulette: -2,7% versus -5,4%
  • French roulette with special rules can be better than European, if the player bets Red, Black, High, Low, Odd or Even: -1,4% versus 2,7%.
There is however one worst wager one can make in roulette. This bet is exclusive to American roulette and is called "Top line bet". That is betting on 0, 00, 1, 2, 3. For this wager the player disadvantage in American roulette explodes from -5,6% to an unplayable -7,9%. This is because the casino pays you 6 times your money instead of 6,2 times your money, which is already bad enough with -5,6% disadvantage. Basically you wager 5 numbers for the price of six.

Bets and payouts

  • Single number.
    Probability 1/37 (European or French) or 1/38 (American). Pays 36 times your money.
  • Split / 2 numbers / any two adjacent numbers in the table layout, like 5-6 or 5-8.
    Probability 2/37 (European or French) or 2/38 (American). Pays 18 times your money.
  • Street / 3 numbers any 3 numbers on the same horizontal line in the table, like 10 -11-12.
    Probability 3/37 (European or French) or 3/38 (American). Pays 12 times your money.
  • Corner or Carre / 4 numbers, any 4 adjacent numbers in the table layout, like 1 - 2 - 4 - 5.
    Probability 4/37 (European or French) or 4/38 (American). Pays 9 times your money.
  • Double-street / 6 numbers / any 6 numbers in 2 adjacent streets, like 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 -14 -15.
    Probability 6/37 (European or French) or 6/38 (American). Pays 6 times your money.
  • Dozen / 12 numbers / any of the 3 dozens, 1-12 or 13-24 or 25-36.
    Probability 12/37 (European or French) or 12/38 (American). Pays 3 times your money.
  • Column /  12 numbers/ any of the 3 columns in the roulette table layout. 
  • Probability 12/37 (European or French) or 12/38 (American). Pays 3 times your money.
  • Low / 18 numbers / Numbers: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18.
    Probability 18/37 (European or French*) or 18/38 (American). Pays 2 times your money.
  • High / 18 numbers Numbers: 19-20-21-22-23-24-25-26-27-28-29-30-31-32-33-34-35-36. Probability 18/37 (European or French*) or 18/38 (American). Pays 2 times your money.
  • Red / 18 numbers / all the numbers with Red color: 1-3-5-7-9-12-14-16-18-19-21-23-25-27-30-32-34-36.
    Probability 18/37 (European or French*) or 18/38 (American). Pays 2 times your money.
  • Black / 18 numbers / all the Black numbers: 2-4-6-8-10-11-13-15-17-20-22-24-26-28-29-31-33-35.
    Probability 18/37 (European or French*) or 18/38 (American). Pays 2 times your money.
  • Odd / 18 numbers / all the Odd numbers: 1-3-5-7-9-11-13-15-17-19-21-23-25-27-29-31-33-35.
    Probability 18/37 (European or French*) or 18/38 (American). Pays 2 times your money.
  • Even numbers / 18 numbers / all the even numbers: 2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20-22-24-26-28-30-32-34-36.
    Probability 18/37 (European or French*) or 18/38 (American). Pays 2 times your money.
*With La Partage or En Prison rule, French roulette offers slightly better odds.

roulette bets
Roulette bets placement