The Odds of Winning and Losing at Roulette


Roulette is one of the gambling industry’s most popular games. It’s a game of chance that’s wildly popular at online and land-based casinos. The game’s objective is to predict where a ball will land when the wheel comes to a stop. Various bet types can be placed on a single number, groupings of numbers, the color red or black, or whether a number is odd or even. There’s a lot to learn about the game, but there’s also one thing all roulette players need to know: the odds of winning and losing.

The wheel itself is a solid disk slightly convex in shape, with a series of metal partitions or frets around its edge. These compartments, called canoes by croupiers, are painted alternately in red and black. There is a 37th compartment, which is painted green and carries the number 0. In American roulette, there are two additional green divisions marked 00, making the game a worse proposition financially than European roulette.

Roulette wheels have been used in Europe since the 17th century and were first brought to the United States after the French Revolution. The game became a favorite in European gambling dens and casinos and spread from there across the world. It remained more popular in Europe than in the United States until it was banned in the U.S. during the Great Depression due to rampant cheating by gamblers and operators.

A ‘call bet’ is made by placing chips on the roulette table outside of the zero row and the row featuring 1, 2 and 3 and is staked in the same way as a line bet. The payout for this bet is 6 to 1 which makes it the worst paying bet in the game. The odds for this bet are calculated by adding the house edge to the total payout.

A simple search on Google will return millions of systems for playing roulette (and supposedly winning). Many of these are complex, but others are fairly straightforward to understand and use. Ultimately, though, all roulette systems boil down to beating the maths by exploiting imperfections in the wheel and betting system.