Roulette Odds and the House Advantage
Roulette odds are determined by the house advantage. In most American wheels where there are two zeros present (0, 00), the house has an edge of 5.26% which could very well affect the gambler’s roulette odds. In European wheels however, where the single-zero is standard, the house only has an advantage of 2.7%, still not to the gambler’s roulette odds favor but much better.
When you calculate your roulette odds, you will need to know what the determinants of the house edge are. Let’s take as an example a game played using the American wheel. This means that we have 38 numbers in a wheel, including 0, 00, and 1 through 36. Since the game calls for a gambler to bet on any number, a group of numbers, or a color, we can say that you have 11 possible bets in American roulette.
Calculating Roulette Odds
Calculating your roulette odds does not depend on the outcome of the roulette spins. This means that the outcome of every spin is independent and your roulette odds do not change even if the wheel is spun many times already. Say, you bet on a black number and after ten spins, you get the same color. On the next spin, your roulette odds of getting a red are the same as your roulette odds of getting a black.
When you bet on a single number, your roulette odds are 38 to 1, or in European wheels 37 to 1. So if you make a $1-bet on the number 2, you only have one chance of winning out of 38 spins. You will have to bet 38 times on that same number in order to win one time.
The standard payoff for this kind of bet is 35:1, which means that the dealer will pay you $35 and you can keep the original dollar bet you made. So what really happens is that after 38 spins, you lost $2 dollars to the house when you take out the house advantage of 5.26% from the $38 in total that you wagered. The house edge therefore in a single bet is 5.26%.
There are several types of bet you can make in casino roulette. You can either make an inside or outside bet, single number, or multiple numbers, black, or red. The type of bet you make can affect your roulette odds. In most instances, the single number or the Straight Up bet gets you the roulette odds of 38 to 1. The Split Bet or the two-number means roulette odds of 38 to 2, giving you 2 chances of winning out of 38 spins. Your roulette odds decrease as your numbered bets increase. So if you have three numbers, your roulette odds are 38 to 3, four numbers 38 to 4, five numbers 38 to 5, and six numbers 38 to 6.
The same thing goes if you’re placing an outside bet, only that your chances of winning are significantly greater but the payoff is lower. So if you have a Column bet (12 numbers), your roulette odds are 38 to 12 but with a payoff of only 2:1. With 18 numbers (Black/Red, Even/Odd, or Low/High), you get the roulette odds of 38 to 18.