Roulette Odds Demystified: Understanding Probabilities and Payouts

Demystify roulette odds and understand the probabilities and payouts of different bets. Improve your chances of winning with this insightful article.

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Have you ever wondered about the odds and probabilities involved in playing roulette? Understanding the intricacies of this popular casino game can greatly improve your chances of winning. In this article, we will demystify roulette odds, explaining the different types of bets, their respective payouts, and how to calculate probabilities.

The Basics of Roulette

Before we dive into the odds and probabilities, let’s start with the basics of roulette. Roulette is a casino game that involves placing bets on where a ball will land on a spinning wheel. The wheel is divided into numbered pockets, alternating between red and black colors. The two main types of roulette are American and European:

  • American Roulette: This version has 38 pockets, including a 0 and 00, which gives the house an edge.
  • European Roulette: This version has 37 pockets, with only a single 0, resulting in better odds for players.

Now that we have a general understanding of roulette, let’s explore the different types of bets and their associated odds and payouts.

Inside Bets

Inside bets are placed on specific numbers or groups of numbers within the roulette layout. These bets offer higher payouts but have lower odds of winning. Here are the most common inside bets:

  • Straight Bet: Betting on a single number. Payout: 35 to 1. Probability: 2.63% (American) or 2.70% (European).
  • Split Bet: Betting on two adjacent numbers. Payout: 17 to 1. Probability: 5.26% (American) or 5.41% (European).
  • Street Bet: Betting on three numbers in a horizontal line. Payout: 11 to 1. Probability: 7.89% (American) or 8.11%(European).
  • Corner Bet: Betting on four numbers that form a square. Payout: 8 to 1. Probability: 10.53% (American) or 10.81% (European).

These are just a few examples of inside bets. The payouts and probabilities vary depending on the specific bet. It’s important to note that the American version of roulette generally has worse odds compared to the European version.

Outside Bets

Outside bets are placed on larger groups of numbers or characteristics of the roulette wheel. These bets offer lower payouts but have higher odds of winning. Here are the most common outside bets:

  • Red/Black: Betting on the color of the winning number. Payout: 1 to 1. Probability: 47.37% (American) or 48.64% (European).
  • Even/Odd: Betting on whether the winning number will be even or odd. Payout: 1 to 1. Probability: 47.37% (American) or 48.64% (European).
  • Dozens: Betting on one of three groups of twelve numbers each. Payout: 2 to 1. Probability: 31.58% (American) or 32.43% (European).
  • Column Bets: Betting on one of the three columns of twelve numbers. Payout: 2 to 1. Probability: 31.58% (American) or 32.43% (European).

Outside bets are less risky but also offer lower payouts. They are a popular choice for beginners or those looking for more consistent wins.

Calculating Probabilities and Payouts

You may be wondering how to calculate the probabilities and payouts for roulette bets. The formulas for determining probabilities are relatively straightforward:

  • Probability = 1 / Number of Possible Outcomes

For example, to calculate the probability of winning a straight bet in American roulette, we divide 1 by the number of possible outcomes (38). The resulting probability is 2.63%.

To calculate the payout, you can use the formula:

  • Payout = (36 / Number of Winning Outcomes) – 1

For a straight bet in American roulette, there is one winning outcome (the chosen number) out of 38 possible outcomes. Plugging these values into the formula, we get a payout of 35 to 1.

It’s worth noting that the formulas above are simplified and may not apply to every roulette variation. However, they provide a general understanding of how odds and payouts are calculated.


Roulette odds can be complex, but understanding them is crucial for any roulette player. By knowing the different types of bets, their respective odds and payouts, and how to calculate probabilities, you can make more informed decisions and increase your chances of winning. Remember to always gamble responsibly and have fun!

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