Breaking Down the Five Most Popular Roulette Bets

The 5 Most Popular Roulette Bets

When I first started playing roulette, I had a lot of questions, such as:

  • What are the most popular roulette bets?
  • What are the odds of the most popular roulette bets?
  • What is the best bet in roulette?
  • What’s the best online casino for roulette?

If you’re seeking answers to those questions, you’re in luck. I’m going to take you on a journey through the most popular bets you can make when playing roulette. I’ll show you how they work, what they pay, and what your chances of winning are when you place them.

Do note, however, that I won’t be covering roulette betting systems or strategies here. Instead, these are specific bets you can place on just about every variant of online roulette.

Popular Roulette Bet 1: Red or Black

If you’re a new roulette player, this is likely the first bet you will make. It’s the obvious first choice, and I’ve certainly made this bet many times before.

Red or black pays out 1:1. That means if you bet $20, you could win $40, doubling your cash in one spin of the roulette wheel.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have a 50/50 chance of winning. Many new players don’t consider the zero or double zeros, which changes the odds a little.

If you’re playing European roulette, you have a 48.6% chance of winning on a red or black bet. If playing American roulette, the odds drop to 47.4% on account of the extra zero.

Popular Roulette Bet 2: Odds or Evens

As you become more aware of the roulette table and the various bets you can make, the next step you take will likely be to place a bet on odds or evens.

A standard European roulette table has 37 numbers — from 1 to 36 and the zero. In American roulette, you need to take the double zero into account.

Odds or evens bets pay the same as red or black — 1:1. Step up and bet $50, and in the time it takes for the wheel to spin, you could be walking away with $100. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s the potential.

So what are your odds of winning an odds or evens bet? The same as winning red or black — 48.6% if you’re playing European roulette, and 47.4% if you’re playing American roulette.

Think about it — each number is either red or black (apart from the zeros, which are green), so it makes perfect sense that they’d have the same odds and payouts.

Now that you know that both red/black and odd/evens bets have the same odds and payouts, check out this video of me making $25 in a minute using these popular roulette bets.

Popular Roulette Bet 3: Single Numbers/Straight Bets

Sometimes there’s just no time to beat around the bush and build your balance up slowly, right? Maybe you have a few minutes to spare, and you want to have a quick blast to see if you can boost your bankroll quickly for the weekend or because you just want cash for some other reason.

In cases where you aren’t too concerned about minimizing risk, a “straight” or a single number bet is an option. As the name suggests, you pick a number, place your money on it, and play/pray.

Single number bets pay 35:1. Yes, if you bet $10, you can win $350 on a single spin. That’s mind-blowing, but you also have to accept the fact that it’s less likely as a result. That’s the good old risk/reward scenario at play.

What are the odds of winning single number bets in roulette? 2.7% when playing European roulette and a slightly lower 2.6% when playing American roulette. There’s not too much difference there, but it all adds up over the long run.

Popular Roulette Bet 4: Columns

As you become more familiar with the roulette table, you’ll probably notice that the numbers are split into three “columns” of 12.

You can bet on one or more of these columns. If you pick correctly, they pay 2:1. So, using a $10 bet, you would win $30 if you picked the correct column.

The odds of winning a roulette columns bet are 32.4% if you play European roulette and 31.6% if you play American roulette.

Here’s a screenshot showing what a column bet looks like in a game of American roulette. I didn’t win this one and wiped out on the next. C’est la vie!

Popular Roulette Bet 5: Number Combinations

Remember the straight bets we talked about above? Well, there’s no roulette rule saying you can only bet on one number.

Betting on combinations of numbers is another popular roulette bet. You can bet on 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 numbers combos. Obviously, this costs more, but your chances of winning improve with every extra number you pick.

Let’s break these down one by one, shall we?

  • Two Numbers – Your odds of winning here are 5.4% (European roulette) or 5.3% (American roulette). This bet pays 17:1
  • Three Numbers – The odds of winning three number bets are 8.1% (European) and 7.9% (American). The payout is 11:1
  • Four Numbers – The odds here are 10.8% (European) and 10.5% (American). What’s the payout? A tasty 8:1
  • Five Numbers – If you play European roulette, the odds of winning with this bet are 13.5%. If you play American roulette, they’re 13.2%. The potential payout is 6 to 1
  • Six Numbers – With a potential payout of 5:1, the odds of winning this bet are 16.2% (European roulette) and 15.8% (American roulette)

As you can see, the greater your chances of winning, the lower the payouts are. That’s basically how all casino games go — it’s to ensure there’s always a profitable house edge.

What’s the Best Roulette Bet to Make?

It depends on how much you want to risk, how much you want to win, and your risk tolerance, among other things. I prefer to start with red/black or odds/evens bets. After a while, when I’m playing with house money, I switch to bets with higher payouts such as straight bets for maximum payouts.

If you’re a new roulette player, stick to red/black bets until you get a feel for the game. As you venture away from this safe roulette bet, take your time and make sure you fully understand what you’re doing before you risk your hard-earned cash. It’s okay to experiment and learn by doing, but take conservative risks until you fully understand each bet.

Roulette Bets: Final Tips and Tricks

I’ve been playing roulette for years, and I’ve learned a thing or two about it since I began. I wouldn’t say it’s always my first choice when I register at a new casino, but I play it fairly often. Here’s my advice:

  • Start by playing with the no-deposit roulette bonuses at our approved casinos. You can’t lose when it isn’t your money
  • Play the safe outside bets until you build up your bankroll. Only switch to the riskier inside bets when you can use house money
  • Learn the various roulette systems and strategies. Understanding these can help you win money faster in the short term, but be aware that they won’t guarantee success and will ultimately fall short in the long run

Now that you understand the most popular roulette bets, why not try placing some of them for real money at the top online casinos? If you found this article useful, please do consider sharing it with your fellow online gamblers. Good luck!

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.