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Outside Bets in Roulette Explained

Round Head IconUpdated November 14, 2023 - CasinoBloke

Fans of the roulette wheel have been hard at work trying to crack it for as long as we can remember. However, roulette’s elegant design makes it impossible to get an advantage over the casino while keeping things simple. Things like Romanosky’s roulette strategy have been around for ages, but offer limited success rates. When it comes to roulette, the best approach is just as straightforward as the game itself.

Most roulette bets can be split into two categories. There are riskier inside bets, which bet on a smaller set of numbers. Then you have outside bets, which cover more numbers for a lower-risk, lower-reward payout. Playing these can give you almost even-odds, which is why they are so popular with punters. In this article, your CasinoBloke pals will break down all available outside bets and some betting systems that use them.

Red or Black Bets

Placing a bet on one of these two options means you are expecting the ball to land in either a black or red pocket. Assuming you are playing European roulette, that gives you a table coverage of 48.6%. Due to the presence of two zeroes, the table coverage drops to 47.4% in American roulette.

Red or Black bets are usually placed directly under the 2nd 12 box. The betting field can be represented by a square matching that colour, or with letters that spell Red and Black. The drawn number for this betting combination does not matter; only the colour of the pocket does. Winning this bet pays 1:1, or even money.

Odd or Even Bets

This wager asks you to predict whether the number two can divide the drawn number. If the number is divisible by two, it will be Even. If it cannot be divided by two, it is Odd. Odd or Even betting fields are positioned on either side of the Red or Black betting boxes. There are 18 odd and 18 even numbers.

Similar to Red or Black bets, the number zero does not count for either option. This gives them the same 48.6% table coverage for European Roulette or 47.4% in American Roulette. The payout for winning this stake is 1:1.

High or Low Bets

All numbers except for zero can be separated into two categories: low and high! Low numbers are numbers ranging from 1-18, while high numbers cover 19-36. This is why the High or Low bets are sometimes referred to as 1-18 or 19-36 bets. In European roulette, they offer 48.6% table coverage. If you play the American version, the table coverage is lowered to 47.4%. The reward for winning these wagers is a 1:1 cash prize.

Column Bets

Not counting zeroes, there are 36 numbers on the betting board. These numbers can be separated into three separate columns. A column bet allows players to cover an entire vertical line with a single chip, simultaneously betting on 12 numbers. This bet is placed on the small three boxes at the rightmost corner of the betting field.

Unlike the previous three bets, Column wagers cover 12 numbers instead of 18. They also do not contain the number zero, and lose if it comes up. Because of that, column bets have a table coverage of 32.4% in European and 31.6% in American roulette. The game makes up for this by offering you an increased 2:1 payout.

Dozen Bets

In a similar fashion, Dozen bets cover twelve numbers. This time, you bet on a set of twelve numbers as they appear on the betting field. The first twelve numbers are covered by the 1st 12 box. The second set, numbering from 13 to 24, is covered by the 2nd 12 box. Finally, numbers from 25 to 36 form the third dozen, and are covered by the 3rd 12 box.

Once again, zeroes are left out from this outside bet. This gives them the same table coverage as column bets: 32.4% for European and 31.6% for American roulette. The payout is also identical, worth 2:1 if won.

French Roulette Specifics

As we mentioned in our article comparing different roulette versions, French roulette has two rules that are awesome for players. They are En Prison and La Partage. Both of these rules affect what happens when you draw a zero on an even-money bet. That means both cannot be active at the same time! It also means these rules only apply to Red or Black, Odd or Even and High or Low bets.

With En Prison, your bet remains on the table if a zero is drawn on an even-money bet. As the name implies, the wager is essentially imprisoned. On the next wheel spin, winning with your original even-money bet will return your initial wager with no extra winnings. However, if you lose on that second spin, you lose your money as you usually would.

Meanwhile, La Partage does not give you an option to recover your bet. Instead, it returns half of your initial wager should the number zero be drawn. Better than a total loss, though we prefer En Prison more. In both cases, having this rule active decreases the casino’s house edge. If you ever wondered why these two rules are so hard to find in online roulette, that is the answer!

Roulette Betting Systems

Unlike baccarat and blackjack, many roulette-betting strategies do not have a set way to play. Instead, they mix with existing betting systems such as Paroli and Martingale, applying their principals to the roulette wheel. These systems do not produce a long-term advantage. They offer a slight short-term gain, but do nothing to lower the house edge. All of them use even-money bets as an integral part of their wagers.

The Martingale

Martingale’s roulette system is the most basic thing out there. You place an even money bet, and keep playing until you lose. At that point, you double your bet and try again. If you win after that first loss, the doubled bet will make sure you get your money back. If you lose again, you just double your wager again. That way, your next win will always make up for all the losses beforehand.

Obviously, this system has its flaws. Trying to double bets during a losing streak means you will quickly run out of funds or hit the table limit. The only reason Martingale is on the list is because of how amazing it feels to pull off a comeback. That said, given you are betting a lot of money for an even money payout, it is not our favourite.

Paroli’s Betting System

Personally, we prefer a positive progression betting system like Paroli. Here, you play a set of bets. For our example, we will have one set be three bets total. You start with $10, and double it. Now, you are betting $20 to win $20 more. If you win for a third time, you are up $40. Since we reached the end of the set, we reset the initial bet back to $10 and start again.

This system does not chase after losses, meaning your bet never goes crazy. You can also adjust how many rounds you want to play in a single set. We usually go for three or four, as anything more is too risky. Losing at any point means you reset to the beginning of the set. Paroli is a lot of fun, provided you get frequent winning streaks.

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