6-Step Guide to Winning at Roulette

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6 Minute Read

Have you ever thought about exactly how the odds work in roulette? When you don’t know how roulette odds work, you’re not giving yourself the best chance to win.

Fortunately, you can learn how roulette odds work and how to use them in just a few minutes.

Everything you do when you play roulette uses odds. The odds tell you what the best bet options are and what you need to stop doing. The odds also show you why using roulette gambling systems is a costly mistake that you can’t afford to make.

This article includes everything you need to know about roulette odds and an explanation of the best roulette strategy.

1 – Roulette Odds

Everything at the roulette table starts with the odds. If you’re reading this article, you’re likely not too knowledgeable about roulette odds just yet. So, here’s a quick overview to help you.

The odds of any outcome on the roulette table are based on how many numbers are on the wheel and table and how many numbers win the bet.

If you’re betting on even numbers, there are 18 numbers that win the wager. You can compare this number to the total numbers on the wheel and table. If the wheel has 38 numbers, the odds of winning a bet on even numbers are 18 out of 38.

This also means that there are 20 numbers on the wheel where you lose the wager.

If you bet on the number 17, there’s exactly one number on the table that wins. And that also means there are 37 numbers on this table that lose.

This is all there is to the odds when you play real money roulette. These numbers are useful because you can use them to understand how much each wager pays. A bet on even numbers has odds of 20 to 18, and pays 1 to 1. This shows you that in the long run, you lose money on this wager because the odds are worse than the payout.

Every wager on the roulette table has odds that aren’t quite as good as the payout.

2 – American Roulette Odds

Now that you know how the odds work at the roulette table, it’s time to look at the most common roulette odds offered in casino across different roulette types. The most common roulette table has 38 spaces or numbers. Each of the numbers from 1 to 36 has a spot as well as a spot for 0 and 00.

This is the table that I used in the examples in the previous section. An interesting fact about roulette is that every possible wager except one has the same return to player percentage. The exception to this rule is called a “basket wager” on an American Roulette wheel.

To show how every bet has the same return, let’s continue with the two examples from the last section.


You win 18 times and lose 20 times on a wager on even numbers. You get paid 1 to 1 when you win. If you made a $100 wager 38 times, that costs you $3,800. On those 18 wins, you get $200, which includes your wager and your win, for a total of $3,600. $3,600 divided by $3,800 gives you a return of 94.74%.

Let’s say that you win once and lose 37 times on a wager on 17 and get paid 35 to 1 when you win. You bet $100 38 times for a total of $3,800, win once, and win $3,600 back, producing the same return of 94.74%.

You can run the numbers this way for every bet at the table, and they all show the same return except the basket bet. This type of bet has a worse return.

3 – European Roulette Odds

A European Roulette table only has 37 spaces, but it offers the same payouts. This means that you have slightly better odds of winning, and the return is going to be higher. Here are the same examples I used in the last section to show you how much better the return is for European Roulette.

You win 18 times and lose 19 times when you bet on even numbers, and you get paid the same 1 to 1. You bet $100 37 times for a total cost of $3,700. You get $200 back each time you win for a total of $3,600. $3,600 divided by $3,700 shows a return of 97.297%.

You win once out of 37 times when you bet on 17. The same 37 $100 wagers is a cost of $3,700. When you win, you get $3,600 back, which is a return of 97.297%.

If you bet on a column, you win on 12 numbers and lose on 25 numbers. The payout is 2 to 1. The same 37 $100 wagers is a total cost of $3,700. You get $300 back on each of the 12 wins for a total of $3,600, producing the same return.

This is why playing at a European Roulette table is better than playing at an American Roulette table.

4 – French Roulette Odds

A few roulette tables use a rule called “en prison,” which offer a few wagers that provide a better return than European Roulette. When you make a bet on even with the en prison rule in French Roulette, you get your original bet back if the ball lands in the zero pocket then lands on your original bet. If you lose, it’s forfeited.

For example, let’s say that you bet $20 on an even number, and the ball lands on zero. Your bet is considered to be “in prison.” If the next result is an even number, you get your original bet of $20 back.

If you’re playing roulette, these are rules you should consider seeking out. These wagers offer a higher return than any other roulette wagers available.

5 – Systems and Roulette

If you’re looking for a way to win when you play roulette, you’ve probably run across some gambling or betting systems you can use. The most common roulette system is called the Martingale system, and it can be used with several different gambling games.

Some roulette betting systems look like they work for a short time. But they all end up in disaster eventually. In short, you can’t use a system to win when you play roulette in the long run.


You can do what I did and test as many roulette systems as you can find to prove this, or you can rely on the odds that you learned about in this article. The odds say that nothing you do is going to change your long-term results.

The only thing that most systems end up doing is get you to risk more money in certain situations. This in no way helps you win. It just makes your losses larger because you’re risking more money with the same return percentages.

If you want to test a roulette betting system, only use free play tables. And no matter how well you do in the short run, never switch to real money play using a system you barely understand.

6 – Does Roulette Strategy Exist?

So, you know everything about roulette strategy that you need to know. You know that the wagers that offer the highest return are the ones that pay 1 to 1 or offer special rules. You also know that any other strategy that you can use will likely create a smaller return.

And you’re aware that, in the end, all roulette gambling systems blow up and wipe out your bankroll.

No roulette strategy exists that you should use beyond finding a table with “en prison” and only making wagers that pay 1 to 1.

Because all wagers still have a casino edge, you should risk the smallest wager amount that you’re allowed to make.

If you bet $200 per spin, you’re losing an average of $2.70 on every spin.

If you bet $100 per spin, you’re losing an average of $1.35 on every spin.

If you bet $10 per spin, you’re losing an average of 13.5 cents on every spin.


Everything that happens when you play roulette is based on the odds. The first thing you need to understand is how roulette odds work. The next step is using your knowledge of roulette odds to place the wagers that give you the highest rate of return.

The good news is that now you know how to get the best odds at the roulette table, and it’s easy to understand. The bad news is that this is all you can really do to improve your gameplay.

Systems don’t work when you play roulette, and there’s no strategy that improves your results beyond playing with the best odds.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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