The Case for Making Risky Roulette Bets

By in Casino & Gaming on
6 Minute Read
Roulette Table Bets

Roulette offers a large variety of different bets. You can make wagers that pay anywhere from even money (1:1) to ones that deliver 35x your stake (35:1).

This variety gives you an opportunity to control the risk factor and potential payouts. If you want to win big, then you can place riskier wagers that have longer odds.

Assuming you seek more-consistent payouts, you can choose wagers with stronger odds. Most roulette players opt for the latter.

However, you shouldn’t completely discount bets with long odds. I’m going to make the case for why riskier roulette wagers are superior.

What Are the Riskiest Roulette Bets?

Before I began covering the advantages of placing bets with longer odds, I’d like to discuss which wagers are in the risky class.

You can’t get any more daring than betting on a single number to win. If you’re playing European roulette, for example, you only have 36:1 odds of winning this bet. When playing on the American wheel, you stand just 37:1 odds of winning.

Of course, the payoff can make these bets worthwhile. You’re looking at a 35:1 payout in both cases. Here’s an example on how such a win would pad your bankroll:

  • You bet $100 on the number 30 winning.
  • The ball settles into the 30 pocket.
  • 100 x 35 = 3,500
  • You collect a $3,500 payout.

Single number bets aren’t the only ones with long odds and large payouts. Here’s a full list of the riskiest wagers based on the European wheel:

  • Single number – 36:1 odds, 35:1 payout
  • Split – 17.5:1 odds, 17:1 payout
  • Street – 17.5:1 odds, 17:1 payout
  • Corner – 8.25:1 odds, 8:1 payout
  • Six line – 5.17:1 odds, 5:1 payout

Why Players Normally Avoid Long Odds

Most people don’t play roulette to take wild shots at corralling big money. Instead, they like consistent wins and more-favorable odds.

Sure, you can take your chance at a 35:1 and 17:1 payouts with single number and split bets, respectively. But you’re also going to lose these wagers the vast majority of times.

Plenty of other casino games offer volatile play and big payouts. Slot machines, video poker, and keno all feature this combination.

You don’t have to accept such an incredible degree of risk to win money in roulette, though. You could instead place even-money wagers, including high/low, odd/even, and red/black.

These bets feature even money payouts and favorable odds. They offer you 1.06:1 and 1.11:1 odds in European and American roulette, respectively.

As I’ll discuss next, you don’t have to fall in line with the majority of gamblers. But you can at least see the merits of choosing the steadier wagers.

You may still win big if you go on a hot streak with even-money bets. Some players are able to win at a consistent clip and eventually take home serious profits.

Chase Big Roulette Payouts

Again, you can always hope for a hot streak with even-money wagers. But your better chances of winning big in roulette lie with the riskiest propositions.

You may appreciate this game for other reasons beyond reliable bets, like red/black or high/low. Perhaps you enjoy the concept of the wheel determining your fate and still want a chance to net huge wins.

In this case, you don’t want to go with the flow and place bets with the best odds. Instead, you can take your chances with a single number, split, trio, or corner.

You could further enhance your odds of walking out of the casino a big winner by making large bets. As covered in the example below, you’d collect $3,500 by successfully betting $100 on a single pocket.

You’ll probably only pull this feat off once in a while. If you get hot, though, you could walk away with $10,000+ in winnings.

RTP Stays the Same With Risky Bets

Some gamblers worry that there’s a strategy trade-off when picking riskier wagers over safer ones. They may feel like they’re using terrible strategy after losing again and again.

In the long run, though, you’ll see no difference in winnings when placing a split or single number bet versus even-money wagers. The return to player (RTP) doesn’t change when moving from bet to bet in most cases.

The type of roulette you’re playing has the biggest bearing on your long-term odds of winning.

Here are the three main variations along with their RTP:

  • American roulette = 94.74% RTP (5.26% house edge)
  • European roulette = 97.30% (2.70%)
  • French roulette = 98.65% (1.35%)

The only times that specific bets impact RTP include the following instances:

  • 5-number wager in American roulette features a 7.89% house edge (versus 5.26% for everything else).
  • Even-money bets in French roulette offer a 1.35% house edge (versus 2.70% for everything else).

You’re better off placing even-money wagers when playing French roulette. After all, you cut the house edge in half when doing so.

But you won’t notice any difference when changing bet types in the European or American variation. Therefore, you can make wagers with the longest odds and still use perfect strategy.

You just have to worry about higher volatility and inconsistent payouts. Assuming you have a large enough bankroll, though, then you can get past these issues.

Like Slots…But With Higher RTP

Roulette presents an interesting dynamic by allowing you to either chase consistent payouts or big prizes. If you go the latter route, you’re essentially playing slot machines on a wheel.

Slots and roulette actually have similarities in this regard. The roulette wheel and slots reels both spin to determine your prizes.

Roulette becomes quite volatile when you take longer odds. Slot machines are always volatile due to their uneven payout structure.

Again, some people choose roulette because they want no part of slot machines. But you might appreciate the combination of the wheel and highly volatile play.

Furthermore, you’ll enjoy higher payback when going after big payouts. The average online slot offers around 96% RTP (4% house edge). Meanwhile, the common European wheel features 97.3% RTP (2.70% house edge).

Fall Back on Steadier Bets

Once you start placing riskier wagers, it’s not like you can’t change your mind later on. In fact, you have the ability to change bets in every round.

Maybe you’ll begin with long-shots in hopes of collecting big payouts. But as the losses mount, you may opt for a safer strategy.

The following wagers give you the best odds of winning:

  • Column – 2.08:1 odds, 2:1 payout
  • Dozen – 2.08:1 odds, 2:1 payout
  • Odd/even – 1.06 odds: 1:1 payout
  • Red/black – 1.06 odds: 1:1 payout
  • High/low – 1.06 odds: 1:1 payout

These may not be the most-exciting bets due to their limited payout potential. But they do make for a nice fallback plan when you want to start collecting some wins. And you can always go back to your strategy of placing riskier wagers later on.

Are You Sold on Long Roulette Odds?

Maybe you’ve read this and are raring to place a split bet right away. Or, you might still choose the safer even-money and 2:1 wagers.

The great thing about roulette is that it gives you a choice on every spin. Perhaps you’re the type of gambler who finds one class of wagers and never deviates.

However, I suggest switching things up every now and then. You could place even-money wagers throughout most of your session and throw in a risky bet once in a while.

This strategy helps you win back enough funds to sustain your bankroll. But you get the added benefits of taking a shot at bigger money every now and then.

Perhaps you love big gambles and want to make single number, split, and trio bats half the time. You could then place a high/low or odd/even bet, for example, the other half of the time.

This is the great thing about roulette: there are few limitations. You can switch up your strategy and adopt a new attack plan at any point.

Conclusion

Most roulette players will continue ignoring long-shot wagers. After all, they can keep more money flowing back into their bankroll with safe bets.

However, the long shots shouldn’t be completely ruled out. Riskier wagers give you an opportunity to chase bigger payouts while still enjoying high RTP.

When in doubt, you can always mix up strategies. For example, you could place half of your wagers on even-money propositions and the other half on single numbers and splits.

In any case, risky bets aren’t the devil in roulette. They can actually spice up gameplay and give you a chance at serious money.

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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