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The bets of roulette

28 May 2019

By Frank Scoblete
Last week I discussed the two basic roulette games found throughout the world, the American double-zero game (0, 00) and the European single-zero game (0). The overall house edge for almost every bet at the American game is 5.26%, and it is 2.7% at the European wheel.

Like craps, roulette has a host of bets that can be made. If the edges change from the above, I will alert you to that.

Inside bets
The Straight Up Bet (French: En Plein): You bet one or more individual numbers. If your number hits, you are paid 35-to-1, meaning $35 for every $1 wagered. If you bet other numbers as well, these would be losers.

Split Bet (French: A Cheval): You place your wager on the line between two numbers and if either of these numbers comes up you are paid 17 to 1.

The Street Bet, also called Three Number Bet, Side Bet or Trio (French: Transversale): You are betting that any one of three numbers hits. You place your chips on the outside border of the three numbers. If you win, you are paid off at 11 to 1.

The Corner, or Square or Four-Number Bet (French: Carre): You are betting that one of four numbers will hit on the next spin. This wager can only be accepted on those numbers that form a square. You place your bet on the intersection where all four numbers meet. A winning bet pays 8 to 1.

The Five-Number Bet (French: Les Monster-o-so-awful!): OK, OK, there is no French word for this bet, since it can only be made on the American Double-Zero Wheel. You are betting that one of the top five numbers 0, 00, 1, 2, 3 will hit on the next spin. You place your bet where the line between the 0 and the 3 meets the border of the layout. The bet pays off at 6 to 1. The house edge on the Double-Zero Wheel is 7.89% and on the Single-Zero Wheel it is time for a coffee break, monsieur.

The Line Bet, or Six-Number Bet or Sixline Bet (French: Sixain): The bet is placed on the outside borders of the six numbers you wish to bet. It is placed on the line that separates the two sets of numbers. This bet pays off at 5 to 1.

Outside bets
The Column Bet (French: Colonne): This is a single bet that one number within one of the three columns will hit. You place this bet at the bottom of the column you wish to wager on. The 0 and 00 are not considered part of any column. The bet pays off at 2 to 1.

The Dozens Bet (French: Douzaine): You are betting that within a dozen consecutive numbers on the layout, your number will hit. Mind you, this does not mean a dozen consecutive numbers on the wheel; just those on the layout. You make the bet in the area that says First Dozen or Second Dozen or Third Dozen. You are paid at 2 to 1.

The Odd and Even Bets (French: Impair et Pair): There are 18 odd numbers and 18 even numbers. On the Double-Zero Wheel there are 18 ways to win and 20 ways to lose, while on the Single-Zero Wheel there are 18 ways to win and 19 ways to lose. The 0 and 00 are two numbers against you, giving the house its edge. The bet pays off at 1 to 1.

High or Low Bets (French: Passe et Manque): This bet is placed in the boxes marked either 1 to 18 or 19 to 36. You are betting whether the high numbers or the low numbers will hit. There are 18 ways to win and 20 ways to lose on the Double-Zero Wheel; while there are 18 ways to win and 19 ways to lose on the Single-Zero Wheel.

Red or Black Bets (French: Rouge et Noir): This is an even-money bet (1 to 1) with the same odds of winning as the High or Low bets. This bet is placed on the area of the table that shows…all right, seriously, where would the bet be placed? On the head of the person sitting next to you? Or on the layout that shows Red or Black? I vote for Red or Black.

Two helpful additions to the game
Some casinos will return half your bet if the 0 or 00 hits. This is called “Surrender.” This option reduces the house edge in the Double-Zero game to 2.63%, not so great, but still twice as good as the 5.26% on all the other bets. Many casinos that have this option do not advertise it, so always ask the casino dealer if this option holds true for their game.

The Single-Zero Wheel as played in Europe has a variation of the Surrender option called en prison. When the zero hits, all the bets on the Even-Odd, High-Low, and Red-Black are imprisoned. They are not lost but they cannot be won. The next spin of the wheel after the bet is put in prison either liberates the bet for the player to take back or it loses the bet (which means the casino takes the bet). The en prison rule lowers the house edge on the Single-Zero wheel to 1.35% and that is a good bet and the best one you’ll probably ever find at a roulette table.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Visit Frank’s website at

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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