Roulette is such a simple game there is little strategy you can apply. Basically, there are two types of bet you can do. Bets on the inside and bets on the outside.

Inside bets are

  • Straight Up – Single number, eg, 7. Pays 35/1
  • Split – Two numbers next to each, eg, 1 & 4. Pays 17/1
  • Street – Three numbers on a row, eg, 10,11 & 12. Pays 11/1
  • Corner – Four numbers that are in a square formation, eg, 17,18,20 & 21. Pays 8/1
  • Line – Six numbers that are in a 2*3 rectangle, eg, 25,26,27,28,29 & 30. Pays 5/1

Outside bets are

  • Column – A line of 12 numbers, eg, 3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27,30,33 & 36. Pays 2/1.
  • Dozen – a block of 12 numbers, eg, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 & 12. Pays 2/1.
  • Red/ Black – Self explanatory. Pays even money.
  • High/ Low – Low numbers are 1-18, high numbers are 19-36. Pays even money.
  • Odd/ Even – Self explanatory. Note, zero is neither odd or even for the purposes of this bet. Pays even money.

As you can see, the inside bets pay a lot better than the outside bets. This reflects the chance of a number hitting. Obviously a bet on the number 17 is not going to pay out as much as a bet on red is.

If we ignore the La Partage rule, then the long term expected returns of inside and outside bets are the same. The only thing that is different is the distribution of the wins and losses.

With the inside bets, you can have more variance in your bankroll. You won’t win as often but when you do, it pays better. With the outside bets, you win more often but the payout is smaller.

The graphs below show the effects of starting with a £100,000 bankroll and spinning the wheel a million times, betting £1 a spin. The single number betting strategy produces a jagged downwards trend representing the ups ups and downs in the bankroll. For the even money betting, the trend is a lot smoother.

Graph to show the bankroll growth/ decline by betting on a single number.

Graph to show the bankroll growth/ decline by betting on an even money bet.

The strategy you employ depends on your personality. If you want large ups and downs, then play on the inside. If you want smaller, ups and downs then play on the outside. Its as simple as that.

There are many roulette systems you can use but the same principle applies, inside for large swings and outside for steadier returns.