What are known as even money outside bets in roulette are close to the fairest wager you can make at a casino, due to the near 50/50 chance of success on the player’s behalf (must be playing European roulette). In this article, odds will be based on European roulette (one green zero), as the American version (poorer player odds with one green zero and one green double zero) should be avoided at all costs.
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Types of outside bets
So what exactly are outside bets? These are bets placed on large groups of numbers, categorised by certain features such as their respective colour on the roulette wheel (red or black), or whether they are odd or even. Easily found, outside bets are positioned on the outer of the roulette table betting layout. Outside bets in roulette are separated in to even money bets, and 2:1 paying wagers, as detailed below:
Even money outside wagers
Even money outside wagers pay out at 1:1 – so you double your money. Place $20 worth of chips on an even money option, win and take back a profit of $20.
Red and Black
The numbers 1-36 on a roulette wheel are divided evenly in to red and black colours, and placing a bet on either red or black means you are predicting the ball will land on a number of that particular colour. Move your chips to the area of the table marked by the words red or black, or where the layout features two block colours. The one zero in European roulette is coloured green, so if the ball lands on zero, this constitutes a loss (*unless you are playing a game which offers the en prison and la partage rules). Odds of winning a Red and Black bet are 18 out of 37 (48.65%), which equates to a house edge of 2.7 per cent, in European roulette. The winning payout is 1:1.
American roulette Red and Black odds: 18 out of 38 (47.37%) and a house edge of 5.26%.
Odd and Even
The roulette wheel consists of 18 odd and 18 even numbers (excluding the zero), and in this outside bet you are placing a wager on the ball landing on either an odd or even number. To place your wager, move your chips to the ‘odd’ or ‘even’ marked box on the table betting layout, which fall on either side of the red or black boxes. If the ball lands on zero, this again constitutes a loss (*unless you are playing a game which offers the en prison and la partage rules). Odds of winning an Evens/Odds bet are 18 out of 37 (48.65%), which equates to a house edge of 2.7 per cent, in European roulette. The winning payout is 1:1.
American roulette Odd/Even odds: 18 out of 38 (47.37%) and a house edge of 5.26%.
1-18 and 19-36 (also known as High and Low wagers)
On a roulette betting table, you will notice two boxes on either ends of the layout labelled ‘1 to 18’ and ’19 to 36’. Placing your chips in either of these boxes means you are betting the roulette ball will come to rest on a number on the wheel which lies within that particular range (including 1 and 18, and including 19 and 36). Once again, zero is not included and if it is spun, it will constitute a loss, unless the en prison and la partage laws are active. Odds of winning an Evens/Odds bet are 18 out of 37 (48.65%), which equates to a house edge of 2.7 per cent, in European roulette. The winning payout is 1:1.
American roulette High/Low odds: 18 out of 38 (47.37%) and a house edge of 5.26%.
*La partage: place an even money wager, and if the ball lands on zero, claim back half your bet and forfeit the other half to the casino. Cuts the house edge in half from 2.7% to 1.35%.
*En prison: place an even money wager, and if the ball lands on zero, your wager is locked in its position (imprisoned) for the very next spin. If the even money wager is successful on that very next spin, recoup your wager (without any winnings). If unsuccessful, the bet is lost. If zero is spun again, the bet may be considered a loss, a win, or be subject to either of the en prison or la partage rules again. Cuts the house edge in half from 2.7% to 1.35%.
The above options are typically offered in French roulette variants, far more common online than offline.
Outside bets paying 2:1
The following outside wagers hold 2:1 payouts because the odds of winning the bets are slightly longer than even money wagers. Place a $20 wager on any of the following options and if successful, claim a profit of $40.
The roulette wheel numbers 1-36 are divided into three separate groups of a dozen numbers in each, and specified on the betting table as ‘1st 12’ (numbers 1 to 12), ‘2nd 12’ (numbers 13 to 24) and 3rd 12’ (numbers 25 to 36). A dozens bet is a wager the ball will land anywhere within that particular dozen (bordering numbers included). Spinning zero will constitute a loss, and the la partage and en prison rules do not apply to this type of wager. Odds of a Dozens wager winning are 12 out of 37 (32.43%) – a house edge remaining at 2.7 per cent, in European roulette. The winning payout is 2:1.
American roulette Dozen odds: 12 out of 38 (31.58%) and a house edge of 5.26%.
Easily distinguished by looking at the roulette betting layout, all numbers (aside from zero) sit in their own column (there are three columns consisting of 12 numbers in each). Placing your chips in the box at the bottom of each column (which reads 2:1) means you are betting on the ball landing on any of the numbers which fall within that column. Like the dozens bet, if the ball lands on zero, this constitutes a loss and la partage and en prison laws do not apply here, either. Odds of a Columns wager winning are 12 out of 37 (32.43%) – a house edge of 2.7 per cent, in European roulette. The winning payout is 2:1.
American roulette Columns odds: 12 out of 38 (31.58%) and a house edge of 5.26%.
Where to play online roulette for real cash
As one of the world most loved casino games, roulette can be found at all leading online casinos. Unfortunately, Australians can no longer gamble at casinos online and will have to stick to roulette at land-based casinos.
For international players, we recommend these reputable online casinos to put your new knowledge of outside bets to the test, and see for yourself the benefits strong odds can bring. These sites offer welcome bonuses for new players along with both European, French and live dealer roulette variations. Remember to steer clear of American roulette.
For a full list of roulette odds refer to our comprehensive roulette odds and house edge page, which also features an in-depth payout table.