Roulette is the archetypal casino game, with a James Bond glamor to it that makes it a favorite for anyone gambling, whether at a Las Vegas casino or online. But how do you bet wisely to maximize your odds of winning, and what precisely are those odds? Here we shall examine in detail the different bets you can place in roulette, and your chances of winning with each type.
The simplest is a straight bet (also called a single bet). Here a chip is placed in the middle of a single number and wins if the ball lands on that number. You typically see this bet in the movies, where the protagonist places an inordinate sum of money on a single and either wins or loses a fortune.
A split bet is where a chip is placed on the line between two adjacent squares, either horizontally or vertically. A street is a bet placed on three numbers, with the chip on the edge of the number section to cover three options.
The odds for a straight bet are 37 to 1. A split has odds of 18 to 1 and a street of 11 to 1. Split and street bets are therefore better choices than straight bets.
An important point to remember when playing roulette, or indeed any gambling game, is not to fall for the Gambler’s Fallacy. The Gambler’s Fallacy is the incorrect belief that past results give any guide to future results. No matter how many times in a row the ball may have landed on a particular number or color, this gives no evidence as to what it will land on the next time. A famous example of this occurred in Monte Carlo over a hundred years ago, where the ball fell on a black square 26 times in a row. After about 20 times, gamblers assumed it was “due” to land on red and lost millions betting incorrectly. Remember that roulette is random, and past results do not predict future ones.