Understanding Basic Betting in American Roulette

Casino Strategy

Understanding Basic Betting in American Roulette

You've almost definitely seen somebody spreading their chips in a dozen different places at once or "putting it all on 21" at the Roulette table before, and wondered how the heck the game actually worked. Well, Bovada's free-to-play American Roulette game is a great place for you to learn the basics, and what better – and simpler – place to start than the easy-to-understand "outside" betting spots?


Table Options

The outside numbers on a Roulette table include all of the spots that aren't the numbers themselves. There are several different options to play, including red or black, even or odd, first half or second half of the 36 numbers on the board (low or high numbers), first, second or third dozen, or columns. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory. For example, if you bet red and the ball lands on one of the 18 red numbers, you win. If you bet odd and it lands on an odd number, you win. The columns are a bit different only because they're not as obvious. You can bet on the left column with numbers 1-4-7-10-to-34, the middle with 2-5-8-11-to-35, or the right column with 3-6-9-12-to-36.



The outside numbers are also great for Roulette beginners because the payouts are easy to calculate. The groups with two choices, such as red or black, or evens or odds pay 1:1, or even money, which means you win one chip for every chip you bet, and the groups with three choices such as first, second or third dozen, or columns pay 2:1.


Mix and Match

You can place a bet on red, the middle dozen and the odd numbers. Each bet plays on its own, so if the ball lands on red 19, all three wagers pay off. If it lands red 14, you collect on the red and middle dozen bets but lose the odd, and if it lands on black 28, all three of your bets will go to the house. You don't have to bet any more than one spot at a time, but trying a few will help you get used to watching multiple bets at once, which can prepare you for the inside numbers.


Zero Dark Zero

Remember that any outside bet is still susceptible to the green zero and double zero spins. You can bet on green 0 or green 00, though; they pay out at 35:1.



There is almost no true strategy to be found in American Roulette. The wheel doesn't know the last number rolled like you do, nor does it favor certain numbers over others. Just because a red number was rolled three times in a row doesn't mean the ball is destined to land on black on the next spin. (Though over a longer period of time, you’d see action on red versus black, or even versus odd balance out.) Still, that doesn't mean you can't create your own way to enjoy playing Roulette, whether it's betting red every time, alternating between the three dozens or going with your guy on every spin. Make Roulette your own and have fun!