Have you ever calculated your odds of winning a roulette bet? Roulette is an easy luck-based game that surprisingly involves lots of math. So, to improve their winning chances, players must clearly understand roulette odds.
This quick read will give you all the details about roulette odds and how to calculate them like a math professor. Remember, no amount of strategy at hand can beat the roulette house edge.
The American and European wheels are the most common real-money roulette games. The latter is the most popular because it has a single zero (0) pocket, giving it a 2.70% house edge. On the other hand, the American wheel has a double zero (00) pocket, hence the massive 5.26% house edge. But winnings can be mouthwatering in this game.
It’s also vital to note that some online casinos offer French Roulette. This is the earliest form of the game and uses the same concept as the European version. However, it has unique rules and more betting opportunities, reducing the house edge to 1.35%. But the overall objective remains the same – predict where the roulette ball will land.
Fortunately, calculating roulette odds is as simple as counting 1-2-3. In a nutshell, it’s about knowing your probability or likelihood of winning a wager.
Here is the formula for calculating roulette winning odds:
Odds of winning = Number of winning ways / Number of ways to lose
For example, in a Straight Up betting, you only have one way to win and 36 ways to lose. On the other hand, a split bet has two ways to win and 35 ways to lose. So, you’ll have 1/36 and 2/37 odds of winning in these respective roulette bets.
It’s also important to calculate the odds against success to know the probability of an event not happening. Here, you’ll use the following formula:
Odds against winning = Number of ways to lose / Number of ways to win
If you go with the Straight Up bet, for example, your odds against success will be 36/1.
These numbers discussed above will then lead you to calculate the house edge. But remember that the house odds are usually set at 35/1 on any wheel you’re playing on.
Below is the formula:
House Advantage = (Odds Against Success – House Odds) x Winning Probability x 100
For example, on the single-zero roulette wheel, the mathematical advantage to the house will be: (36/1 – 35/1) x 1/37 x 100 = 2.70%. Using the same formula on the double-zero wheel, you’ll arrive at a 5.26% house advantage.
Most roulette players choose the game with a low house advantage, increasing their winning odds. While this is partially true, it’s important to remember that you’ll still lose the house in the long run. Even a game with a 0.10% house edge guarantees more losing sessions than winning ones. So, what’s in it for the player?
If you’re not overly concerned about winning (which you should), use the house edge to calculate the amount of bankroll you’ll need to play. Intelligent roulette players always plan their finances by tracking their average losses.
So, use this formula to calculate your losses:
Expected loss = Number of rounds per hour x Average bet per round x House Edge x Number of Hours
Here is a practical example; you play 100 rounds per hour, each costing you $5. Assuming that you’re playing on the European wheel for 2 hours, that will give you an expected loss of $27. This rate increases to 52.6% on the American wheel. So, use this to plan your success at the online casino.
First and foremost, roulette is a luck-based game, meaning there are no proven strategies to reduce losses in online roulette. In fact, more play only leads to more losses, thanks to the ‘wicked’ house edge. Therefore, create a roulette betting bankroll. Experts recommend a bankroll 1,000x bigger than your average bet. Also, never stake more than 5% of your total bankroll on a single bet.
It’s also a good idea to bet high and die in roulette. As said before, the losing sessions will keep piling up with more rounds. So, consider staking high and leave as soon as you recoup your capital with a profit on top. Sticking around the table will only tempt you into making more bets that will end in losses most of the time.
Lastly, be a slow player. Roulette can be fun and exciting to play. This is the perfect catalyst for placing more bets per hour for beginners. But speed kills in roulette, so you should look for full tables. Some live roulette games also have longer durations between rounds. Take your time!
Mathematical knowledge is necessary to get the best out of the roulette wheel. But one thing is sure; roulette and other luck-based games will only drain your budget much faster than skill-based games like poker and blackjack. So, play the game for fun and drop any winning expectations. Just treat those wins as a bonus.