In roulette, there is a wide variety of bets that pay out at different odds. Players can do anything from betting a single number for a 35-to-1
payout to betting red vs. black for even money. The nice thing about roulette is that all of these bets have similar odds.
How Odds Work in Roulette
Payout odds in roulette are determined by calculating what the true odds
would be if there were no zeroes on the wheel. For example, there are 36 numbers, so picking one number would pay off at 35-to-1, since there are 35 ways to miss and one way to hit.
Of course, because of the zero and double zero, there are actually 37 ways to miss, which is where the casino gets its edge. Similarly, four numbers pays 8-to-1, because there are 32 numbers that miss and four that hit and 32-to-4 is 8-to-1. With red/black or odd/even, your chances are 50-50 not counting the zeroes, so these bets pay at even money.
House Edge in Roulette
Those extra misses represented by the two zero spaces translate into a House edge of 5.26 percent for any bet on the wheel, with the exception of
the five number “basket bet” (0,00,1,2,3) which has a 7.89 percent House edge and should be avoided. However, the European wheels
have only a single zero. This tilts the odds considerably, cutting the House edge roughly in half, for a 2.7 percent edge on any bet. If you play an even money bet and are offered La Partage or En Prison rules in which you only lose half your bet if a zero comes, your edge is further reduced, to about 1.4 percent.
More on Roulette Odds
It should be clear that you should always look for single zero roulette. If you choose to play online roulette, you should have no problem finding such a wheel. Just look for European roulette or single zero roulette in the games menu and select that game to play. Most online casino offer American roulette but there is no reason why anyone should play this variation of the game.