Outside Bets in Roulette

Roulette is played with a spinning ball that has an equal chance of landing in any one of the 37 pockets on a European wheel. The house edge is a reasonable 2.7% and players may wager on individual numbers (the inside bets), or on designated large groups of numbers depicted on the outside of the betting layout.

If you are lucky enough to be playing on a French or European wheel where La Partage (the split) or En Prison (in prison) is available, the house edge drops to just 1.35% on outside bets made on even-money wagers. That’s very close to the same great odds found at craps and baccarat.

Unfortunately, La Partage and En Prison are not offered on American roulette wheels that have a total of 38 pockets with a 0 and a 00. This game has a house edge of 5.26% and is still very popular, but should be avoided when a single-zero roulette wheel is available.

Outside Wagers

The outside section of the betting layout is designed to allow players to win much more often than the inside section, where the odds of a single number (European single zero wheel) hitting are once in 37 spins. Outside wagers pay just even-money or 2 to 1.

Even Money Bets

Description Pays Numbers
Red number 1 to 1 1-3-5-7-9-12-14-16-18-19-21-23-25-27-30-32-34-36
Black number 1 to 1 2-4-6-8-10-11-13-15-17-20-22-24-26-28-29-31-33-35
Odd number 1 to 1
Even number 1 to 1
First 18 1 to 1 1 through 18
Second 18 1 to 1 19 through 36

2 to 1 Bets

Description Pays Numbers
1st Column 2 to 1 1 – 4 – 7 – 10 – 13 – 16 – 19 – 22 – 25 – 28 – 31 – 34
2nd Column 2 to 1 2 – 5 – 8 – 11 – 14 – 17 – 20 – 23 – 26 – 29 – 32 – 35
3rd Column 2 to 1 3 – 6 – 9 – 12 – 15 – 18 – 21 – 24 – 27 – 30 – 33 – 36
1st Dozen 2 to 1 1 through 12
2nd Dozen 2 to 1 13 through 24
3rd Dozen 2 to 1 25 through 36

The Martingale System

A number of wagering systems are used by outside bettors. The Martingale is the most popular, and is played only on Odd/Even, Red/Black, and First 18/Second 18 wagers to take advantage of En Prison and La Partage rules. The odds of being successful with Martingale, wagering with these rules, is significantly higher than with an American wheel.

The Column King System

The Column King wagering system is used on either the dozen’s bet or the standard 1st, 2nd and 3rd columns. In addition, some players are fond of playing a double-column system. This is designed to cover 24 of the possible 37 numbers on the wheel and can provide many hours of enjoyment with continuous winning bets due to the high coverage of numbers.

To play the double column, choose a table-stake from your bankroll such as $200 – try to have 40 or 50 units to play with. Depending on the table minimum, you will choose two columns and place a minimum wager (one unit) on them both, leaving just a single column uncovered, as well as the zero. Since you have two bets out and the columns pay 2 to 1, each time you win you will be +1 unit.

Each time your column wins, you remove your wager from that column and place a minimum wager on the remaining column you don’t have a wager on. Each time a column bet loses, you increase your bet on that particular column by one unit. If the number spun is zero, you must increase the bet on both losing columns, but ignore the third column that you did not have a wager on.

This is a fun system that often returns quick results. Unfortunately, because you are making multiple-increasing wagers, your table stake will sometimes be wiped-out quickly. Make sure you keep track of all wagers accurately! When to quit this system? Most players try to make a profit and quit after a 50% gain, or if they lose their table stake. Make your own decision in advance of play and you’ll feel comfortable when you get to your planned result.