Casino Strategy

Roulette: How to Bet Well

Maybe it's just the way the game has been presented in the media (generally in stories involving high rollers with more money than sense) but a lot of people think that you just pick a number and pray it's your lucky day when you play Roulette. There are actually many other ways to play the game. We're going to talk about inside and outside betting and how they work when it comes to the game.

If you're not familiar with "inside" or "outside" betting, they're a way to group numbers together in clusters that increase your odds of winning. Outside numbers are the safest: you pick whether the ball is going to land on red or black or an odd or even number. The payouts on these most basic bets are 1:1, so if you bet $5, you'll get an additional $5 back along with your initial bet, totaling $10. These are basically coinflips, though, and so if you keep playing these bets, you're going to be pretty even overall. There are also column bets, which pay out 2:1 (so you'd get $10 and your initial $5 bet back) across the bottom of the board. These are, again, fairly safe.

Inside bets cover the inside of the board, obviously. The straight-up bet is the famous one we discussed and pays out 35:1. It's nice to play and can reward you well, but we honestly recommend that new players and those with a smaller bankroll avoid it entirely. Split bets are a good option for these types of players as they offer a lot of the excitement but you're covering two numbers. Since the odds are halved, the payout drops accordingly to 17:1.

You place a Street bet when you pick all three numbers that are sitting in the same row. You place this bet by placing your chips on the outside border for a row. These bets pay out 11:1 and you get a little more flexibility on how you cover the board. The brother to this is the corner bet, where you wager on four numbers at the same time by placing your chip where four numbers meet. For instance, you'd place on the junction where 7, 8 and 10, 11 met to cover all four of those numbers. This bet pays out 8:1, a respectable amount. There's also the Line Bet, where you combine two street bets together by placing your chip on the other right boundary where two rows meet. This covers six numbers and pays out 5:1.

Outside bets put the numbers together by their overall similarities: odds or evens, blacks or reds. Inside bets are based on the number's position on the board. Balancing how you bet and learning which ones pay out the most for the smallest outlay and keeping risk in mind? That's how you succeed at Roulette.


This article is intended to help you build your strategy for the free play games found on