The Odd Bet in Roulette

Roulette School

The odd bet in roulette is a type of an outside bet that offers a payout of even-money. The odd bet is considered to be one of the best bets you can make in roulette and this article will explain the mathematics behind the odd bet and its benefits to the player.

What is the Odd Bet?

One of the key benefits of roulette is that it offers you an extensive selection of bets. The bets offered have different odds, probability and payouts so every type of player; from the most conservative gambler to the wildest thrill seeking gambler, can find a type of roulette bet that caters to their gambling needs.

On both the European and American roulette wheel there are a total of 36 numbered slots from 1 to 36. In addition in European roulette there is also a numbered slot for the number zero and in American roulette there are also numbered slots for zero and double zero.

The 36 numbers in use are split into even number and odd numbers. Players are able to make a wager on whether the roulette ball will land on an even number or an odd number. Zero and double zero do not count as either even or odd.

Why the Odd Bet is considered an Outside Bet?

All the bets offered in roulette are split into two main categories; inside bets and outside bets. Inside bets are bets that are made on a single number or a small group of numbers. They offer a low probability of occurring but offer enticingly high payouts that reflect the low probability.

Outside bets are bets that are made on large groups of numbers and offer a high probability of occurring. The high probability is reflected in the low payouts that are offered for outside bets.

The odd bet is considered an outside bet because it is a single bet that covers almost half the numbers on the roulette wheel and as such has a high probability of occurring.

The “En Prison” Rule

In French roulette and some European roulette games the rule of “En Prison” is in use. This rule directly affects the odd bet because the rule states that if a player makes an even-money bet such as the odd bet and the roulette ball lands on zero, the player can imprison their bet to the table and leave it there for the next round of play.

When this rule is in use it lowers the house edge for even-money bets as it allows the player to play two rounds for the price of one thus making the odd bet even more worthwhile for the player.

The Probability

Let us imagine that the roulette wheel had only 36 numbers and did not have the zero and double zero slots. In this case half the numbers on the wheel would have counted as odd numbers and the probability of winning the odd bet would have been 18/36 = 0.5 so the probability of winning the odd bet would have been 50%.

However since the European roulette wheel has also the number zero then the probability of winning the odd bet is calculated as 18/37 = 48.64%. This makes the odds of winning an odd bet be 1.01-to-1. The casino offers an even-money payout of 1-to-1 so the casino has a small advantage over the player.

In American roulette there are the numbers zero and double zero so the probability of winning the odd bet is calculated as 18/38 = 47.36%. This makes the odds of winning an odd bet be 1.11-to-1. The payout offered is 1-to-1 so the casino has a small advantage over the player that is greater than the advantage the casino has in European Roulette

In Conclusion

The odd bet is a good bet to make when playing both European and American roulette games but the player has a slightly better chance of winning the odd bet when playing European roulette.

Sticking to making outside bets is in general the right way of playing roulette as it is a relatively low risk bet that offers a reasonable return for its level of risk.

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