Let’s bust this myth once and for all: There really is no such thing as “the best” numbers in roulette. Like many other casino games, winning at roulette is totally random. But using strategies to pick roulette numbers can help you better manage your bankroll, increase your odds of winning, and make the game that much more fun and interesting.
The best roulette numbers are based on your experience level, play style, and bankroll.
Roulette numbers for risk-averse players include even-money bets, while risk-loving players may have more fun playing straight-up bets.
The most effective roulette betting strategies involve a combination of safe and risky bets using neighbor bets.
Here are six strategies for picking the best roulette numbers based on your play style:
1. Play It Safe(r) With Even-Money Bets
If taking big risks isn’t fun for you, then the best type of roulette bet to play is an even-money bet. Even-money means you have roughly a 50/50 chance of winning. You stand to double the amount of money you bet if you hit, or you lose that whole stack if you don’t hit.
Some examples of even-money bets include:
Black or red
Even or odd
1-18 or 19-36
These bets are considered more safe because the odds of winning are 48.6% in European roulette and 47.4% in American roulette. (It’s those zeroes that give you a slight disadvantage.) But these bets keep the number-picking simple, which is great for beginner roulette players or those who want to make their bankroll last. You’re not going to win big or lose big (unless you’re wagering a lot), but you could end up walking away a little better off than when you started.
2. Go Big(ger) With Straight-Up Bets
Now, if you’re a bit of a risk-taker or have only a little time to kill at the roulette table, then consider going for straight-up bets. Straight-up bets involve betting on single numbers.
Where even-money bets have you wagering that the ball will land on one of 18 numbers that share a characteristic (color or number type), straight-up bets have you wagering that one number out of 36 will hit. The winning payout is 35:1, and your odds of winning are 2.7% in European roulette and 2.6% in American roulette.
Straight-up bets rely on you to pick a single number that you think is going to hit, which may be intimidating for new roulette players. Other players may prefer to place bets on single numbers they find to be lucky. More on the nitty gritty of picking “winning” roulette numbers later on.
You can, of course, bet on multiple single numbers at a time, with a 35:1 payout for each wager. But straight-up bets drain your bankroll a lot faster because your odds of winning are a lot lower. On average, you would win every 36th spin on a regular luck night. On a really lucky night, though, you could hit a few big wins.
3. Go With Your Lucky Numbers
There are no best numbers to play in roulette because there are many factors that could make a number the best for you.
The first factor is whether you consider a certain number to be lucky. Similar to how we might pick lottery numbers, you can pick roulette numbers that have some significance to you, like your birthday, a loved one’s birthday, an anniversary, or even your favorite pro athlete’s jersey number. Or, you could go with one of the most common numbers played in roulette, like 17 or 34.
4. Bet on “Hot” or “Cold” Numbers
Another factor that influences what makes the “best”roulette numbers is where you’re playing. A good number at one table may be a bad number at another. Hang around the wheel for a few spins and chat with other players to gauge whether there are any “hot” or “cold” numbers.
“Hot” numbers in roulette are those that seem to be hitting consistently on a specific wheel. Some people will keep betting on these single numbers because they seem lucky (until they’re not). On the other hand, “cold” numbers in roulette are those that haven’t hit in a while and people believe are bound to hit soon. People will play these numbers repeatedly, too, waiting for them to hit because they have to.
But roulette is completely random — whether you’re playing at a land-based casino with a real-life wheel or online with a computerized one. Just because a number lands once, twice, or 40 times doesn’t mean it’s actually more likely to hit. The same goes for numbers that haven’t hit in 30, 40, or 100 spins. But this strategy helps players pick roulette numbers and gives them a sense of control over the random (but fun) chaos of the game.
5. Use Strategic Neighbor Bets
If you’re somewhere in between risk-averse and risk-loving, you could play some simple strategic neighbor bets. Instead of placing your chip in the center of a pocket (aka the square with the number or other proposition), you can place chips at the intersections of number combinations. This means you’re wagering that the ball will land on one of your numbers within that combination.
Some simple bet combinations include:
Split Bet: This is a bet on two numbers that are right next to each other on the layout. You place your chip on the line in between each pocket. You can choose two numbers that are horizontally linked (side-by-side, like 25 and 26) or vertically linked (one above the other, like 25 and 28). The payout for a split bet is 17:1.
Corner Bet: This is a bet on four numbers that form a square on the layout. You place your chip at the intersection where the four pockets’ corners meet. An example of a corner bet is 7, 8, 10, and 11. The payout for a corner bet is 8:1.
Street Bet: This is a bet placed on the outside edge of a horizontal row of three numbers. For example, you could place a street bet for 1, 2, and 3 by placing your chip on the left-hand edge of number 1.
Trio Bet: This is a bet of three numbers, specifically between 0, 00, 1, 2, and 3. You have a few different options, depending on which type of roulette you’re playing. If you’re playing European/French roulette, there’s only the one 0 — no 00 — so you could make a trio bet on 0, 1, and 2 or 0, 2, and 3. For American roulette where there are both a 0 and a 00, you could bet on 0, 1, and 2 or 00, 2, and 3. Your payout would be 11:1 either way.
Column Bet: This is a bet where you wager that any number in a single column of 12 numbers will hit. There is a pocket for each of the three columns at the bottom of the layout where you can place your chip. If you choose the first column, for example, you could have a 2:1 payout if the ball lands on any of the following: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, or 34. Note that a column bet does not include 0 or 00.
There are other simple bet combos you can try, like five- and six-number combos. But this list provides you a mix of safer bets and more lucrative bets to make it easier to pick multiple roulette numbers at once.
Neighbor bets are a great way to pick multiple numbers at once and improve your odds of winning. They also help you take advantage of the luck you may feel playing hot or cold numbers. For instance, if the numbers around a cold number keep hitting, you could play a corner or street bet on the combo that includes the cold number and the hot numbers surrounding it to get the best of both worlds.
6. Combine Bet Types
You also don’t have to choose one betting strategy over another. In fact, you could even maximize your winnings by playing a little risky and a little safe. You can wager more on a safe even-money bet and wager less on a single straight-up bet all for one spin.
For example, you could wager $100 on even and $20 on the number 25. This gives you a chance to win $200 if the ball lands on any of the 18 even numbers or $720 if the ball lands on 25. This gives you the chance to win on any even number and a single odd number. You could also wager $100 on even and $20 on the number 24, which stakes both parts of your wager on even. Hitting 24 could pay out $920 total because you got the even proposition bet and the straight-up bet.
By wagering more on the bet with better odds of winning, you’re protecting your bankroll from draining too quickly. Putting a little bit on more risky bets gives you a chance to win big.
Best Roulette Numbers for Different Play Styles*
Even-money bets, like black or red
Five- or six-number neighbor bet for hot/cold numbers
Combination even-money bet with straight-up bet outside the even-money category (even + 21)
Trio or street bet
Combination even-money bet with straight-up bet within the even-money category (even + 22)
* Based on odds to win and payout potential.
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