Red or Black: Which Should You Bet On In Roulette?

Red or Black: Which Should You Bet On In Roulette?

Roulette is a simplistic game that does not require as much strategy as other real money casino games. There’s no greater example of this simplicity than the game’s most popular wager: red or black.

Place your roulette bets on black or red and hope for the ball to land on your color. Picking a roulette color is the easiest bet to place, which is what makes it such an attractive wager, especially to newcomers who do not understand the different roulette bets.

If you bet on black and the roulette ball, also known as a pill, lands on black, then you win. The same goes for if you bet on red.

Despite what some players think, the odds of landing on black or red are not 50/50. In fact, there are numerous variables that can increase or decrease the chances of whether red or black hits on the wheel. This goes for online roulette as well as playing in person.

Let’s take a closer look at the math behind betting on red or black and all of the variables that could affect this wager.

Roulette Red or Black

The roulette red or black is technically considered an outside bet on the roulette table layout. These bets are labeled “outside bets” because they are located closest to the players. Additionally, many of these outside bets pay even money, just like the red or black bet does. However, that does not mean that these roulette bets have even odds.

What this means is that if you place a $20.00 bet on roulette black or red, your winning bet will be $20.00 if your roulette colors bet hits. Along with your original wager, you will win $20.00 for a total of $40.00.

It’s simple enough to understand the roulette payout, but it’s more complicated when you get into the odds of red or black hitting. These roulette color odds can change depending on which variation of roulette you are playing:

  • European Roulette
  • American Roulette
  • Triple-Zero Roulette

Before we answer the big question of whether you should bet on red or black, it’s imperative that we consider all roulette wheel colors, including green. This roulette color is an important indicator as to which roulette variation you are playing and what the red or black odds will be.

Roulette Green Odds

There are 1-to-36 counting numbers on every roulette wheel, with all of these numbers being categorized as inside bets on the roulette table layout.

The house edge will depend on which variant of roulette you are playing. Online roulette offers single-zero and double-zero roulette. These are the most common roulette games and have reasonable roulette green odds. Gamblers are advised to stay away from triple-zero roulette, which is mostly found in Las Vegas.

Where the differences lie is in how many zero-green pockets there are on the roulette wheels in online casinos and land-based establishments:

    • European roulette (single-zero)
    • American roulette (double-zero)
    • Triple-zero

The house edge will depend on which variant of roulette you are playing. Online roulette offers single-zero and double-zero roulette. These are the most common roulette games, with gamblers advised to stay away from triple-zero roulette, which is mostly found in Las Vegas.

European Roulette (Single-Zero)

This is the roulette table that you should strive to be playing. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find these roulette wheels in land-based casinos. Unless you want to play at higher stakes, roulette wheels with just one green pocket are tough to find in person.

The house edge for European roulette games is approximately 2.7%. With European roulette available in online casinos at lower limits, there is no reason to be playing American roulette wheels. This impacts the odds of winning your roulette red or black bets, as well.

The odds of winning your red or black wager on a single-zero roulette wheel is 48.6%. This is worse than the 50% chance that your uninformed friends might have suggested. However, this is the best win probability that you can find for a roulette red or black bet.

Unless you can find roulette without a green pocket, there is never going to be a true 50/50 chance of winning your red or black bets. Playing a single-zero wheel gives you the lowest odds of green in roulette and the lowest house edge.

Taking advantage of the low house edge in European roulette is easy with a site like Wild Casino. It is our favorite online gambling site to play roulette at. Not only does Wild Casino offer 15 different roulette games, but it also includes multiple European roulette games.

For European roulette players making their first appearance at Wild Casino, you can get an incredible casino bonus of up to $9,000 dollars on your first deposit. Returning players can take advantage of reload bonuses and promotions for depositing with crypto.

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American Roulette (Double-Zero)

Roulette with American rules is the variant of roulette that most people are familiar with in the casino. There are two green pockets, which is one more than European roulette. The house edge for double-zero roulette goes up to 5.26% because the roulette green odds are increased.

This house edge applies across every bet on the roulette table except the First Five Basket Bet. The house edge tips close to an 8% house edge for this wager.

The odds of winning on a red or black bet sink when playing American roulette instead of the European roulette rules. The win probability of red or black drops to 47.34%. This is due to an extra pocket on the wheel.

With that said, American roulette can still be a lot of fun and profitable to play, especially at a secure casino site like Bovada Casino. This casino offers two different options offers American roulette. It also has a demo mode available, so you can try roulette for free.

Bovada offers live dealer roulette games as well, so you can recreate the in-person betting experience at home. Plus, new members can claim a welcome offer worth up to $3,750 in bonus funds. You can use these bonus funds to play American roulette.

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Triple-Zero Roulette

Triple-zero roulette should be avoided at all costs. There are numbers from 1-to-36, with an additional three pockets for a green 0, 00, and 000 or casino emblem. The house edge is an awful 7.69% on a triple-zero roulette wheel.

There are 39 pockets on a triple-zero roulette wheel. This equates to a win probability of 46.1% for betting on red or black.

Do you need any other reason to pass on playing triple-zero roulette games?

Roulette Wheel Bet

Red or Black Roulette Strategy: The Martingale System

Arguably, the most popular roulette strategy for betting on red or black is the Martingale System. It’s a red or black strategy that requires you to double down on your colored bet until you win. You do not deviate from red or black, just continue betting on your color until it wins.

For Example:

If you lose your first $5.00 bet on red, you would then wager $10.00 for the next bet on red. If this loses, then bet $20.00, $40.00, and so on until red is a winner.

This system assumes that players have an infinite bankroll. Unfortunately, the truth is that we all have a finite bankroll. Ultimately, this means that the Martingale system is a losing proposition.

There will come a time when red or black goes on a really hot streak. We are talking nearly 20 or more in a row. Most players will go bust before their color comes up.

Each Roulette Spin Is An Independent Event

On a roulette wheel with no bias, each spin is independent of one another. What this means is that the previous spin has no impact on the next bet.

It does not matter if black, for instance, wins 20 times in a row. There is an equal chance of black or red winning on the 21st spin.

There are 38 pockets on an American roulette wheel. If the wheel does not have a bias, there is a 1-in-38 chance of the ball landing in any one pocket. That would equate to a 1-in-36 chance for a European roulette wheel.

What is this wheel bias business all about?

Over time, a roulette wheel can begin to lean ever so slightly to one area because of mechanical wear. The wheel has imperfections or a malfunction that is causing this to happen.

Unfortunately, modern casinos are quick to react to a biased wheel. If there is an imperfection, it will be fixed right away. Many years ago, biased roulette wheels were more prevalent when there weren’t built-in electronics to monitor the wheel. Of course, this is not an issue for online roulette games.

Should You Bet On Red or Black?

One of the most common questions from new roulette players is does red or black hit more on roulette.

Statistically speaking, betting on black or red has the same odds. On an American roulette wheel, the win probability will work out to 47.34% on red or black. If you are playing European roulette, then the probability of winning is 48.6% on any black or red bet.

In the short term, one color might have an advantage statistically if it’s on a hot streak. But this has no impact on what occurs for future bets. The odds of red or black in roulette are the same.

So, the question shouldn’t be red or black, but rather – European or American?

About the Author
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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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