The House Edge of Roulette

The House Edge

Playing roulette online is great fun, but you should remember that South Africa players are always battling against the casino.

Every betting game has a 'house edge'. In a nutshell, this is the odds advantage that the casino has over the player. And online roulette is no different. Your job as a ZA gambler is to find out what the house edge is in every game you play and learn how best to combat it.

Luckily, at we can show you how the house edge works, how it makes online casinos their money, and how you can do your best to avoid it. Then, once you've chosen real-money games to play, you can choose a top gaming site on the net and start earning some lovely cash.

Below we've listed the main reasons why it's important for South African gamers to know about the house edge in online roulette:

  • It introduces players to basic betting odds in roulette
  • Some roulette variations have a higher house edge than others
  • Learning sensible betting is great for long-term profits

Understanding Roulette Odds

Take a look at this table. It lists the odds and payouts for bets in European and French Roulette games (with a single zero) and American Roulette (with its double zero):

Bet Payout Odds Single Zero Double Zero
Red (1/1) 48.65% 47.37%
Black (1/1) 48.65% 47.37%
Odd (1/1) 48.65% 47.37%
Even (1/1) 48.65% 47.37%
1 to 18 (1/1) 48.65% 47.37%
19 to 36 (1/1) 48.65% 47.37%
1 to 12 (2/1) 32.43% 31.58%
13 to 24 (2/1) 32.43% 31.58%
25 to 36 (2/1) 32.43% 31.58%
Sixline (5/1) 16.22% 15.79%
First Five (6/1) 13.90% 13.16%
Corner (8/1) 10.91% 10.53%
Street (11/1) 8.11% 7.89%
Split (17/1) 5.41% 5.26%
Any Number (35/1) 2.70% 2.63%

You'll notice that the payouts are always slightly less than the "true" odds of winning, and that's because the green slots (0 in European/French and 0 and 00 in American) skew the wheel in the favour of the casino.

You won't win when the ball lands on a zero (unless you specifically bet on them) and outside, Red/Black or Odd/Even bets will always lose if it happens.

This difference is what we call the house edge. In European Roulette it's 2.7 percent; in American Roulette it is far higher (around 5.26 percent).

Handling the House Edge

"The house always wins," is the old adage. So how can you combat the unfavourable edge that online casinos have in roulette?

The easiest way (other than not playing at all) is to choose the right games. European Roulette has a lower house edge, and over time will give you the best chance of beating the house. Plus, you can think about sticking to the lower-odds, outside bets like Red and Black.

They will never pay the 'true' odds, but these even-money bets are good for your long-term profits. Consider trying a system with small stakes, or mixing up your outside bets with a few straight-up wagers.

Remember, in the long run, roulette is all about having fun, so never let the house edge put you on tilt and if you have a downswing, know when to stop and take a break.

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Handling the house edge is one of the key parts of making money at online roulette. But finding a top casino online is just as important.

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