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Comprehensive guide to roulette numbers

To play roulette in a meaningful way, it helps to understand the rules. Roulette typically involves a wheel with numbered pockets and a table with different betting options. The numbers on the wheel are not random but arranged in a specific sequence.

Each roulette variant has its quirks, making playing different from one version to the next.

To understand how the game works, it is worth looking at the roulette wheel’s layout, the different variants of roulette and their sequences, hot and cold numbers and how to choose numbers.

The roulette wheel layout

Roulette comes in three main variants: European, American and French. Each has a different layout. Generally, though, the roulette wheel is laid out in the following way:

The roulette wheel

The roulette wheel is a solid wooden disk that is slightly convex in shape. Around the rim are metal partitions with compartments or pockets between them called canoes. Thirty-six of these compartments, painted alternately in red and black, are numbered non consecutively from 1 to 36.

In European-style roulette, there’s a 37th compartment painted green, which is designated 0. The American variant has two green compartments marked 0 and 00.

The French variant has the same layout as the European wheel but has built-in exceptions, including announced bets and the use of en prison and la partage rules. We will cover these below.

The table layout

Bets are placed on a roulette table. The numbers on the table correspond to the numbers on the wheel and the segments on the outer area of the numbered parts. The numbers are arranged in three columns and 12 rows, with the zero(s) on top.

The French roulette table has a different layout than the other variants, with some betting options written in French and placed on both sides of the wheel. The European and American variants have the betting options in English and are placed to one side of the wheel.

Some facts that you should know, which apply across all variants of roulette we cover here, include:

• The numbers on the wheel are coloured either red or black, except for the zero pockets, which can be green or blue.
• The numbers on the wheel alternate between red and black, odd and even and high and low (except for the zeros).
• The numbers on the wheel can be grouped into different categories, such as inside bets, outside bets and special bets.
• Players can bet on a single number, a group of numbers or a combination of numbers, and other factors such as parity or colour.
• The more specific the bet, the higher the payout and the lower the probability you will get it right.
• The house edge in roulette depends on the number of zeros on the wheel.

To understand how each factor affects the outcome and what to expect, let’s examine the differences between the variations of the roulette numbers sequence.

Variations of roulette numbers sequence

Before you start playing, let’s get into the differences between roulette numbers across the different variants highlighted here.

European roulette numbers

The European roulette wheel has 37 pockets, numbered from 0 to 36. The pockets are coloured either red or black, except for the green 0 pocket. The numbers on the wheel are arranged to alternate between red and black, odd and even and high and low.

The sequence of numbers on the European wheel is:

0, 32, 15, 19, 4, 21, 2, 25, 17, 34, 6, 27, 13, 36, 11, 30, 8, 23, 10, 5, 24, 16, 33, 1, 20, 14, 31, 9, 22, 18, 29, 7, 28, 12, 35, 3 and 1.

American roulette numbers

The American roulette variant has 38 pockets, which includes the addition of the 00 pocket, increasing the house edge. The pockets are numbered from 0 to 36, including an extra 00 pocket. The pockets are coloured red or black, except for the 0 and 00 pockets, which are green.

The numbers on the wheel alternate between red and black, odd and even and high and low, except for the zeros.

The sequence of numbers on the American wheel is:

0, 28, 9, 26, 30, 11, 7, 20, 32, 17, 5, 22, 34, 15, 3, 24, 36, 13, 1, 00, 27, 10, 25, 29, 12, 8, 19, 31, 18, 6, 21, 33, 16, 4, 23, 35, 14 and 2.

French roulette numbers

French roulette has a table and wheel layout identical to the European version. Where they diverge is the rules. The French version has two playing options not found in its counterparts:

• La partage: This rule says that if you place an outside bet and the ball lands on zero, you will be returned half of your wagered sum.
• En prison: This rule states that you will be granted a second try if you make an outside bet that results in the ball landing on zero. It is worth noting that you lose the entire wagered amount if the second wheel spin doesn’t go your way.

Since these two rules give the players an advantage, the house edge is lowered to 1.35%.

Hot and cold roulette numbers

The myth of hot and cold numbers in roulette is based on the assumption that some numbers are more or less likely to win than others. The assumption is invalid, given that roulette is a game of pure chance, and every spin is independent of the one before.

The physical properties of the wheel and the ball in live roulette and random number generators in online versions ensure that the outcome of each spin is not predictable. There is no pattern or logic to the numbers that come up.

The hot and cold numbers myth is a type of gambler’s fallacy, a cognitive bias that makes people believe past events affect future events.

For instance, some players might think that if a number has not come up for a while, it is due to come up soon, or if a number has come up several times, it will continue to do so.

These beliefs are not based on mathematical or statistical evidence and can lead to irrational and risky betting decisions.

The truth is that every number on the roulette wheel has the same probability of winning, regardless of how often or how rarely it has come up before.

The probability of winning on a single number bet is 2.70% on the European wheel and 2.63% on the American wheel. The probabilities do not change over time and are not affected by previous spins.

Therefore, playing hot or cold numbers does not improve your odds of winning.

Choosing the roulette numbers

When choosing roulette numbers, players have different strategies, some are based on myths like the hot and cold numbers they use to pick numbers. Given that it is a game of chance, no skill is involved with these approaches.

Let’s look at some of them:

Lucky and unlucky numbers

The concept of lucky and unlucky numbers is another myth based on things like personal experiences, culture or numerology. For instance, some players may consider the number seven lucky, as is associated with good fortune by many traditions.

Others may avoid the number 13, which is considered unlucky by some cultures. Like the hot and cold strategy, this isn’t based on mathematical or scientific evidence. You cannot rely on lucky or unlucky numbers to go your way.

Superstitions around numbers

Some players may follow superstitions or rituals associated with the roulette numbers. This includes betting on their favourite colour, anniversary date or birthday. These associations are personal and sometimes unique to a player.

Since there is no pattern or logic to the numbers that come up, superstitions are not an effective strategy when playing roulette, but they can be fun when not taken seriously.

Using random number generators

Random number generators are software programs or devices that produce numbers based on a mathematical algorithm. For instance, RNGs are used in online casinos to ensure that games meant to be based on chance are not predictable.

Some players may also use RNGs to avoid bias or influence from their emotions or intuition. RNGs can be a fun way to make diverse and random bets, as the game is based on chance. However, this doesn’t guarantee an advantage or edge over the house.

Roulette numbers FAQ

What is the origin of roulette numbers?

No one is sure about the origins of the numbers, but some say it is based on an ancient Chinese board game that involved arranging 37 animal figurines into a magic square with numbers totalling 666. Others think that the game was invented by Blaise Pascal in the 17th century while trying to create a perpetual motion machine.

How many numbers are there on a roulette wheel?

The number of numbers on a roulette wheel depends on the type of roulette game. The European and French roulette wheels have 37 numbers, while the American version has 38.

How do I choose the best numbers to bet on in roulette?

There is no definitive way to choose numbers in this game of chance. However, some players may decide on certain numbers based on lucky numbers, birthdays or anniversary dates. Others may prefer to use betting systems such as Martingale, Fibonacci or Labouchère.

What is the significance of the green zero and double zero slots?

The green and double zero give the casino an edge over the players. The green slots are not part of any of the other bets, such as red/black, odd/even, high/low, dozens or columns. If the ball lands on a green slot, you lose your bet. On a single zero wheel, the house edge is 2.7%, while for double zero, it is 5.26%.

Can roulette numbers be predicted using mathematics?

Each spin is independent and random and cannot be predicted. Too many variables affect the outcome, which no mathematical formula or algorithm can account for.

How many red numbers are on a roulette wheel?

There are 18 red numbers on a roulette wheel, regardless of whether it is a single zero or double zero wheel.

What is the highest number on a roulette wheel?

The highest number on a roulette wheel is 36. This number is on all types of roulette wheels and is often considered one of the best numbers to bet on by some players. However, there is no evidence that this number is special compared to the others.